Moderation or “All or Nothing”?

cold frontIt’s my third day on the boat and I’m sure I’ve taken fewer steps in three days than I might take in a morning at home. Why? One reason is that a front came in the day after I got here and it’s held us in strong steady winds that interfere with my plans to 1. go kayaking every day (way too windy) and 2. go for long, brisk walks on the pristine beach on the other side of the ridge (also way too windy).

That’s the first external reason. Also: there is an option to play volleyball but I don’t play volleyball. And if I wanted to take my life into my hands I might be able to go for a run on the road through George Town and to the outskirts but I don’t like to take my life into my hands. It’s not unsafe crimewise, it’s just that there are no shoulders, very narrow roads, and they drive on the other side of the road. So that’s not happening.

And: sea creatures. I swim in pools mostly. Or the lake. The other day when we were up on the bow of the sailboat Renald pointed out to me a big sea turtle swimming around the anchorage. “It’s here all the time,” he said. Okay. I’m not one to swim with creatures.

But if I look at it even more directly, I don’t do moderation well anyway. I have at all different times of my life aimed for moderation in all things — balance, a bit of this, a bit of that. And it’s true that I can do the “do less” thing when I need to, sometimes. That’s the one hand.

On the other hand, I can’t say I find moderation easy. As much as I dream about (and talk about) balance, I tend towards “all or nothing.” And right now, since I’ve been on the boat, I’m in my “nothing” phase of that particular pendulum.

I’m just winding down from some stressful weeks and months. My regular workout schedule at home challenges me almost daily. And this weather front makes it so darn easy to veg.

My approach to leisure so far has been rich and varied. On the first day, we went out to a cheeseburger-fest at the St. Francis Resort and I met a bunch of Renald’s new friends. Vegans don’t do well at burger-fests, so when we got home I made something to eat.

We just beat the front, getting back to the boat minutes before the dark clouds in the distance rolled over “Hole Number 2,” where we are on one of the moorings. The heavens opened and we took it as a good opportunity for a nap.

We awoke from our nap and fired up a movie. And from the movie we went to bed for the night.

Day two wasn’t much different. Instead of the burger-party, we went over to Volleyball Beach.  Like I said, I’m not into volleyball though I can imagine getting into it if I were here long enough and I felt as if my muscles were starting to atrophy.

From there, to the bar at the Chat n Chill for a diet coke.


Then back to the boat to have a quick bite before heading out to George Town to pick up my parents in less than ideal conditions. The 10 minute crossing in the dinghy can seem endless in high winds, rough seas, and pitch darkness.  It may be that the hanging on I did on the ride over was the most physical exertion I’ve experienced since I got here.

Anyway, you get the idea. The front is still upon us. Today I hauled out my rubber bands so I could at least do some resistance training. My trainer loaned me some handles for the bands and reviewed a few different things I could do so I don’t totally lose what I’ve gained in strength since starting with him back in November.

This front is supposed to blow over within the next few days, but if not, I may just have to hang onto my hat for that brisk walk on the beach. Or check out the aquafit class on the lee side of the island one of these mornings, or venture out in the kayak even if it’s hard (or maybe because it is!).

Because this “nothing” routine of sleep, eat, sit around, eat, nap, watch a movie, sleep, eat just won’t cut it. I feel sluggish and irritable. I miss running and doing laps in the pool and being pushed too hard by my trainer.

I’m fearful of how easily and quickly I adapt to the “nothing” of all or nothing. But I also wonder why that middle road is such a difficult place for me to land!

Are you good at moderation?  Or are you an all-or-nothing type too? If so, do you try to hit the mid-point or do you like it?

3 thoughts on “Moderation or “All or Nothing”?

  1. Oh, I’m such an all or nothing person. Some days I get 16,000 steps and the next will be 2,000. Some days I work 14 hours, the next I can’t seem to get off Youtube. Often I wish to change it, but now I’ve mostly tried to understand and adapt to my rhythms.

  2. Update: we have been a lot more active since then, kayaking, long walks on the beach, swimming in the surf. I’m actually managing a bit of moderation! Active even without my usual scheduled activities.

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