March 25, 2013

Workout Work-Arounds

 Perhaps your reliable ol' gym just closed for construction.



Or maybe you fell down and broke your crown, or alligators and brain-eating amoebas have infested the swimming pool at the local Y, or your favorite Zumba teacher just converted to a religion in which ass-shaking is strictly prohibited.

What happens when you are forced to switch to an entirely new way of exercising? Some people quit, that's one option.  Others figure out a way to suck it up and forge on ahead.

Cranky Fitness regulars know that I've written this same "take lemons and make lemonade" post 90 bazillion times before. Whatever! When life stops with the lemonning, I'll shut up about the lemonade.


So what recent trauma inspired these latest musings on how to deal with messed up workout routines?

No, I haven't injured myself again, thank goodness!

The source of my frustration is...


The abomination known as Windows 8! 

Yep... I've been forced to deal with the new operating system the last few days, as I am replacing my old f--ked up computer before it dies completely.  The old computer which, come to think of it, I just used in another tortured exercise analogy recently!  Computers are on the brain lately, lucky readers. And um, yeah, talk about "first world problems?" 

Anyway, so these Workout Workarounds are inspired by the Evil Windows 8... mainly because I wanted an excuse to rant about it for a few paragraphs. But bear with me and we'll get to fitness stuff sooner or later.

You tablet people are probably fine with it, but are there any other "regular" computer people forced to make the switch who are also wishing they could  kick some Microsoft Executive ass?  Sigh. I know I need to chill.


OK, that helps. Realizing that those responsible for completely derailing my online productivity (such as it is) are really just poor little monkeys doing the best they can!  Strange though, that a company as large as Microsoft couldn't afford to hire or consult with actual humans.

You Mac people may now giggle and gloat all you want.

OK Now, Since this is a Fitness Blog: "Windows 8 as Gym" Metaphor!

To explalin the Windows operating system changes in a fitness-friendly way, lets pretend that the computer is a health club and you are a member.

And say this facility was closed for remodeling and expansion, and it opens up again and you're all excited! So the first day you go there and what do you find?

Well, it is sleek! They've put in some nice looking sparkly tiles.

But wait...everything you have ever used before and liked is gone!

Instead, all that is available for you is a very small collection of items someone else has gathered that you would never choose yourself.

Since this was touted as a big improvement, you are pretty darn sure at least some of the old stuff must be around somewhere, so you go to the front desk to ask for assistance.

But there's no front desk!  Having "help" available where you could find it was too cluttery looking. There is no directory you can discover that lists where the gyms "programs" you used to participating in are now happening, or tells you how/when the facility shuts down or opens up again.

You randomly wander around a little and sometimes see a glimpse of something hopeful, but then you try to get back there again and you can't find it again.  The doors even seem to lock behind you so that you can't just go backwards one step to return to where you just came from.

Oh, and then you finally do find a few things that work for you, hooray! But you have to travel through many, many different areas to get to the same stuff that used to all be one one place.  It takes you five times as long to accomplish the same thing.

You think seriously about quitting this "remodeled" gym and finding one just like your old one, but when you go out looking you discover that... none of the laptops at Costco at $600 or less run on Windows 7 anymore! And yeah, ok, enough with the freakin' gym analogy.

Work-Around Tips:

So now that I'm finally settling in with the new computer, let's pretend that the lessons I learned have something to do with how to deal with the mental trauma of a brand new unwelcome exercise routine. And hey, how about some more strained computer/fitness analogies, illustrated by turning the camera around on myself and random objects found in my immediate environment? Because lets see... perhaps the Futuristic High Tech Cranky Fitness Multi-Media Production Studio is not quite yet open for business?

1. Rant and Scream and Complain Bitterly


Whether it's a computer of fitness issue, most of us need to vent for a bit before we get all plucky and resourceful.  If you don't have blog readers to torture, try talking it out with friends or loved ones.  (Note: duct tape and rope and/or shackles may be required to ensure a receptive and cooperative audience).


