Ranking the Friendliness of My Fellow Exercisers

Ever since I hung up my running shoes earlier this year and settled on walking and biking (once I fixed my bike) as my exercises for the future, I have noticed my fellow exercisers more. I no longer have to try and avoid people as I run so they don’t see my jiggling fat. I walk. I wave. I engage them in conversation … well, some of them. Here’s how I rank them from unfriendly to the friendliest.

#10 – Serious Cyclists

They are the absolute worst, wearing their fancy cycling clothes and teardrop-shaped aerodynamic bike helmets. There’s me with my teardrop-shaped body trying to give them a wave or nod, but they are always too busy going 100 miles per hour to acknowledge me back. Oh, was that a tree branch I accidentally left on the path?

Bike Flip

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Hard Water

I retired our pool liner last year. It had gotten brittle over several seasons of use (I can relate) and had started springing leaks (I can also relate) that I was patching. I figured there would be no problem purchasing a replacement liner for a 4 year old pool. Boy, was I wrong (I relate too often).

Apparently, my old pool liner was a death trap because of only 1 filter intake line. That design was deemed unsafe for some reason, discontinued, and replaced with a dual filter intake line. So, I couldn’t get the replacement liner I needed. The simple solution seemed to be to just buy a complete new pool. Nope, that was also not an option.

Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, pools are in short supply. And when I found one like my old $350 pool, they were priced over $1000. A discount grocery store near us advertised a reasonably-priced pool, and people were lined-up at 6AM waiting for the store to open at 9AM to get a pool. Back to the replacement liner option for me.

By studying replacement part lists for the various styles of pools from the manufacturer, I decided that by enlarging holes using the precision of a brain surgeon (I cannot relate) and slapping a patch on another hole, I could make a current model pool liner fit the hardware from our old pool and make the filter system a death trap again. Except … pool liners are in short supply. I calculated that by adding cable ties and duct tape, I may be able to make a random liner from another model of pool fit the hardware from our old pool. That was a sketchy plan at best, especially when I accidentally ordered a 15 foot liner rather than the 16 footer that I needed.

I could sense something was wrong as I was assembling the pool. It didn’t seem quite right (I can relate). I got to almost the end, there were leftover parts, and the pool hardware wouldn’t fit. I cut down and drilled one of the metal parts, and voilà …

Pool 15 foot

Not only do I have a 15 foot pool, but it seems sturdier than the original 16 footer. As a bonus, I did not have to use duct tape and now have a couple spare metal parts.

It looked great. I was ready to enjoy it and get some exercise. Only 352 laps to a mile! But then, the weather got chilly. Oh, and I got cancer. I’ll explain … about the cancer part. You should be able to figure out the chilly weather part yourself.

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Back-to-Back-to-Back-to-Back 10Ks

I was busy this past Memorial Day weekend. I finished four 10Ks over four consecutive weekend days. No, not 10K (6.2 mile) running races. My running days are over. Steps! 10,000 steps minimum a day for four consecutive days. I noticed on Friday that I just barely broke 10K steps after cutting the front lawn after work. Could I do it for 3 more days? I only had one more lawn. I surprised myself, even topping 16K steps on Saturday.

Walk steps

To my utter amazement, I may have also made a shocking scientific discovery. I lost weight. I’m starting to think there may be some weird connection between exercise and weight loss.

I was unwilling/unable to continue the exercise/weight loss experiment after the weekend. On Tuesday, I decided to take a step back and rest. I’m going to need to be well-rested if you expect me to make the scientific health discovery of a lifetime and win a Nobel Prize.

 

Life in the Slow Lane

For the first time in 9+ weeks since I injured my right knee, I awoke this morning and felt my knee was finally looking normal again. It had a nice dimple on the inside of my knee where it used to be swollen with fluid. I still get a little pain from time to time, but I think that is a good warning to never run again.

To celebrate the return of my knee dimple, I took an early morning walk without the dog. I could walk at whatever pace I wanted for a change. Little did I know I would be race-walking.

As I headed north on one street, I found myself less than 1/10th of a mile behind a middle-aged woman who was also walking. The race was on. Does it count as a race if the other person doesn’t know they are racing? Little did I know that I was not only racing to finish first, but also to preserve my pride and retain what little dignity I could find.

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I Broke Walking

Decades ago, I used to run pain-free and measure myself by my mile splits run over long distances. In recent years, I have measured myself by the total distance I ran, biked, walked, and swam. These days, I find myself retired from running, the weather too cold to swim, and my bike badly needing new brakes. And so, I walk.

