CrossFit and Coding (and Meat)

10:28 Thu 31 Dec 2009
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In 2009 I achieved some significant things that weren’t on my list of goals, although they’re not concrete achievements in the same sense.

One of them was starting CrossFit—and sticking with it. Prior to this year, I had never been particularly fit. I’d never been horribly unfit, either. I’d always wanted to be fitter, and it’s a fairly common theme in my morning pages throug their eleven years—wanting to start some exercise routine or other, wanting to figure out something that would really work. Many of the things that I tried would have worked, but I never stuck with them for too long. Even when I had physical activities I really enjoyed (e.g. tennis), I didn’t get into enough of a routine with them for that to have a really positive impact on my fitness.

It was something I was quite frustrated with, in a low-level way, for years. As with many things, the gaps between where I was and where I wanted to be, and between my intellectual motivation and my realized action, were wide and extremely frustrating to me. I was somewhat resigned to this continuing, and to perpetually going through patches of being slightly more fit but never truly getting too far.

CrossFit has changed that rather significantly. Not only am I probably the fittest I’ve been in my life, but both my determination to keep going and my confidence that I will are strong. The approach to fitness that I’ve been following for the last six months or so is one that I intend to stick with for the rest of my life, with the confidence that in terms of major features it is the right way for me. Those are all new states of mind for me, and I’m happy about them.

I spend a lot of my time using a computer. My profession, my writing, and many of my hobbies all involve computer use, and this has been true for years. I’ve always been rather interested in optimizing my software environment, and tend to quickly pick up shortcut keys and the like. At the same time, I’ve been progressing as a programmer. The last few years in particular have been challenging in a good way, and I’ve learned quite a lot. This year, I finally put these things together and wrote code to help my daily computer use in a serious way.

Python, a language that really helps me get things done rather than getting in my way, was a big part of this. The work I did this year to build a reStructuredText–WordPress blogging workflow, my RTF/Word–reStructuredText toolchain, and a better word count for jEdit, all constitute a positive shift in my attitude to programming. I’d always thought of programming as a useful tool (obviously), but this increased willingness to use it to directly alter my working environment has put me in a different place in regard to it—a place that I’m happy to be in.

Finally, meat. Not an achievement like the prior two, and whether it’s an unequivocally positive thing like them remains to be seen, but I have felt better since resuming meat-eating this year, after almost ten years of vegetarianism.

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One Response to “CrossFit and Coding (and Meat)”

  1. Sarah Milstein Says:

    Congrats on the various improvements! Fun to see, and inspiring.

    One question: on the meat-eating: can you explain a bit about how you feel better (i.e., different)? I’m not looking for persuasion (or to do any persuading). Just curious.

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