2. Overthink Every Aspect and Research Alternatives To Death and Pretend You are Not Just Procrastinating:




Again, works well for either computer problems or fitness!  Keeping your brain busy thinking about your dilemma is a lot more fun than doing anything about it.  But, as a bonus, you may actually discover new approaches or resources.

3.  Incorporate Favorite Aspects of the Old Familiar Experience.

In the case of the sinister and malevolent Windows 8, the most awesome thing I discovered was the existence of free "shell" programs like Classic Shell that will take you back to whatever previous version of Windows you desire.  You can proceed to ignore the horrid new interface unless you accidentally hit a key you didn't mean to.

As to exercise, alas, I do not believe you can download a shell program to make a safe-for-your-joints pool resemble a favorite running trail, or turn a cross fit gym into a downhill ski run.

However, what do you most like about your workout? Is it a convenience thing, an outdoor thing, a competitive thing, a interesting mix of cardio and intervals and endurance, a chance to wear cute clothes or chat with your workout buddies?

Try to see if you can take something from your preferred environment into the new, more sucky alternative.

For me, MUSIC IS ABSOLUTELY OBLIGATORY!


4.  Take Mind-Altering Drugs or Otherwise Bribe Yourself

Any of a number of legal or illegal drugs may help with computer problems; I suspect with Windows 8, especially for those not using shell programs, use of long-term heavy psychotropic medication may be required.

As to exercise, if you do not suffer unpleasant side effects from caffeine, consider temporarily quadrupling your customary intake of coffee or tea or other energy-enhancing concoctions to get through the initial "this sucks I hate it" phase.


It's amazing what you can endure while so buzzed you feel like your head might explode in a pleasant burst of rainbows and flowers and fireworks and fluffy kittens!
 
Alternatively, motivate/spoil yourself in whatever other manner you think appropriate.

5. Phone It In



Transition periods are tough; do NOT expect the same level of performance, enthusiasm, follow-through, or kick-ass heroics while you are trying to get used to a new computer... or a new workout.

6.  Keep it in Perspective.

Remember that the quests to become fit and productive are lifelong, and that along the way there will be many roadblocks, whether they be injured body parts or hilariously awful computer programs. They may loom large in the moment, but chances are you'll barely recall these tragedies years from now.  So don't waste too much time stressin'!

And while most of the inevitably unflattering photos of me from long ago are hidden in a basement box in Provincetown, a high school yearbook turned up on the west coast recently! It served to remind me that I used to play tennis in my youth, something I would totally suck at now if my foot problems would even allow me to try.  On the other hand, back then I couldn't have done a pull-up to save my life.  Accomplishments come and go and come and go!



(And goodness did I have crappy posture back then!)


So, have any of you had to endure a workout or computer or other disruptive transition?  How did you cope?

Photo credits:
Construction: Engrishfunny.com
 Lemonade: SomeEcardsT
Windows 8: Somewhere off Techstation.org
Monkeys: Funnypicks.com

83 comments:

  1. lol your post made me laugh. This is the 1st time i have visited but i will be returning.

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  2. The first photo is AWESOME! :) Adaptation is necessary for survival!

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    1. Thanks Norma!! I just have to whine a bit before proceeding to adapt...

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  3. All transitions are disruptive. Once I realized that I expected disruption and annoyance. It may not help, but at least the surprise part of the nasty surprise was gone.
    Excellent illustrative pics, Crabby.

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    1. I'm like you Leah, expecting disruption does help (at least a little) with transistions. However, I still HATE windows 8! :)

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  4. As much as I am in denial, one day my present computer will die!

    I'll be saving this great post of yours to read either when the computer is mostly dead, or if I am smart, I'll print it just in case it goes from working to all dead!

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    1. I feel the same way about MYSELF Dr. J, still in denial! So if you could print yourself out for me to save for me when I'm mostly dead, I'd appreciate it.

