If I flounder now, it’s on France’s shoulders to come rescue me. Who knows what my French rescuers may throw to me as floatation devices in case I am in distress? Maybe empty champagne bottles and merveilleux fromage français (or wonderful French cheese for our English-speaking readers). The French have so much cheese that they use for so many things that I just assume that they also use it for water rescues. But will it float? Fortunately, we have an expert on the buoyancy of cheese (good name for an album) standing by who can answer that question.
Well, that’s not far enough. At this rate, I will be at just under 17 miles out by the end of August. I will be too far from Dover for the British to mount an ocean rescue, and the French simply won’t care.
The reality is that crappy weather got me off to a late start swimming this summer, and I strained a knee ligament during my first open water swim which has slowed me a bit. Oh, and I also injured my butt when I had the “brilliant” idea to try jumping part of the way across the Channel.
I’ve been trying to split my swims between pools and open water. At this point, I have 5 miles of pool swims in with 3.4 miles in open water. Getting in the open water swims has not been as easy as I expected.
I had hopes of cycling through fields of Purple Coneflowers and Black-Eyed Susans to get to a secluded, illegal swimming hole, which is typically the best kind. Well, the flowers didn’t disappoint.
If you recall, I got a totally free Apple Watch that I must wear in exchange for a company using the data from the watch to study my brain. Yep, you read that correctly – my brain. I absolutely got the better end of that deal.
It’s worked out okay so far. I had no idea how many people wear Apple Watches until I started wearing one and noticing others wearing the same. I feel like I’m sort of in a club now, like a biker gang. You know how bikers signal each other when they pass?
Well. I’ve started signaling to other Apple Watch wearers. I think this signal is subtle, but effective. Take a look.
I didn’t do a post about my weight loss/gain in March, but I planned to. I was so proud. The 1 single solitary pound I gained in February I was able to lose in March. Big deal, right? Well, for me, it was. I was all set to explain (with pictures!) how I was certain that taking a specific type of walk outside was responsible for losing that 1 single pound in March.
But then April happened. April showers bring May flowers, right? But snow showers? We had several snows at the beginning of April that kept me inside. And when it wasn’t snowing, it seemed to be raining. The clouds parted for a few days, including Easter, but Easter brought with it lots of chocolate. After Easter, it rained some more, sometimes in monsoon-like fashion. Most of my exercise was indoors in April. The pounds piled on unabated. How could I blog proudly about a 1 pound loss in March when I was porking out in April. I was ready to shrug, give up, and just accept what appeared was going to be a 5 pound weight GAIN in April when I got sick. Then the strangest thing happened.
Once again, I am changing course. I had become resigned to sliding ignominiously into retirement over the course of this year as my German product supplier for my small business pulled their product from sales in the US due to some EU regulatory issues. But now, it appears that I have inexplicably brokered a deal to have the German product assembled in the US by a 60 million dollar company located not 30 minutes from my house. Weird. In addition, my small business should still have access to the product to sell. So, I’m back in business, at least for a while. It’s probably for the best as the WordPress WordAds revenue from this blog continues to deteriorate.
Advertisers must be taking the time to read this nonsense. And two other possible sources of income have also dried up.
I’m overweight in February and am thrilled. Why? Certainly not because I gained 5 pounds in December which was the maximum I was allowing myself for the whole winter.
They may have gotten the pronoun wrong in that gif, but that’s me they are talking about. As I reported in my last weighty post, my goal for January was to simply hold the line and not gain any more weight in January. Unlikely? Yes. Who wants to exercise and watch what you eat in the dead of winter? Not me. I want to sit, eat, and watch television while my wife, kids, and neighbors shovel my snow. But it somehow happened. I gave it a week into February to make 100% sure, but I continue to hang in at 5 pounds max gained and may even be heading back down just a bit. I’m thrilled!
Against all odds, my steps actually trended up a bit in January. Take a look.
Every winter for me it is the same. I gain weight. I planned to allow myself 5 pounds of weight gain this winter. However, I never expected I would hit my 5 pound “goal” by the end of December, but there I was, staring at the scale in disbelief at the beginning of 2022. Just a tip for those of you trying to lose weight, sucking in your gut while standing on the scale and staring in disbelief does not reduce your weight.
I delayed writing this until I was sure that the weight gain was a just temporary upward blip. Instead, as I write this, I am certain that my 5 pound weight loss visitor is here for an extended stay. But the good news is that I’m holding steady there and we are over half the way through calendric winter. And instead of thinking that I have gained back 25% of the weight I lost, it helps for me to think that I have gained back 1/16th of the weight I lost 4 times. Seems less to me.
One problem could be my steps took a literal step back in December. Take a look.
I’m very late reporting on my weight loss trials and travails for September. I shouldn’t be late with these weight loss posts as they are my most popular posts on this blog. I think it’s because despite differences in politics, religion, etc., we all share the same struggle with weight control, except for those naturally skinny people with self control who never have to exercise. Oh, I hate them so much. Anyway, here we go, better late than never.
When I last posted about weight, I was 3 lbs below my goal weight at the end of August. Success, right? Well, not exactly. September turned cool, my swimming stopped, and my body started to get ready for a winter hibernation by eating everything in sight. I immediately re-reached my goal weight from the opposite direction and shot up above it by several pounds. That’s just how my body works. It doesn’t matter that my steps were strong again in September.
