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As a follow up to yesterday's post, if you're interested in learning more about the concept of intrinsic exercise, here's an article with a good tee up that was published in Psychology Today. "Learn to Love Exercise," by Jay Kimiecik. And here's a post from the Mind-Body Medicine blog.
I'll be talking to a potential virtual personal trainer today and one thing I'll mention is my desire to discover the best way to tap into and ignite intrinsic motivation for exercising. I know part of this is to find the activities that I enjoy or that provide some satisfaction.
Intrinsic motivation means that I'd engage in the activity for its own sake.
Or as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called it, FLOW. That state when we lose track of time and are totally into what we're doing. I want more of this!
Given my love (obsession) for adventure, I know that there needs to be an element of adventure and misadventure to the activities I select. Or HOW I do them. For example: I loved riding my bike to school when I was in the 5th grade. This offered me an element of danger (the school was across town), independence, and fun. I bought the road bike myself from selling toys at a garage sale, and I loved it.
It was lime green, I know you were wondering.
But is every bike ride going to jazz up my motivational juices? No. The situation and manner matter.
What might adventurous exercise look like in the time of covid-19? Don't mistake adventure for risk - I am risk-averse relative to the pandemic because I care about others and am at high-risk for a poor outcome if infected.
All good stuff to think about.
This blog is new and few people are reading it, so I feel a certain freedom to LET IT RIP and write whatever I want. I feel no pressure to do market research on the reading preferences of my ten blog subscribers.
Hey, you're talking about us!
True. I'm taking a risk with this line of thinking, but I believe that all ten of you are here because you're curious, extraordinary people. You're adventurers who embrace original ideas. You're special, in other words.
That's more like it. You were saying?
Right. I was just saying that because my readers are amazing, I'm free to offer up whatever pops into my mind.
Mind. MIND. MIND.
I was looking for a book that I bought many years ago. Didn't find it, but I was amused by a few other titles on my bookshelf:
On Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers
The Social Construction of Reality by Berger and Luckmann
How to Be an Existentialist by Gary Cox
Notice a theme? Stuck-inside-my-head type philosophy. Is there another kind? Maybe not.
Why do I own these books and WHY have they remained in my collection through at least a dozen pre-move book reduction exercises? Some extreme reduction attempts that slashed my collection by half or more? And why did the book I was hoping to find, The Intrinsic Exerciser by Jay Kimiecik, not make the cut?
I'm quite bothered by this because I cannot remember when I discarded this book or my state of mind, but worry that this could be an ominous sign for future attempts at increasing exercise. This book, which is about revving up your inner drive to exercise, is what I need right now.
Reality is socially constructed. Exercise is fun, I can't wait to exercise. Exercise is fun, I can't wait to exercise. Exercise is fun, I can't wait to exercise. Exercise is fun, I can't wait to exercise. Exercise is fun, I can't wait to exercise. Exercise is fun, I can't wait to exercise. Exercise is fun, I can't wait to exercise. Exercise is fun, I can't wait to exercise.
Get real, Lisa. Be authentic or go home. You're a slob
You must be open to learning to become and athletic person.
Hehehe...just having a little fun with philosophy.
Ironically, the fun I wanted to have involved exploring my deeply hidden intrinsic motivation for exercise such that I give it new life and priority. Not in an extrinsically designed carrot-and-stick way, of course, that would create bad motivational juju.
Well, that's it. Here I am, totally inside my head instead of outside doing burpees, whatever those are. It sounds dreadful and I suppose that's why my books are what they are.
I thought I would end the week on a high note and with a call for self-forgiveness as a vehicle for refocusing on generating the life and work you desire.
You are amazing.
I know this! If you and I enjoyed a chat over foaming lattes, I am sure that your greatness would shine bright and I would find your hopes and dreams inspiring. Everyone I meet possesses clear and special talents.* I love to discover the source of a person’s passions and am fascinated by our diverse natures.
Every night on the TV, we see people at their best, but more often, they are at their worst (crime shows, reality TV, droning cable news).
If everyone has the potential for amazingness, what’s going on?