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  5. Ha! As someone holding strong on XP Pro...32 bit mind you, I really laughed at this one. I get nervous every time my computer acts weird on me.

    This was a hilarious post and I needed this on a Monday.

    I am incredibly resistant to fitness change unless it was my idea. I am convinced that I am built for the standards: hiking, walking, running, weight-lifting (note: no yoga). Once you deviate from any of those standbys my body doesn't like it. :)

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    1. Well QD, I'd say you have a pretty good range of activities going already! And as for stretching and balance, the only things that could arguably be missing... you have Nim! With an active dog, that stuff comes pre-packaged. :)

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  6. I plan to hold onto my Windows 7 with a death grip until Microsoft comes to it's senses. I've heard you can turn off the new interface, no idea how though.

    Love the self-portraits to illustrate your points!

    I've been off my routine lately, due to a combination of things - partly I think I just need a break from the usual every now and then. Changing things up once in a while - even temporarily - can be a good thing; that's what I tell myself anyway. :)

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    1. Yep JavaChick, good plan on the death grip. And good for you for changing things up rather than just saying the hell with it when things get stale or too complicated!

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  7. Lemonning - how I love that! What a great descriptor.

    I still (STILL) haven't gotten used to the "new" Microsoft Office from what - 5 or 6 years ago? All I know is that I used to be good with Excel and now it mystifies me whenever I use it (which is not very often, which is probably part of the problem)...so I feel your angst.

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    1. Funny Shelley, Excel is one of those programs that always baffles me too. Oh and photoshop, I've never even figured out the heck a layer is so never made any progress there.

      I keeping coming back to the need for a intern/slave/robot or other source of help that understands technology but that I don't have to pay!

      Hmm, wait...is that why people have kids?

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    2. "When life stops with the lemonning, I'll shut up about the lemonade." may well make it into my list of favourite quotations... #8-)

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  8. Well at home, I'm one of those Mac people who giggle and gloat. But while here at Frank's I spend much of my computer time cursing Windoze 8. It has this habit of making the mouse double click when clicked only once. New mouse.. and it's not the only one it does this to. Apparently, it's a semi common problem. I love my Mac. But you made me laugh out loud and I very much appreciate that.. despite your distaste for the system.

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    1. Ack, didn't know about the double click thing Hilary, but I use a touch pad. Or maybe the shell program disabled yet another form of Windows 8 Evil, thank goodness!

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  9. Your mug of coffee is what I eat spaghetti in. LOL

    Cope? What the hell is that? I'm a Taurus we worry and get anxiety about everything, especially change. I do not know how to cope. I probably have an ulcer the size of texas in my abdomen, that must be why it isn't a "six pack" yet.

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    1. Too funny Starving Bitch! I'm a Gemini, and used to worry a lot more, but maybe my Twin nature means the mellower half is now in ascendance? Not that you could tell from this pissy post!

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    2. I can totally relate to StarvingBitch! Another Taurus here and I've been up since 3 am stressing over everything I need to do (with kids home on Spring break) before my Easter guests arrive on Friday. My husband is a Gemini and rarely frets about anything. Fortunately, lots of great blogs to read in all of my extra "awake" time. I pulled up Cranky because she always makes me laugh!! Thanks for the smiles. :)


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    3. Hey thanks Becki!!!!

      And dang, sorry about the fretting. It took me until a couple years ago to rewire my brain to its currently more mellow state; not that I'm entirely stress free now, but WAY WAY better. I finally figured out 99% of my worries were just kinda dumb to waste so much time on!

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  10. Not gonna lie - love my MacBook!!!! (even more after reading your post!)
    I don't do well with technology in the first place until I learn it really well - when there is change I'm a frustrated cranky mess!
    Now fitness change - bring it!

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    1. Thanks Kim! I'm afraid I fear Macs even more than Windows 8; funny how the system you first master is the only one that makes sense to you. But if Windows is gonna force people to switch to something different, I think apple's gonna be the beneficiary!

