Thursday, July 09, 2009

The numbers-driven life

(Addressing reading-time deficit)

Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
Oil those brains
Before they rust.

I used to have my cardio time at the gym five days a week reserved for reading. But I don't have that opportunity anymore and it occurred to me today that my life has become very numbers-driven.

Each day, I need to get 1200 calories of food over five meals. Each meal must consist of 8 grams of fat, 18 grams of protein and 24 grams of carbohydrates.

I need to walk .82 miles to and .82 miles from the gym six days a week. The girls have to be at the gym by 8:45 on four of those days.

I do High Intensity Interval Training -- sprinting at 60% my target heart rate to 90% for 45 seconds, twelve times, four times weekly, in addition to one intense spinning class. There is no room for talking or reading at this point; even picking up a dropped water bottle is out of the question.

The other two mornings, I have a personal trainer take me through a customized resistance workout which consists of sets and repetitions of exercise, usually three sets of ten reps at x-weight per exercise. Obviously, I can't read here.

Before I see my trainer, I need to have warmed up for five minutes . . .

(At home, about an hour after the gym, life is child-oriented completely and, since I usually don't have help at home during the day, reading is out of the question).

This leaves a tiny interval of about three hours (again with the numbers) in the evening to . . . clean or to type furiously on my laptop.

But, the picture is pretty clear. Amidst or among all these numbers, you'd think I could squeeze in at least ONE book?

I used to stay up very late to read but, since I began training and since I bought a nifty training application to enhance the experience, I stumble over concepts such as recovery and my app sputters warnings about over-training because I'm tired.

I do love my workouts and I do miss my reading. I've had more difficult problems than this in the past and I'm willing to concede that, on a global scale, my troubles are minuscule. Still, as trivial as it seems, what's left of my mind -- what pregnancy and two years of sleep-deprivation left of my neuron count -- still needs to be fed. It's hungry. Even if it can't process language as well as it used to because the lights have gone out in my temporal and parietal lobes and compensating parts of the brain are doing little more than an adequate job. So what. It still needs to be nourished.

Look to the right of my blog, the sidebar -- It introduces two books that I'm apparently reading. A more accurate account of my activities would be: Books have been picked up from my shelf and placed (reverently) on my nightstand; an ebook has been secured for travel reading ops.

What to do? The numbers-driven life -- is it compatible with intellectual development (or, heck, even maintenance) and spiritual fulfillment? I don't know. I think it has to be.

So, I do know one thing for certain: I will read again.

*poem J. Prelutzky - A. Nonny Mouse Writes Again! (1993)

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