PREPARE FOR THE PSYCHOLOGY OF WINTER
Never again this day. Submission to Time's unstoppable forward motion
dismays and amuses me and I involuntarily reach to pause its flight.
A summer that never fully arrived is now about to depart. Amusement
and dismay, thin soldiers in a mock battle of survival clash briefly
and I press on, smile in place. I shall not be overcome by the bleak
winter's onslaught with its gray frown, shriveled and shrunken days
followed by nights of no end, flus, runny noses, coughs, flaring
joint pain, pumpless and burnless workouts by stiff bodies bound
in layers of long johns and sweat shirts, disciplined lives hanging
like one winged moths in successive holiday gusts smelling of cookie
dough, stuffing and rum. You may have guessed I'm not crazy about
laugh out loud, an anxious and nervous burst, writing and looking
through the window as the wind leans on the redwoods, grooming the
giant forest. I lightheartedly wonder when a spiraling ancient limb
will crown my rooftop, block our nimble wooded roadway or shear
the power lines and collapse the waterways. Amenities. Like responsibilities,
who needs them?
comes in from a sudden storm and breaks my reverie. "I could
hear you yowling as I drove up." Laree can hear the muffle
of a slug as it drags its belly across our deck in the early morning
dew. "What's funny? By the way, the gutter's busted. We got
us a flood by the front door. Think we should buy a generator this
year? Stock food? Build an ark? Brrrrrrr. We need firewood. How's
that newsletter coming along?" She says all this in one breath
as she reads over my shoulder. "Hope the computer doesn't go
down." I regain my composure. I feel pale. 189 days 'till Spring
you have a plan? You've got to have a plan. We need a plan before
we're lulled into winter hibernation and isolation.
is here. If not today, unspeakably soon and it's a different creature.
Good. You like skiing and bundling up, snowballs and the fireside.
Cute. Me, too. Take heed, the shorter and colder days during which
we reside furthest from the sun are harsh on the system. We tend
to fade lose ground defect.
need to adjust quickly, mentally and physically. You can do it;
it needs to be done. Too often we find ourselves suddenly neck deep
in calories and bodyfat, inappropriate and irregular training, misplaced
goals, bitter and guilty self-consciousness, low resistance and
the ensuing vulnerability to flus, colds and viruses. Diminishing
disciplines, increasing television bloat, pronounced pear-shapeness,
attitude spats, lost friendships, newfound evil enemies, hysteria,
nightmares, paranoia, schizophrenia and occasionally the mumps.
And we were making such good progress.
a plan. Reinforce it. Write it down. Scroll "urgent" across
the top. Post it on your icebox door and outhouse wall. Study it,
memorize it, recite it. Quote it.
goal is to make progress in your bodybuilding through Sept, Oct,
Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, and March. Every month a silent and secret step
forward. Another movement mastered, a new P/R, a satisfying exercise
combination practiced, a pound of fat gone, an ounce of muscle mass
acquired, workout after workout. Mere maintenance, or only a occasional
slip backwards is not sufficient. A slip backwards is how we usually
survive the off-season and find ourselves eventually tumbling backwards
with ever-increasing momentum until we're out of control, disappointed
order in your workouts now. Prepare for the psychology of the winter,
its physical limitations, its tastes, noise and demands. Be ready
for the altered atmosphere, attitudes and energies around you -
at work, home and at the gym. It's a different game, different rules,
you noticed? Less skin showing we tend to fatten up. Less daylight
and fair weather, we tend to be sedate, indoors and comfortably
confined, less active and motivated. We burn less fuel and eat more;
there are holidays, parties, long nights, wet days, boredom, depression
and developing bad habits with crumbling disciplines. Inertia.
vow to not falter through the six months before us: a personal promise
with an eye on each other and encouragement along the way. I see
it each year about this time. Members fade from the gym floor, returning
months later, upset, stressed, out of shape and regretful. "If
only I stuck it out." To many of you this sounds harsh. Many
identify and others would rather I talk about 1 rep squats and get
on with it. Breaks my heart when an innocent, well-meaning member
gets swept away from his or her workout routine and returns, lost
post some material each week to keep us going. We all stumble and
need a hand regularly. Let's do winter together.
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