On Track 2.0

It’s late and I should be in bed. So what better time to update the couple of people out there who’re interested in what’s been going on with me.

Previously On Under An Outlaw Moon

Tim struggled with deep dark depression. Tim underwent ECT, electroconvulsive therapy, aka electroshock treatments. It was pretty cool, and helped a lot.

Tim started a plan to get his life in order, calling it “On Track.” Among other things, he was writing every day, and exercising regularly, and he posted his progress online so people could see if he was doing what he was supposed to. This went really well for a while. Then, it didn’t.

Depression returned. Inertia set in. Tim floundered…

So, what’s happened since then?

I’ve gradually gotten moving again. I’m writing. Most of my novella Greensleeves, A Tale of Erotic Revenge is completed, and when that’s available, I’ll let you know. I’m working on the second book in my Doc Wilde series (Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull) again, and plan to have it done by year’s end, maybe sooner. I even have some short story ideas percolating, which isn’t like me, as I almost always have ideas better suited for longer forms of fiction. We’ll see if any of those emerge in a useful form.

I’m also exercising again. When I was doing “On Track” earlier in the year, I started doing the “100 Pushups” program, a six week plan to get you to the point where you can drop and do one hundred consecutive pushups. I was also doing 20-30 minutes of some form of cardio at least three times a week, mostly swimming with some biking. It was working, but I faltered and lost a few weeks. Not entirely, of course, I was still fairly active, but I wasn’t really making much progress.

Now I’m back on the pushup plan. I also started the “200 Squats” plan designed by the same people, and I’m doing that on alternate days. And I’m making great progress again.

For cardio, I’ve started running. I was inspired to do this by a very dear friend who is a devoted runner (as well as a writer, inspiring me in that as well), by my son who is training to go out for track in school now, and by the sudden explosion of minimalist or “barefoot” running shoes. As my bio in the sidebar indicates, I prefer to run around barefoot most of the time, and over the years I’ve even been known to wear moccasins rather than shoes with any structure to them. Barefoot shoes are what I’ve been waiting for all my life. They have very little structure or weight, they have next to no cushioning and no heel lift,and they have a spacious toe-box that allows the toes to spread properly as you run and act as the little shock absorbers they are (in some models, the toes are actually separated like the fingers in a glove). The idea is that the shoes allow you to run as we are actually supposed to run while still providing some protection from the harsh ol’ world.

I got the Merrell Trail Glove in spiffy black and red. And I love ’em. Right now, I’m doing a mile run three times a week. That’ll go up as I adjust to the stresses of running in general (having done mostly lower impact exercises for quite a few years), as well as the stresses specific to “barefoot” running. (And if you’re curious about barefoot running, and why it’s better for you than running in squishy supportive shoes, watch the video at the bottom of this post in which Christopher McDougall, author of the bestseller Born to Run, gives a very entertaining TED talk about it).

So, progress is being made. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, and have a lot of work to do, and many days it’s still a major struggle to get anything at all done. I’m trying to do the work myself, without therapy, without meds, without further ECT. I think I can do it.

And that’s what’s happening with me.

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