The other day it was beautiful outside and I decided it was time to break my slow-as-fooook 5k personal record. I laced up my running shoes and hit the pavement.
At around the 3.5k mark when pain and fatigue were starting to set in, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to break any personal records, and I was beginning to wonder what I was even doing out there, a young, lanky dude loped past me effortlessly. I grumbled something to myself about how I could probably squat more than him so it’s okay, and plodded on, trying like hell to stay positive and keep my mind off feeling like a Clydesdale. Or an old-ish heavyweight powerlifter.
This led me to pondering success and failure and struggle. It’s been another tough week in the Gray house; our beloved doggo who had surgery last week is not doing well and everyone’s fraying a little bit. So what do you do when you can’t do what you want?
You do what you can. And then you set your ego aside and accept that there’s success in simply not quitting. I finished that run 42 seconds slower than my best 5k time, but you know what? Under the circumstances that wasn’t so bad. In fact if I looked for the positives there were lots of them: I didn’t stop and walk, I hadn’t slept more than 4h on any night in the past week, I had almost no carbohydrates in me, and most importantly: I fucking got out there and did it in spite of everything.
On this rainy Tuesday when life kinda feels like pushing an elephant up a stepladder, the best course of action seems like following James Brown’s to-do list:
The other thing on my to-do list for today is make seitan, because as much as I love tofu, it’s getting a little boring. Otherwise, the vegan keto thing has actually been fun – a good distraction from the rest of life’s struggles. Of course, for me the distraction comes from mining the internet and various cookbooks for ideas, figuring out what I’m going to eat and how it’s going to fit into my macronutrient plan, then shopping for ingredients and preparing it. Everyone else in my house, on the other hand, is endlessly amused and alarmed by the constant stream of humpback whale noises that comes from my stomach.
Needless to say no other family members are with me on this culinary adventure.
But honestly, the biggest surprise this week is that this is actually quite doable. Vegan keto sounds like you can’t eat anything…but the truth is that there are lots of options and exploring them has been a wholly enjoyable experience so far.
What hasn’t been enjoyable so far, is lifting. I am a weak lump these days but I can’t blame that on the diet 100%; stress and no sleep this week would have me feeling like a tire fire (and probably eating lots of crap to narcotize myself) under normal circumstances…but if I’m gonna be real my very very low carbohydrate intake is also a factor. Still, we’re only a week in and that should resolve itself – it’s not as though there are any lofty lifting goals to pursue right now so I can afford to be patient. Heavy lifting has been cut down to three days a week.
Instead, I am going full hippie on y’all and revisiting my favourite grade-school, plaid-polyester-pants-and-pigtails hobby: jumping rope. But want to hear something crazy? Back in February, because I had a client who was very interested in adding skipping to his program, I started playing around with it myself. Somehow Google or Big Brother or Siri figured this out, the smartypants, and IMMEDIATELY I was bombarded by advertisements for CrossRope, a company that makes weighted jump ropes for strength training. There’s an app with daily challenges, monthly challenges, instructional videos, etc etc so I did the only sensible thing to do when the internet decides you can’t possibly live without a certain product: I bought it. And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect: my weighted jump ropes showed up a couple of days before I dove into diet ridonkulousness, so doing a month-long jump rope challenge to go along with my tofu and vegetables seemed like a good idea. The workouts are quick (17-24 minutes) but super challenging (who knew skipping with a 2lb rope would be so HARD?), the app is great, and it’s an easy thing to do while I’m hanging out in the yard with my poor ailing doggo.
Next week I’ll get into some specifics about ketosis and I’ll pee on some sticks to see if we’re actually there. And speaking of peeing, I’ll dig into some pelvic floor geekery on leaking with jump rope workouts. It’ll be good clean fun.