Q and His Treacherous Knee

Or Q and His Knee Jerk Reaction

Or Q and Why Does My Knee Hurt?

This was my weekend a week ago:

Nothing like unexplained knee pain to liven up the weekend #thuglife #thisis30

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And this was me less than a week ago:

My new significant other doesn't cook me dinner but it does keep my knee from hurting (at least for a few minutes). Happy V Day

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There’s a theme here. I’m a week and half into unexplained knee pain. I know what’s happening (tendonitis), but I don’t know why (unless we accept that my knee is an a-hole argument).

I spent a week on steroids and that seemed to help, but then I tweaked it on day 5 of steroids, and three days later, I’m back in the kind of pain I was in before starting the steroids.

With a couple of other things, I’m now two and half weeks removed from my last run, which was just a light jaunt to shake out the post-10K creaks.

My goal was a 10K every other month, and it’s already in jeopardy, and not the cool Ken Jennings kind.

If I go after the race I’m targeting, I’m looking at basically 5 weeks to go from 0 to 10K.

That’s probably not going to happen.

This is going to be an interesting year.

-Q

#ihaterunning

First 10K of the year is in the books

1:13:30. I lapped everyone on the couch. I also got lapped by the winner of the half-marathon.

Twice.

Other than that, things went pretty well. I knew I wasn’t going to have a blistering time. The plan was to do a 1:1 run/walk ratio on minute intervals.

Pre-Race

I am vengeance. I am the night. I am, well, you get the idea. #ihaterunning #batman

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Prep for this race was actually more obnoxious than usual because of the temperature. It was supposed to be high 30s to start and mid-40s when I would finish.

This is generally jacket weather for me. My lungs don’t appreciate cold air, and it gets worse if my torso is cold. Because it was in the 30s to start, I figured I would get one of my thicker long-sleeve shirts. And then I couldn’t find it.

I have three thicker shirts. The one I wanted wasn’t in the office, so I knew it was at home. And then I couldn’t find it at home. I really have no idea where that thing is. Luckily, I have a thinner cold-weather shirt that’s ok. With the jacket, I would be fine.

The next worry for me was parking. It was downtown in a relatively small town. If the race was packed, parking could become a problem pretty quickly. There ended up being about 400 people across the three distances running today. I had to leave a bit early to park where I wanted.

Of course, I then got to find out people have no sense of politeness when it comes to parallel parking spots. Two big SUVs decided to park as far forward in their spots as they could and for some unholy reason didn’t pull into the spots the farthest forward, so I got to do an awkward backing in to get my spot. It was fine, but it was obnoxious parking. Of course, they were Ole Miss and Bama fans, so I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything better from them.

Now for a pet peeve of mine. Pretty much every race I go to says to bring ID to pick up your packet. I think the only time I’ve actually shown ID to get my packet was Disney (and I’m not even sure if I actually showed ID). They say it and never ask for ID when you actually show up. Luckily, I’ve stopped bringing my ID along to the booths. I figure if it ever gets asked for, I’ll tell them to Google my name. Perks of having a weird name. The only person who shows up in the results is me.

Other than that, not much was atypical about the setup. You have the usual lacking number of port-a-potties. You have loud music. You’ve got people who didn’t know there was a race going on trying to go about their usual Saturday routine as runners are crawling all over the place with nervous energy.

I just basked in the sun waiting for the race to start. And then I got hot. Uh oh.

If I was hot standing in the sun, this wasn’t going to bode well for running. I was honestly afraid I was going to be a little on the cold side to start because I had on the thinner long-sleeve shirt underneath. Now I was about to ditch my jacket and was again having to worry about being cold in just two shirts because 6.2 miles of overheating wasn’t about to happen.

Luckily, my Batman shirt was a tight fit, so it helped trap heat in and acted as an extra buffer for the wind.

Unluckily, I hadn’t brought my arm band, and I didn’t trust myself to hold my phone for 6.2 miles. I was going sans music (well, podcast. I was going to listen to a Nerdist episode during my fat kid shuffle).

The rest of my attire was fine. I wear the same cap in the heat and the cold. Of my two viable pairs of running shoes (I have Adidas that are in good shape, but a foot injury rules them out for now), I only race in my Asics, so there was never a debate there. I also had a new pair of Goodr sunglasses to wear for the race.

