Category Archives: Theories

Mile 263: Five Theories for the Existence of Adult Stress

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“I knew what I had to do and
I made myself this solemn vow:
I’s gonna be a lady someday,
Though I didn’t know when or how.”
–Reba McEntire, “Fancy”

Miles last week: 33
Total miles: 263

Like everyone, I went through puberty sometime in middle school, but I don’t think I really started to feel like an adult until I realized that Penny gets an abortion in Dirty Dancing and Reba McEntire’s song “Fancy” is about a mother prostituting her daughter. In my childish innocence, I legitimately thought that Penny’s doctor was mean and had dirty knives (which I imagined were caked with mud because sometimes my imagination is literal) and Fancy was going to a big party for which her mom made her a nice red dress.

Of course, upon this realization, my mother’s wary looks at my sisters and I dancing our Holiday Barbie (who had a fabulous and sparkly red dress) around to Reba McEntire started to make a lot more sense…but that’s beside the point.

Soon after these revelations, the stresses of adulthood began to set in–money, career, the limited availability of Pepperrollies, etc.–and because I’m a human and thereby seek causes for effects, I have to assume that there is a single, solitary reason for all of the stresses and bad things about being an adult.

I have some theories.

1.) The aliens are messing with us.
I think of this as the Men in Black theory. Somewhere, there are aliens shaking our galaxy marbles and rocking our world. This is obviously why there are earthquakes, car accidents, headaches, and doctors’ handwriting.

2.) Obama.
Sure, there are good things happening with the deficit, health insurance, and the economy, and he’s accomplished a lot of stuff. But I have to go back to work after a three-day weekend. THANKS OBAMA.

3.) Clear wool.
Maybe there really is wool over our eyes when we’re growing up, but it’s clear, obviously, because we need to see so we can learn to read. Then, one day, we are lured into vans, rendered unconscious, and taken to high-tech facilities where the wool is surgically removed. Our memories of the facility are erased, and we start to see things we didn’t before, like bills in the mail.

Mars Source

Mars
Source

4.) Mars.
Once you reach a certain height, your head gets within range of Mars’s special mental gravity (you know, the one that affects your horoscope) and your childlike innocence is pulled away. Once it’s gone, you have to start worrying about car insurance and your health and such.

5.) Exhaust fumes.
This is sort of the opposite of the clear wool theory. Here, exhaust fumes actually cause you to hallucinate worries you didn’t have before. Think about it. Once you start to drive, you’re around cars a lot more throughout your adult life. Before that, you’re a kid and not stressed out about anything, and after that, you’re old and probably realizing that the things you worried about weren’t so important. IT ALL MAKES SENSE.

None of these theories are proven–yet. However, I assume it’s just a matter of time before I’m receiving a Nobel Prize for unlocking the secrets of the human race.

You’re welcome.

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Mile 26: I Hereby Dub Thee…

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“Why don’t you say the things
That you said to me yesterday?”
–Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name”

Miles last week: 26
Total miles: 26

When I started my blog, I called it “Randomanda” because it was supposed to be about random things. I didn’t want to commit to a theme (no matter how many websites told me I needed one).

But since starting the Mile Project and regular workouts, the topics have not been so random. I stumbled upon a theme without meaning to. Sometimes, growth happens without intention (and depending on where that growth is, you may need to see a doctor).

For that reason, I hereby present two kind of big (if you’re looking for them) changes to the blog:

1.) The Title.
Since the Mile Project has inadvertently taken over, why not just rename the blog “The Mile Project” and officially add fitness adventures to my nonsensical mutterings and other curious observations?

2.) The URL.
A URL with “randomanda” won’t really work if that’s not the title anymore, so I am now the proud owner of amandastonebarger.com–you know, for branding and whatnot. I guess I should have my own domain for writer-y reasons. The default URL (stonebarky.wordpress.com) still works, but only because I can’t decide if I should change that, too.

The only real content change is that posts may be about any manner of subject (including but not limited to fitness, writing, reflections, theories, television, books, movies, life, etc.), but they will always have a mile count–mainly for cohesion purposes. I’m planning to start thinking about these posts as milestones of my fitness adventures, nonsensical mutterings, and other curious observations.

Hellooooo, second mention of the subtitle.

There will likely be other smaller changes here and there, but I will say that I do not foresee any changes to the background appearance. It’s bright and colorful, and it makes me happy. If it ain’t broke…

Mile Zero: Resetting and Priorities

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“I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air,
So there.”
–Lorde, “Team”

Total Miles in 2013: 1731.5
Total Pounds Lost in 2013: 36

So, that’s the summation of the great 1,500 Mile Project of 2013–two numbers. I mean, as far as numbers go, they seem all right. Pretty good, perhaps. I feel generally positive and warm and fuzzy about them.

