Diligent (not Dry) January

I really enjoy beer. I also enjoy this Ben Franklin quote (though apparently he never said it):

“God made beer because he loves us and wants us to be happy.”

– not Ben Franklin, but found on t-shirts on college campuses across the country

When the end of December is approaching, New Year’s resolutions become the default water cooler topic. (Sorry, it’s pandemic. Rather it’s the conversation piece which fills the first two minutes of Zoom calls.) And on the topic of alcohol consumption people sometimes commit to a dry January. Truly, kudos to everyone who commits and completes. Even if it’s not to completion, partial participation is certainly beneficial. To me it feels like a half baked idea. It’s not something that will have a lasting effect on my health or habits beyond the month of January. I’ll pass.

Instead, as 2020 was winding to a close I envisioned a ‘structured’ January for my alcohol consumption, my physical exercise, and myself. At a high level, I wanted to…

  • Enjoy an occasional beer through January
  • Have some form of accountability with respect to an exercise regimen
  • Include metrics and statistics, because everything is more fun when numbers are attached

So I sat down with a beer (paradoxically) in hand, and I started a Google Doc to define my program. The result:

  • At a minimum, require myself to run one mile per day, on average. (Or I could run 3 miles every third day, etc.)
  • One mile run would equate to one beer. (If I ran, on average, 2 miles a day, I could still enjoy a beer every day in January.)
  • 50 burpees would equate to one mile run. This to allow for foul weather as I could do burpees in my basement. This also gave me an upper body aspect to the regimen.
  • Balances would carry over to all subsequent days
  • Caveat: I’m not a fitness professional! Consult your own personal trainer!

And this is how it looked after January was done:

MilesBurpeesBeersBank Accountcommentary
1-Jan2.261.261.00 is subtracted every day
2-Jan0.26ditto
3-Jan2.003010.86Miles, burpees, and a beer. A good day.
4-Jan601.06
5-Jan0.06
6-Jan2.00351.76
7-Jan1-0.24I didn’t specify that I couldn’t go negative…
8-Jan2.264110.84
9-Jan360.56
10-Jan2.2610.82
11-Jan400.62
12-Jan701.02Hitting a groove with burpees, feeling great…
13-Jan2.532.55… but I’m not CrossFit crazy.
14-Jan10.55
15-Jan300.15
16-Jan2.00281.71
17-Jan2410.19
18-Jan3.002.19Wait, do I enjoy running?
19-Jan1.19
20-Jan751.69
21-Jan2.003012.29Sam Adams Winter Lager, great.
22-Jan1.29
23-Jan2.26303.15
24-Jan11.15
25-Jan651.45This was a rainy week, hard to fit in runs.
26-Jan0.45
27-Jan600.65
28-Jan-0.35
29-Jan700.05
30-Jan2.2610.31
31-Jan2.0010.31Finish strong.
Totals26.8372410Numbers are fun. Bring it, February.

Takeaways? I think the biggest one is that a beer is so much more enjoyable when it’s earned, especially with sweat. I think it’s an all too easy, and bad, habit to keep a 6-pack chilled in the fridge for the occasional or random drink. The next takeaway was the convenience of converting miles and burpees. On bad weather days this allowed me to keep pace, and if I did this program again I might add a third or fourth conversion: 200 jump ropes, etc.

Here’s a link (view only) in case anyone wants to steal/copy my Google Doc and use for their own ‘diligent’ month and not just for January. Interested in any of the other eleven months of the year? DM me and we can set up a group program for March. Maybe it’s the start of a billion dollar app idea, which we can eventually SPAC

Now please excuse me, I have a chilled Long Trail VT IPA in the fridge waiting for me. And, no, I did not do any running to securitize this beer.

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