What Did You See?

“What did you see?” asked my wife when I got back from my walk last night. Before I could answer, though, we were distracted by my highly energetic seven year old son. So the question slipped my mind until this morning.

I drove myself over to the Anderson Township Government Center, which looks like this:

It’s pretty over there, and there’s a nice walking trail, and there are also Pokestops to amuse the (large) part of me that lives playing video games. And there’s that pond there in the picture, which is nice.

You can’t see it well in the picture (maybe I’ll take some of my own and post them sometime), but there’s two ways to cross the pond. One is a bridge, and the other is a set of stairs that leads down to the water’s edge and a series of blocks in the water that you can walk on. Whenever possible, I use the latter.

Yesterday, as I’m walking down the stairs, I see a goose. Not really surprising, I see them all the time there. But usually, they’re swimming. This one, though, was about six inches above the water, neck chained upwards, flapping and slowly gaining altitude as it soared above the surface of the pond. I stopped walking and watched it go, clear mining above the grass and into the sky.

I also got my walking in. But that is what stuck with me.

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Oh? Well…

In case you missed it, I updated yesterday’s post with a picture of an ice cream sundae and my significant doubts that I was going to stay within my calorie budget.

It turns out that I managed it. Barely, but I managed it. Partly thanks to this dinner:

That is the shredded pork I mentioned yesterday, made into tacos with baby spinach and home-grown Roma tomatoes (I have two pots in my back porch). They were tasty, filling, and came in at 480 calories in total.

On top of that, I got all my walking in and managed half an hour of swimming with my son. (Swimming always ends up being so much ch more exercise than I expect.). So now I feel really good about having managed to beat the Wednesday curse.

Now to keep going!

Finding Cool Stuff

It would be super easy to get (back) down on myself for letting my physical condition deteriorate. I know it would be, because I’ve done it before. Quite recently, even. Like, three days ago?

Here’s what brought this to mind. Yesterday I made my 5.5 mile walking goal. The last 0.75 of a mile was made by, after dinner, taking my son to a park (my wife took herself to a movie). We walked around a bit, and had to head up a gentle slope to get back to my car, and my legs were a little sore and I was feeling a touch winded by the time we did.

That’s when my brain kicked in. “We’ve walked miles in this park,” it said. “On the tough trail.! Why are you such a…”

Then my son pointed out some balancing rocks someone had stacked, and we went and checked them out. And both me and my nagging, self-critical voice remembered something. My son doesn’t see “fat dad” or “out of shape dad” or anything like that. He just sees that dad is out at a park with him, and we’re both exploring things and playing (we chased each other around an outdoor amphitheater for a bit) and finding cool stuff.

I felt better.

Celebratory Failure

This weekend did not go as planned.

See, after a week of really trying hard on my goals, I’d intended to keep going. Get momentum on my side and really put some work out n on getting my goals a little closer to become my a habit. I had the best of intentions, really. And then we made the final payment on our student loans, and we descended into a three day celebratory frenzy that cast those goals by the wayside.

Perhaps I exaggerate a little. I mean, “celebratory frenzy” is really overstating what happened. We went out to dinner, and visited friends, and generally had a little party. I didn’t track any calories, though, so I don’t really know how I did.

Ah, well. If I’m going to drop the ball on my goals, it’s nice to do it for a good reason. And now I just need to get back to it.

Oh, yes: WE’VE PAID OFF OUR STUDENT LOANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Nothing.Well, all right. That’s not exactly true. I mean, I went to a cool Fourth of July party with friends I caught up with a good friend I haven’t seen in about a year. I played with my son, and went on a date with my wife, and played Pokémon Go with my family. I spent a lot of time building things in Minecraft.What I didn’t do was stress about my goals. Any of them. I turned off Habitica and didn’t even look at my daily tasks for a week. I ate what I wanted, walked when I wanted, and generally let myself relax.I feel great. Heck, for the first time in months I even feel motivated. Not a “I have to get myself back on track” sort of motivation, either. I feel like I was able to reset my “whys” and remember the reason I’m doing all of this.And now? To work!

“You Have To Swim Backwards!”

You know what’s surprisingly good exercise? Chasing a 7-year-old around a pool for 40 minutes. That’s surprisingly good exercise. Particularly when I let him make up the rules of the game we’re playing.

The one that was the most work started simply enough. He’d ask me to throw a ball into the deep end of the pool. And then we had to race to get it, and then race back to the shallow end and touch it to the edge of the pool while the other player tried to take it away. In practice, this led to my son hanging onto my arm and back as I dragged him through the water.

It got more complicated as it went, of course. After I scored the first point, I was then required to swim backwards. Which was actually run backwards, but it’s still a lot of work. Plus, of course, a seven year old wrestling me as I tried to make my way back across the pool.

It was exercise, yes. But it was exercise filled with joy and laughter and fun. And even better than that, it was time spent with my son, building memories as we spent time together.

I Saw A Cool Tree

I managed to hit 5.5 miles walking for the first time in months, yesterday. And I feel pretty good. I mean, my legs are sore but it’s a good sore. The kind that tells you you were working, if you know what I mean.

Also, I saw a really cool tree.

I don’t know what kind of tree it is (although iNaturalist suggests it could be a cypress), but it was just utterly interesting to look at. We found it on a family walk around one of our local parks, where it was planted between two large fir trees and really stood out as a result.

That’s one of the nice things about walking for exercise. You find interesting things, if you pay attention.