Power and Working Out

Working out is one of the few things I enjoy doing.

Let me temper that aggressively glum statement. I don’t like my job, but that’s a hopefully temporary issue, as the job hunt is underway and the market does seem to be improving. While I’ve been hunting, I haven’t been very aggressive at building any kind of activities, since my next job likely won’t be where I currently live. So I’m in a bad limbo state for the time being, and working out is my primary release.

I’m lucky in that the idea of exercise has never been unpleasant to me. Sure, gym class was an unmitigated horror, as it is for most fat kids who can’t do anything terribly impressive with a ball. But doing things in general doesn’t hold that terror for me.

It’s been particularly good for me in recent years for many reasons, but I think one of the big ones is power. Job hunting is a terrible thing to do, and while people who make their livings providing advice to (or preying on) job-hunters like to say that the process is one where both employer and employee have an equal chance to evaluate the other, they’re lying. (If it were equal, then a typo in a help wanted ad would disqualify a company from filling that position.)

Working out is one small area where I have the ability to make the world what I want it to be. Not instantaneously, of course, and the trip from current to better isn’t a particularly smooth one, but there are some actual legitimate results that I can point to. Last year I did my first pull-up ever; I also ran a 5K for the first time ever last year and improved my time this year to one that I can be all, “that’s pretty cool” about. (26:24, if you’re counting.)

Having that little bit of power is hugely important to me now, when I spend so much of my life doing something I’m pretty indifferent to, and when there’s no immediate or obvious path for that to change. There’s a bit of hope that, if change is possible in this one area, maybe it’s possible in the career that’s not going so well also.

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