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  11. As I was reading your hilarious post, "I Have a Right to Sing the Blues" came on the radio. How apropos! Maybe that's all that's required in these situations? Blast that out of the speakers and wail along with it until you feel better! It solves nothing - but, hey... :)

    LOVE those pictures of the metamorphosis from crappy to happy!

    I am a gloaty Mac person. But, I still worry that this alone may not spare me from Real Trouble someday.

    There IS a direct nexus between computer and work out woes for those of us who either 1) download tunes and have playlists we can not live/move/breath without or 2)have to download data from our 'devices'(Garmin? Nike+) so we can slice/dice/rationalize/fret/self-congratulate, etc... and have even MORE to ponder! So - YEAH - this computer and gym change stuff is HUGE.

    My approach these days is to abandon ship at the very first sign of serious trouble and hop on board something more 'sea worthy'. Pretty extreme - but, such is my reaction to change that I have not invited that I feel compelled to leave behind that which has actually abandoned ME! This has meant: buying a Mac; ditching the gym altogether in favor of outside and videos; eschewing equipment which I have not used properly, etc...... In other words - it's costly. But, sometimes it's worth it to maintain your sanity in the long run. Gee? Am I still writing about computers and working out??????????

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    1. Ack, anon, I hadn't even contemplated the impact all this is going to have on my tunes... And I'm due to update my playlists, yikes!

      And I agree that sanity is the top priority, not that I'm exactly a poster girl for it myself. :)

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  12. Wow! There is so much about this post that I just L.O.V.E. The self-portraits are priceless.

    The kicking and screaming into a new computer system is TOTALLY relatable. My work computer is windows based and I do have a Mac at home. Charlie is a Mac-guy. And when we purchased a laptop for me we bought a Mac. But..I was only used to windows and had to have Word and Outlook added to my Mac because…well…because…I just NEEDED it. I needed to see and use what I was used to / comfortable with. I have no idea what version we are on here at work. I know it was recently upgraded and I just about lost it. It doesn’t LOOK the same. It doesn’t feel the same. UGH.

    Changing up my workouts?! I have been SO up in my head about this topic. I am currently dithering about joining my husband’s gym (kettlebell/crossfit etc) and taking a break from my current gym. I know that change in routine is good. It helps me stay a bit more flexible. It will be a good step to reach my next fitness goals. Doing things that scare me help me grow in confidence and enthusiasm. Annnnnd even knowing all of this…I vacillate.

    Good luck with the 8!

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    1. I would need the old familiar programs too Theresa... well I guess that's obvious since the first thing I did with the new setup was to run go find something to take me back to the Windows stone age where I was more comfortable.

      And hope you have a great experiment with the new fitness options! Awesome of you to be seriously considering it even if there are scary aspects. And if it sucks after you've given it a chance... at least you'll know for sure and you may even have "I told you so" rights!

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  13. "You Mac people may now giggle and gloat all you want."

    I normally restrain myself from penguin-based smugness, but us Linux types are laughing at all of you... #8-P

    I've been through countless variations of exercise, and whenever I start to worry that something might force me to change (AGAIN) I try to remind myself of how many times I've changed my routine before without it being that big a deal in the long term. As a wise man once said to me (on a totally different subject), "Hell, I'll just enjoy it as it is until it changes, and when it changes I'll enjoy that too."

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    1. Shadowduck, funny I don't even THINK of Linux. I associate it with brainy, technically brave people. It's like when I think of mixing up my workout routine I don't think of boxing with heavy weight world champions or trying out for Olympic track and field. I think of going the other direction on the elliptical. :)

      Love the wise man quote, does kinda seem all-purpose!

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    2. Will it help with the smug if I tell you that I've been saying "I really ought to partition the drive and put Linux on it and try to learn it" since, ohhhhh, about 1996?

      Mary Anne in Kentucky, Mac user since 1993

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    3. Nice try Mary Anne, but saying "I really ought to partition the drive and put Linux on it and try to learn it" is like saying: "I really should do a few more ultramarathons this year" to someone trying to walk around the block. You tech savvy people have me in awe.

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    4. Heh... In 1996, that might well have been a challenge! Even when I switched over (about ten years ago) there was a pretty steep technical learning curve, but the current releases are incredibly easy to use - to be honest, I think Xubuntu is far more intuitive than any version of Windows since XP. The only problem is getting used to having different software for your everyday tasks - like using Firefox instead of Firefox, or Chrome instead of Chrome, Open Office instead of Open Office (unless you actually paid for MS Office) and so on... Okay, if you're used to using a lot of proprietary software you will have to switch to Open Source equivalents, but you can try as many as you like for nothing and just stick with what suits you!

      I haven't had an evangelising session for a while, so here's a challenge for you all - download the Xubuntu Live CD image (yes it's free, and yes, the whole OS fits on a CD - ever wondered why Windows is so slow?), burn it to a CD and boot your computer from it. Bear in mind it'll run a lot slower than normal because it's running from CD, but have a play with it - if you don't like it, throw the CD away and you've lost the price of a CD. If you like it, click the "Install" button and it'll do all the partitioning and stuff for you automatically (after asking what you want, naturally).

      Okay... I'll shut up about it now...

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    5. Yes, SD, I should try that while I still have a Mac with an optical drive in it.... Sometime this year I will be buying a new one, and I should dedicate the oldest one to Linux. There's a reason I have two cars, and three (still sort of functional) computers, and a wood stove and some electric heaters as well as a furnace, and a landline as well as a cell phone. (Also backups online, on my desk, and in my safe deposit.) Paranoid much?
      I looked into OO a few years ago, and never got around to trying it, but I know Nisus Writer (my fave word processor for more than a decade) exports nicely to it.

      Crabby, the accurate parallel is me saying "I'd like to run a marathon someday" while walking, not around the block, but around the park for a mile or two.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    6. Gotta say you two are tempting me... it's now at least on my "someday" list!

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    7. I use Linux at work and have for years. I also have a Mac laptop at work, and I don't mind it at all. I've never actually understood why people get so evangelical about operating systems. But I do think the whole idea behind Windows 8 was poorly thought out.

      This comment has nothing to do with anything. Apparently I just wanted to get in on all the technical chat.

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    8. Hey, your comment has everything to do with the discussion at hand JavaChick! After all, I'M the one who brought up computer operating systems in the first place. And I love to eavesdrop when tech savvy folks mull this stuff over. :)

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    9. @solarity: No optical drive required, it'll run from a USB stick as well - I just didn't want to complicate the issue! I've never installed it to a Mac though, so can't help with any specifics.

      @JavaChick: Aye, I do try not to evangelise about Linux (and I'm pretty sure it's the first time anyone here has heard me mention it), but when you've found something that's free AND better (in many ways - it ain't perfect) than the expensive alternatives it's hard not to want to show people. "Look everybody! Look! Look what I found!" #8-D

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    10. Aha! I should have known I would find Linux users on Crabby's Exceptionally Enlightened Blog! I have found MY PEOPLE.

      And Crabby: All of us had terrible posture back then. I blame it on the fact that there were no sports bras, so we were all terribly self-conscious when we had to wear athletic gear over our Teenforms or Cross Your Hearts and tended to hunch over defensively. (Or was that just me?) If I had been 10 years younger I would have had a sports bra and athletic shoes for gym class instead of an underwire and Keds, and I might have actually enjoyed it instead of dropping it like a hot rock the minute my phys ed requirement was done.

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    11. I may indeed have to learn Linux if it means I get to hang with the cool people, thanks so much for showing up here! (And isn't ironic that geekiness was so UNCOOL when we were all growing up?)

