Wotcher. You may be pleased to hear that this week’s post is not only a bit less vitriolic than last week’s, it is also shorter. So that’s a bit less of your life wasted reading this bollocks. You’re welcome.
As I write this, sweating after an yet another no-starred Atlas (I am shaking my fist at the Straight Leg Lever Gods in the sky), I will admit to feeling a little bit demotivated. Which is kind of ironic given that I spent about two thousand words last time stating that I did not need any outside motivation to do this thing. I just about managed to beat my PB for Atlas (by a whole three seconds), but I felt sluggish. It’s not so much that feeling of “ARGH JESUS CHRIST I HATE THIS I WOULD RATHER BE DEAD” that you are all doubtless familiar with. Just a general lethargy.
And it’s 100% all my own fault.
Freeletics has been a little bit up and down for me over the past two or three weeks, as various life intrusions have taken their toll. (A word of advice: don’t let your wife, husband or partner catch you referring to a family holiday as a ‘life intrusion’.) Last week I missed out the last of my four planned workouts. Why? I can’t actually remember the excuse I concocted for my own mind, the real reason was that I couldn’t be bothered to make the effort. So what’s the problem?
I’ve begun to question how serious I really am about not just Freeletics itself, but having a healthy lifestyle in general. And if I look at myself and how I live my life, the answer to that is pretty clear: not very. The problem is that it’s easy to convince yourself that you’re doing more than average person because, in all likelihood, if you’ve been doing Freeletics for any period of time then you ARE doing more than the average person. But I think I’ve been kidding myself. The facts are these:
I STILL drink too much
This is really starting to bother me. Again, it’s easy to pretend that everything’s ok, because I very rarely go to the pub and I don’t drink anything like as much as I did in my 20s and 30s. But it’s still a bit too much.
My diet is not consistent
So, I bought the Freeletics Nutrition Guide. It’s got some good stuff in it. But I haven’t used it anything like as much as I should. There is obviously very little point feeling smug about having a prawn and avocado salad for dinner if the following night you have pizza and beer. It’s a waste of time.
I don’t get enough sleep
The amount of sleep a person needs is a contentious issue. A recent study (link to BBC article here) suggested that the commonly accepted eight hours might in fact be too much. My method of judging whether I’ve had enough kip is quite unscientific: it’s basically gauged on how shit I feel in the morning. I’ve always been a late-night, late-morning kind of a person. I think I still cling to that because it’s my ‘thing’. The problem here is that I have tendency to work late at night. I can feel quite virtuous about that, because I’m not wasting my time watching cat videos (honest), I’m earning. Problem is, there’s generally a glass of wine next to me as well.
My Freeletics profile tells me that I have been a ‘free athlete’ for over a year, and have completed 155 workouts. It’s actually more, but I couldn’t log the ones I did outside of the Coach app. So the reason for my lack of motivation is obvious: I’m not seeing the results I should be seeing because of the above. So I’ve got to make that change.
I’m looking at this as phase two. I’ve already proved that I’ve got the commitment to do Freeletics, now I need to prove to myself that I can do the other stuff as well. And I think it’s going to be harder. Harder even than bastard Kentauros with a bastard hangover. (You should try it, it’s basically hell on earth.)
I’m still not buying into the whole ‘NEVER GIVE UP #NOEXCUSES’ thing. It’s just not for me. What’s kicking my arse into doing this is the nagging feeling that I’m literally wasting my time. I’ve said before that any exercise is better than no exercise, and that’s true enough. But the point of Freeletics is that it’s high intensity exercise. It’s meant to be tough (it is), you’re meant to go through hell (you do). But the whole point of that is to get the results. And although I have seen a change in my body and a big improvement in my fitness and strength, I know I could be doing better.
I’ve just had deja vu. I think I’ve probably written this before. It obviously didn’t work.
So there we are.
Now I’m into week 22 of the Coach, and given that a good chunk of you that read this blog also follow me on the app, it seems pointless to keep summarising my workouts since it would just duplicate what you’ve already seen. But if there’s anything that particularly stands out then I’ll bung it in. And GREAT NEW GUYS. This week, there was something that stood out.
I was idly browsing through the app a couple of weeks ago, looking at my PBs for the various workouts. I happened to see my time for Apollon which was, to be honest, a bit rubbish. As you’ll know if you’re signed up, you also get to see everyone the PB of everyone else you follow, and to my shock, I noticed that my wife had absolutely HAMMERED my time. Now, please understand. This is not some kind sexist rant or something. There are certain workouts and exercises that she does quicker than me, and always will. She’s better at burpees and squats for a start. So given that Apollon is two-thirds burpees and squats, you’d think it unsurprising that she should be beating me.
But there are also six 400m sprints in Apollon. And running is (or at least was) my thing. I still hold the 400m record for the school I went to. (Or at least I did when I asked my old games teacher about ten years ago. Well, he couldn’t actually remember. But we both agreed that I probably did. Well, he didn’t. But fuck him.) I represented the county at 400m and 200m. I was always a sprinter. My wife, as she would be the first to tell you, was not.
We’re not just talking a minute better than me either. She was over three minutes better. I accepted the challenge, despite the fact she was completely unaware of it and couldn’t have given a shit either way.
And, basically, I did it. But not by much. Mrs C had clocked a time of 24-and-a-bit minutes, I managed to come in at 23.45* AND IT NEARLY FUCKING KILLED ME. Was it worth it? Briefly. The Coach scheduled it for her again the other day and she clocked 24.08*. But she spent about a minute talking to a delivery driver halfway through, so I think it’s safe to say she’d have smashed it again. What’s her secret? I emptied all her shit out onto the floor but could find no evidence of performance enhancing drugs. Is she just better then me?
She is, yeah.