Kyle Seth Gray

My blog on anything I find relevant, but leaning more and more towards health and fitness.

Addiction

Addiction.

There’s different levels. Categories. Types.

It could be a physiological, physical, or just plain obsession that’s all in your head.

It is, however, important.

A year ago, I got back in to running. I had been on and off since starting college, depending on if I had time (spoiler, you always have time), and whether I felt like it.

After getting back in to a running program again however, I got hooked.

There were days that if I didn’t get a run in, I started to feel anxious. Jitters that turned into just a crazed yearning for running. And even on days that I did plan to run, if it was going to be later that afternoon, I felt like I needed to do it ASAP.

Running is an addiction. (If you’re doing it right)

I did, however, end up pushing myself too hard.

Like a crash with any other addiction, I burned out hard when I injured myself last year. I’m still not sure what I did wrong, whether it was running nearly 30 miles in the few days after rocking hard at a Carly Rae Jepsen concert, or if my training plan was too harsh, or if I just landed the wrong way a few times too many.

I tried to run and just couldn’t - my knee was yelling at me to not.

So I ended up not running. For weeks. I tried using machines, and was able to somewhat do the elliptical, but I was bummed out. I could no longer run.

It took a bit, and experimenting, but I eventually got into spinning. I’m lucky that my gym offers free spin classes, so I went to a couple of those in April. Then over the summer, I started doing some of that on my own. I also had fun with biking about 16 miles around San Francisco when I was there for WWDC. Eventually I figured I needed a bike of my own.

Here I am now about a year later from running and getting into fitness seriously, and I’m addicted. I’m hooked on biking. As I type this, I just finished an hour of cycling in the gym. An hour. 22 miles on a Saturday after I stayed out until 2 AM. And tomorrow I’ll bike another hour or so to hit my calorie goal on my Apple Watch, and to also feed the beast that is my addiction.

I’m hooked. I love it to death, and cycling is one of the most dedicated things I’ve done for myself. I don’t know where I’ll go fitness wise from here, but I am going to keep doing it.

Personal Computer

Yes I know that everyone's writing about the iPhone today, I'm not sorry.

When Jobs intro'd the iPhone ten years ago, he called it three things: an iPod, a Phone, and an Internet communicator.

What's interesting looking back now and seeing what the iPhone has really become: a true personal computer.

This is a device where all our memories are stored, the wallet with our payment methods, a database with all of our fitness information, where we keep track of food, spending, banking, and communicate with everyone in our lives through various networks. You can order coffee, your groceries, a car, and book a trip all from this device, and it's gotten simpler than ever to accomplish these tasks. It's more of a personal computer than anything from the "PC" era could've ever dreamed of being.

Ten years of iPhone really shows how little time it has been, but how much has been accomplished. Obviously no one knew that we could be doing so much with this pocket computer, and it'll be even more amazing how much more we are able to do with this device in another ten short years.

Health Status

This year begun with me focusing on being more active, and maintaining a healthier life style. It was one of my goals to be a healthier person, alongside some fitness goals such as running my first half marathon (which I did 3 times), running my first marathon (postponed until my leg gets better).

I’m surprised in myself at how far I’ve come. Last year around this time, I was very inactive, discouraged from exercising, and ate mainly whatever I bought at the grocery store. It wasn’t super unhealthy, but seeing how I now react to different foods or just trying to hit calorie goals, I am amazed at the progress I’ve made. I'm glad I got off that route as well, because I definitely could've ended up being a 180 lb 22 year-old, going through that "oh hey... I can't eat whatever anymore" phase that everyone always talks about.

I also had started tracking caloric intake in April of this year, and have been somewhat on and off with it, but I definitely am more able to make better decisions with my diet. I’m way more active, thanks to buying a bike in August, and using it to commute to school 6 miles away, 2 times a day, 5 times a week. And I feel great.

One of the biggest thing I realized, especially when trying to keep my same Activity Goals on my Apple Watch, is how easy it can be to find places to exercise, and find time for it. I could never imagine the Me I knew 3 years ago to actively try and find a working cycling machine to use on vacation, or trying to find a gym to go to when I visit home in Arizona, but here I am. I’m trying my best, and I feel like I’ve succeeded, in not only maintaining a healthy way of living, but making sure to be consistent. And I credit a lot of that to my Apple Watch, but I’ve also made a lot of progress in my own mind and when I think about different aspects of being fit.

Appreciate

I'm not really keen on posting a lot on any of these terrible and horrific days. I tend to do my best to listen more and keep more to myself, especially with everyone seemingly having solutions and blame to throw around.

That being said, I think Casey Neistat summed up some of what I'm feeling in his latest vlog:

"I think days like this, it's really important TO have fun. Days like this it's important to smile, it's important to laugh, it's important to be around people you love. … Tomorrow’s another day, it's important to keep your head up. Seek out happiness, keep smiling, and really appreciate the good things in life. And most importantly, to take a moment, look around, and appreciate the people around you. Appreciate the people you love."

Look around, find the people you love and care about, and let them know that. Help in ways that you can, but also help by making the world a better place. And don't let the actions of one person define how you act. Instead, let your actions show love, passion, and kindness.

