Fit Index: 2017 vs. 2016

 

 

Happy 2018 People!

The Fit Index finally has two complete calendar years of numbers.

Numbers that mean a lot to me and nothing to you.

But, here’s the deal.  I’m gonna compare 2016 and 2017 plus give you some more details of my mentality on the Index.

The idea is to inspire you to start your own metric and get regular on an activity plan if you struggle keeping one.

If you have no idea what the Fit Index is then go HERE first and stop slowing up the rest of the class –  Keep up with the reading  – OKAY!

Enough Bullshit.  Here we go:

 

RUN MILES

 

                       2016                                        2017

      469.2 miles total                       715.6 miles total

                  39.1 miles / month                   59.6 miles / month

 

Easy win here for ’17.

I was battling an injury in 2016 so the running was down.  Very proud that I got over 700 miles total for the year.  The Index worked on getting me out the door a couple extra days in December.  Days I probably would not have run had I not been chasing that 700 mile total – SEE!   The numbers drive more activity!  That’s the whole point here.

 

 

Showin’ off the pasty chicken legs.
Houghton’s Pond 7 miler Milton, MA
October 2017

 

 

Even though I trained for and ran the 30 mile Pemi Loop again in ‘17, I am no ultra-runner.

One of my favorite ultra bloggers,Sarah Lavender Smith, totaled up her mileage for the year:

2600 miles.

Uhhhh, yeah – that’s much more than me.  I’ll stick with saying I’m just a trail runner (obviously).

Also, gotta start tracking my elevation.  Many of those 700 miles were of the UP fashion.  Up is harder and keeps the total mileage # lower.   The totals don’t tell the whole story – something to think about….mmmmmm.

 

 

BIKE MILES

 

2016                                        2017

1621 miles total                               925 miles total

  135 miles / month                           77 miles / month

 

This Sucks!

Yeah…A Big loss here for 2017.

Totally disappointed in myself for this one.

These numbers tell me something about my life.

That something is that I’m working (at my job) too much.

When the work hours go up, my bike commuting goes down.  I drive my car more like a mindless automaton.

More work should not be an excuse not to bike commute.

I always cherish my easy meander home even after a hectic day.  It rebalances and centers me…RIDE MORE IDIOT!

The totals also tell me that the touring miles were down for the year.

I’ve got an annual tradition of making a fall tour happen around Columbus Day in October.  In 2016 that one week tour took me up to New Hampshire and over to Portland, Maine…over 350 miles of riding.

This year I pedaled down to Connecticut then back to Providence, Rhode Island.  Only a 3 day tour and 180 miles…Again, I’m an idiot…TOUR MORE!  I need to – I love doing it.

 

I sure loved this riding day down to Woods Hole on Cape Cod.
Plympton, MA
September 2017

Read more about my short tours on CrazyGuy.

 

 

YOGA CLASSES

 

                    2016                                        2017

                  51 Total                                    38 Total

                  4.3 classes / month                  3.2 classes / month

 

Ugh!

Another FAIL in 2017.

Remember my 2016 Looking Back post this time last year?

I wrote: More and More Yoga for 2017.

Gotta take my own advice more serious.

This is a big miss on my part.

Yoga is a huge and important part of my wellness.  It’s the lubrication for my creaky joints and contracted muscles.

How did I fail when I know it’s so important?

Again, because of work.

Damn work!

If I work too late then I bail on the yoga.  This is actually a double fail because I have to drive to the studio from work (not enough time to bike there and be on time).

I specifically drive to work with the yoga stuff all packed and ready to deploy in my gear bag.  Then the day gets busy and I work too late to make the 5pm class.

Then I drive home in my stupid car – no yoga and no biking.

Sometimes I’ll salvage the day and go for a trail run.  But, it’s the yoga my body needs to run better.

The silver lining here is that the Fit Index is telling me exactly how much Yoga I’m NOT doing.

It’s tracked which leaves no doubt.

Real time failures in my face are motivating.

52 classes for the year…1 per week is the minimum requirement.  Almost hit that in ’16.

Get this done in ‘18 – FOOL!

GO on the Weekends!

GO to the 7:00pm Weekday class!

(I yell at myself a lot – sorry).

 

Push Ups and Pull Ups

 

                             2016                           2017

Push Ups:        14,222 Total                  13,795 Total

1,185 / month                 1,150 / month

 

Pull Ups:          1,727 Total                    1,849 Total

144 / month                   154 / month

 

These two exercises fall into a kinda in between.

They are important.  Moving my own body weight with ease is important to me.

And, I don’t want man boobs or scrawny arms as I age.

But the majority of the time, I’m doing these to meet my self-imposed minimum requirement for the day.  If I don’t run, bike, or exercise in any other way then I have to do at least 3 sets of push or pull ups to get 0.25 points for the day and not take a negative.

So I’m not really chasing any totals for the year.

