7 min challenge coda

Well, I did it, I got through the month.

I did spend two weeks with two separate but equally nasty colds and skipped one Saturday because I slept the entire day, but I made up for it with doing the workout on my break day the next week.

I am stronger now.  I can do 9 pushups in the first set and 6-8 in the second set.

But I hate it.  Every day I’d be like, well, I guess I should do the workout now.  And I would, but I never ever wanted to.  I never looked forward to it, even when watching the daily show during it.  I just do not want to be bothered.

So after Feb 28th I stopped.  And that’s that.

28 Responses to “7 min challenge coda”

  1. Taylor Lee @ Engineer Cents Says:

    I figure you’re probably done for now, but in future might be worth it to do a longer workout? I can’t imagine you’re feeling much of the endorphin release, which signals much of the “payoff” of working out, in only 7 minutes.

      • Rented life Says:

        I love this response. I’ve never felt that “high” that people supposedly feel and I work out longer than 7 min. Also, most (good) trainers know it’s not how long but what you do that matters as far as the body is concerned, so suggesting longer doesn’t really make things better.

  2. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Obviously I’m not going to give you any advice about exercise. But did you enjoy the feeling of getting stronger?

  3. Debbie M Says:

    Congratulations on getting through a whole month of something you never did like! Even while surviving two colds. I want to give you a gold star!



    (Pretend that’s a gold star.)

    Sorry it didn’t work out. (Oops, unintentional pun.) These kinds of challenges are not as fun as the kind where you find something new you WANT to add to your life, but you never know for sure until you do them. With this perfect of a trial, you can now scratch it off of your list of things that look like they might be a good idea and never look back.

    I did that with my idea to write a novel. I participated in National Novel Writing Month where the goal is to basically write 50,000 words (the size of a novella) quickly so that you have at least part of a draft to work with instead of just a useless dream. I totally succeeded in getting the whole 50,000 words. But I learned that I suck at thinking up plots. And characters. So my “novel” is, well, it has some good parts, but now I know that novel writing is not for me.

    Thanks for updating us anyway. It can’t be as fun as writing rah! rah! this is awesome! posts. And clearly dealing with our comments has been less fun than usual as well (if simple).

    Also thanks for letting us know the part where you went from doing three push-ups to up to seventeen in one month. That’s huge! So this is still on _my_ list of things to try (only modified to have fewer squat-like things and more things for my wimpy arms).

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Ironically, when #2 did a “read steampunk novels” challenge, she *hated* it!

      I’m really good at dialogue. Not so good at any other part of a book. :)

      • Debbie M Says:

        Wow, it has to be even worse when you think the challenge will be fun. At least with the 7-minute challenge, you only hoped it would turn out to be good. Well, now she knows!

        Yes I can be good at dialog. Once I have some characters, and something for them to talk about!

  4. Well Heeled Blog Says:

    I did yoga several times a week for two months, then I kind of fell off the wagon. In my case, I know I feel better afterwards, but I get lazy. Now I try to go hiking every weekend, and increase the distance I cover. When exercise is with a friend, it feels more like fun and less like drudgery.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Fortunately the weather has warmed up so we’re back to walking to the playground. In a couple of months the pool will be open again. And soon after that we will be in paradise where exercise is easier and more worthwhile (either as a form of transportation or as a way to enjoy nature).

  5. middle_class Says:

    Do you think that you got anything out of this challenge?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Dunno. That’s one of the reasons this post didn’t go up the first week of March– I kept trying to come up with something worthwhile to say and then just gave up. Not every post or challenge can be deep and meaningful!

  6. MutantSupermodel Says:

    I hate exercising. Hate, hate, hate it. I have never felt all of those perks people swear by– more energy, endorphins, higher libido, accomplishment, etc. The ONLY time I enjoyed it was after I divorced and I was doing a weight training thing at home. It started because I wanted to do a pull up. But I got really into it. I think that I had SO MUCH aggression and anger in me, it was a good outlet. But that only lasted a few months. Haven’t been able to tap into that again.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yeah, neither one of us finds those perks at all, ever. I think they are a lie.