I was in the red-framed glasses. It’s hard to tell in the picture, but they are the most obnoxious color scheme: blue lenses, red frames, and yellow ear pieces. I thought I’d never wear them (they came bundled with the other two I got in the Kickstarter). And then I realized the obnoxious color scheme went well with the obnoxiously colored shirts I wear to avoid getting hit by cars. Turns out the pair I looked forward to the least are going to be my priority pair for running.

I was dressed for success and ready to gol

The halfers took off, and then the 10K and 5K runners lined up together.

Now all I had to do was run. And then walk. And then run. And then walk. Etc.

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Actual Race

As usual, some walkers made their way to the front. I’m starting to think they can’t help themselves. If this was a track meet, someone would spike them in the back of their legs.

I hung out in back because I knew I wasn’t going to finish in front of many people. I had to let myself run longer in the beginning than I intended just because of the mess of walkers around. I don’t dislike walkers, but when they start in the middle and front, they’re an obstruction. Think of the person hanging out in the left lane in traffic who isn’t passing the car on the right. That’s what they’re doing.

The weather was beautiful, though I wasn’t quite dressed correctly. I really did need a little bit thicker shirt. I was ok, but not 100% comfortable to start. Luckily, the day came to me. Unfortunately, my hands weren’t in great shape. I don’t wear gloves when I run, and my hands stay cold naturally, so they got stiff pretty fast. It’s not like I needed to compose a letter, but it’s never fun to basically have your hands become useless for the better part of an hour.

I don’t have any über-weird stories to tell about the other runners. I had my typical crowd that I would yo-yo with. At least they were also alternating between running and walking. The only mildly interesting stories come past the halfway point. One runner turned to ask if I was dying too. I think they were feeling social. Or maybe they’d never seen the dark knight in person before. Who knows.

The other interesting thing was someone who kept yelling in frustration. I’ve done a fair amount of races now (21 is my best guess), and this is the first time I’ve had that happen. I think they were in that “I’m exhausted and going on fumes” mode. The last time I remember hearing people do that was during football workouts. Usually these were the people who didn’t really want to play football and were there because someone made them be there. I hope that wasn’t the case. It sounded like someone was running with them and encouraging them, but this is kind of a dangerous game to play. I’m not fond of running, but I don’t feel the need to yell. If they do, maybe they’d be better off with a different hobby. Again, I don’t know what was going on. I just know it was weird.

The running and walking went fairly well. I knew I couldn’t put together a blistering pace. I was vaguely optimistic that I’d be feeling good at the end and could extend my running segments.

That did not happen.

It wasn’t a brutal course by any means, but there were a good amount of climbs to make. These were mostly halfway and later, so they gassed me pretty good. But I did survive. My lungs went first because that’s what they do, but my legs were dead by the end too.

And to pour salt on the wounds, there was a steady climb to finish the race. You never notice the grade of a road until you’re actually running it. I always thought of it as a fairly level stretch until today. This is also when the half winner flew past me for the second time.

But I finished and I high-fived a couple of cows. All in all, it could have gone worse.

Post-Race

There’s not much to say post-race. For once I finished in a weird spot where there wasn’t a mess of people at the end. Only one half-marathoner had finished. All of the 5K runners were done. And I was far enough back in the 10K that there weren’t many of them left either.

I snagged a couple of slices of pizza before walking around as my inadequate cool-down. I then went to my car to switch to a dry shirt and get my watered-down bottle of Gatorade. Of course, I had to get two more slices of pizza before I left, so I went back to the finish line for that. A few coworkers were running other races and I vaguely thought of sticking around, but then I realized I wanted to continue making bad decisions more than I wanted to hang out in the wind with sweat salt caking my face.

The bingeing continued with a some Sonic: 5-piece chicken strip meal, with tater tots, toast, an onion ring, and Coke. I left two pieces of chicken behind for later and ate the rest. After all this mess, I had gained 2 pounds compared to my pre-10K weight.

I really am good at turning good decisions into terrible mistakes.

At least I had enough sense to foam roll after I ate. I’m also icing my knee as I type to prevent further problems.

The aftermath. #ihaterunning

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But that’s all I have for you, party people. I’ve got 5 more of these to go for the year, and I have no idea when any of them will be yet. I’m hoping for every other month, but I haven’t locked into a March race yet.

-Q

#ihaterunning

Why I Can’t Keep Cokes in the House

Because I’ll drink them.

Well, that didn’t take long to explain.

Oh, do you want a longer explanation? Ok. I’m not good at saying no to Cokes. They’re tasty and they have addictive caffeine.

