Refocusing on exercise, and finally learning a basic skill.

Well, it appears that I’ve gotten lax with my exercising.

I had set an exercise routine for myself in lieu of going to the gym. What I used to do was wake up early in the morning, and spend a half-hour on the elliptical in my home office. While it was regular exercise, there were a couple of disadvantages. The first was that I wasn’t watching what I was eating, and so I’d be caught snacking, having desserts, and eating generally fattening foods. It didn’t help that I wasn’t drinking as much water as I should. The second was that the amount of time I was spending on the elliptical wasn’t coming anywhere near to what I did when I went to the gym, and I was missing out on weight training to boot.

The final straw came when I realized I needed to buy new pants, and that I needed to go a size higher on club shirts. Something needed to be done.

This week, I’ve started on a new regiment. I’ve cut out most snacks and desserts. Desserts will be relegated to a single splurge night a week. I’ve also started drinking far more water than I did before. I’ve also been eating less red meat. As far as exercise goes, I’m going to the gym four times a week. My routine consists of sixty minutes on a stationary bike (set to random hill), weight training on specific body areas (three sets of twelve reps on each machine), and abdominal crunches (three sets of twenty). I’m hoping the combination of more exercise plus a slightly better diet will help me shed some weight before the wedding date. I don’t want to look too fat for the pictures. :-)

I’m also hoping that another thing I’m doing will help in getting the weight down. One thing I’ve never been very open about (unless I absolutely had to) was the fact that I couldn’t swim. Rather, I could fake it a little, but attempts to formally teach me as a child never went anywhere. I couldn’t tread water, and I definitely didn’t feel comfortable trying to swim. Let’s not even talk about how I’d react when in the deep end of a pool…

The problem with that is that Jennifer LOVES the water, and would live in it full-time if she could. As a result, I don’t feel like I can properly join in when she does things like go to the pool, because I’m not that comfortable with it. It’ll get worse as time goes on, as she loves to do things like snorkeling, and I’d simply not be able to take part.

It’s not fair, so I’ve decided to do something about it. I’m taking swimming lessons twice a week.

We found the place I go to, The Aquatic Academy, through our friend Julie. We had gone there for water aerobics, and the teacher gave me a few pointers on swimming while I was there. I was impressed enough where I’ve been going back for proper lessons. So far I can now tread water (though I’m out of shape enough where I can’t keep it up for long), actually do breast strokes and front crawls, and can swim underwater. I’ve even been able to open my eyes underwater. That’s huge, because the last time I tried was when I last had lessons in my childhood, the water burned and stung my eyes so badly I’ve associated having my eyes open underwater with pain ever since. I’ve been happy with my progress, as has Jennifer.

I think I’ll be learning how to dive at the next lesson. That’s one skill that I’ve always been envious of others for, because as fun as it looks, in the past I would have panicked being in the deep end of the pool. As for now, well… I’m definitely looking forward to it, though it remains to be seen how I’ll react in the deep end. We’ll see, I suppose. :-)

In the end, though, even if I wasn’t doing well at learning, it’s not a lost cause. It’s extra exercise for me, and it’s definitely getting me more used to being in the water. I’m definitely hoping I’ll get to the point where I can do all the same water things Jennifer likes to do… and maybe by that point, I’ll be slimmed down and in better shape where I can enjoy it to its fullest. :-)

3 thoughts on “Refocusing on exercise, and finally learning a basic skill.

  1. Congrats for getting back into it, man. I would really suggest keeping the red meat up, putting a lot more focus on weight training, and either eliminating cardio or limit it to short bursts like sprinting or up and down on real stairs (not stair stepper).

  2. I’m glad you’re learning to swim. I can’t remember a lot of stuff from back in the day; did you have to skip out on all the swimming-related stuff in Cub Scouts? I remember trying to water-ski at camp Strake… I faceplanted and got a lung full of nasty lake water. I still had fun, though, and it makes me sad to think of you missing out. Swimming IS a lot of fun, and knowing how could save your life. And what a great way to exercise when it’s hot out! Keep up the good work!

    1. I actually don’t remember doing any swimming stuff back in Cub Scouts, so I’m going to assume I did in fact get to skip the swimming stuff. In a sense, I’m sad as well that I got to miss out on it, especially when the teacher is telling me I’m a natural at it. I would have loved to dive like I’m doing now back then. Still, there’s no sense in bitterness. I’m enjoying it now, and that’s all that counts. :-)

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