However, I try really hard to get at least 1,000 push ups and 100 pull ups per month.

Not a lot I know…But, I don’t go to the gym and lift weights so this is it for my upper body.

Once or twice a month, I’ll get really into a little CrossFit type workout mixing some hill running repeats with push ups, pull ups, and dips.  But, I let it happen naturally.  I never plan it or bargain myself into it.  I just do it if I feel like it.

 

 

Negative Days

 

                         2016                                    2017

                       5  Total                                 0  Total

                       0.4 / month                           0 / month

 

WIN!

Here we go people.

This was the big goal in 2017 – NO NEGATIVE DAYS!!!

Remember…The rule is I gotta do something active every day.  The minimum requirement is at least 3 sets of push ups (or pull ups or whatever).

If I do nothing or forget to do something then a full 1.0 gets subtracted from the Index.

I hate taking a negative day.

I won’t.

I’ve gotten up from my dinner and banged out push ups.  I’ve done pulls ups at night hanging off soccer goals.  I’ve done push ups in a friend’s garage before the beer drinking starts for the day.

All to avoid the dreaded subtraction of Index points.

Zero Negative Days excites me because it means I’m committed to getting some exercise in every day.  Even though bike and yoga numbers are down, that didn’t defeat my mind into nothing for the day.

So there you go – there’s some real value .  The Fit Index gives a “Just do something” attitude.  3 sets of push ups take me less than 5 minutes.

Don’t get sweaty.

Don’t change my clothes.

Just drop to the floor and do ‘em.

Never talk myself out of this minimum.

 

 

Fit Index Points

 

2016                                2017

    289.3 Total                           298.5  Total

     24.1 / month                         24.9 / month

 

Here’s the bread and butter.

All this chatter distills down to the points for the year.

So I’m up only 9 points from 2016.  The words above explain why.

Running was down in ’16, but Yoga and biking were much higher.

Yoga and biking were down in ’17, but my long running days carried the Index higher.

Now the formula for 2018 is crystal clear – combine the 2016 and 2017 efforts:

 

   One more yoga class per month

+ More bike commutes to work

+ The same or better 700 mile effort on the trails

= 2018 WIN!

 

 

 

The Fit Index numbers are telling me what to do.

However, I need to put my personality into these metrics because I’m not a robot.

Here’s the rub on the whole deal.

I don’t want to hate this or anything active I do.

The numbers are nice and they do guide me.

But, at the end of the day, I usually just do want I feel like.

The end result of all the planning and bargaining inside my brain on the what-s, where-s, and when-s of exercise usually ends in a mildly frustrated, but resolved out loud burst –

 

“Just do whatever you want!”

 

And that’s the trick to staying committed to an active life.

If I’m not feeling a run, then I just hike.   If I’m not feeling either then I bike.  Raining out and don’t feel like getting all the wet weather gear on then I hit the yoga mat.  Not enough time for full class then I get on the floor for push ups.

I can always do push ups or pulls ups.

Always something – everyday.  It’s not hard.  It’s embedded in my life now.

So my little Index is helping me.

And just to be clear, I’m not volunteering all this transparency on my activities because I think it’s impressive.  It’s not and I know that.

To a dedicated runner, 700 miles is a 2-3 month total.

To a spandex cladded up road biker, 900 miles a year is a joke.

To a crossfit athlete 14,000 push ups and 1,500 pull ups are totals for one month not twelve.

To a yoga junkie, 38 classes is a nice total by March 1 not December 31.

For me however, it’s all about keeping balance.

It’s about variety and not hating any one activity.

It’s about going by feel instead of self imposed mandates.

 

Sometimes a snowshow is exactly what I need.
Blue Hills Reservation
Milton, MA

 

Enough about me, let’s talk about you.

You need an Index that is you based.

First, write down all the activities you like to do – everything from hopscotch to heli skiing.

By the way sex counts too 🙂

Second, write down some calisthenic exercises that you can tolerate – like the push and pull ups I’m dedicated to.

You need these as fillers for the days where you think you don’t have enough time to exercise.  Like I said above, it takes me less than 5 minutes to do 3 sets of push ups.

Everyone has five minutes in their day.

Get your head around this.

Something is better than nothing.

Don’t like push ups?

Okay, how about 3 sets of body weight front squats, or lunges, or sit ups, or burpees, or toes touches.

Hell, walk up a flight of stairs 3 times or around the block.

Do something!

No excuses!

I think a lot of people fail with daily activity because they make it too much.  I know I use to psyche myself out of going to the gym,

Gotta drive there         

Gotta change my clothes

It’s leg day – don’t feel like doin’ squats

 

Just forget that stuff.

Fuck the gym.

Make an Index of small stuff and big stuff and fun stuff and tough stuff.

Just do what you feel like on that day.

That’s not only how you get in shape.

It’s how you change your life.

 

 

 

 

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