Having a good routine in prison is huge as it is the best way to speed up your time in prison because a bad routine will make one year feel like 10.
My routine all depends on the time of year, and it often changes like the seasons. For me, September is the best time of year because football season starts. I have chosen to obsess over sports because it has been something I have enjoyed watching, and as my time in prison has progressed, so has my passion for sports, football is my favorite.
That means doing as many fantasy football leagues that are available, cheering on my Packers (sorry if you are from Minnesota and are finding out for the first time, but I am a Packers fan), and catching all other games that are televised on the local listings.
I am not saying there is ever a good time of year to be in prison but if I had to pick one…football season is it. Five and a half months can’t go by any faster for me. I also love the weather in the fall. I can’t stand the heat, and I embrace the cool crisp weather.
Any cardio or outside activities that I did over the summer slow down or come to a complete halt, and I basically start to prepare for hibernation. As far as fitness goes for this time of year, I continue to walk the track, but other than that strictly weightlifting and indoor circuit training. This time of year, being in the fall, the weight tends to go back up, and anything lost from the high activity in the summer starts to be put back on.
In years past, my weight in the winter has gone as high as 232 lbs, but the last couple of years, I haven’t exceeded 225. But when the Superbowl is over, the longest month of the year begins.
There is a void inside that feels like it can’t be filled.
The weather is still cold, and I am sick of winter and ready for summer, but it feels like it’s still months away. What goes up must come down, that is my high at this point as the best time of year is quickly followed by the worst time.
The sport I have found over the years to bridge that gap is college basketball. I still struggle to get into the NBA, regular season at least. I am also able to watch my Wild play, but NHL is not a favorite or widely accepted sport to watch on TV.
People complain about not being able to see the puck and they claim it’s only fun to watch in person, so I have to fight to get the Wild hockey games on, but to get any other hockey on it’s not worth the bickering.
I used to get a little depressed this time of year in the past but I learned to get over it as my time in prison has progressed. I got into yoga early on in my prison sentence, which has helped with my depression. This time of year, I usually sign up for a class offered here with an outside instructor, and I will talk more about this in a post dedicated to yoga.
March arrives and the tournament begins, March Madness. I start trading emails with aunt Susan about who is going to do what, what her Cavaliers looks like, and are my Gophers in the tournament. Brackets are filled out and let the sweating begin!
This last year was extra special for my aunt Susan as the University of Virginia took home the hardware, being she lives there. After the tournament, the NBA playoffs are getting ready to start, and the players actually start trying, which makes viewing bearable. At the same time, the NHL playoffs start, and other inmates start to allow me to watch more hockey since the crowds dwindle down after football is done.
As the playoffs start in May for both NBA and NHL so does Yankton FPC (Federal Prison Camp) softball, which has became one of my other passions over the years of incarceration. The running joke since I started playing in 2017 is, I’ll be an All-Star by 2020, which is the last summer I will play.
It’s now 2019, and I don’t think I am much closer to my goal now as I was then, I may have to payoff someone to get me on the team next year.
I always start off strong and with increased potential, but as the season moves along I find a slump somewhere around the end. I think part of it’s I am ready for the season to be over, and my heart just isn’t in it by the playoffs. However, I love playing and it’s great exercise to go along with my weekly workouts.
From May to September, I usually ramp up my workout regimen as well, and the pounds start to drop. This summer, I went from 225 down to 212, and I still have a month left of heavy activity.
In the summer months, I work out with a couple of exercise fanatics that kick my butt several days out of the week doing crazy circuits out on the track. A typical workout might include 12 laps around the 1/4 mile track with various stations to do pull-ups, burpees, picnic table jumps, handstand pushups, or dips.
The workout, mixed with the summer heat, can be a grueling feat. By the end of the summer it’s time to get ready for football season again as September comes again and marks another year that I have been locked up since I surrendered my freedom on September 3rd, 2013.
The thing about routines in prison, and I am sure it goes the same for ones on the outside, is they get stale.
You might not be able to change your job every three months but you can change up other aspects of your routine or just do different variations.
Change your workout up, either the type of workout or the times you do them. You can try new things like yoga, meditation, or intramural sports like I have. I probably won’t watch as much sports on TV when I get out but I will be eager to get out to some Twins and Wild games, and go see the Vikings play when the Packers come to town, and it will be a good bonding experience with my daughter.
That’s all I got for today, thanks for listening!