As I promised myself, I’m resetting my personal odometer (if the little notebook where I keep track of mileage can be considered an odometer) to zero and starting over. And since it’s New Year’s, why not add a couple of things to the list? Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do January 1?

Here’s the thing. I’m absolutely terrible at keeping resolutions–you won’t find any of those self-unfulfilling prophecies here. Instead, I’m resetting my priorities, along with the mile count. Sure, it’s probably just semantics, but it sounds more permanent, right? Most resolutions get broken before we even make them, but adjusting your priorities–now that’s a life-changer.

Oh, Won-Won. Source

Oh, Won-Won.
Source

Starting now, my priorities, in order of personal importance, are:

Write, write, write-y, write, write.
The past year has been pretty much a dud on that front. No novel, barely a blog, and a failed anthology with two of my writer friends. This coming year will be the first year (of many, I hope) that I write something every day. It’s going to happen. The novel will get finished, and–STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES YOU GUYS I REALLY REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME. Didn’t you notice how it’s listed first?

As I was saying, more writing will be happening. The novel. More blogs. More reading. More productivity. More commitment to figuring out how to be a better writer. Fewer distractions. *cough* Like trying to write while the TV is on *cough*

Find a happy place.
Do you ever feel like you’re slowly going crazy, like maybe you’ve been going crazy for a while but have been too sidetracked to notice, and then somebody shoves you over a mental cliff? No? Oh, uh, yeah, so…

The formula sounds deceptively simple: cut out the bad, do what makes you happy. I have found that the process is never quite that easy, though. It’s definitely the type of quest that requires more energy than I’ve devoted as of late. Does anybody have a map of generally joyous regions that I could borrow?

The 2014 Mile Project.
I’ve done a lot–well, a few minutes worth of–thinking about what the mile goal should be for the next 365 days. Then it hit me: 2,014, which translates to about forty miles a week. I had originally been thinking about 2,500 total (about fifty a week), but I’m hoping that a slightly smaller number will mean more daily writing time (remember how that was first on the list?) and more time to explore alternative, less distance-related workouts.

Of course, I’m certainly not opposed to doing more miles. Two thousand and fourteen is really just a bare minimum.

So, that’s where I am today. Back at mile zero, at least two thousand and fourteen more to go, and a lot of writing to do in a happy location yet to be discovered.

I SHALL CONQUER YOU, 2014 (and beyond).

Mile 491.25: What Your TV Choice At The Gym Says About You

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“Pictures came and broke your heart,
Put the blame on VCR.”
–The Buggles, “Video Killed the Radio Star”

Miles This Week: 46.5
Miles Total: 491.25

My gym has exactly four televisions that patrons can enjoy as they work up a sweat. The machines have headphone jacks that you can plug into in order to listen to what’s happening on any one of them. In almost two months of going there on a semi-regular basis, I’ve noticed that certain channels and programs are a regular feature, and being an American, I’ve taken the opportunity to assume things about people based on their viewing patterns.

Here’s what your TV choice at the gym may or may not say about you:

Anything on the Food Network
You are a sado-masochist and enjoy making everyone suffer.

Cake Boss on TLC
See above.

TV at the Gym

Not my gym.
Source

Fox News (which is on at least one TV everyday–I live in Oklahoma)
I just…can’t…

Any movie edited for television
You’re a “leave the TV on for noise” kind of person.

Local news
You’re training to run away from the next tornado. (Like I said–Oklahoma.)

ESPN/any sports game
You like to have an example when you are doing something.

HGTV
Working on yourself + getting ideas for your home = Multi-tasker!

The Bachelor
You are considering applying for The Bachelor or one of it’s many spin-offs.

CMT
You’re a fan of the boots-and-shorty-shorts look. (Side Note: I’m a bit surprised by how often CMT airs The Karate Kid.)

Since these are just my assumptions, I’m assuming that they are 100% correct. I mean, I have a real sense about people.

You may be wondering which of these I am. Well, all of them and none of them, in a way. At the gym, I listen to podcasts on my phone. So, in my ears I’ve got the Nerdist or StarTalk Radio or another pop culture/comedy podcast going and sometimes I mentally fill in the dialogue I’m not hearing from the television. It really makes the time on the elliptical pass quickly.