Zoo Walking

The weather on Saturday was gorgeous so, as I mentioned on Friday, we took my son to the Cincinnati Zoo to celebrate his 7th birthday. And it was great! He and his cousin ran all over – partly because of the “HallZOOween” event – and probably would have kept going if we didn’t have to drag them out because the zoo was closing.

For me, the best part was getting to pet a monitor lizard that one of the zookeepers was walking on a leash.

For my son, the best part was the alligators. They were what he wanted to see from the moment he woke up.

Oh, and the penguins at the Wings of the World exhibit. Once we found them, I think I could have left both boys there all day.

They were exhausted once we got to the car, mind. The boys, I mean. Not the penguins. But there were no more animals or candy at that point.

How far did we walk? 6.26 miles by my FitBit. Most of it at the Zoo, some of it at the park we went to after dinner because the two boys had rested up and wanted to play! I suspect they did more than that, simply because of the extra running. Then we ate cake and ice cream and watched cartoons, then went to bed. It was a long day.

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I Really Can’t Wait For Monday

You don’t see that particular sentence written with any frequency, do you? People, as a general rule, hate Mondays – mostly because it’s the traditional first day of the work week, and it is a ritual to hate on your job and having to get back to it.

I try not to join in. I happen to like my job. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, I’m really looking forward to Monday. Why? Because, after two weeks of inactivity, I’ll (finally) be getting back to my morning walk! I’ve really missed it, despite how insane it sounds to go for a 1.5 To 2 mike walk at 3 am. It starts my day off right, and I just feel better for having done it.

Of course, I also feel better for having taken the time to rest up and recover from being sick. So I’m not angry at myself or anything like that. I’m just eager to get back to exercising.

Speaking of exercising, I had a sort of “aaawww” moment with my son last night. We’re eating dinner (out, thanks to the chicken having taken a funny turn), and he puts down his taco and looks at me. “Dad,” he asks, “when you go exercise on the weekend, can I go too?”

“Sure,” I say, smiling. “How come.”

“Because I want to get more exercise. I want to be like you, daddy.”

How can you say no to that? But it was also a reminder that he’s watching what I do. So, I need to remember to stress that all of this work is about health, not just weight loss.

Vacation: Day One

Well, I’m on track to hit my walking goal today. And I’m getting to do it with my son!

I got up this morning around 7:30, and got ready to go walking. He was already up, sitting on the couch and playing Minecraft. So I invited him to go with me. He said no, then thought about it and decided he wanted to go after all. So we hit the road – me, my son, and my crazy dog. And we covered 2 1/3 miles, walking and talking and looking at flowers and playing Pokémon Go.

It took an hour and a half. I could have done it faster if I’d gone by myself, but why would I have wanted to? It was a perfect opportunity to spend time with him and set an example for him, without getting all preachy.

Alternative Forms Of Exercise

Yesterday, I didn’t get in the six exercises recommended by my personal trainer.  I probably should have.  But, instead, I went to the pool with my son.  And I believe that I’ve remarked that 40 minutes in a pool with a rambunctious 6-year-old is plenty of exercise.  If I haven’t, then let me do so now.  It is exercise.  Plenty of exercise.

This time, the name of the game wasn’t “spinning”.  No, it was shotput.  Here’s how it works.  There’s a floating air mattress sort of thing at our pool that nobody seems to have laid claim to.  As a result, everyone uses it.  Well, the game was that I pick my son up and throw him as far as I can to land on the air mattress thing.  He howls with laughter, swims back to me, and insists that I do it again.

He weighs around 60 pounds.  To toss him, I have to lift him out of the water, and I’m standing shoulder-deep in the water while we’re doing this.  Then, I lob him some three or four feet.

Yeah.  Exercise.  Also, fun.

We also raced.  Which you’d think wouldn’t be a fair match, and it isn’t.  He’s lighter and in better shape, so I have to work to outdistance him.  Especially since he’ll usually have a four or five foot lead on me by the time he shouts “go” when the race starts.

All in all, I had a good time.

I’ve Taken Up Spinning!

No, no, not that cardio thing where you go ride a stationary bike alongside a bunch of other people. No. Spinning, in this context, is a game my son came up with while we were at the pool. Here's how it works:

I get in the shallow end of the pool and try to grab him. If I manage that – which is tough, because he's small and wiry and slippery – then I have to start trying to spin him around 4 or 20 or 30 times (depending on the rules he's inventing as we go). His job is to shriek with laughter and struggle to get away and demand that we do it again.

What does this have to do with fitness and weight loss? Well, spend 45 minutes chasing a 6 year old around a pool and then ask me that again.

On the calorie front, I'm now at four days in a row of hitting target! Woo hoo! Between that, and the walking goals and the spinning. I think I'll see some positive results when I weigh in!

Cannonball!

I was not joking yesterday when I said that chasing my 6-year-old around the pool was good exercise. It especially exercises my arms and shoulders. And that's a good thing, really, because they don't get as much exercise as my legs.

See, my son loves jumping into the deep end of the pool. However, he can't really swim very well without his floaty, and he doesn't like getting his head underwater. So, he jumps to me and I catch him. Usually, he shouts "cannonball!" as he does this. And then I end up with water splashed into my face and a laughing child in my arms.

Yeah, I love it. Even if I do get tired of wiping chlorinated water out of my eyes.

Oh, I also hit my calorie budget yesterday! Yay me!

I’m Feeling Emotional Today…

My son graduated from kindergarten yesterday, which was a really bittersweet thing.  I’m incredibly proud of what he’s done so far – I love being his dad, and watching him learn and grow and achieve things.  But, it’s hard.  I mean, it doesn’t feel like it’s been all that long since he was an infant.  Since he could easily fit in the crook of one arm and I could carry him all day.

Now?  Well, I can still carry him with one arm.  As long as he hangs on, that is.

It hit me hardest, I think, last Friday.  I headed straight home from work to pick him up, parked the car, and started walking.  As I walked, it hit me that this was the last time I’d be walking him home from school.  He starts first grade in the fall, and he’ll be riding the bus then.  Sure, I’ll be meeting him at the bus and walking back with him from there, but… well, I couldn’t shake that last time feeling.  I want him to grow up, and I want to see the man he’ll become someday.  But I want him to be my little boy, for a little longer at least.

Damn.  I am feeling maudlin today.

In other news, my weight loss efforts have been largely sidetracked by this test.  I’ve been stress-eating the last few weeks, and struggling to hit my walking goals.  I’m super glad that it’s over on Saturday, because I’ve got plans for getting back on track then.  For the next few days, though?  I just plan on trying to maintain.  And on enjoying the summer vacation afternoons with my son.