There are worse Coke habits have.

One of the things that pops up when you look at in willpower research and decision-making is that you find if the temptation is around, generally people will cave eventually. It’s not reasonable to expect people to continually walk past the cookie jar if they have a sweets problem.

Likewise, no matter my intentions, no matter how long I’ve been behaving, I’ll drink too many Cokes eventually if I have them around long enough. Ideally, I’ll have zero a day. At zero a day, there’s no reason to keep Cokes in the house. Ideally goes out the window when work gets hectic, so I settle for weaning myself down to one a day. And no matter how well I’m doing about sticking to one a day, if there’s a spare Coke in the fridge, eventually I’ll cave and have that second Coke (and eventually it becomes a 4-or 5-a-day habit).

So I can’t keep them at home. And yet I’m still having one a day. If you do the math, this means I’m paying more money in the long run. It’s unfortunate, but I’d rather lose a few bucks over the course of the month instead of having that extra coke every day.

It’s not the best logic in the world, but it’s what works for me. I know every day I’m going to have that one Coke, so I savor it. I drink it slowly. I enjoy it. I treat Cokes like a fine wine (right down to smelling them when I open them to get that extra little bit of enjoyment).

All of this is to say I have a problem. I can’t really quit Cokes because I don’t want to. They’re tasty, and I’m not overweight. Now if/when I deal with something like diabetes or cancer that can pretty easily be linked to my Coke habit, I might change my mind. As it stands, one a day doesn’t sound so bad. Just can’t sit in my fridge.

Final Prep for 1st 10K of the Year

I ran 5 miles today. Ok, I ran the majority of 5 miles and walked a good amount of it. I was on a pretty even run/walk cycle, which means I probably ran about 3 miles and walked 2.

But I covered 5 miles. Last time I covered at least 5 miles? The 10K I did in May. The time before that? The week before said 10K. And the time before that? Never.

This will not end well.

Oh, sure. In high school, I would almost certainly have covered that distance in a track workout, but there’s a big difference between being 145-pound hurdler doing intermittent springs and being a 180-pound academic trying to delay diabetes and other weight-related woes.

Side note, looking back at the run-up to the last 10K, I’m making the exact same points. I almost made the same stupid joke for the title. The more things change…

Much like last time, I hit 4 miles two weeks before the 10K and 5 miles the week before. So let’s compare.

First a caveat. Last year, I was in better shape. Even with an injury causing some issues, I had better mileage leading up to the 10K in part because I was coming off the Super Awesome Year of the 5K. I also had a 5K at Disney to act as my warm-up a few weeks out. I had the mythical base they always talk about. Even if 6.2 miles really was too much to go after, I could at least cover 3.1 without problems. I can’t say that right now.

Let’s look at the 4-miler two weeks out. In 2016, I covered 4.02 in 47:12 (11:45 pace). Heart rate was 150 average, with 172 max. Last week, I covered 4.00 in 57:42 (14:25 pace). Heart rate was 135 average, with 168 max.

For the 5-miler one week out, 2016 was 5.04 in 1:05:12 (12:56 pace). Heart rate was 151 average, with 177 max. Also, 666 calories burned. Not ominous at all. Today, I covered 5.00 in 1:07:40 (13:32 pace). Heart rate was 144 average, with 176 max.

This is an odd thing to look at. The 4-mile run was much worse this round. The 5-mile run, despite having shorter run intervals, was pretty close on pace. This means I was probably running too fast today, but evidently I have a need for speed.

So what can we expect for the 10K?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Really, I have no idea what’s going to happen. I’m just going to go out there and do my best. And then I’m going to pretend I’m not in pain as I limp to my car.

The remainder of my week will be spent trying not to do something stupid, but considering I bit my tongue in my sleep yesterday, I’m not terribly optimistic.

See you on the other side.

-Q

#ihaterunning

Let’s Talk About Self-Care

It takes a lot of work to keep me functioning. I don’t mean it takes me a lot of work like it takes a lot of work to maintain a pristine physique (it does require a lot of work, I’m told, but I wouldn’t have any clue about that. Fatty likes his food.). No, I’m talking about the work it takes to maintain basic functionality.

