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Scuba Diving 2009 New Year’s Resolutions January 2, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Fitness and Nutrition.
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I’m good at resolutions, and each year try to refine them into new ways to improve my life. 2008 was probably my best year for staying in shape. I estimate that I did some kind of workout at least 320 of the 366 days of the year, which is definitely a record for me. In August, as a result of my elevated cholesterol readings, I really clamped down on my diet, which is now primarily vegetarian, with a bit of fish, and chicken or occasionally lamb (I was born in Australia so will have a hard time giving it up completely) every 2nd or 3rd week. I’ve given up cheese, which I love, except for a sprinkling of Parmesan on our home made pizza, and 1% cottage cheese which I use as a supplemental source of protein. I also celebrated 27 years without smoking a few days ago, and have really cut back on alcohol as I’m liking it less and less.

On my doctor’s advice I upped the amount of fibre in my diet. He recommended 20 grams a day, but I read some authorative information (CSIRO in  Australia) that indicated 35 grams would be helpful, and listed a number of foods that help lower cholesterol, including oat bran, apples, tree nuts, blueberries, and many other things, most of which I’ve managed to incorporate into my diet. I’ll find out if this strategy works on my next blood test in early February.

I’ve also been working on getting my weekly running distance up to 20 miles, and some weeks I can do it. My two longest runs are on Saturday and Sunday, so if I’m diving I usually shorten them or forego them completely. Sometimes I have to walk a small portion of these runs because my heart rate is excessive, but that doesn’t change the distance a lot.  I think over time the walking will become unnecessary – unless of course I increase the speed.

So this year I’ve decided to (a) keep up the good work, (b) add two sessions of lap swimming per week to my exercise routine. I usually work at home on Tuesdays and Fridays and think I can squeeze in an hour for swimming on both these days without compromising work. My local recreation complex has a 25 metre pool which I can use for only $2.50 (2.09 USD) and a large, clean change and locker room with excellent showers.  (c) If possible, try to incorporate additional stretching and even some meditation to my schedule. I’ve mapped out the schedule and there’s  not much time left available. So it may come down to stretching while watching TV (I’m a PVR addict but at least I watch good, commercial-free television) and meditating on the train to or from work. (d) Do some kind of workout even on dive days. This may be as little as a warm-up and some stretching, but if I have to get up 1/2 an hour earlier so be it. (e) Drink more water. This is good for diving and good for general health. Sometimes I remember to do this, most of the time I don’t. I hereby resolve to remember to drink more water.

My non-fitness resolutions are as follows:

  • Do some interesting technical dives – I’m banding together with some of my chums and we’re looking at diving the Oriskany in late winter/early spring, the wrecks of Long Point in late spring/early summer, and I’m hoping to convince them to make the trek to Whitefish Bay in eastern Lake Superior sometime in the late summer. It’s only about 7 hours by road. In addition I’ll be diving the St. Lawrence in Brockville a couple of times (hopefully we’ll find the Jodrey this time), the usual wrecks in Tobermory (Forest City, Arabia, and Niagara II), and perhaps Kingston again.
  • Complete my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor course. This should happen in the Spring, although I have to do a prerequisite, the EFR Instructor Course, which is scheduled for January 24/25.
  • Do some teaching.  It would  be great to get the 25 certifications under my belt that would upgrade my instructor level to Master Scuba Diver Trainer, but with all the other stuff happening it might be a stretch.
  • Plan my dives more. I’d like to set objectives for dives, especially wreck diving – and do research up front to map out the things I’d like to see and do on the wrecks. I’d like to take slates down with me to take good notes, and do some underwater measurements in Big Bay Point and other places.
  • Log my dives in much greater detail. I’ve started to do this, and the detailed logs are appearing in this blog, of course.
  • Help my wife more around the house. This is a prerequisite for domestic harmony with all the diving I’m planning, and also a good thing to do. I’ll manage this by scheduling things better, including exercise before breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays, so the day isn’t half over by the time I’m done. Scheduling better means planning my time, and I’ve developed a schedule to guide me. As we don’t have children, there’s not all that much work to do, but I could still do more than I’ve been doing.
  • Stay focused on the things I want to do. A big fault of mine is getting involved in too many things. If I can keep focused on just the things I’m planning to get accomplished, then I’ll have plenty of time for them all, if I start thinking about all the things I’d like to accomplish, then I’ll get none of them done.

Phew. That’s a big list. There’s nothing in it that can’t be done, and I believe the effort will really be worthwhile. Good luck with your own resolutions out there, and have a safe, happy and prosperous 2009. I’ll let you know how I did this time next year.

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