Monday, September 07, 2009

Summer's over (sort of)

Labor Day marks the philosophical end of summer. Kids are back in school, the weather is starting to change, and people stop taking so much vacation time at work, giving the place a different vibe and making parking spaces more precious. Football season is in its one-week hiatus between the pre-season and the first game, country fairs are going strong, and the smell of grilled hamburgers carries across suburban yards on cool early-evening breezes.

On a personal level, I can hopefully catch my breath a bit. We've had a busy summer, with lots of travel and other family and social engagements. It seemed like we were booked every weekend, often times having to decide between conflicting plans. This week should mark the end, after a mid-week work outing and my wife's birthday on Friday, that is.

I am not complaining! We are fortunate to have such great opportunities to go interesting places and hang out with great people. But I'm looking forward to some quiet time and a bit of a reset button on lifestyle.

Part of doing something out of the ordinary every week is that you're always getting excuses for stepping outside your fitness norm. And if you're like me, one or two "bad" meals in a week can erase any evidence of fitness progress (and set you back in terms of habits as well). I feel like I need a few weeks without any excuses for splurging to make sure I'm well-grounded as I move through Autumn.

Because with Autumn comes apple pies, football games, and Sam Adams Octoberfest, my beer of choice. And of course, before we know it, the holidays are upon us.

Fitness update:

Today I ran the second of the three Week Three workouts in the C25K. I went to the Spencer Fair and ate a healthy (?) grilled chicken sandwich and half of a small order of fries. This past Saturday I camped with our 14-month old (and a bunch of other family) and was exhausted and grumpy when my brother-in-law showed up with 4 dozen donuts for the ten of us. I could have kissed him on the mouth I was so happy -- instead I confined my sugar-gluttony to one donut (let's not talk about the cookies I had later that day -- three hours of hiking paid for them in full).

Fitness isn't about absolutes, not for me. Sometimes it's the small victories. I could have eaten four donuts that morning. I ate one. I could have rested on my laurels after the first 90-minute hike. I went on two more. I could have bought a huge heap of onion rings today at the fair. I shared an order of fries. Sometimes you have to remember the context, think of how things could have gone, to see the progress you're making.

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