Back to workouts and back to writing

Last night, I did some writing, mostly plotting-related work on my current novelette. It felt pretty good to sit down in front of the computer and get some stuff down, instead of just thinking about writing. When I finished, I decided I should take that momentum and attempt a workout.

I haven’t worked out in a while, and I think it shows. Not only do I feel out of shape, I imagine I look pretty out of shape at this point. This is rather sad commentary, considering it was only four years ago (to the day!) that I was in the best shape of my life. But priorities change over time and the hours in the day stay the same. That’s not really an excuse, but it’s the best I’ve got. I imagine laziness is a factor as well.

But lately, I’ve also felt unusually stressed out. Part of the stress comes from the day job, I imagine. It’s been amusing to see how it manifests itself. For one thing, I’ve been using an unusual amount of profanity–especially for someone who is generally not profane. Most of this seems to be directed at other drivers on the road, who it seem, can do nothing right. But when I think about it, I realize that I am just wound up and that the drivers on the road are the same that they have always been.

So last night, after writing, I headed downstairs, climbed onto the elliptical machine, and did a 30 minute workout. In the past, I would be very specific about my goals for the workout. So many miles, so many calories, so many beats per minute, etc. But last night, my goal was to break a sweat, think about my story, and not worry about the numbers. And I think it worked. I did a 30 minute cardio workout, and finished in a dripping sweat. It felt good. During the workout, I thought about my story, about plot problems, character motivations, etc. Mentally, I felt much better after the workout. I even felt a little bit less stressed out, despite the fact that this website had been down for hours and there was nothing I could do about it.

I’m hoping to stick with these workouts. The cardio workouts especially allow me to focus on the stories in my head. I can get my blood pumping, and come away feeling a little less stressed out. And eventually, I’ll get into better shape. There’s no particular rush on the latter. I’m easing into it, taking extra care not to strain myself. But it did feel good to be back at cardio. And back at writing, too.

2 thoughts on “Back to workouts and back to writing

  1. I’m a huge believer in workouts = a less stressful life. I always feel a little better after one. Granted, I feel better after a nap too but I try not to think about that as often. Good for you Jamie! The first workout back is always the hardest.

  2. Libby, it wasn’t all that hard. I kept it simple, no hills, no tension. I felt really good. It will get harder for a while as I start to ramp things up, but that is to be expected. Mostly, it just felt good, though.

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