      • zenmoo Says:

        I’m sure it’s like the ‘put baby down drowsy but not asleep so they can self-soothe and drift off to sleep’ statement – it’s probably not total bullshit, but when it is bullshit, it’s TOTAL bullshit. (I have this perspective from two babies. Thankfully I am now sure I wasn’t doing it wrong with the 1st because #2 is SO different despite a similar parental approach)

      • jlp Says:

        I’ve found that exercise unquestionably affects my mental state, but not all exercise. Rowing with moderate exertion on the $50-off-Craigslist rowing machine in my basement for 20 minutes makes a huge difference in my patience level the next day. (Which is awesome, because it is essentially free + no commute + no additional special equipment. Plus I can watch TV or listen to a podcast while I do it.) However, strength training does nothing for me mentally.

        Not trying to encourage you to start rowing, or anything else – just saying that I suspect different exercise has different effects (and I wouldn’t be at all surprised by individual differences as well).

    • Debbie M Says:

      I feel this way about gardening. Where I live, it’s mostly about weeding. And pulling weeds out of clay is not relaxing or soothing or making me feel at one with mother nature. I feel just like a giant plant murderer. But when there are twenty baby invasive trees per square foot, that’s just how it is. It’s definitely more satisfying when I’m full of aggression and anger. Which fortunately for the rest of my life is quite rare.

    • Thisbe Says:

      I get some of those perks – more energy, for sure; also less back pain, fewer migraines, and generally better mood. Because a big part of my physical activity is hiking and/or trail running, though, it’s hard to pick out how much of that is just that I love being outside.

      My feeling about myself when I was in a much less fit, higher-stress, poorer-eating-habits phase of my life is that I didn’t achieve those benefits as much or at all. I have hypothesized (at least about myself) that a base state of good health and muscle tone is necessary for me to get the real perks of good exercise. Similar to how when I think about my first years of practicing yoga (gosh what a dozen or more years ago), my body didn’t have the strength or flexibility to support itself to really do the intended work in any given pose.

      But anyways I also don’t hate working out. Or…the parts that I hate, I don’t do. Good on you for not doing things you hate. And our household baseline fitness plan is “make sure to live in a walkable neighborhood, a bikeable distance from work, in a place with a pleasant climate.” And that works well. :)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        We’d have to move (and I’d have to quit academia) to get all of the above. :(

        Where I live now is definitely not set up for non-car-based transportation, but we did make sure to buy in a neighborhood that had sidewalks (surprisingly difficult in our town!)

  7. SP Says:

    I think the only way for normal people to constantly exercise is to find something they like (or enjoy benefits of) OR to have some critical health need that makes them willing to push through the “nope” feelings. Either that our you have to be one of those OCD people who feel that they “have to” exercise, but that sounds like a miserable existence to me. And not everyone can find something they don’t hate. Sounds like you have some things that work, at least in some seasons.

    I do really like running, and more so, I love the side effects. I know I “should” do strength training, but it is too boring to me. My goals aren’t to have the most amazing looking body (I totally agree strength training is the way to go for that). My goal is to enjoy it, be able to do long hikes/backing trips, race for fun, and keep my mental health. I totally get people who hate running though. I just wish they would not tell me that running is a waste of exercise and that I should do crossfit/strength/yoga/whatever.

    I’m honestly impressed you did this for 28 days and hated the whole time. I do not think I could have lasted.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I can do all sorts of stuff I hate so long as I know it’s going to be for a limited time period. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to get through grad school! It’s the “every day for the rest of your life” part that I have trouble with. (Good thing I like doing research…)

      • SP Says:

        Me too, but only if I believe there is some value or that it is serving some sort of end goal.

        Fitness stuff in particular is hard for me to stick to (beyond running). I will do every run in a race training plan, but any challenge that feels too “arbitrary” has a high risk of me failing.

  8. kt Says:

    Very interesting! Recently got a new strength training book that says “Show up every workout day. Put in the time and put in your reps. Hit your personal records. But please, whatever you do, don’t work hard.” It uses some biofeedback to test whether you feel better or worse after an exercise (on some body-biofeedbacky level) and if you do worse, you don’t do that exercise. So… goodbye, 7-minute thing, and good riddance!

    My thing that I can’t love is contemporary literary novels especially by famous guys (or women who write a lot about family). I guess I hate reading about other peoples’ problems that are disappointingly close to boring real-life problems. I find nothing edifying in reading about other peoples’ families. On the other hand, I just got Ancillary Justice and am surprised at how much I’m enjoying it — and I got it because of posts I found through you!

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