Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Risky behavior, continued.

So The Race to Negative Thirty is still in full effect. Today I did 25 miles on the bike and a great deal of walking, which doesn't really enter into my daily routine as much, so I think I'll count that as the missing 10 miles on The Bike. I also did some flys, crunches and what I believe are called overhead hammer curls, which absolutely kill when you do them with 20 pound dumbbells instead of 10 pound dumbbells. Irritatingly, I weighed myself again and I am convinced that there is something screwy with my scale, or else I fluctuate a full 1.5 pounds from one hour of the day to another. That's a little creepy, actually, although not at all outside the realm of possibility. I believe that what I'll have to do is set up a recurring appointment on my day planner to weigh myself at the same time every day/week in order to maintain some degree of scientific consistency. My friends who are actually scientists are out there snickering right now, I can tell – the irony is not lost on me that I'll be earning an MS instead of an MA, believe me.

The walking today was done primarily at the mall, while waiting on a friend whom I had taken to the dentist across the street. I went looking for clothes, but it's dawned on me that I shouldn't go clothes shopping yet, as any XLs I buy will need to be Ls if this experiment works (or Ls as Ms, etc.). That's a limitation I can deal with.

When I came home, I turned for inspiration to my old photo album from my days spent at The University of Exeter. I flipped through page after page of photos from Venice, Rome, Paris, London – all of these wonderful places, with the faces peering back of a thinner, more youthful me and at least two people that I don't talk to anymore, one of whom because she turned cold right before her wedding (interesting side effect, IMHO) and the other because I've completely lost her contact information. If you read this, Jordan, drop me a line?

In effect, this experiment is part of an effort to reboot my system, if you will, and try and wipe out the damage from the last – Jesus – 7-8 years. I've learned a lot in that time, but a good chunk of that is stuff I wish I hadn't. I've made some staggering mistakes, trusted some people that I really shouldn't have, and you can see it when you compare those photographs from 1999 to ones from 2005. I've also done some great things, don't get me wrong, but when I'm sitting down and thinking, "Okay, man, who do you want to be in six months? A year? Five years?" I find myself thinking that at least some of the answers to my problems – or leads on those answers – are actually to be found in the past. The key is to learn from those mistakes and, instead of dwelling on who I'm not, build on who I am. (Well, build on everything but the waistline, I guess.)

Anyway, I need to make a late-night run to the 24-hour Dominick's for fish and bananas and other diet chow. Onward!


You know, starting out with weights that heavy is probably not the best way to treat yourself.

The biking is relatively low-impact; that is, if you're riding with a reasonable tension and keep your RPMs up around 70-90, you're probably not going to overtax anything.

But weights are tricky; I'd start with strictly resistance work, and focus perhaps on negatives as well. For example, you could do push-ups, but instead of trying to do as many as possible as up, do them slowly up and down. This is much harder, but less impact---and you probably have less chance of overtaxing yourself working against gravity with your own weight.

In terms of weight loss, your weight work isn't going to do it for you---it can really only add mass. Personally, I'd focus on your cardio and resistance work.

But that's just me. I've gotten into going for circuit training twice a week on campus, which hurts like hell... but I'm trying to get into better shape over the course of months, not a few weeks.

Good luck. Sorry I won't see you at Kenyon... it's both Physics and Chasers reunion... bummer.

You may be right, but I'm so used to using 20s and 30s that using 10s just feels like a cop-out. You're right on all counts, though – the high amounts of cardio is what I'm focusing on to peel off some of the ballast, but the weight training is what I need for power. I imagine that the chart is going to fluctuate for a bit while heavier muscle is added, but the addition of that muscle will help drop the weight in the long run (as Carrie points out in a comment on a later post).

We're going to miss you at the reunion too, Matt. One of these days we're definitely going to have to get together, on one continent or another. ;-)

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