Back in April I finally began getting frustrated with how huge I’d become. Self-delusion can only go so far. The enormity of, well, me, became most noticeable when I was out on a film project. On those times I had to get down on the ground for a low shot, it’d be quite embarrassing struggling back to a standing position.
On April 25th I stepped on the scales and was shocked to see I’d ballooned up to 295 pounds. Certainly the heaviest I’ve ever been. During those infrequent and punctuated periods in my life when I’ve succeeded in maintaining some semblance of health, it’d always been because of sensible diet and frequent exercise. I can usually handle this, except when I’m drinking. And then, all bets are off. So, I stopped drinking, stopped eating so much shit, and I try and cycle at least a hundred miles per week. And in those ten or so weeks I’ve managed to lose thirty-five pounds. In the middle of June I started the “Couch-to-5K.” This is a self-guided program where in nine weeks you’re supposed to be able to run a 5K mini marathon. I’ve never run, really. And what I’ve been doing these last few days is more of a shuffle. And, true, I shouldn’t have chosen a park which is a ten mile bike ride away to do my running workouts, but I’ve survived so far.
It’s actually kind of fun. The weird thing is that over the years biking has been my main source of exercise. It’s no problem for me to hop on my bike and ride for a couple of hours. But for some reason the thought of running has filled me with dread. I’d tell myself I need to lose a bunch of weight before I can even think of starting. I’m just too fat. And I’ll tell myself I really don’t know how. Am I suppose to learn a proper technique? Oh, and then shoes. I can’t afford a pair of proper 100 dollar or more shoes fitted by a trained professional. And don’t forget the biggest mental block. I’ll look like a huge idiot.
There are a bunch of self-guided running programs free online. Most start you out slow, alternating walking and running, and building up to just running in a few weeks. I chose the Couch-to-5k. Three days a week. Thirty minute sessions. Nine weeks. As for technique, all I can say is when you’re horribly out of shape and jogging for 60 seconds is an ordeal, there’s really nothing to it. Just travel from here to there, but run, don’t walk. Jogging, like running, is when both feet are off the ground–and if you’re not used to it, it can exhaust you pretty fucking fast. I suspect that by walking at a brisk rate I can move faster than my current jogging form. Shoes? What I’m doing is so rudimentary that I’m happy with the pair of Merrell walking shoes I already have. As for looking like a huge idiot, well of course I’m sure I look foolish, but I find I’m too preoccupied with moving to really care.
Monday I finally felt some major improvement. It was Day 1 of Week 4. The workout portion (at this stage alternately walking and running) is 20 minutes, more or less, bookended by 5 minutes of warm up, and five minutes of cool down. This week there is sixteen minutes of running, with 8 minutes of walking. But when the final portion of running was done I decided to see how much longer I could keep going. I added eleven minutes. Plus, I was having fun.
It’s been quite a few months since I last posted on this blog. It’s not that I haven’t been busy. I have. I’ve just fallen out of the habit of writing.
I’ve had the good fortune to work on two performance-based works.
The first was Pintame de Alma, with Seme Jatib.
The second performance-based piece which featured my video was The Last Thing You’ll Ever See. This was produced by Jump-Start Performance Company. Written and performed by ST Shimi and Doyle Avant.
I did a little music video for the Push Pens.
I made a promotional video for Slab Cinema.
In fact, I’ve been quite productive so far this year. To catch up on my video work, head over to the “News” page on my website.
There are seven pieces I’ve produced so far in 2011 I consider creative works.
Next week Shimi and I will shoot the third video in our collaborative hoop-dance series. The video along with Shimi’s live dancing will be staged at Jump-Start for an event the following week.
Instead of recapping the last four months, here are some photo highlights:
Working on collaborative projects with creative people.
Hanging out with friends.
Exploring hidden corners of the city.
Sampling the, um, diverse artistic offerings here in my neighborhood.
Heading out on impromptu photo safaris along the new expanded river walk.