Sunday, March 09, 2008

On Goals

It's good to have goals in life. Goals for your professional life, goals for your personal life, goals give you something to work towards and allow you a feeling of accomplishment when you've met your goals. When I started writing here "actively" again in late '06, my goal was to lose weight so I didn't look like a fat cow at Wendy's wedding. As a means to that end, I started working out again, a little over 2 years after having my ankle fused.

At the time, it was difficult. The old ways I would work out were no longer viable. Back before I hosed my ankle beyond belief, I would run and do martial arts and play soccer. With a fused ankle, running and jumping are physically impossible, so those outlets were inaccessible. I was never one to enjoy going to the gym, and hated the idea of weight lifting before I hurt my ankle. So, to meet my goal in late '06, I found myself doing those things I never considered before my injury and subsequent surgeries--I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer to help me out.

Needless to say, I've made a lot of progress. Wendy's wedding came and went (beautifully, despite my running a fever on the big day), and I found myself enjoying the gym. My friends had started calling me a gym rat, and even though I'd achieved my goals for Wendy's wedding, I found I didn't want to stop working out. In retrospect, this shouldn't have been a surprise, but at the time it was. I decided to shift my goal to generically "lose weight." Through the course of my injuries and surgeries, I spent almost 2 years virtually unable to walk (and when I could walk, it was very short distances), and I decided to keep working out with Brian (my trainer) and keep up with my cardio to help lose more weight that I'd gained while recovering from my ankle mess.

That was almost a year ago. These days, I'm about 20 pounds heavier than I was when I was at my lightest, but I'm also lifting regularly, something I NEVER did when I was at my lightest, so it's hard to judge things based purely on numbers. I bet I could lose a bit more weight, but if I don't, I'm ok with it, knowing I'm healthy and looking pretty good. I'm still a gym rat, though, as I'm at the gym 5-6 days per week on average.

On cardio days, I do between 65 and 90 minutes of fairly high-intensity cardio (I've been erring on the side of 65 lately, as work has been keeping my schedule really busy, and I've been working out at ~85% of my max heart rate). On lifting days (about twice a week with Brian), I warm up with ~30 minutes of cardio and then lift with him for an hour. But now I'm starting to wonder what my goal is/should be. It's no longer "lose weight" as it were, and it's not like there are too many things I can compete in that I can train for.

My hand is still causing problems, which is a part of why I'm not at this point interested in a cycling-related goal (the vibrations through the handlebars hurt my hand, and pulling my rear brake as it's currently configured is painful, too). I recently re-dislocated my right shoulder, and though I'm done with rehab, I'm afraid that swimming may overstress it, like it did years ago, when I needed stabilizing surgeries on both of my shoulders.

So, I'm at a loss. Maybe the right answer is that I should go back to the hand doc and try to figure out what's wrong with my hand and how to make it better, but right now, I'm not sure I'm ready for that, mentally. Or maybe I should see how much more weight I can lose. Maybe make a new goal of losing 10 pounds, and take it from there. Or maybe in this case I don't need a goal....

1 comment:

John said...

Congrats of figuring out what to do after your body decided to rebel. Did I tell you I met an Asian version of you? Same speech patterns. Same interests (climber, etc.) same f-ed up shoulders. Engineer who thought of going into medicine. Really messed with me head. So yeah, you have an Asian twin. Ask your Dad if he has anything he's been hiding...