Wednesday, March 21, 2012

70 hours

Open question for anyone who feels like they can contribute to the answer:  What can you do for exercise/staying healthy when you are physically and mentally exhausted?

Last week was my spring break. Nine days free from classes, homework, papers and all of it.  The amount of time I actually had to myself was...two days.  Two and a half, if you count the couple evenings. 
Part of that time was spent in the physics lab, working with some of the other students to make up some work and to try and use the time to get a bit ahead, starting the second half of the semester on the right foot.  That wasn't too tiring - just a lot of writing and rewiring and talking about Lissajous functions.  Out did tend to stretch on pretty late, though, so by the time I'd get home there was enough time to cook dinner, prep for the next day and get to bed.

The bulk of my time, however, was taken up by my job.  I worked right around 70 hours over the past 7 days, and that includes the two days this week that I snagged a couple hours before school, and the easy-ish 6-hour day I had last week before heading to the lab for the rest of the day.  Between Thursday and Saturday, I worked over 13 hours a day, not counting commuting time of about a half hour each way.  I'm on my feet for nearly all of that time, with my lunch break averaging about 20 minutes.  There's a lot of lifting barges and toting bales involved, too - and by that I mean hefting 50-lb batches of dough and crates of potatoes all over the place, not to mention rolling anywhere from 250 to 800 balls of dough by hand.  "Lift heavy things" is built into my job description.

Please note that this is not a sob story. This isn't a regular deal (the other baker is on vacation, so I'm picking up his hours) and I readily admit that I have a sweet job - good people, good pay, incredible food that I can buy for 75% off, and fresh beer that I can watch being made on a regular basis.  I also know there are people who do this kind of shit every week - like The Man, who figured recently that he does an average of 59 hours a week between two jobs, including 21-hour workdays about once a week (7am-3am.  freaking insane).

What I'm wondering here, and asking for advice about, is how I can recapture the badassery with this kind of schedule (note: now that the insane stretch is past, I'll get this weekend off and then I'm back to the norm of working about 30 hours a week and attending classes for another 24, not including study time).  Just working, as demanding as it can be, is simply not making me as fit as I was or would like to be - I've especially noticed how easily I get out of breath when going up stairs.  When I've got my work flow going on, I'll zip around hefting and toting and rolling and I'll sing opera while I'm doing it.  But once I'm off the clock, it seems like the most I can do just to sit up straight.  No, I'm not exaggerating.  I wish I was.  And when I do get time enough to go for a mile run, or do some shamefully low number of pushups or something, my body screams at me to stop.  All the pursuits of fitness that used to be my solace just plain don't feel good anymore.  When I have time to myself, all I want to do is curl up and sleep (and by sleep I mean watch Supernatural on Netflix).

It could be the stress.  It could be the time I don't have.  It probably has something to do with my diet.  I just know that training to be a badass does not make me feel happy anymore.  And I need to change that.  I'm just not sure how.


1 comment: