Everyday Exercise update (+ an embarrassing free sample!)
Work is well underway on Everyday Exercise. It’s a fascinating process.
With this being a bank holiday, and launch day being Thursday, I knew I needed to work hard all weekend in order to not waste it. Having spent the day outlining and then writing, I’m happy to report I’m sitting on 6513 words, this post not included and an email sent out to my subscribers also not included (have I mentioned you should get yourself on that list? Just click follow on that page to get the updates).
Considering how nervous I was before starting, I’m absolutely delighted. It turns out I have more thoughts rattling around in the ol’ noodle than I realised, and hopefully most of them will be helpful to most of you.
I started the day using Trello to outline and order what originally started out as chapters and then became parts, or sections, of the book. In fact, the aforementioned 6513 words represent one section, albeit the one I do foresee being longest.
I came up with an overall narrative thread for the book, which seems blindingly obvious in retrospect but kept me up late last night worrying and brainstorming.
I had the strongest – and tastiest – plain coffee I’ve ever had thanks to my housemate Carberry and it fuelled me into hours and hours of work. Thankfully, those hours were fruitful.
I had an incredible rush while writing today. I really hit that flow state you strive for as a writer or a person with any absorbing interest, and it’s sublime when that happens. I felt a constant nervous excitement, like I couldn’t believe how well writing was going and if I stopped to acknowledge it I’d fall off the tightrope. Luckily, that never happened and I consider the first day of hardcore writing a success.
What’s that? You want an unedited, raw extract? Preferably the one that embarrasses me most? Well didn’t you say so? Here you go…
from a chapter entitled “Taking advantage of dead time, a.k.a why I look ridiculous while brushing my teeth”
So what do I do that looks so ridiculous?
I use an electric toothbrush with a timer on it. It buzzes twice every thirty seconds, prodding you to move to the next quadrant of your mouth. After two minutes you should be done, and it buzzes four times.
With the help of this timer, I spend a minute total per leg, standing on one leg and rotating my ankles. Thirty seconds clockwise, and thirty seconds anti-clockwise per ankle. This doesn’t sound too ridiculous just yet, I grant you. It also doesn’t sound hugely challenging to most people.
The thing is, what I’ve graduated to doing at the same time is raising my non-support leg, the one whose ankle I am rotating, up as high as I can to one side. Picture a martial artist in a movie delivering a side kick to the face of a henchman. I am in that position – or as close as my poor flexibility allows – for thirty seconds at a time, swapping legs and simultaneously rolling the raised ankle.
It becomes quite the effort to stay balanced, working your support leg, core muscles and outer hip and thigh muscles quite hard, as well as the small muscles in your feet and lower legs that help to stabilise the whole thing. As a bonus, those all-important glutes I keep mentioning get a swift kick up the, well, arse.
Plus, you look cool. I picture myself as Jean-Claude Van Damme every time. Every. Dam(mme)n. Time.
Over the course of a day, this equates to 4 total minutes working on my ankle health and mobility as well as the muscles in pretty much my entire core and lower body. And, crucially, this is four minutes I’m already spending brushing my teeth; it’s not adding any extra time commitment to my day.
I think it’s a very powerful concept, and I’m constantly on the lookout for other places to apply it.
As an example of how powerful chaining these habits is, I was able to easily balance out the outer thigh emphasis of my high kick ankle circles with side split, inner-thigh dominant dental flossing.
Now, when flossing, I edge my feet out and lower down into as close to a side splits as I can get, using the muscles of my legs to keep me up and also pull me down lower. That’s another minute or two per day of activity I wouldn’t otherwise get, but would already be spending flossing.
I hope that helps you to get a taste of the kind of thing you could learn in Everyday Exercise. Hit any of the product links on this page for a sweet 50% discount and don’t forget to hit the follow button for updates!