1000 Laps

This January, I set myself a challenge I considered already way back in November.

It was pretty straightforward – Swim 1 000 x 25m laps. In a month.

Today, with a whole one day to spare, I swam the last lap.


Difficulty: Moderate

Physical difficulty – I split this into roughly ten sessions, 50 x 50 in each. That should be doable for most people, provided you’re a decent swimmer. If you don’t swim regularly, give yourself a month to get used to long distance swimming before you set this goal. I’ve also found that if I swim too many days in a row, I get shoulder pain.

Psychological difficulty – this is the hardest part. Long distance swimming in general is a psychological challenge. The counting is hard to maintain, hence why I made the choice to use a 50m pool (fewer numbers). Swimming too many days in a row is also psychologically challenging. Others find it difficult to deal with the monotony of lap swimming.

Setbacks: Sunburn. I got sunburn twice this summer, both times it hit my face. Once was during this challenge and as a result, I took a week off. This meant that I had to compensate for a whole week’s lost workouts. I ended up swimming later in the day to decrease my UV exposure. And yes, I do wear sunscreen. The day I burned my face, I applied sunscreen 3 times in four hours or so.

Things to keep in mind: It’s super easy to get dehydrated. The water helps cool you down, so you don’t feel like you’re overheating. You still sweat though. Remember to drink water. Also, sunscreen.

Affordability: Pretty decent. The place I swim at charges about 5 dollars per entry and they have loyalty cards as well.

Physical benefits – I’ve noticed that swimming has gotten easier. 50 laps have become my standard workout when I swim, and that’s longer than before. I feel slightly stronger, especially in my legs. No noticeable physical changes.

Psychological benefits – Most of the time, swimming is the closest I get to mindfulness. It’s a good way to cope with stress and to get away from things. When I’m in the water, I can’t check my phone or sneakily read emails (I’ve caught myself working mid-workout before).

Thoughts: Mostly, this has been a good challenge. The last 50×50 today were rough for some reason. I think having to take a week off due to sunburn meant I had to really make a point to fit all the sessions in. If it hadn’t been for that, I think I wouldn’t have been so fed up with it at the end. A few days of somewhat bad weather didn’t help. So yeah, use sunscreen.

Would I recommend this: Today? No. If you ask me tomorrow, I probably will.


When Things Get Rough



This is a pretty accurate depiction of me before 8am. It’s also a pretty accurate image of me when things get rough, and that’s what I want to write about today.

Recently, things just don’t seem to be going my way. It’s more a matter of timing than anything else, but it is quite frustrating. I’ve had massive unavoidable expenses for a while and that means I’ve been on a fairly strict budget as a result.

Due to budget restrictions, I’ve been unable to use some of my regular coping mechanisms. Especially grabbing breakfast out, retail therapy, and massages. Massages are probably the worst since I’ve got ongoing issues with back and shoulder pain, so going for a massage every six weeks or so has been pretty important in managing my wellbeing. Because when your back and shoulders hurt, it becomes a lot harder to do things like sleep and work… Add to that that I’m currently saving up to have my wisdom teeth removed. So yeah, chronic pain in most of my upper body has been a bit of an issue.

Anyhow, in order to stay motivated and get things done, I normally use a bullet journal. When I’ve completed X number of tasks or made good progress, I normally schedule rewards for myself. When you’re on a very limited budget, it’s kinda hard to reward yourself even when you deserve it. There’s been a fair few “take an extra long shower!” type of rewards happening lately. Because my normal method for getting things done isn’t as efficient as it usually is, it’s been kinda hard to stay on top of everything. This month I fell slightly short of my normal exercise goal, partly due to the pain issue.┬áIt’s also one of the reasons I’ve been blogging less lately. I’ve just had so much to do and had no motivation whatsoever.

In order to try to manage everything, I’ve used a few different tricks. The first is to consume heaps of black coffee. Firstly, because it’s the most affordable type of coffee (especially if your office provides free instant coffee). Secondly, because it helps keep the lack of sleep from becoming super obvious. Thirdly, because it curbs hunger sensations quite well.

Another trick I’ve used is to focus on wearing things that make me feel good. It’s not just about things that make you look good, it’s also about wearing a funny t-shirt or a cosy sweater.

The next thing I’ve tried to do a bit more of sounds simple – doing nothing. I’m usually very focused on getting things done and it’s hard for me to take a day off. In order to manage the pain and insomnia, I’ve just had to take things a bit easy. I’ve watched a lot of Netflix, revisited old games, and spent a fair amount of time napping when possible.

It’s kinda working out ok, but today I’m rewarding myself by going to see a friend. I’m bringing cheese, crackers, and blueberries. She’s providing wine. Shared costs, twice the reward. I just hope she doesn’t mind cheap brie.

10k Steps Challenge

Last week, I did a 10k steps a day challenge. Naturally I thought it’s something worth writing about, so here we are.

What’s the challenge? It’s exactly what it sounds like, the challenge is to take at least 10 000 steps every day for a week.

Was it completed? Yup

Was it difficult? I think I had one day where I struggled, but on average I found it very doable and manageable.

What’s the point? The point is to increase your physical activity without necessarily dedicating time to exercise. It’s to show yourself how much you can actually do just by focusing on walking.

Was it helpful? I think it’s quite helpful when it comes to remembering that days when you don’t have time to go to the gym aren’t necessarily wasted from a health or fitness perspective. It’s also a good motivator because literally every step you take helps you reach that goal.

Will I do it again? I plan on doing this maybe once a month, especially if I don’t think I can fit the gym into my schedule.

Any problems? Like an absolute idiot, I decided to break in new shoes. Bandaids and Compeed are your friends. My heels are still essentially open wounds. So yeah, don’t be an idiot.