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!


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.



On Mother’s Ssy, my son and I got to clowning around. My wife was out visiting friends, so it was just the two of us. Naturally, we wrestled. And by “wrestled” I meant “I got to n hands and knees on my bed while he jumped in me”. That sort of thing.

At one point I grabbed him, curled him over my head, and rolled backwards to slam him on the bed. I may have shouted “Daddy Super-Atomic Back-Breajer” as well, since I was huge into pro wrestling as a teenager. His response, in true six-year-old fashion, was “again!”

So I did it again.

And again.

And again.

I don’t know exactly how many times we did this ridiculous thing, although my son tried to commit me to doing it “one hundred one million” times. I know I didn’t manage that many.

So what’s this got to do with anything?  Just this:  my personal trainer says that play is often the best exercise. It makes you get out and work a bunch of muscles and do aerobic conditioning, all at once. 

After an hour of slinging my 60 pound son over my head like a catapult, I’m inclined to agree.

Oh, and I lost 3.2 pounds last week!  Yay me!


Know what this thing is?

If you said “some sort of water main”, then you’re wrong. Well, I mean, you’re right.  Obviously. But it’s a playground, too. I have this on good authority from my son, who wanted me to play with him on it.

Said play consisted of running up to it and leaping off it, then hitting the ground and rolling to a stop. I didn’t do that, obviously – I’ve made a lot of progress, but I’m still a large man with sore knees.  But I did chase after him, which meant running a lot. A whole lot, because he’s 6 and active and wants me to play with him.

Yes. He is a good workout partner.

I Expected More Walking

I took the day off from work today to go on a field trip with my son’s kindergarten class. To Build-A-Bear at a nearby mall. No, I don’t quite get it either – all the field trips I remember going on were to museums, or zoos, or plays, or the like. But there you are, and the kids had a great time.

Me, I was just confused. I was expecting more walking, or something. Not an hour of standing around. But my son adored having me along, and that’s what counted the most.

I still hit my walking goal, though. Knocked it out by covering 1.73 miles in a 32 minute session of the Decoy Duty mission for Zombies Run. Thanks to me, Abel Township now has a hospital!

I also managed to hit my calorie budget, despite my field trip lunch being at McDonald’s (and a double quarter pounder with cheese, and large fries). It just goes to show what’s possible when you plan ahead and don’t snack, right?

Next time, though, I need to try not to need to walk so much in the evening to hit goal. I get up at 3:30 am – walking at 7 at night is late.