||[Jul. 20th, 2006|10:46 pm]
There are precious few things you can do while exercising vigorously... I mean, you can sometimes watch TV or movies, but if you're working out at a gym, you're unlikely to have control over the remote, which causes a bit of a problem.|
There's another problem. Exercising for an hour in 20-25 minute increments, can take an hour and a half, sometimes not including a shower afterwards. That's a huge chunk of a day for a person with ADHD to lose. Mind, I think I gain back about a half an hour of that because I sleep more soundly and don't need as much sleep when I'm working out hard, but it's still a huge amount of time.
How on earth could I keep up this pace, and do other important things in my life? I mean, with few enough hours in a day, I'll never think to waste any of that time, say, meditating.
And you know what's really terrible about exercising for an hour? It's boring if you're not doing something. It's a shame you can't keep your mind occupied, perhaps exercising your mind in some way, say, meditating or something like that.
Um. Yeah. Lemme meditate on how I could solve all those problems at once....
It's actually been an interesting thing. I'm trying very hard not to push myself; I can be as stupidly macho as the next guy. See that belligerant guy, acting stupidly macho? Yeah. That next guy. Except I don't tend to get belligerant, I tend to over-estimate my physical abilities and sometimes even strain my heart.
Did you know if you work out really, really hard, you can end up spending a day or two getting winded walking up a flight of stairs, and having your airway fill up with gunk? I don't know if it's still called "heart failure" when it's due to overexertion, and if it passes in a couple days, but the symptoms are the same, though not as severe.
Anyway... I'm bound and determined to minimize my risk of injury and to build up slowly, not caring if it doesn't seem to be progressing fast enough (what, in about 10 weeks, I'm working out for an hour at a pace that burns probably 800-1000 Calories mostly comfortably, and I'm complaining that the results aren't fast enough?)... and I think that's helping with the meditation practice as well. Sure, I can't stay focused for as long as I'd like, as easily as I'd like. So, big deal? If I keep going back to trying to meditate, sooner or later, as my skill develops, I'll get better. Plus, what else am I going to do? Watch whatever random TV is on?
(I should point out that my gym has twelve TVs, set to four stations, with captioning on, and they broadcast the audio stream to FM channels for anyone who brings a radio to the club. If I watched TV, it'd be a sweet setup. But watching TV, especially random TV, isn't much of a thrill for me.)
It's also interesting; I think I'm starting to "get" meditation. First, the basic breathing meditation is wonderful because it helps you lock in a good, healthy breathing style until it's nearly effortless for you to do it. Second, it helps link breathing to the relaxation of meditation, so taking a deep breath can do more for you than it did before.
Third, it helps you find your not-talking brain. I don't mean being non-verbal... I have done a bit of planning on writing while meditation. But I'm not talking to myself, if you understand the distinction. I form words, but I'm not "talking" them.
It's like, in your talking brain, you could make yourself say the words "Ted Bundy was a good and honorable man" (Yes, I mean Ted Bundy, the serial killer.) You could say it in the non-talking brain, too... but not with the mental equivalent of a straight face. Or, maybe you might say you can't say it there, because you know it's not true... you can only imagine saying it with the talking-brain.
I suspect - and this is just pure speculation - that the internal critic that bothers so many people is part of the talking-brain, as well. Those little nastygrams you might get generally don't come from the deeper, truer part of your brain. Maybe it's wishful thinking... but it's exactly the kind of thing I want to learn about.
Meditation also develops patience - how can it not :-) ?
And I think it helps with awareness. It's a lot easier for me to keep good form on the elliptical (which is where I do most of my exercise) and to recognize things going on around me, hearing things, taking now of how my body is feeling and how my breathing is going, and the sounds, and sometimes, the smells (though thankfully, only when someone's wearing too much perfume... no excessive noticing of BO so far). I keep my eyes closed; I don't think I'm anywhere near being able to meditate without closing my eyes.
It's been an interesting experience so far... I'm curious as to what's going to happen to my body and my mind over the next few weeks.