There are a few factors at play that caused this:

  • One, I have back issues. If you’ve never had back issues, I can’t full explain it, but this is what I can tell you: I can’t remember the last time I went 24 hours without any type of pain. I went 8 hours pain-free in August, and it felt like I was on drugs. I was giddy. There are days where I just want to lie down on the floor. They’re rare, but they exist.
  • Two, I’m just injury-prone in general. This is a product of lifestyle, which is brings us to
  • Three, I work a desk job. Desk job’s are great in a lot of ways, but they are also a significant contributor to the decline of physical health of Americans.
  • Four, I have a stressful job. There are more stressful jobs in the world, but I have a “make your own stress” job, which is great because
  • Five, I like to make my own stress. I think A LOT. Most of my hobbies are about getting my brain to shut down or to keep it so focused it’s not running off on its own. Think of my brain like a border collie. Great when it’s focused and the possibility of being a real jerk if it has nothing better to do.

All of this results in me doing a few things just to keep my mind and body in check. Basically, I’m going to run through all of the big and little things I do to stay in one piece. If you find something you’ve never tried, give it a go. Every person has their own needs. These are just the things that help me. You’ll notice a good chunk of them were featured in the Super Awesome Year of Me.

Running

Hey, that’s why we’re here. I run even though I complain about it because it’s necessary. I don’t have a better way to get cardio work in quickly, and cardio’s necessary, especially if I drop from a heart attack and would like to recover.

But in all seriousness, running allows me to burn off the wrong kind of energy, that nervous energy that has zero chance of being productive. Plus, I get a lot of t-shirts.

Reading

This is a default for me when I’m overwhelmed. I like to dive into a good book and hide there. Not always the healthiest coping mechanism, but it helps. And if you’re going to engage in an activity for the wrong reason, at least engage in one that’s good for you. And because writers are the biggest bunch of dorks who include the most random bits of information, you also get to learn the most random bits of information. You’re gonna kill it at trivia night.

Writing

This is the other reason we’re here. I enjoy writing. I write for a living, but I don’t write fun stuff for a living. I write research papers. Not fun. Interesting but not fun.

This is about fun. This is about taking the time to put thoughts on a screen illuminated by the magic of technology. I can put jokes in here. I can put my thoughts here. And I can (hopefully) stretch my ability as a writer. This blog (and my other blog) are about allowing me to write under the guise of providing useful information for other people.

As a teenager, I wrote a lot. I don’t know what good it did or what good I thought it would do, but I enjoyed writing. Slowly, I got older and wrote less. This was my chance to take some of that back. I’m probably not going to write the next great American novel, but I can still write.

Yoga

This was the first piece of deliberate self-care I ever engaged in. I was doing most of the others, but I did them for fun. They just happened to be beneficial. I started doing yoga for my back. And it worked. I didn’t know why it worked; it just did.

Later, I would figure out it wasn’t just the stretching and that the core work was a contributor, but it didn’t matter. I found something that worked.

I don’t practice as often as I should, but I’m a yoga convert of 8 years. I don’t believe I’m flushing out toxins or finding (much) inner peace, but my body’s happier when I do yoga, so my brain’s happier too. And when I’m running, yoga’s the only thing that allows me to keep living a normal life.

Stretching

Not the same as yoga. For those of you keeping score, yoga includes stretching. It is not about stretching. And frankly, sometimes yoga isn’t all that great for stretching. Yoga classes and routines aren’t prescriptions. They don’t help my specific issues. I steal what I learn from yoga for my own use, but I have to do pretty deliberate stretching. At this point, it’s a full-body stretch routine, but I’ve had PTs who gave me specific stretches for back pain and costochondritis. Basically, I do stretches to help me with back pain.

Drawing

I should have put this caveat in earlier, but just because I enjoy doing something, that doesn’t mean I actually am any good at it. I’ve always enjoyed drawing. If you leave me alone, I’m doodling or making elaborate patterns.

While I always liked it, I didn’t realize what it was doing to my brain. When I did the Super Awesome Month of Drawing, I was a lot more calm after each picture was done. The concentration of drawing was downright meditative.

Music

This one goes two ways. The easiest to see is that I almost constantly have music going. I wake up and turn on Spotify. I have music going all day while I work. My commute has satellite radio. My walk to the office features me wearing earbuds. And of course, I run to a soundtrack now. Music is life.

Really, though, it’s the second aspect that’s most important. I play guitar. I’m not as good about playing every day as I’d like to be, but I play more days than not. Everyone should make music and preferably learn an instrument. It’s something to concentrate on, and if you’re brave, you can even write your own stuff. And that’s pretty damn cool.