I hear that you are supposed to walk 10,000 steps a day. I can’t seem to do that. I’m very satisfied when I get in half that amount daily. I have enjoyed seeing how many steps I can take in a day, setting new personal bests from time to time. And then on Saturday, this happened to ruin that forever …

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Tread Lightly

I was unsure of whether I would be able to walk again, let alone feed, bathe, or clothe myself. That’s right, I recently had a sore, swollen knee. Spare me your pity, but monetary contributions are always welcome. It was only through sheer will, grit, determination, and my wife’s nagging that I found I could walk again, if you can call what I do walking. And it was my dog, yes, my dog, that got me to use my treadmill again.

It’s a great treadmill that was sitting idle while I writhed in pain as I ate ice cream and my family urged me to “get off my fat ass and do something for God’s sake” or some encouraging words to that effect. Even the treadmill taunted me regarding my potentially burgeoning weight without activity.

Treadmill text

But it wasn’t my family’s “encouragement” that got me to use the treadmill again. It was my faithful dog and her chunky vomit that got me to use the treadmill again. I’ll explain.

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A Decision I Kneeded to Correct

A few posts back, I mentioned that I needed to make a decision between walking with a cane and training for a 5K race. I decided on the 5K race. I soon came to regret that decision this past Saturday.

I injured my right knee while walking the dog on Saturday. Then I further injured it while walking through the store to purchase a knee brace. Why would I need a knee brace? So I could go on a planned run Saturday afternoon which went well with minimal pain. The brace worked! And then my knee inflated like Trump’s ego at one of his rallies.

This is not my knee, but this pic is highly representative of what mine looked like.

Knee swollen

The kneecap is under there somewhere. So, I rested and iced and expected it to get better quickly. Nope. There was no way I could exercise and do my deep knee bends.

knee bends

So I bit the bullet and went to see an orthopedist specializing in sports injuries which is a stretch. That’s like Trump going to see a psychiatrist specializing in geniuses.

We jointly decided on a treatment protocol and this is what she pulled from my knee.

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I was at an industry trade show yesterday and got in well more than the recommended 10,000 steps in one day.

Steps

In addition, I really didn’t eat much yesterday. I was busy. And yet, when I stepped on the scale this morning, I had gained weight. I’m not sure I want to live in a world where I gain weight after walking over 5 miles. I want to live in a world where I can eat a spaghetti sundae after walking 5 miles and lose weight.

Spaghetti Sundae

Almost forgot, with chocolate syrup on top.

Spaghetti Sundae with chocolate

 

The Weight Wait

Love the song …

Hate the actual weight …

Simpson fat

But there it is, around my midsection after every winter. I even set a new record high for winter weight this year. Yay? I rely on a warm Spring to melt those pounds away, but we didn’t have one this year. It was cold and wet. And so I waited as I jiggled through April and May.

But then, last weekend happened.

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Democracy is Healthy

This whole democracy thing is really getting me healthy. The precinct I serve as Democratic Precinct Committee Person is large geographically. There are some large homes on large lots. I already blogged that some of the driveways of the larger homes are longer than the street I live on. I can’t efficiently walk from home to home, even if I drive into the neighborhood. My trusty old bike is the best way to quickly travel from door to door in some neighborhoods in my precinct.

Bike

As I traveled to the far reaches of my precinct on my bike shortly after dawn one day, I encountered this …

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My Top Ten Times to Weigh Myself

I somehow exited winter and a chilly spring at the same weight I was at before the holidays last year. But now I have another ten pounds I would like to lose, and they will be tough. I’ll be fighting for every fraction of a pound to lose this summer while I still stuff my pie-hole daily. Maybe I should go metric. 10 pounds is just 4.5 kilograms! That sure sounds like a lot less to lose.

Anyway, here are my Top Ten secrets as to when to take to the scale and weigh in.

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Cold Man Walking

I have lost weight this past year, about 10 pounds. Who knew that a combination of exercise and a sensible diet would result in weight loss? I still have 10 pounds to go, but they will have to wait until Spring as I prepare to face the upcoming gauntlet of holiday tables of gluttony with less exercise.

holiday buffet table

We are all fatter just from looking at that picture. I should just increase my exercise, but it looks like it may decrease. Here’s why.

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Bike for Charlottesville

I like to exercise first thing in the morning, and most of this summer I have been walking in the mornings. After Charlottesville, I have preferred biking more than walking recently. We live in a hilly area, so there are lots of downhill stretches where I can coast downhill at 20+ mph. Going at faster speeds, I feel the wind in my face and I imagine that the wind is blowing the stench of racism, bigotry and hatred off of me that I absorbed from watching the Charlottesville coverage. Of course, once the downhill stretch is done, there are long uphill climbs that leave me winded with burning legs. Standing on the pedals to inch my bike forward uphill reminds me that our struggle against racism, bigotry and hatred is real and hard work. Cycling has been good therapy for me post-Charlottesville. If only we could bike to change what happened in Charlottesville.