I think that stress and the dizzying circumstances of our lives can push us off course.
Especially. Right. Now.
2020 has been one of those years when many of us are being challenged in new and uncomfortable ways. But we still have dreams and vision and goals, too.
We know this is not how things ought to be. We know that we have something greater and more compelling to offer the world. Even so, we might get farther off course with each mismatched turn.
You are amazing even if you're off course today.
You have the potential to contribute to others and live a wonderful and fulfilling life. You can get back on track. You can flap your butterfly wings fast and furious, manifesting joy and wonder along the way. You can ooze exuberance and become flexibly strong, like a tall Sequoia tree swaying in the wind. An awesome force of nature.
What’s your goal? Do you need an adjustment? Is there a new temporary goal that you should consider?
You can start right now. Define – Answer – Act – Use that energy to repeat.
- What can I do in the next 12 hours to get unstuck? (Do one big or five tiny things then rejoice.)
- Which is more powerful – physical or mental barriers? (Hint: it’s likely mental – obliterate the barriers by taking on a new perspective.)
- What two things can I do for the next five days to get back on track?
Isn’t it more complex than this? Yes, of course it is, but if you act like it isn’t – guess what? It will become simpler.
We all get off course sometimes and that does not make us any less amazing.
And if you're not ready to get back to it, then you should rest. Reflect on a temporary way forward that you can get excited about and, when you're ready, start flapping.
* I know some of you are thinking that this is not true. Not everyone is amazing. There are evil and thoughtless and manipulative people in this world. Sure, OK. But I choose to default to the belief that everyone I meet is amazing until and unless they prove otherwise.
I have had the phrase “they are all moments of truth” stuck in my head this week. Directed at myself, for the most part; I have been using this mantra to improve my focus and action.
To do our best we need to recognize moments of truth and bring our A-game to the situation. And each one might call for a different extraordinary you.
Moments of truth – moments that reveal the truth about who we are, what we care about, and how committed we are to results.
I mentioned last week that I'm working on a my plan and approach for generating a breakthrough in physical health. In spite of chronic health challenges and previous failed attempts.
This morning I felt another gut punch moment of truth as I read a well-sourced new article about how any covid-19 vaccine will be less effective for heavier people. That's the case with the flu vaccine, too. Obesity is a risk factor for worse outcomes if infected and will reduce the efficacy of vaccines and therefore increase chances of becoming infected. Moment of truth!
I have a long list of reasons to lose weight and now there is one more. Some reasons sting or weigh more than others. Feel the pain, Lisa, and let it steel your resolve.
Moments of truth test us. Are we really interested in doing something amazing? These are daily tests that we must pass to stay on path. But then we're reminded that the stakes are high.
How many moments of truth will I need to experience to get this done?
Or is this enough?
On June 16th, I blogged about my desire - need - to take on a big challenge. And I wrote that I'd be focusing on my physical fitness for this challenge.
Because I want to - there are adventures I want to experience!
Because I need to - my health has been iffy and in overal decline.
But I'm capable. And I don't have limitations that would get in the way of trying. Actually, I do have barriers - all internal, all self-imposed, all learned and reinforced.
I need more skin in the game - because I'm too weak to rely on discipline or motivation. I'm thinking:
- Commit to a trip/outing/event that will require X level of fitness. Like hiking in New Mexico in the Fall.
- Sign up for some kind of virtual personal training, using the equipment I have (or can get for home use). Something that will force an accountability structure but fit my current circumstances and the covid restrictions. Maybe add some boxing? Not sure where I'd put the bag/dummy...
- Re-align the kitchen to reinforce my best and healthy food options.
- Clear the to-do list and my commitments so that a fly on the wall would guess that THIS endeavor is among my most important.
Will update again soon with progress notes.
This pandemic has been soooo draining, don't you agree? Since I can't go anywhere - physical, out there - I decided to have a wee misadventure in my fragmented mind with some silly writing. This has not been edited, so you'll find lots wrong with it if you look.
But don't look for typos! I hope you enjoy reading this warped, stream-of-consciousness, piece of play on the page. Perhaps my story will give you an idea or two for how to make your 2020 holiday letter more entertaining. Hehehe...
