Monday, October 22, 2012

Level 1: Beginner

Like a lot of people who start blogs, I have no idea whether or not I'm going to keep at this, but I figure it'll be a good exercise, so I'm going to give it a try. In part, this blog is just a way for my to track my own progress, so that I can check out my goals when I forget what they are and look back at what I used to suck at when I've become really good at it and am now sucking at new, more challenging things.

If you are person who is not me, and you are reading my blog, you may be asking yourself, "Why the fuck should I read this chick's blog?" (Or maybe now, "Oh wait. It's a chick? The fuck?" I'm hoping to start putting up pictures soon so that this is not an issue.) Anyway, to answer the initial question, you should read this blog because I am really awesome. See below.

  1. I used to be obese, but I have lost weight through diet and exercise. So I'm a success story.
  2. I still pig out on unhealthy food sometimes and also loaf around, so if you do those things, you are in good company.
  3. I'm a nerd. I play video games; I read comics; I go to cons; I play table-tops, and-God yes-I even freaking LARP.
  4. I do aerial silks and parkour, so hopefully I will eventually have pictures and videos and of my developing badassery. I've also done pole fitness in the past and may get back into it sometime soon.
For me, working out became a lot more fun when I realized that what I'm doing when I go to the gym is a lot like grinding out a skill for a character. When I play a video game, I tend to go out on worthless side quests that don't really interest me or offer any reward because they will give me experience and EXPERIENCE IS FUCKING KING. XP unlocks skills, and skills unlock the ability to destroy my enemies in new, creative ways, and achieve challenges that get me stuff and extra plot and all sorts of other things that have no actual bearing on my real life.

Working out is much the same. I earn XP taking parkour classes or playing soccer or working out for an hour on silks. Sometimes I can only fit in half an hour of work, and it's not very much, but even that little bit of XP gets me a little closer towards my ultimate level increase. Like the rather insightful Bethesda leveling system I can grind out hours of time on particular skills. Instead of blacksmithing I'm working on my vaults. Instead of focusing on my sneak ability I'm trying to improve my handstands. Like a game, working out can be really goddamn frustrating when I fail at the same quest over and over and again, getting ripped to shreds by enemy bullets in the form of my inability to perform a top-out, knowing that I have to complete this goddamn fucking challenge in order to move on to the next thing. But also like a game, overcoming a challenge when I work out is absolute euphoria. I feel like I'm saving the fucking world and I seriously want to jump up and down shouting about how awesome I am. Also sometimes I do. 

The difference obviously is that unlike video game achievements, successfully working out really does have a direct impact on my life. My body is healthier, and I look better. I'm more capable of running around with my friends. I feel good about myself (well, sometimes, anyway). Whatever; you've probably been hearing the benefits of "going to the gym" for like most of your life. The point is, don't think those things are out of your reach. Getting to them is fucking annoying; it's hard, and it's miserable. But it's also fun, and really rewarding when you treat it like a game. This is my journal of how I do that.

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