Sometimes It’s Just Play

As I start this post, I am already wondering whether it will be overly specific to a small group of people. I never like doing that, so I am going to do my best to rein this puppy in and bring it back around. We’ll see how that goes. And with that unbelievably awkward introduction, we begin.

There are a lot of people out there who love to get into details and plan. Depending on the situation, I can be one of them, but a lot of the time, I find it can turn into over-planning as well.  But I do know quite a few folks who truly enjoy getting into the uber-specific details of any project to turn over each aspect, each step and carefully construct a borderline masterpiece of crafting. It’s actually pretty amazing to see the final result.

I see this with people in their training/exercise programs as well. If something is not built into the plan, then great googly-moogly! All hell breaks loose!

(Best use of “googly-moogly” ever. I will not debate this.)

It’s a little amusing to watch if, in some ways, it were not so darn sad. Oh don’t get me wrong – I’ve done the exact same thing where my plans have the inevitable wrench of doom thrust into them with nary an apology from Murphy, his law or anyone else.  But by-and-large… especially when it comes to things lifting-related… I tend to roll with the punches.

This whole topic struck me yesterday when I snagged my nephews, ran to Toys ‘R Us, grabbed a few Nerf footballs and headed over to an open field at a local college. We weren’t there to improve our GPP (General Physical Preparedness). We weren’t looking to get in some extra NEPA (Non-Exercise Physical Activity). It wasn’t designed to be part of a structured anything.

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It was just playing. Running around. Throwing the football. Those two little wild monkeys tackling each other repeatedly into the grass. It was just play in all of its beautiful, chaotic and unstructured glory.

It wasn’t my thinking of how this would so neatly improve my short burst acceleration or improve my total calorie burn for the day. I didn’t consider my mobility or even how the sunshine would increase my overall Vitamin D intake for the day.

It was possibly the last completely beautiful day we may get before the cold, overcast and rainy parts of Fall kick into high gear here in New England. And it felt great.

It’s just play and that is enough. If my deadlift session today were to somehow suffer because of this little excursion, so what? I cannot even begin to imagine it will, but so what? Was my plan so unbelievably valuable that I should pass up the chance to get outside and send my nephew on a few deep post patterns in the sun? Are your plans like that as well? They may be occasionally, but please, please, PLEASE don’t fall into the trap of your plans always trumping the chaotic little bumps that come up in life that you may miss and never get back.

Sometimes you need to be less afraid of diverting from your plan and utterly terrified of missing a magical random moment… because those are often the best of all.

Having A “Screw You” Plan

I am but a few mere days away from paying off a credit card that I have had a balance on for a little bit and, needless to say, I’m pretty excited about it.  The first reason is that my good friends at Capital One decided to pop my rate up about 10% over the Summer (a fact which I only just noticed recently).  Thanks guys!  It’s been a pleasure being a good customer with excellent credit all these years… now I will never, ever use your damn card again.  Good times!

The second reason I’m excited is that credit card debt is one of those ugly lodestones of life that limits your freedom.  It just sits there building up interest if you don’t pay it off and half the time it’s for a bunch of things you had to have at some given moment and can’t even remember now.  But getting rid of it?  Or getting rid of any burdensome debt?  It’s absolutely liberating and let’s you devote more time and financial resources to perhaps the nicest piece of potential freedom out there:

The “Screw You” plan.

Screw-you-guys-im-going-home-102108-1While I am no financial whiz, there is inherent and obvious value in having money set aside in case it all goes down.  Job loss, layoffs, some financial disaster, absolutely loathing your job like it’s a Pauly Shore movie and so on.  It’s part of the common financial advice to have 3 to 6 months worth of funds saved up to protected yourself from some utter financial disaster that can sneak up on you.

Very few people (me included) are part of that very smart club of people with that kind of financial cushion… and before you think I am going into some kind of dry as three day old toast discussion about the fiscal responsibility, T-bills and saving your pennies, I want to get back to my initial premise… plain and simple freedom.

Can you imagine how differently you may approach your life if you knew you had 6 months of expenses sitting cozily in savings?  Maybe you wouldn’t stick around at that job you loathe with every fiber of your being.  Maybe you would be a little more comfortable in your own skin when you walked into the office because while your job is important, it’s not as if you were always on the verge of being completely destitute in the event of something going wrong.

Just that basically ability to be able to say “Screw it…”  Can you even picture it?  I can’t… at least not yet.

The value in this is not about hating where you are in life at all.  While I am working through a few personal bumps in my own road right now, I generally have been very blessed with a wonderful family, excellent friends, good health and a very good job.

However, life changes rapidly and having a plan B in your back pocket is not a bad thing at all.  In fact, your plan B might allow you to live your plan A a little more boldly than you would have otherwise.  My current plan B is something I contemplate a bit from time-to-time and usually takes the form of transforming my personal home gym and love of fitness into a full-on business if I had to (or maybe even just because I wanted to).  Just knowing I could do that as an option gives me a little more peace of mind.

And I don’t know about you, but just some simple peace of mind is worth it’s weight in gold.  Granted, I have no idea how to weigh it, so a little assistance would be appreciated.

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