Thursday, March 22, 2007

Circles and good intentions

I promised myself that when I got paid from my new(ish) job, I'd buy myself some weights. Of all the things I can't do since the gym became impractical, I miss weights the most. I've tried to keep myself flexible by doing the motions unweighted (especially the squats, since it took so long to get any depth) but it's not the same.

My brother bought some lovely shiny dumbbells with removable plates a few months ago, which seemed just the sort of thing.

So on Saturday I duly went up town to try to get some. Could I find any? No. I think I was looking in the wrong shops. Still, I got some exercise jogging along Princes Street in an attempt to go to as many shops as possible in the time I had.

I still seem to be able to run without wanting to die, which is lucky, since I haven't been running properly since early December. Stephanie, a friend from livejournal, offered to go running with me last Saturday, but we got our wires crossed and it fell through. Next Saturday. Maybe. If she's free.

The trouble is, my spare time for doing anything at the moment is extremely limited. I know this sounds pathetic coming from a twentysomething with no children, but it is. Here's my daily timetable:

7.00 Alarm rings.
7.10ish. Get up - unwillingly, because I am not a morning person - dress. Eat oats with muesli topping, bring J cup of tea.
7.35 Leave house. Catch unpredictable bus as soon as it comes. Read on bus.
9.00 Arrive at work. Work like mad thing to be impressive so they'll write me a nice reference when my contract runs out.
5 to 5.30 Leave work. Catch unpredictable bus again. Read on it.
Anything between 6.15 and 7.15 Arrive home. Cook tea with J, eat it.
8ish Start work for course.
12ish Go to bed.

This is slightly exaggerated - I don't have work to do every single evening - but not much. I don't feel I'm exactly starved of me-time, given that I get two hours every day in which to read, but I've yet to work out a way of exercising while on the bus. And I feel slightly tired a lot of the time because I'm not getting quite enough sleep...

There is my lunch-hour. I could go running then a couple of times a week, but the temptation not to is strong, because my workmates are pretty nice and it's more tempting to stay in and talk to them, given that the schedule above doesn't leave much time for a social life. And there are the weekends. During which I really want to garden. (We're trying to grow our own vegetables this year. Or rather, I am trying to grow them. J looks on with mild interest.)

I do like the job. But the next one I apply for won't be quite so far away. How do other people do it? I can't be the only non-morning-person who works nine to five, commutes and also studies...

Any ideas?


PastaQueen said...

I was going to suggest you exercise on the bus until you thought of it first :)

Can you do your course work on the bus? Or do you need stuff you only have at home?

The only other option I can think of is getting off the bus before your stop and walking the last mile or so to work.

Rosemary Grace said...

I'm not sure if I can offer sugestions, but I can definitely offer sympathy! I commute about an hour each way, and I don't get to read because I'm driving (though I have seen people reading at the wheel...).

The real sanity saver for us is to cook something on the weekend that will provide dinner or lunch all week. Like a lasagne, or a stew or something. The weeks that we manage to do that on the weekend are the weeks that seem to run like magic, with both of us making it to the gym at least once, AND keeping the flat tidy and the dishes done.

Isabelle said...

Hello Sweetie, welcome back. It's nice to see you blogging again. Let's hope you get a nice job in town again soon. At least you're getting plenty of reading done. Accentuate the positive!

Zara said...

Ooh! A vegetable garden! I think that is so cool! Would love to see photos when it gets growing.

I do understand how you can be busy - you described your schedule well. Mine was similar when I was working and unfortunately, I never made the time to exercise then for many of the same reasons. Hopefully you can find a creative way to fit in some exercise. Would any of your kind coworkers be interested in chatting while walking at a brisk pace?

K said...

PQ - I have tried to read stuff from my course on the bus, but what with hissing MP3 players and kids playing each other tinny dance hits on their mobile phones, it's tricky to concentrate (I don't have this problem with fiction, oddly enough). I'm seriously considering getting earplugs to see if that helps! (Maybe I'll just go to sleep, though.)

I might be better trying to walk the last mile home, rather than before work - I have to get up early enough as it is!

RG - that's an idea, although it's slightly trickier given that J and I don't always eat the same things. J tends to do the meal-planning, though, and probably more than half the cooking - he knows how busy I am. So that's a help.

Zara - you will get photos in the next post, I promise. They have been taken. No veg above ground yet, but there are flowers...

Jennifer said...

If possible, I'd consider getting dressed to exercise in the bathroom at work, then going out for a walk or jog in the neighborhood of your office before you even get on the bus to go home for tea. It sounds like you are super-busy and this may not be workable; but in some ways I found that schoolwork takes the amount of time you have to do it in, if that makes any sense. So if you take the exercise time off the top, you may find that you can squeeze the school work in and still get to bed around the same time you are now. If you're interested in lifting weights, maybe you could fit that in at the weekend--2 days a week is better than nothing. I use the exercises in the "Strong Women Stay Slim" book by Miriam Nelson so I can do them at home.

I have a long commute and often work fairly late, and if I didn't go straight to the gym without stopping at home, I would never go. I also don't get up in the morning to do it, no matter how good my intentions are, so it has to be after work--this just seems to be one of my limitations so I work with it. If I didn't belong to a gym, I think I'd try to do as I suggested above for you. But that's just me. I go to the gym 3-4 days a week just for cardio (get in, use the elliptical machine, get out) and lift weights at home the other 2-3 days out of the week, assuming I miss a day or two of one or the other, which I usually do.

No two ways about it though, you just have a tough schedule and you may not be able to put as much time in on exercise as you'd like to until you're finished with school.

Jennifer said...

Sorry, because I read back and I sound like kind of a know-it-all, I just wanted to add that I am no expert. These are just some strategies that have worked for me to get around my schedule and other limitations. I've been following this basic schedule for about a year and a half; but I have only really been sticking to it very well for the 7 months since I started Weight Watchers. I've lost 54 pounds to date.