      Molly, you nailed it exactly on the poor posture. Well, I always slumped but the problem increased exponentially with the appearance of boobage. My mom always used to nag me to stand up straight, and crap, I sure wished I'd listened to her! Posture is somewhat better but I still slump. Sigh. Sports bras, what a concept!

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    12. My mom once made me jump up and down in the living room before I went out to play tennis with a guy to make sure I wasn't too "jiggly." I'm not sure how she thought I'd fix that--duct tape? Sigh.

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    13. OMG Molly I would have DIED. Acck!!

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    14. @Shadowduck, I never got around to trying Linux mainly because I was on dialup until 2009. Even a slim OS was too much to download that way. You remind me that I now have bandwidth to spare.

      @Molly, I used to try on bras and do ballet steps in the dressing room to test them.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    15. Wow. The dressing rooms here are so small I have trouble taking my shoes off... Either you have bigger dressing rooms in your neck of the woods or you were IMPRESSIVELY supple! Or maybe both, of course.

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    16. @Shadowduck I wasn't really aiming that comment on evangelizing toward you. More from general observation - people can be so adamant that their preferred OS is better. Or their preferred phone. Or whatever. I move quite happily back and forth between Windows and Mac. I have an iPhone and and Android tablet. I just don't understand why people get so argumentative about it. They all do the job.

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    17. No worries JavaChick, I didn't take it personally... #;-)

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  14. Hahaha..that is me laughing with you, not AT you. Way to power through. Love the pics Crabby. You're great!

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    1. Backatcha mrsmars! I always feel better after a good whine. Or, well, a good wine too for that matter.

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  15. The classic shell is a lifesaver for me. It's way too hard to change for me from the classic windows.
    I think the newest workout thing I am having to try is changing from running to using the elliptical. Similar growing pains but will be so much better for me.

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    1. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who needs to hide in their "shell" when dealing with Windows Timothy!

      Interesting, I'm noticing that at my gym more dudes are trying the ellipticals lately. Used to be they were spooked by 'em. I kinda miss the old days when they were less crowded, but on the other hand, I'm glad you guys get to play with 'em too!

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    2. Yep, I think most guys are coming around to the ellipticals. So much better for the knees! Maybe keep that knee replacement from happening. :)

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  16. This first-cousin-to-a-Luddite hates change, and holds on for dear life to the old, and has to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the new. So i will be returning to reread your advice, mostly to remind myself that i'm not alone and that laughing about it is better than crying about it.

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    1. With any luck messymimi you can hold out long enough to complete miss this horror. I can't imagine they aren't getting some nasty feedback about it.

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  17. I am so lucky to have a hubby that is a PC guy & not a Mac so he does it all for us at home. If you have a question, I can send it to him!!! :) This is his business!

    I still screw up on the computer though & I swear! ;)

    On workouts, yes, disruptions over time & I am never a happy camper but I adjust my eating, bitch & can't wait till I can get back to it! :)

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    1. Wow, Jody, a spouse who's a PC guy would be MIGHTY handy! Promise I won't try to lure him away. Probably not, anyway. :)

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  18. [Giggling. Gloating.]

    1. Rant and scream and complain bitterly is my natural approach to change not initiated by me.
    2. OK, now I want to see Deepak Chopra's WIndows 8 manual….
    3. Man, have I been lucky: except for the sprained knee, I've never had to change my exercise routine except because I wanted to. And the physical therapy for my knee got me back into weight training, which I'd given up for lack of time while looking after my father. (My PT saw me doing arm work after my prescribed knee workout and I said "This is my reward for doing all those side step-ups" and she grinned.)
    4. Mind-altering drugs? Life without caffeine is just not worth it!
    5. Yes. Oh, yes.
    6. "barely recall these tragedies years from now." Don't bet on it. It used to amaze me that my grandparents and their brothers and sisters would sit around after Sunday dinner recollecting all the annoying coal heating stoves and kitchen ranges they had lived with forty years and more in the past. Until I had wood stoves.

    Tennis is seldom useful for saving your life. :) Pullups are much better for that.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    1. Thanks for a good laugh and the warning about Windows 8. I'm afraid I'm still stuck in the dark ages and using Windows Vista, but loving it. It doesn't give me any surprises.

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    2. Thanks Mary, and Mary Anne, you never fail to amuse!

      OK, so if I am still talking about Windows 8 forty years from now? Just. Shoot. Me.

      (And Deepak's Brain book was lame. I've read much better, though perhaps it might make a good Windows operating manual!)

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  19. Wow thanks for the laughs and advice! I just stumbled upon your blog today and feel like I've finally found a sane person who talks fitness! I've been getting back into the swing of things (finally) and found myself procrastinating in the hopes of avoiding my workout today, but your blog has gotten me motivated enough to get my lazy ass up and hit the gym after I post this. I blame the fact that you've inspired me to update my playlist and decide to reward myself with caffeine after for this decision, so for that I have to say thank you! (Well thank you today, maybe not so much from my sore ass tomorrow...)

    Wow I'm wordy today...methinks I'm still trying to avoid. Well time to suck it up, thanks again!

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    1. I don't know about the "sane" part Rebecca, but welcome! Phrases like "lazy ass," "reward myself with caffeine," "methinks," and "wordy" lead me to believe you may fit right in, hope you decide to hang out with us!!!

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  20. I know the feeling.. yeah.. you really have to make an effort to adapt to any new situation just like when Facebook and its timeline and cover photos goes on my page and every picture that takes too long to load, and ugh very confusing too.

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    1. Ack, Facebook is my nemesis to Abigail!

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    2. Does anybody actually like what they've done with Facebook? I don't think I've ever heard anybody say anything good about the new layout...

      That said, I honestly can't remember what it was like before! #8-/

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    3. Crap, "my nemesis to". TOO damn it!

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  21. You're like the billionth person (well, okay, maybe not billionth but one among several) I've heard complain about Windows 8 for "regular" computers! Living in the great Northwest I know several folks that work for Microsoft and I know for a fact that they often get pelted by their friends for things like Windows 8...I know several people that go into hiding after a release gone bad.

    I have found that hitting things, in a constructive way, to be good - hence the heavy bag in gym gets LOTS of use by me!

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    1. Well, I don't blame innocent Microsoft employees who had nothing to do with the stupid decisions made at the top. I bet the folks you know would have had the common sense to say: "Dudes, seriously??" That is, if anyone bothered to ask them. Please tell them I mean no harm.

      But hey, hitting inanimate things... excellent idea!!!

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  22. OMG! I love this post! You'd think they would have learned their lessons with their past failures????

    And who asked for a "new operating system" anyway??? NOT ME!!! What is so frustrating is there is no one you can physically take it out on! You can beat up your computer....but then you have to replace it with another Windows 8 one!

    Love the rant....

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    1. Loren, thank you!!! Don't know if you are currently coping with this monstrosity, but if so, and you haven't tried a shell program, you may want to give it a shot. Not that bashing up our computers to smithereens doesn't have a certain appeal...

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  23. I am one of those smug Mac people :) Actually Macs are overpriced generally speaking so I will install Mac OSX on PCs - a lot more complicated, but much better than Windows. However, even Mac's last two operating systems were a disappointment. Snow Leopard was the best. Ubuntu Linux has gotten worse too since they came up with their "Unity" theme. It is like when an Operating System gets almost perfect, someone has to screw it up just to change things around and force people to upgrade GRRRRR!!!!

    Everyone I heard from though said to avoid Windows 8 like the plague (not to mention every release since XP). Completely changing the interface was a bonehead idea even for Microsoft. But put Linux Mint (or Mac) on that PC and it will perform better than XP! I just avoid ANYTHING Microsoft like the plague!!!