Massage

And this is the one that has me outside of my comfort zone. I’m not a fan of strangers touching me, especially when I’m wearing almost no clothing. Let’s just not, thanks.

But I had back pain flare up that was lasting more than a week. When I asked the physical therapist what I could do, massage was their best recommendation. So I gave it a try. I went to a n0-frills sports massage place and proceeded to have a stranger make a valiant attempt at making me cry. And it was fantastic.

I was able to go back there one more time before I moved, and then I began my odyssey in Mississippi of finding a good massage. I had to make it to my 3rd location and even then it was my second MT before I found someone I was happy with. Now, every month or two, someone half my size digs their elbows into my back to buy me a few hours of relief.

And the thing I wish I did more of? Meditating.

I do things that hit some of the same points of meditating, but like running being the best cardio I can access, meditating is the best I can do to hit the brain.

5-10 minutes is all I need, and I can’t make myself do it. It’s hard. Trying to focus on your breathing and letting stray thoughts drift on by without dwelling on them is an enormous task as far as I’m concerned. But man, I feel fantastic after a good session. Unfortunately, I can’t stick with it long enough to see if there are long-term benefits. Maybe one day.

Running Past Your Comfort Zone

Something I keep coming back to in life is finding joy in being uncomfortable.

When I was a kid, my dad had this pillow that was only nominally such. It was hard as a rock (I still don’t know what the filling was), and no one else in the family would voluntarily use it except me. Any time I needed to travel with a pillow, that was my pick. There was also this scratchy yellow blanket of his that I used to use. There was a blue one that looked identical but wasn’t scratchy. I wanted the yellow blanket. At some point, I decided that not having creature comforts was what being a man was about.

This notion stuck around. I slept for weeks on a box-spring (I have no idea why I didn’t have a mattress that long) that had a piece of metal sticking out that I had to avoid rolling into. In high school and college, I wouldn’t wear a jacket if I didn’t have to (I went a full year without wearing a jacket to school. Granted, I lived on the Texas/Mexico border). I went without AC in my truck for the better part of a year (possibly, this was just me being cheap).

I could make do.

And more than that, I relished being uncomfortable. I still do. Last night I was sleeping on a 5-year-old Walmart futon with a throw instead of a real blanket or quilt, despite having plenty. And I was happy reflecting on it.

This shows up when I’m working out, too. I’ve said it before, but there’s a masochistic part of me that likes running when conditions are less than ideal. Whether it’s rain, heat, or cold, I like being out there when other people aren’t. I hate spring and fall when the sidewalks and paths are crowded with (what I believe are) weak-willed runners who find their treadmills, TVs, and air conditioning when they retreat indoors.

In the book A Good Year, which became a movie that was only marginally like the book, the opening chapter includes the main character running when no one but the most hardcore runners would because it was too rainy. This was an idea I could appreciate and gave entirely too much emphasis too within the grand scheme of what the book was about.

And so it goes. When I’m in miserable conditions and suffering, I’m kind of happy. I believe this is when I’m growing the most. And it’s always been this way. Every great workout I’ve had was miserable, but when I got to the end, I was glad to have survived. I looked forward to the binge. I looked forward to cutting in line in the cafeteria for pizza and tater tots after miserable football workouts in high school. I earned that pizza.

When I’m running, I go until something gives, usually my lungs. And if I’m hitting the end of a workout and I’m feeling good, I run faster until I’m not. I love striding to end runs (this week included striding past all the cars stuck in 5 o’clock traffic just to mock them and their internal combustion engines).

And yoga is basically one gigantic session of being uncomfortable (the good kind, not the bad kind; If you’re not sure, the good kind is like a deep tissue massage that hurts but feels good, and the bad kind is like banging your knee into the desk drawer when you turn in your chair, just hurts). You’re constantly trying to put yourself to the edge of your comfort zone. This is how you get better.

Even playing guitar is an exercise is discomfort. I like playing until my fingertips hurt from the strings. And then next time I can play a little longer or harder before they hurt.

I want to earn my sleep. Working until exhaustion has been the easiest way to do this. It’s not the healthiest behavior, but at least I know when I’m thrown into a less-than-ideal situation I can survive (see races with ice warning, snow on the ground, on muddy course and the only hills in Florida, with rain, and every Star Wars fan in Central Florida).

And this is when I grow.

