New Year’s Bowl

We celebrated the New Tear by going bowling yesterday. It was fun, but a whole lot harder than I remembered it being. I was never a great bowler – my score was pretty consistently around 120, which is terrible – but I used to do a lot of bowling as a teenager. The bowling alley on Flak Kasarne in Augsburg was inexpensive, and it had an arcade as well, so me and my metalhead D&D friends would go bowl several games about once a week.

I made it two games yesterday, and started dying about halfway through the second game. Flinging a 10-pound ball around was hard work. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not aching or injured. But round about frame four of game two, what control I had over the ball failed utterly.

Yeah. Good times. I’ll have to do this again.

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Working Around The Christmas Tree

I completely forgot to weigh in over the weekend, and I don’t feel at all bad about it? Why? Because I was doing important things, like buying a new Christmas tree and decorating it.

Pretty, isn’t it?

There is, of course, both good and bad to having the tree up. The good is that it brings a real feeling of Christmas to my condo. I spent the evening on the couch with my son, watching Christmas movies and playing with the various settings for the lights.

The bad is that the tree occupies a chunk of living room real estate that I would otherwise be using for exercise. Sure, I’ve still got room. But I’ll need to be careful for the next month. No need to go and accidentally slap an ornament into the kitchen, or something like that.

The Festival of Lights

First off, I’m down another pound!

I’ll be honest here. There is a little vote ce in my head saying something along the lines of “just one pound? That’s all?” But I’m telling that voice to shut up, because I lost that pound over Thanksgiving week, and I sort of went off the calorie rails. With that in mind, one pound is really good.

But that’s not the cool thing I did the cool thing was the annual Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo. Every year the entire zoo is decorated with Christmas lights, and you can go see the animals that don’t mind the cold, and ooh and aah over the lights, and generally have a grand “get in the mood for the season” time.

This year, the weather was perfect. Like, “wearing a light jacket” perfect. My wife and I, and our son and 7-year-old nephew went and spent three hours walking up and down the park. We got there an hour ad a half before sundown and stayed until an hour and a half after, and had a great time.

Did I mention that we walked, or at least stood, the vast majority of that time? Because, yeah. We did. I covered five and a half miles that Saturday, and at least four of those miles were at the Zoo. And it was a great reminder of why I’m still trying to do all of this. I won’t say my legs weren’t sore at the end, or that I wasn’t glad to sit down when we got to the car. But you know what? If the kids hadn’t started getting cold and tired and hungry, and if they’d wanted to stay longer? I could have, and I could have kept up with them.

It makes all of this worth it, really.

Swordfighting For Health

We were out…well, not really late last night. Except maybe by my “I get up at 3 am” standards. When we got home, my son still wanted to play. He didn’t have to go to school in the morning, and wanted to stay up. I hesitated at first, but… “for a little while,” I said. “What do you want to play?”

“Let’s swordfight!” he declared, handing me his light-up Minecraft Christmas sword (yes, that’s a thing) and then running off to get one of his lightsabers.

Well, I decided, if we’re going to do this we’re going to do this right. So I’ve got John Williams’ Duel of the Fates queues up by the time he gets back, and we go at it – with my son declaring himself Obi-Wan and me filling the role of a Christmas-theme Darth Maul. It ended with me getting my legs cut off and stabbed in the stomach repeatedly.

Somewhere in there, I also covered the last quarter-mile I needed to walk for the day. I guess we were pretty energetic.

Is there a point to this? Sure. Exercise doesn’t have to be work. In fact, if you’re having fun with it, you’ll be far mire likely to do it.

It’s Halloween!

Ah, Halloween – historically, my second most favorite holiday. And if we could move the gift-giving and tree-decoration to Halloween, it would bump up to all-time favorite. Imagine singing Halloween carols for all of October, and decorating a Halloween tree, and hanging witch hats for Jack Skellington to fill on Halloween Eve, and…

And, well, I digress.

The point is, I love Halloween. And I’m pretty sure I’ll help me get in all my walking today. My son is old enough that he’s starting to plan for the long haul. His costume has a backpack, and he’s planning on filling it up and his truck or treat pumpkin as well. And so nice he’s only 7, he’s not going alone. I figure I’ll be walking all over creation tonight. Or, at least, all over a neighborhood or two.

I am so looking forward to this!

That’s A Lot Of Stairs

Let me show you something…

That is the view down the central stairwell at work, from the third floor. It’s a heck of a walk. Way back in the day, it was my Everest. My goal was to climb it without stopping, and for a long time it was a distant goal. At first, I had to stop and catch my breath at every floor. By the time I reached the top my heart was hammering away and I was gasping for breath and I was wondering why I was doing this to myself.

I bring this up because my department moved up to the third floor a few weeks ago. Every morning I climb those stairs, log onto my computer, and get ready for the day while it boots up. I’m a little winded, but not badly. And it wasn’t until this morning that I really thought about that. I’m now (almost) casually doing something that was an achievement, a year and a half ago.

Yay me!

I suppose I’ll need to start working together able to run up them now…

Not So Much “Motivational” As “Entertaining”

It’s Monster Day! Last time, I was 37,557 steps ahead of my fuzzy pursuer. And now, a week later?

Uhm, more.

Honestly, when I downloaded this app, I thought it would be motivational. Yet another fun game to play, as I go and walk. And it’s still kind of fun, checking in on the maniacally gleeful little guy. But motivational?

Nah. Not really. Not yet, anyway. Maybe someday, when I see that it’s starting to gain on me.

You know what is motivational? Lizards. These guys:

All summer, my son and I have been trying to get a picture of one of these little guys. They run around 3 to 5 inches long, and they’re all over my neighborhood. And we finally managed it, at which point I uploaded it to INaturalist for help identifying it (and, so far, the best guess is an Eastern Fence Lizard) – a fun little app that’s turned walks with my son into a real-life game of Pokémon.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. We still play Pokémon Go as well. But now, anything we find something interesting, he wants me to take a picture of it so we can find out what it is. Even if we already know what it is.

Is there a health and fitness point to all of this? Uhm… uh… exercise more? So you can outrun weird little green monsters that try to eat you and spend more time with your family as you do?

Nah, I got nothing. I’m just having fun here.