I don't know about you, but I plan to have a blast this week in San Francisco. I plan to have fun with people, meet others, and have fun following along with jokes and humor alongside (hopefully) getting a lot of sweet stuff to look forward to from Apple today.

One Year with the Apple Watch

I thought that with me owning my Apple Watch for 1 year now, I would add up some totals regarding how much I've done.

  • Overall, I've walked 4,471,695 steps.
  • I've walked/ran a distance of 2219 Miles.
  • I cycled 156 miles. (Hoping to up the ante on this during summer)
  • I burned a total of 172,131 Active Calories. (That's 662 glazed Dunkin Donuts)
  • Ruined 5 pairs of headphones, including two EarPods
  • Took out 2 iPhone 6's, I'm on my 3rd right now. First one got dropped on a mountain, second one got ruined by sweat. (My current iPhone is signed by Carly Rae Jepsen)
  • Still rocking the same Apple Watch I got last year.

    Day one with my Apple Watch Day 366 with my Apple Watch

As for running on its own, I've ran 530 miles total, and dropped my pace from 10:24/mile to, at my fastest, 8:20/mile. Again, this is something I really think I'll improve on, especially since I've gotten a lot better at training in other ways besides just running. I'm also making sure to focus on strength training as well, although it's a little hard because it isn't as automatically tracked.

I'm down about ~20 pounds since a year ago, and I'm way more fit in general: I don't get tired at all on hikes, and I've been able to stay awake a lot easier, and overall just feel better.

Running was the easy sport to get into, and I've talked and tweeted and instagrammed ALL about running, but other workout routines and just getting in shape have helped me a lot too.

Previous to my Apple Watch, I just had an old Fitbit flex. While that motivated me to get my "10,000" steps in every day, it didn't do much beyond that. I know now that their app has updated to include more activity goals as well as exercise, but for a while the development of it seemed to be stale and just drill into your head, "10,000 steps. Yay!". No pushing goals, no upping your limits, just the 10,000 step goal. With the Apple Watch, it'll bug you if you don't hit your calorie goal, as well as showing you that, you know, steps aren't super important, nor do they actually add too much to your active calories, which in my mind are what matter now.

I'm looking forward to what kind of fitness devices and more features come out in the future. I'm glad I got the Apple Watch and I believe it kicked me into gear when it comes to making sure I'm more active, as well as helping me become fit and more willing to exercise. Here I am a year after I got it, and I feel healthier and look great, and I'm making and breaking records I've set for myself.


Lastly, I thought I'd share my totally radical running playlist that I use most of the time with any and all my workouts. (It does have some explicit songs, just a warning)

Injury

Way back last year, in anticipation of my Apple Watch and wanting to be more fit, I got back into running. I previously would run, and I had the great opportunity of having a friend who got me into it, but I had never really gotten back into it for almost a year at that point. To get back into I used Runkeeper on my iPhone, and focused on just going farther and farther. Once I got my Apple Watch, it escalated a lot more and I wanted to keep on pushing my calorie goal more and more.

That, relatively speaking, didn't last a long time.

Although I ran more than I had before, and was able to go further and loved the hell out of it, there was a point where because I was so new, I pushed myself a little too hard. I got injured, (in July, my left ankle and right knee), and ended up completely grinding to a halt.

From there I kind of fell into a spot of laziness. Going from running about 5 miles every day (which was me pushing myself too hard), not allowing for a full recovery, and probably getting a little too reliant on a runners high, I ended up getting just really let down and lost some motivation to keep on pushing myself.

Now, this year, I started running (finally) after about 4 complete months of not running at all. And man has it felt a lot better this year. I’ve been making sure to follow a training plan, but, since obviously no training plan can know how you feel, I made sure to not push myself too hard simply because my iPhone or Apple Watch told me too. Sure, missing a day may make me lose a shiny virtual badge, but I needed to make sure that I didn’t fall into that same slump again.

Earlier this month, I ended up doing something, (I’m still not entirely sure what since as much as I would LOVE to get an MRI, they're expensive), to my knee, making it so I can’t really run those 14+ milers I would usually do, or even run about 1/2 of a mile without pain. So instead, I’ve focused on what I can do: I used the elliptical a lot over spring break, and now I'm working on stationary cycling. I visited a doctor and figured out what I should focus on while we wait and see if my meniscus is toast or if maybe (please) it’ll heal on its own, and a stationary cycle and elliptical are what came up as alternatives to running.

This week I’ve started using a stationary cycle at the gym, and I’m making sure to start off slow. I want to push myself, because I have calorie goals and previous bars that I’ve set that I need to reach, like running for long stretches of time, but I’m also making sure that I familiarize myself with how to exercise in new ways so I’m not completely reliant on running.

Hopefully I'll be able to get back into running soon, and once that day comes I’ll probably be running a lot faster than I should at first, but I know to pace myself. I can reach the same goals without suddenly becoming a marathon runner overnight, and I can definitely beat the goals and previous ‘records’ I’ve set for myself.