-Q

Kicking Off a New Year

I was listening to this episode of the Runner’s World podcast, and it got me thinking about the whole “new year, new me” nonsense that goes around.

Yep, I’m going straight to calling it nonsense.

It’s not that I’m some paragon of good life decisions. Yesterday, my grocery shopping brought me home with some fruits and vegetables, but I also bought a pizza and a couple of little bags of hot fries.

So tasty.

And I say don’t set resolutions, but I always set goals. In other words, the pot is calling the kettle black, but would you really want life advice from someone who hasn’t lived it? (Related advice, don’t trust someone who’s never failed. Eventually the sky will fall, and they’ll have no clue what to do).

New Year’s resolutions suck. They do. Most people fail. If you want to have fun, go to the exercise-related subreddits and see how they discuss the new year’s influx in the gyms. They know most won’t stick it out. And here’s the thing, those subreddits are some of the nicest people you can meet on the internet; they just don’t tolerate flakes very well.

I don’t want you to be a flake. I want you to succeed. Change is hard.

So how do we avoid the resolutions trap?

First, don’t set resolutions in the first place. Set measurable goals.

The Super Awesome Year of the 5K wasn’t a resolution. I wasn’t resolving to be a good runner. I was setting a goal that kept me active and over a long enough time period to help force a lifestyle change. I’ve fallen off the wagon here and there, but I’ve largely maintained running as a part of my life. I’m doing the Super Awesome Year of the 10K for the same reason. Setting a single goal last year was a trap that ended up hurting me in the second half of the year after I’d already completed my goal.

Second, don’t set goals that are inherently temporary. Aim for lifestyle changes.

I hate diets. I hate them with the fire of a thousand suns. There’s plenty of evidence to indicate they don’t work long-term (including some evidence that there’s a rebound that puts in you in a worse place than before). Your body’s not built for quick turnaround. If you lose weight quickly, you body basically says “what the hell was that?” and then adjusts your metabolism so you quit losing weight. Best part? Your metabolism won’t fully return to what it was even when you gain the weight back.

I accidentally put myself on diets a couple of times this past year with my daily goals, and I regret it immensely. I was doing things that weren’t sustainable at the time. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll be able to have better eating habits, but I was doing too much based on where I was at then. I think the best example I can give for food is my switch to brown rice. When I got a rice cooker a few years ago, I went through a bag of rice stupid fast, so I knew I needed to switch to brown rice. I hadn’t gained weight. I was just thinking about my long-term health. Now I only use white rice for sushi, otherwise I’m using brown rice (Uncle Ben’s whole grain is the best I’ve found) and more recently quinoa. I didn’t make the switch to get ready for taking my shirt off at the beach. I did it to avoid diabetes.

Third, find a new support system. Friends and family can get bitter when you make positive life changes.

This one kind of sucks, but it’s true. When you stop going out to restaurants, drinking, etc.., you’re affecting your social life. In some cases, you’re just operating in different environments. In others, the people in your life can start to feel like they’re being left behind and can be actively resentful. I’m not saying you should actively avoid those family and friends, but I am saying having negative people around isn’t going to help you. Obesity is, for all intents and purposes, a communicable disease. Person A being fat, means their friend Person B is more likely to be fat, and even Person B’s friend Person C is more likely to be fat. We’re all connected in our lifestyle choices.

If you’re looking for a support system, there are running groups and fitness cults you can find in your town in all likelihood. I like to poke fun at crossfit a little.

But crossfit is good about building a support system. Find a yoga class. Find a running group. Join an old-lady walking group. Just make sure you’ve got people who are on the same path you are so that when you slip, you’ve got someone who’s going to help you up, not just people who are going to lie down with you and hand you pizza.

Fourth, expect setbacks and failure. You need to know that something’s going to derail you plans at some point.

Starting a running plan? Shin splints are common injury. Yoga class? Your schedule could get to hectic and make you miss class. Trying to lose weight? CiCi’s pizza has a great buffet when you’re having a bad day.

Just know something’s going to happen eventually. I can’t find the source, but there’s something to the effect out there that says if you start to fall down the stairs, you wouldn’t just let yourself keep falling down the stairs, so why give up on a goal just because you slipped up? It’s a trap we all fall in eventually, but when you miss a workout or fall short of a goal, keep pushing. You don’t have to quit.

That’s all I have to say about that. If you take nothing away from this, just know I hate diets. I’m going to eat some hot fries now and chase them with carnitas tacos.