The last few days have been difficult. Without getting into details, let’s say I’ve gone through a break-up. The reality is slightly more complex, but amounts, emotionally, to the same thing. That has been, as one might expect, shitty.

I’ve had an uptick in pain over the last couple of days. It’s tempting to ascribe it to the break-up, but I’m frankly more tempted to ascribe it to the increase in programming I’ve been doing. The problem with programming is that you don’t want to stop until you’ve finished the task at hand, and then you end up sitting for waaay too long, and then your back responds accordingly.

The three things that have, generally, most contributed to my pain lately have been stress, sitting, and boredom. They’re all equally capable of inducing pretty bad episodes (see the other day when I was pissed off at Ruby on Rails all day for not fucking working, and sitting for most of the day, and didn’t really see people until the evening), and all, as such, very important to avoid.

I’ve been successfully ramping up the cardio over the past few weeks, mostly using a stationary recumbent bike, and the strength training seems to be working. I started maybe 6-8 weeks ago at 20 pounds and this week did the routine with 40. Some of that is probably just increased ability to recruit muscle fibers (which is responsible for most strength gains for the first month, generally), but I can’t imagine that’s all it is, especially now that I’m coming on having been doing it for two months.

I do need to figure out a way to be careful about the programming, though. I’ve been treating it as a way to slowly get over my concentration issues, but sort of forgot that I’m really going to have to get over both concentration and physical pain issues to be able to do it well, and that they both need to be ramped up with caution. The first day or two of programming I was able to concentrate a surprisingly long time, and neglected to factor in that my back probably would not tolerate an unexpectedly long time sitting, which I’m paying the price for now.

Correspondingly, though I have figured out a Super Secret Plan for rewarding myself for getting programming done, I’m trying to decide if there’s a way to tweak it to reward myself for not getting things done when I have a day where it’s important for me to rest. Getting yourself to rest when it’s important can be just as hard as getting yourself to do things when it’s important, and I want to make sure I reward myself for knowing when to do that as well, so I’m not encouraging myself to overwork.