Daggar and Bernice Marks here. This is our annual holiday letter.
Health Status: Daggar’s total cholesterol level is 213. Bernice’s total cholesterol level is 234. Daggar weighs 195. Bernice weighs 162. Daggar still has all his teeth. Bernice recently got a bridge with three fake teeth on account of a high consumption of Cadbury Eggs and gummy bears. Daggar credits daily shots of rye for his vigorous health.
Financial Status: Daggar and Bernice are happy to report a sudden and unexpected upswing in finances on account of a fake dog named Barney. Bernice wanted a dog but Daggar had put his foot down because they pee and poop all over the place. In the house, on the porch, around the yard, and inside the car. Daggar called dogs filthy beasts and set a criterion that any pet needed to meet which was a guarantee that it wouldn’t pee and poop all over the place. Not in the house, not on the porch, not around the yard, and never inside the car. Daggar believed his criterion would guarantee they’d be pet free, but then Bernice found a robot dog named Barney on Craigslist. She bought the robot dog – Daggar told Bernice she could call it a robot dog or a thing, but not just a dog because it was inanimate – from two college kids who said they’d built it for a robot competition. Bernice should have known that the robot dog would be trouble because it did not win or place in the robot competition and cost her only fifty bucks, less than a real live mutt dog from the city pound. Given that it was a one-off creation, the robot dog did not come with an owner’s manual, remote control, or mobile app. The college kids told Bernice they thought its battery would last about five years.
Bernice was happy and felt Barney looked pretty similar to a real dog because it was covered in polyester brown fur and had a pink felt tongue and belly. Daggar thought it looked like a cross between a beaver and an alarm clock. On command, the robot dog sat, shook hands, rolled over, and slept on Bernice’s lap. Daggar hoped that it would satisfy her need to cuddle during the evening news with Lester Holt.
Two days after Bernice brought Barney home, Daggar woke to an unwelcome surprise. The contraption had peed and pooped all over the place. In the house, on the porch, around the yard, and even inside Daggar’s car. Daggar was very mad. And even though Daggar was not a dumb person, having risen to the rank of corporal in the army and scored forth best at the shooting range, he could not figure out where the robot dog was getting the product to pee and poop. Daggar then asked Bernice if she had fed Barney. Bernice said yes, she had, and it preferred canned over dry, so that’s what she gave it. Daggar asked Bernice if she gave it water and Bernice said yes, all dogs need water. Daggar told her robot dogs are made of metal and plastic and do not need food or water. Daggar told Bernice the thing had to go as it no longer met his criterion. Bernice cried.
But something unforeseen happened before Daggar and Bernice could determine how to dispose of the robot dog. The next-door neighbor, an unusual man named Spaz Romano who was rumored to be a drug dealer, claimed that Barney got his two dogs pregnant after it dug under the fence and raped them. Spaz also said Barney ate six cushions from his patio set that needed to be replaced. Something which, if true, somewhat explained the high volume of pee and poo the robot dog deposited in the house, on the porch, around the yard, and in Daggar’s car. Daggar asked Bernice if the robot dog had dug into the neighbor’s yard. Bernice said that yes, it had and that she enticed Barney back into our yard with a pound of raw bacon and then filled the hole.
Daggar reminded Bernice that Barney was a robot and could not have fathered puppies, even if the neighbor’s dogs were virgin Pomeranian twins and therefore highly attractive. Bernice then called Barney and told him to roll over, which he did. Bernice pointed at his boy dog robot parts. Daggar was surprised to see evidence of seepage from its pinkish walnut-sized plastic sacks. Daggar could not figure out where it was getting the product to impregnate the neighbor’s dogs but agreed that this was likely what had happened. Bernice said it might be nice to have puppies. Daggar told Bernice to call them robot puppies, not just puppies, because they would be at least half inanimate.
