Coffee Space


On the Run

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As you may have gathered from the title, I am now on the run. You may or may not be surprised to learn that this is not from some law breaking shenanigans, but instead part of my goal to get fitter this year.

I recently (as of writing, today) joined and went to a gym for the first time in 12 years by my reckoning. Even during my keto diet, the only exercise I did was running outside and lifting some dumbbells. The reasons for joining a gym now are as follows:

  1. Previously I gave myself a knee injury from pavement running during the COVID-19 pandemic 1, as the pavement was at a slant and it caused uneven wear whilst still bearing a considerable weight. The result was that I had to stop running to recover for a few months. I then started up again, got a COVID-19 vaccine jab and got myocarditis to some degree, which worried me enough to again stop running 2.
  2. The local area is pretty rough compared to where I used to live, and I don’t trust I won’t get stabbed or worse. Not so long ago a staff member from seriously injured in a hit-and-run just transporting between work. And that was ‘just’ un-targeted violence, targeted violence is just as much of a threat.
  3. It’s winter here in the UK and it’s bloody cold. It could soon snow again too, and that is severely demotivating and difficult for exercising. Today (at the time of writing) it is snowing, which makes for an awful running experience.
  4. It’s relatively cheap at some £30 per month. With some luck I will make a friend of sorts there and get some free advice.

Are there downsides? Yes.

  1. It’s not free, it will cost me between £300 to £400 a year. The way I see it, if it only costs that money to significantly improve my quality of life and extend my expected life span, it seems like a good investment. It’s not as if keeping the British monopoly money in the bank currently is a better investment anyway.
  2. The gym is filled to the brim with people a lot younger than me and a lot fitter than I am. It is a little demotivating to be at such a lower level. On the other hand, my leg muscle strength means I can lift at a pretty decent rate already. The more muscle you have, the less you need to do to burn the same number of calories.

That all said, my experience so far was not negative. I walked at an incline and pace that allowed me to sustain a heart rate above 150 for 45 minutes, which I think is a good start. By the machine’s estimates I burned 500 calories doing so, which added with other exercises should put me into neg negative calories. That’s not to mention that I should theoretically also be in ketosis now too.

Update: I went again later the same day and did an extra 650 calories on the treadmill, which I was quite happy with. I also may have convinced a good friend to join me for once a week training which should be good for us both. Maybe I could look to convince some colleagues to join me too.

The most important thing is to simply make it past the first month and not give up like so many do. It will be tough, but I am particularly stubborn in this regard. I just need to ensure I don’t end up injuring myself, something that should be much less likely. On the plus side, they do have sports injury recovery on-site!

Stretch and reach goals:

  1. Get myself down to a reasonable size for a suit before I attend a wedding of a good friend, approximately end of Q1.
  2. Get myself down to a good size for travelling, approximately end of Q1.
  3. Get myself down to a good size for travelling (again), approximately end of Q2.
  4. Get myself down to a good weight to see my family and friends next Christmas.
  5. Learn something about the nature of movement. Whilst I’m exercising, particularly running, I want to understand how movements are formed, and how I could replicated this in an AI. I think movement is maybe one of the most important yet to be solved problems in robotics, and will likely have massive implications for all areas of AI.

Maybe there will be another part to this later down the line, maybe there won’t. I continue to actively track my weight via a custom app and may look to share the data some time down the line.

  1. Thanks, China.↩︎

  2. Thanks again, China.↩︎