The self-improvement merry-go-round
I spend a lot of time “improving” myself. Especially as an athlete, we’re told to do so many things to improve performance: foam roll daily, stretch, visualize success, go easy, go hard, ice bath, get massages, sleep 10 hours, take naps, eat protein, eat carbs, eat fat, don’t overeat, have x% body fat, strength train, work on your core, do your PT exercises, ice your knees, don’t run downhill, only run on soft surfaces, pedal in a circle, swim with your arm pits, do one leg drills, one arm drills….
This is just the training stuff, this doesn’t include just general life stuff. This gal got that list pretty much covered. That article really resonates with me, as someone who is kind of obsessed with self-improvement.
I view my body a a finely-tuned machine (well, I want it to be finely-tuned), and I’m constantly kicking the tires to make sure everything is running smoothly. Sometimes I make some tweaks to get extra horsepower, and I get upset if I’ve overlooked maintenance on some small part and I have to take it to the shop.
I view my life as this thing which can be endlessly optimized, especially time. I’m constantly looking for ways to optimize every second of the day, by using a commute as run, or only going places nearby, or batching chores. I literally leave my house within 10 minutes of waking up most days, so I can maximize my free time at the end of the day.
You probably think I’m really into “life-hacking”, but that shit is seriously a waste of time. I don’t need to know how to fold fitted sheets, and as someone who is a “hacker” by trade, that term rubs me the wrong way. Although usually I just think of this kind of hacker folding fitted sheets, which makes those articles way better.
I went to see my doctor this week about my blood work to see what all needs improvement. I already knew my iron was low, and it turns out my vitamin D is off the charts low. Okay, so now I have vitamins to take, that’s fine. Turns out I have excess of carbon dioxide in my blood, which means I’m holding my breath a lot from stress and/or habit. Which means I’m supposed to set a timer for every 30 minutes or so to practice deep breathing.
OMFG are you kidding me. I’m topped out. I’m already using all of my reminders and alarms, I can’t set another fucking alarm. My phone would just be one endless stream of alarm for shit I’m supposed to do.
Where is the line? What is worth doing and when do you say “enough”? Despite the excess CO2, I’m still alive, so perhaps I can let this one slide. Although my coworker was complaining yesterday about my constant sighing, which now I’m wondering if it’s my body’s attempt to get some oxygen? Arrrhrrrhhhhhggg. Honestly the stress is probably from all the other fucking alarms.
So where’s the line? As I sit here and try to write some nice piece of advice for the last paragraph, all I can think is “how can I optimize all of my self-improvement tasks so that they aren’t causing me stress?” Just