Only €143.99 per rowing workout

Ten workouts in

I mentioned when I bought the rowing machine that I’d be keeping track of the per-workout cost as a way to keep myself going. Now that I’m ten workouts in, the cost of workouts is down dramatically… to just a little under a hundred and fifty Euros per workout.

Sigh.

I have made rowing a priority, meaning that I do it every other day, whether or not I ran on the prior day or not. That means that, if I miss a rund day, I don’t postpone rowing to get the run in. The run is just gone forever.

Still, I want to get three runs in per week, and the dual motivations of doing that and also getting in my rowing workouts has kept me pretty active.

Seeing results

It’s been a little more than two weeks of rowing, and I’m beginning to imagine I can see results. Not results that I can see in my body directly, but I am standing with better posture, feeling stronger.

Recently, I was climbing trees with the kids and found myself enjoying having the core strength to hang under a branch and move along it upside down. I didn’t make it far, but holding up my weight that way made me feel strong in a way that few activities have.

So, in that way, I see some results.

Also… I’m sore a lot. Rowing is a lot on the legs and running… You know which muscle groups running uses. So, I frequently start the day with tired calves. However, once I’m up and moving around, I’m back to normal. Because I’m pushing myself so hard, I’ve relaxed my need to get in ten thousand steps every day. I get them on run days, easily, but I don’t push myself on rowing days.

What I’m doing

I still see myself as a beginner and mostly do workouts just to mark them done. My goal has been to get around twenty minutes of rowing during each workout, and I’ve accomplished that a couple of ways, mostly using videos from Dark Horse Rowing on YouTube.

  • I use one of the workouts from his Learn To Row Workouts playlist, focusing on form in some way. Then, I drink some water and then row along with the 15 minutes of silent rowing video in that playlist. I try to focus on the new form elements during those 15 minutes.
  • He also has a longer workout with warmup and cooldown that includes some of what he calls “emotional work,” with him saying we’re rowing hard to stay ahead of competitors. I’ve done this twice and it has kicked my butt both times. I had to take a nap after my first time through… and I love that, but that’s not always an option.

One thing I have learned is to download the videos from YouTube when I think I’d like to do the workouts more than once. On YouTube, the workouts and interrupted by advertisements (I mostly get Peleton–I’m not buying any more big workout equipment!) and that takes me out of the zone, not to mention the fact that the workout is stopped.

Conclusion

So far, I don’t regret buying the rowing machine and it hasn’t been hard for me to find the motivation to row. I do find that it requires less willpower because starting–getting the machine out and setting up my notebook–is fairly painless. By the time I have to sweat, there isn’t much else to do.

I plan to check in again at twenty workouts and would like to be able to report more clear improvements in my strength, though it should be clear that I do feel abstractly stronger than I did before. I’d just like to know that I’m stronger.

Governors and Generals

A resource sharing game

My first foray into programming was because I liked the idea of making a game that would force players into two-player teams with different roles. It would be a sort of mix between StarCraft and SimCity. The idea can be expressed simply–the two players share resources while doing their best to pursue their various roles, both independently and in support of each other–but it quickly becomes complicated.

The players would be either a General, a military leader, tasked with defense and able to secure additional resources by raiding, or a Governor, responsible for development of the civilian infrastructure.

The idea is that each player would have an engaging activity on it’s own which would be made unpredictable and more challenging by the need to both share resources with their teammate and support them. The General would need to provide defense–and could raid other teams or the NPCs for resources–and would be reliant on the Governor to establish food, education, and other infrastructure.

The idea is that there would be insufficient resources to do both optimally and that there would be forced communication and cooperation–as well as frustration–between the two players. It could be both fun and frustrating and the sort of thing that might eventually feel like overcoming a challenge together.

As a card game?

I can’t program it in the form that I imagine it–something of a top-down RTS/city sim. However, realizing that the RR18XX games are a thing, I had the idea that there might be potential to make a slightly nerdier version of the game.

At the moment I’m obsessed with making something that will be purely online with algorithmic mechanics, but involving virtual cards and dice. My idea is that each player would have cards in their hands, but also be able to “play” cards in front of them, visible for the other players to see. The computer would keep track of the resources and perform some of the game mechanics.

Next steps

I guess the next thing to do is to try and map out–perhaps in sketches–the game play for the various roles and to try and see how they would interact, as well as thinking of how the environment would work.