Not a dumb person, Daggar saw a business opportunity to sell Barney’s robot sperm and its interspecies offspring. Daggar offered to pay for the patio cushions and half of the neighbor’s vet bills in exchange for half of the half-breed puppies. As of this writing, no one is sure when the puppy robots will be born, or power up we’re not quite sure, given the difference in production rates of real dogs and robots. If you’d like to get on the waiting list, Daggar and Bernice will let you know when you can buy a robot puppy. The cost will be two thousand dollars each. Daggar and Bernice have put Barney out to stud and will be renting its services for ten thousand dollars per night with no reimbursement for damaged or consumed furniture. You can book a stud night with Barney by going online to Daggar and Bernice’s new website DogRobotSperm.com. Advanced payment is required, and the next three months are sold out.
Entertainment Status: Daggar went fly fishing up the Black River with four army buddies this summer. Daggar broke last year’s record of thirty-seven trout caught and released in three hours. Bernice cooked up a batch of poisonous forest mushrooms with stew meat for the fishermen that tasted good but was not, in fact, good at all. All five men recovered and Ruben Smith reports that his dreams are more interesting since eating the toxic stew. Although he ate two helpings, Daggar’s dreams have not improved.
New Year’s Resolutions: Daggar plans to take up whittling life-sized venomous snake statues in his newly renovated office in between processing payments from the DogRobotSperm website. Bernice has started taking computer programming classes at Greendale Community College and hopes to learn robotics before Barney’s batteries die. Barney does not have a New Year’s Resolution because he is inanimate.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the Marks.
Daggar and Bernice
Written by Daggar Cook
I find that knowing
what is NOT right
what we DON'T want
what is NOT interesting
where we DON'T what to go
what we DON'T want to spend time doing
the actions that WON'T lead to success
and what we can't do
is really, really helpful when trying to determine how to best live. And if we want to experience more adventure and misadventure, then it is doubly important that we acknowledge what we should not allow to get in our way.
What should not be on your list?
Identifying our NOTs can be painful because we've invested time in energy in them - sometimes a lot of time and energy. Maybe our persona is wrapped up in this thing that is no longer fueling our energy or interest.
- I'm an athlete
- I'm a best-selling author
- I'm an inventor
- I'm a community leader
- I'm female comic of the year
- I'm teaching
Uncommit - decommit - not sure what the right word would be - from a something (or someone?) that is no longer a good use of time and is getting in the way of your progress and opportunity.
Things will be slow on the blog this week because I'm having surgery. I'll be thinking about my next misadventure as I come to and recover. I hope you'll take time out this week to ponder your next exploration as well.
I was thinking about what it must feel like to be in the midst of doing something epoch - a grand accomplishment.
And here's the odd thing. It feels like ordinary living with healthy progress. I suppose there are big adventures that start off and remain larger than life, but most are big ideas executed with quiet daily perseverance. It's something to consider if you are, like me, drawn to the idea of epoch adventures and misadventures.
Instead of asking, what's next, maybe we should notice what's now, because our adventure is unfolding and we would hate to miss it.
This might also be why many of us give up on things too soon - because the reality of getting it done does not match our romantic notions of what we thought manifesting the endeavor would feel like.
It doesn't seem possible, but after a full week of aggressively unsubscribing and unfollowing, there's still so much more I can do. Today I unsubscribed from another dozen e-newsletters. And I'm unfollowing on FB and IG - at least 10 per day.
Twitter is another matter, would love to unfollow 1/2 or more of the 4,000 I follow, but it seems like a lot of work to find the ones I'd let go. Ideas or hacks welcome. I know, I could just shut Twitter off. Might do...I keep Twitter primarily to support others, I get no real joy or value from it.
Related but different - I'm also discarding and/or donating items. Silly stuff, like a garbage bag full of shipping peanuts. Why was I keeping these wormy magnetic things? And I have stupid stuff - like cases for phones and keyboards I no longer own.
I'll tackle the books another time and tell you about it. That could be super painful but needs to happen. It's like staring at hundreds of balls of yarn that you know you'll never turn into scarves. I have some yarn, too.
I'm not becoming a minimalist. I'm a less-crap-in-my-way-ist. How will I concoct new misadventures if I'm checking my email every twelve seconds? I'd be a piss-poor attempt if I did.