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    1. TOTALLY agree about Unity - what were Ubuntu thinking? I've met ONE person who likes it... That's why I jumped over to Xubuntu, and to be honest I prefer the Xfce interface to even the old Gnome 2 style Ubuntu so I suppose they did me a favour. Linux Mint is pretty nice too, I tried that for a while but ultimately I preferred the minimalism of Xfce.

      I think all the mainstream OSs feel obliged to keep changing things just so they've got something "new and improved" for those people who have to feel they've got the latest thing. Change for change's sake, you can't sell folk something they've already got!

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    2. Ah, the sound of highly developed minds conversing about technical stuff I don't understand but love the sound of... music to my crabby ears! Thanks Don and Shadowduck!

      Seriously, I'm not sure I want to go back to health and fitness, this is way more fun. I get to feel vicariously smart by hanging out with y'all!

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    3. I put Lubuntu on a really old PC that couldn't handle anything much heavier. It doesn't run like new, but at least it doesn't take 10 minutes to boot (I'm not even exaggerating--I used to turn it on and then go fold a load of laundry while it was booting) like it did with Windows XP Pro, which it was running before. I keep it in the guest room and use it to pay bills online and give guests a way to check their email and surf.

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    4. Another adventurous computer whiz checks in, yay! Thanks Molly!

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  24. I really enjoyed reading your evaluation of Windows 8. "having help available where you could find it was too cluttery looking" - lol! that's great!! I know exactly how you feel though.

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  25. I actually do my exercise by doing the household chores. I get to clean my house and do some exercises as well. And it is absolutely for free.

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    1. Hey Felix, wanna come over to my house to, um, "exercise?" All kinds of exercise activities you could do for free. :)

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  26. LOL - I love your metaphors regarding Windows 8. I am always shocked how a company can remain on top when they continue to piss off a large number of their customers. Well I guess it's a great way to keep us geeks in demand.

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    1. Would you say Microsoft are staying on top, Dennis? They might still be the default OS for PCs, but look at the growth sectors - smartphones, tablets, ultraportables, wearable devices - and they're nowhere to be seen. I'm not at all a lover of MS (see my earlier comments on this post!), but I hope they get rid of Steve Ballmer sometime soon and get back to putting out some competitive products. Somebody's got to keep Google and Apple honest!

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    2. Glad to have more geeks stopping by Dennis, and Shadowduck, good point about the non-PC market.

      Yet there will always be those of us who struggle to ever leave the familiar, so I suspect it will be awhile before MS is in serious trouble relative to PC's. Though Windows 8 may accelerate that.

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  27. Death Ride GrandmaMarch 31, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    I guess this is why I feel I have fallen behind so often. I am dimly aware that PCs and Macs are options, but I pretty much take whatever I am handed and deal with it computerwise. On the exercise front, well, another story. One of the reasons I am so late commenting is the time it has taken me recently to deal with a generous lemon distribution. I have been doing a bunch of physical therapy to aid in my refusal to accept my recent stage 4 knee arthritis diagnosis. So the doctor thinks maybe backing off from some of my riding (yeah, right!) would be a good idea, but the PTs just laugh at that thought. I'm going with the laughing. Just hope that doesn't mean I will look back and kick myself one of these days.

    Oh. I wouldn't be able to kick myself if the knee really went out. So, nothing to worry about. It's all lemonade.

    To prove that to myself, I rode 58 miles with about 7200' of climbing on Friday - that's a little less than half a Death Ride. OK so far.

    Crabby, where do you find all those pictures??? I just love the laughs they bring on!

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    1. Wow DRG, 58 miles with all that climbing!?!? You must be just a little less that half-dead then! I am so impressed. (But do hope the knee doesn't go on strike)

      You're kind of a role model on the lemon to lemonade thing.

      As to the pictures, while I do TRY to avoid infringement issues by using creative commons or other safe sources, I also cheat sometimes, and figure that if giving credit and linking isn't good enough, then the lawyers out there can track me down and ask me to take something down and I will.

      However, could be famous last words... Hope I don't have to learn about the "prisoners workout" first hand!

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