Productivity is a Pain in the Ass

Why do we have to do things? Why can’t I just give in to that little devil on my shoulder that wants me to drink whiskey and watch re-runs of Parts Unknown all day?

Every day, I make a checklist of what I have to do. Usually, most of those things don’t get done right away.

I go days without achieving anything, but when I get things done, I Get. Things. Done. Maybe it’s the ADHD, maybe it’s because I like to be efficient, maybe it’s because I only get a certain amount of energy per week, like some sort of terrible solar battery. For example, for one of my English classes, I’d slacked off all semester because I was depressed and couldn’t get out of bed to go to class, and as a result, I had a semester’s worth of homework to do. I banged out over a dozen papers in day, and aced all of them. I wish I could do that for everything else in my life.

I’m sure there are numerous internal factors that are responsible for my lack of productivity lately; I haven’t been to the gym in awhile, I’ve been eating like shit, and I haven’t been sleeping that much, in addition to school and work responsibilities.

Hopefully, I’ll figure it out and crush it like I always do, but there has to be a limit to how far I can push myself before everything comes crashing down.

I think those bursts of energy can be stretched out and lengthened, so I’m going to try and figure out what brings them on, and try to do that more and more, until it’s just second-nature, and that lazy demon is banished, or exorcised, or whatever you do to demons.

Why Going to the Gym is Great

When you hear people say they want to get into shape, where do they always say they’ll go? The gym. Where do those people never end up going? The gym. They’re missing out.

I have a lot of pent-up energy thanks to my ADHD, so I spend a lot of my time thinking about how to manage that energy. The most efficient way I’ve found is hitting the gym. The gym is the best place for me to burn off that pent-up aggression and anger and turn it into something productive. My gym routine is simple: I start off with a nice stretch, just to knock the dust off and limber up a bit. This is to make sure that my body doesn’t break more than it’s supposed to. After I’m good to go, I get on the bike and do 20 minutes of rigorous cardio while making fun of my friends on Twitter and checking the news. After burning a couple hundred calories, and losing faith in humanity, I move to weights. My weights routine is pretty simple: the first day I start with the lowest weight that provided resistance, do a set of 25, take a 30 second rest, add 10 pounds, rinse and repeat until my body decides that I should stop. This probably isn’t the most efficient workout, but it works for me. By the second day, my body usually isn’t too pleased with me, so I go a different route, quantity over quality. I start with my usual stretches, but instead of punching my muscles in the face, I take it nice and slow. I start around 60-70lbs and do 5 or 6 sets of 30. After working on all the various muscle groups and jamming out to some angry music, I grab a protein shake and go home.

The gym is very important to me, it keeps me balanced, and I definitely need to be balanced. Whenever I miss a day, not only does my body feel like it’s missing something, my mind does too. Whenever I get irrationally angry and grumpy, I can tell that I either need to hit the gym or write to make all that bad voodoo go away. The most important part of my gym experience is the music I bring with me. Usually, I like to fill my playlist with music that motivates me to go a little further, or that pisses me off enough to push through the pain. Recently, I’ve been putting a lot of Bobby Shmurda, Denzel Curry, Vince Staples, and All That Remains on my gym playlist. These all help put me into the mindset that I can do anything, and that anything that gets in my way will be destroyed. It’s easy to run 5 miles when ScHoolboy Q is (allegedly) shooting up the block over a DJ Dahi beat that sounds like the soundtrack to a home invasion.

In summary, for those of you who like to skim through articles, GO TO THE GYM. You won’t regret it, and you’ll feel better about yourself, and your physical ability.

My Journey Climbing Mt. Douglas

Hiking is a weird concept for me to understand. Part of me gets why people like it, it’s physical, it’s outside, you get a nice view at the end, etc. That being said: FUCK hiking. I recently went with a friend of mine, and it was quite a day.

First, I had to be up at 8am, which is usually when I’d be in bed, watching YouTube videos of retail workers snapping and beating up rude customers. After rousting myself out of bed, I decide to be proactive and pack a cooler; if I’m climbing a big ass mountain, I’m gonna need a few beers to take the edge off. After finishing up my hiking survival kit, I drove over to my friend’s place to pick her up and head out. Now, she’s a bit more experienced than I am, and she’s definitely in better shape than I am, so when she said that Mt. Douglas was an easy climb, I was a tad skeptical. Upon arrival, I notice that the parking lot is half a mile away from the start of the climbing path, and primarily uphill. Great, I get a taste of what I’m in for today.

After trekking up the road to the trail entrance, I notice that the trail is awfully steep for a so-called “easy climb” and begin to question my decision. As we begin the climb, I notice that I forgot my water bottle in the car, half a mile away. After weighing my options, I decide that Miller Lite is going to have to do for the time being.

About half an hour into the hike, my legs start to get sore, and we take a break. From this height, I can see the entire valley, and it’s breathtaking. Even from halfway up. My friend starts talking about all of these crazy places she wants to go, and I’m thinking “Let’s settle down there, we haven’t even finished this hike, and we’re talking about going on another one?” I spark up a joint, refresh my beverage, and try to muster the energy to move.

Another half hour later, we’re almost at the top, and I’m running out of gas. I think to myself, if some crunchy granola hippy can do this tripping face on acid, I can too. I channel every 80’s action hero and football player and push through the pain. Fuck, I need to get in shape again. After running out of inspirational 80’s figures, we reach the top of the mountain.

I get it now. I get why people do this to themselves. From the top of the tower pictured above, you can see for miles. I can even see Sebago Lake, and I’m betting if I had some binoculars, I could see my house too. As I’m still enjoying the scenery, and my third beer-flavored water, my friend is getting ready to head back down. I’m not having any of that, I spent 2 hours busting my ass to get here, I’m gonna stay here as long as I damn well please. I’m thinking about how much of a bitch it will be to climb/fall down this mountain, and I’m trying to stall as much as I can so I can climb down this mountain safely and not look like an out-of-shape disaster. Before I go down, I get the wonderful idea to pee off the face of the mountain, and I stand by this decision, because it was awesome. I finish my last beer, and mentally prepare myself for the return journey.

The thing about going down a mountain; it’s a little easier than I thought. As we descend, I start to get a feel for the terrain, and begin to walk a little faster. Mistake. Not even 15 seconds after adjusting my pace, I trip on a root and fall on my face. After laughing to myself about how funny that probably looked, I reassess my speed. We’re now about 3/4ths of the way down, thanks gravity. We finish up our climb and walk back to the car, where I immediately fall into my seat, exhausted and a little buzzed. I think to myself, hey, it’s better than being at work.