the van gym and shower

I’ve started doing some real math (continuing with my research on branching stochastic processes as models of biological populations responding to climate change) in the mornings, and also doing my personal writing (including this blog) in the mornings. This is nice for a few reasons. I’m actually doing math again, which is huge (instead of just applying for jobs every evening…I’m going to say the 50 or so applications I’ve already submitted must suffice), and I’m doing it when I’m not completely exhausted after a full work-day as an instructor. Also, now that I’m working out in the evenings, I’ve increased my workout time to 2 hours. I get off of my regular job at 5, come home to meditate and make and eat dinner. Then I exercise from 7-9 or so, shower, and crash by 10. It’s nice to be able to tell myself, after work, that all I have to do is mediate, eat, and exercise. Good, mindless activities for when I’m emotionally and mentally exhausted, after work.

I spent a lot of time talking with a friend about my ideas for the van build over the Winter break. One issue I brought up, was how I wished I could have a set of free weights in the van. Central to the build is my exercise bike and a shower, because regular exercise seems to do more to help my mental illness than anything else. Given that I’m already forcing a shower into the design, as supplement to the bike, it’d be nice to be able to add other forms of exercise. Free weights are ridiculous if you’re trying to cut down on the amount of mass you add with your build. Mass is their whole deal. My friend suggested I check out the resistance bands people often use instead of free weights. This was an excellent idea. They’re compact, light, and will significantly expand my range of options when it comes to muscle training (till now I’ve been doing cardio almost exclusively). I bought two sets of these so I could go ahead and start working with them and see if any small touches should be added to my design to get the most out of them (e.g. should I add points at different heights to connect them to?). (One set likely would have sufficed.) The shoulder exercises in particular are fucking killing me, even with the lightest band. That’s good.

So, for exercise, I’m going to have: a cardio bike that folds and stores under the bed; space in the central aisle for the bike, for push-ups, and for crunches; a pull-up bar (haven’t totally figured that one out yet); and my resistance bands with various connector points. And I’ll have a shower for after.

Regarding the shower, I went ahead and bought the mini electric hot water tank I’ve been planning on using so I can see how many amp-hours it draws over the course of a day, and test other things about it. Soon I plan on building out the skeleton of my van shower here in my apartment, so I can gauge what showering in the van will be like. How long will I have, home much water, how long does it take the tank to heat up, etc. I think I’ll have to put the tank on a switch regardless of what I learn, because it draws 1440 watts, and my inverter isn’t going to handle both that and my induction hotplate at the same time. We’ll see.

Another way that I’m now thinking about the interior build is in terms of how many different rooms I need this space to adapt into. I’ll try to remember to talk more about that formulation tomorrow.

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