I just finished my second set today of twice-daily burpee-based calisthenics. Normally, I do my second set in the evening, but since I started the habit on December 22, 2011 and today is December 21, 2021, today completes my first decade.
I already finished my first decade of publishing blog posts, nearing 5,000. Here are all of them.
20 percent of the time has been on a single load of garbage.
A third of that time I haven’t flown.
More than that fraction I’ve gotten up, made my bed, crossed the room, and turned off my alarm in under 60 seconds. Various other sidchas, though the burpee-based calisthenics is the most physically active and vigorous.
What can I reflect? On past milestones I’ve written about what I’ve learned from sticking with the sidcha, the mental freedom and physical ability. I’ve written on how accessible sidchas are. I’ve written on the injuries, sicknesses, busy times, traveling, doing them after marathons, deaths in the family, or after bringing a girl home, and various vicissitudes of life. Many people who aren’t athletic have injuries that keep them from fitness. People who are athletic have more injuries, which we learn and grow from.
Doing them on regular days is training for the hard days. Doing them in the hard times is when I meet myself, taking away the facades for the rest of the world. Do I do what I said I would? Who do I think I am?
New Reflections, on Aging (I’m 25 percent older than when I started)
But my only new observation today is on my aging. I’m 25 percent older than when I started. My body has less power and speed. My brain sends signals to my body to do them as fast as I used to but they don’t have their old effect. I still do them as fast as I can on speed days, but that speed is lower.
Taking longer to recover is the biggest change. Injuries that would take a day or two take a week. If I struggle, I can remember in my 20s, some pain and injuries wouldn’t even slow me down when I could tell they weren’t serious, not that I can remember much that far back. I rode my bike up to a Columbia ultimate practice at Baker Field. Watching college guys play, I sensed little in me wanting to get on the field. I knew the joys I once loved, but my limited ability to give. Not that I didn’t want to be the old guy lollygagging around, but that my body knew it couldn’t achieve therefore inhibited my mind from thinking of it.
I wonder what the next decade will bring. I knew intellectually that my physical potential would decline and had felt its decline in my thirties, but feeling the effects in my forties was different than I could have expected. At fifty, I’ll start looking at men closer to sixty to imagine what to expect. I’m doing more physical exercise and stretching in this sidcha than ever, though not as fast. I started with ten burpees per day. Now I do over fifty per day, plus about fifteen intense minutes of other exercise and stretching twice each day, meaning maybe ten times more than when I was a young man of forty.
I’m not complaining. I feel wiser and more self-aware than ever. Self-awareness and wisdom may be the two biggest assets to solve the biggest problem humans have faced: our lowering Earth’s ability to sustain life to below the amount of humans. Besides them helping that problem, they attune me to my calling, to help resolve this problem with leadership, which, as far as I can tell, nearly nobody has tried. Management and engineering yes, but leadership no.
Having written about that problem and my calling, I see that the discipline and freedom I lacked before my sidchas that the sidchas developed revealed that calling. I didn’t grow up dreaming to solve the problems we knew about then but let grow for generations, to the point of human population collapse, but here we are. It’s humanity’s greatest need and nearly nobody else is working on this critical, essential part.
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