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Restorative Exertion.

29 April 2013

I was always a lazy person. I come from a long line of lazy people. My grandfather used to say, “Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, and when you lie down, go to sleep.” He probably didn’t make that up. I have never been a person who truly enjoys exertion, either physical or mental. I hate puzzles. I seriously hate puzzles. What’s the point of doing all that mental energy and then at the end, all you’ve done is solve a meaningless problem? Why not do something useful if you’re going to do all that work? That’s why, if you may recall from my old blog, I once blogged an algorithm which solves all Sudoku puzzles*. Because, fuck Sudoku. It’s not interesting.

As a result of having a lazy, addictive personality, I ended up, at 33, a fat addict. My journey from there to here is well documented in the preceding pages. Today, I just wanted to comment about how glorious it is, how wonderful I feel, to be in the position where I am today. I haven’t just changed what I do. By being consistent and diligent about what I do, I’ve changed how I feel.

When I solve a problem with my simulation, or I observe a new process in my hospital, or I work out a better way of engineering a system, I’m excited. I’ve done something difficult and useful. I’ve earned something. It’s good. But I need to recover from that. I need vacations, or down time. Rest. Mental efforts are efforts, and even though they can have rewards when whatever I was working on comes to fruiting, I am still exhausted by the work.

Physically, though, I am turning a corner. I haven’t lost any weight in a year. I’m stuck around 190, which isn’t fat but also isn’t going to get me any underwear-modeling gigs. But I’ve been working steadily. Running. Lifting. I’ve started doing the planks. It sounds easy: hold a push-up position and don’t do any push-ups. But it gets difficult fast. I’ve held a plank for 213 seconds, and I can routinely do about two and a half minutes.

This weekend I engaged in a lot of very restorative exertion. It’s amazing to me how much my body has recovered from the grey depths of addicted dereliction it once fathomed. Where once I was sallow, flabby and feeble, I have become vigorous and hale. And I like it. That’s what’s become amazing to me. Yes, running is work. Core work can be agonizing. And some part of my body is usually sore these days. Right now, my abs and chest feel a bit like they were run over by a truck. But I feel fantastic. Centered, alive, upbeat.

I guess, I wish I could tell all of the addicts out there, squatting in misery and shame, that there is so much worth having in the real world. That beyond the veil of compulsive addiction and misery there is life and health and love and excitement and thrilling, illimitable joy. That’s what I’ve found, where I am today. Stupidly happy and feeling as healthy and engaged with life as I ever have. There’s just so much here to love.



*Here is an mathematical program which will solve all Sudoku puzzles, using the Simplex Method. Quit wasting your time with them:

Define r(i,j), s(i,j), … , z(i,j), such that

r(i,j) = 1 if location (i,j) is equal to 1, 0 else.
s(i,j) = 1 ” ” ” ” ” ” 2, 0 else.
z(i,j) = 1 if location (i,j) is equal to 9, 0 else.

R(k) represent each 9 square 3×3 ‘Region’ from 1..9.


Max SUM(i,j) {r(i,j)+s(i,j)+…+z(i,j)}

Subject To:

SUM(i) {r(i,j)} = 1 For All j
SUM(i) {z(i,j)} = 1 For All j

SUM(j) {r(i,j)} = 1 For All i
SUM(j) {z(i,j)} = 1 For All i

SUM(i,j) {r(i,j)} = 9
SUM(i,j) {z(i,j)} = 9

SUM(R(k)) {r(i,j)} = 1 For All k
SUM(R(k)) {z(i,j)} = 1 For All k

Initial Condition Constraints:

For each known initial condition, take the value and location of that condition and add (for example):


There. That’s it. Sudoku is over.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jimmy Legs permalink
    29 April 2013 11:20

    Sudoku is so 2008 anyway. Kenken is where it’s at now.

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