Having Fun!

I seem to be writing intermittently about the unanticipated (positive) side effects of losing weight. One of them seems to be the kind of hobbies I’m starting to pick up. I have, for example, thought about starting to go running as the weather warms up. I’m not so certain about that, though. Not after playing tag with my son at the park last week, and discovering that my knees aren’t quite up to running. That could change, though, particularly since I’d be incrementally starting – walk 80 steps and run 20 for a mile, and then increase the number of steps I run each week by… I dunno. Ten, maybe?

I need to learn how to stretch out better, though. Even way back when I was a rail-think kid who rode a bike six hours a day, I’d get terrible shin splints from running. I also got a bit of a complex from trying to go running, now that I think about it. My dad was in the Army and had to be able to run two miles, and occasionally he’d invite me to go with him. Invariably I’d have to drop out somewhere around the half-mile mark, winded and with shins that felt like they were carved out of wood. As a result, even though I’d bike eight to ten miles a day and swim a few hours a day, I felt like I was in terrible shape.

There’s a huge take away there, I think, for my own son. If he’s not doing the same things I’m doing, but he’s physically active, I need to make sure to recognize what he’s doing and help him realize that he doesn’t have to do what I do to be healthy.

Ah, but I digress. I was talking about active hobbies. I’ve taken up staff spinning. Or baton juggling. Or… contact staff? Honestly, I don’t know what the technical term is. But it’s this kind of thing:

Please note that I am not yet capable of doing… well, most of that. But I’ve always enjoyed spinning things and doing balancing tricks. What I hadn’t realized is that it’s decent exercise as well. Fifteen or twenty minutes of spinning and tossing a pole around, and I can feel it in my arms and back. It’s an unexpected discovery, really – the pole I made is only about six or eight pounds of PVC pipe and padding and duct tape. I didn’t expect it to be a workout. But then, I am keeping my arms out at shoulder level for the whole time, while moving around and twisting and turning. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

That’s nice, right? But you’re probably asking something like “so?” Well, the point is that, a year ago, I never thought I’d be getting into any sort of physically demanding hobby. My hobbies were all either sitting on the couch to read or watch movies, or sitting in front of a computer and wasting time on the internet. But now? Well, I still do all of those things – I happen to like reading, and watching movies, and wasting time on the internet. But I’m really enjoying being active, now. I enjoy walking. I enjoy chasing my son around the park. I’m considering taking up running, or getting a bicycle again. This weight loss has given me back a part of my life that I’d forgotten I wanted.

And I’m only halfway to my goal. I can’t wait to see what I’m doing this time [inext[/i] year. Maybe I’ll get back into spelunking.

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