Geez, wouldn’t you think I would make a little extra effort to average 10K steps? Anyway, my body’s metabolism just slows down in cooler weather, maybe to get ready for my winter hibernation? I would be willing to give hibernation a try as I like long naps. Fortunately, the weather warmed again and some of the weight came off. Right at the end of September, my weight had come down to below my goal weight again, but seemed to be heading up. I waited to see what would happen. Well, here’s what happened.
Out of sheer boredom, I have been trying to schedule some open water swimming. But Saturday, my attempt to actually swim across the actual Lake Michigan was actually rebuffed as Lake Michigan was actually closed! Actually! I took our youngest daughter to stay with our oldest daughter on Saturday for a sister-bonding sleepover, and we stopped at beautiful Montrose Beach in Chicago on the way for a quick swim.
Montrose is a beautiful urban beach, complete with sand dunes. But on Saturday, it was closed because of a brisk wind from the northeast creating some dangerous riptides. I still wanted to give it a try. Where were the “my body, my choice” anti-vaxxers when I needed them to back me up?
Anyway, we walked and relaxed a bit on the beach instead of swimming. I had already gotten some laps in my pool, and after a half mile on Sunday (that’s 175 laps!), I find myself here in Lake Michigan.
As I teased in my last post, I was tempted after my swim last Saturday. Being America’s Friend, I was speaking to a total stranger despite the stranger wearing very tight shorts and sporting a somewhat satanic beard.
I was also wearing very tight swim shorts, and they were quite wet. We were both standing just outside the women’s locker room. And then the stranger tempted me to do something I haven’t done in years. He slipped me his card with his contact info. If I gave in to the temptation, I would meet the stranger again on the 1st of August for a dalliance into what I can only describe for me as … forbidden fruit.
The stranger had tempted me with this irresistible offer.
At my age, with a pandemic still raging all around, when there is something I want to do, I know I best do it quickly or maybe never have the chance. I mentioned in a recent post that I want to take my swim across Lake Michigan out of pools and into open water. I wasted no time and did just that this past Saturday.
I found a great lake to do an open water swim, but not a Great Lake. It wasn’t a good weekend to head to Lake Michigan (one of the 5 Great Lakes) to swim, because we are fostering 2 puppies. Who wants to see puppy pictures and video? Well, maybe if you’re nice and like this post, or better still, beg me, I’ll post some puppy stuff. Anyway, I found a great lake just about 40 minutes up the river from us that was hosting a morning open water swim in beautiful, crystal clear waters. Take a look …
Take a look at your calendar, and you’ll see that summer is half over. Unless you live in Canada. Summer’s already over up there. I wonder if it’s already over in Chicago. We’ve had some cool, rainy weather recently, which makes my pool quite chilly and my motivation low to swim in a frigid pool. Today is just such a day. My toes are turning blue at the thought of a pool swim today. Regardless, here we are, halfway through calendric summer, and I’m halfway across Lake Michigan at just over 11 miles into the swim.
I can’t get too bored and stop swimming. I’m figuratively in the middle of the lake. If I stop, I’ll figuratively drown! So, on I swim. But I have to spice things up. I think I need to take this swimapalooza on the road. Sure, I swam in hotel pools the past two weekends in Nebraska and Minnesota. Pardon me while I yawn. I yearn for open water. I feel the need to get some mileage in Lake Michigan itself. I will let you know if I muster the motivation to head to the greatest of the Great Lakes and actually swim in it.
If you have to deal with cool, rainy weather, what better way is there than to curl up with a good book? If you don’t have one, I suggest you settle for my well-reviewed, crappy book.
As we traveled last weekend, I made sure I got my laps in at the hotel pool, because as readers know, I am swimming across Lake Michigan. One added benefit is that I made a new friend at the pool. I do consider myself America’s friend and sweetheart. He was an older gentlemen, and we were alone in the pool area, ostensibly to swim laps. But he confronted me with, “Can I ask about your weight?” Uh-oh. I looked for the closest exit in case his next question was an invitation to join him in the hot tub. But it wasn’t. He just had a question about my weight. Then my mind flashed to this tweet I had seen and wondered if his question might go this way.
But our conversation didn’t go that route. I told him that he could ask away, and he asked me this legitimate question.
No, I didn’t misspell “fasting.” That’s FATSing, my trademarked and patent-pending weight loss schemescam system. It’s not a diet. It’s a weight loss system. You see, after giving up a month ago on any significant weight loss this summer, I lost 3 pounds in June using my FATSing system. That puts me within 3 pounds of my original goal of losing 20 pounds set over a year ago.
FATSing stands for Fitness Awareness Testing System. And then I stuck an “ing” on the end for no apparent reason. The way the system works is this …
I’m on schedule considering I missed a couple days at the beginning of June as I tried every gasket and washer in my cache of plumbing supplies to eventually successfully stop a leak in one of the pool connections. 22 miles is still possible if I average a quarter mile each day for July and August.
I know what you’re asking. Am I scared being in the middle of Lake Michigan? Sure, I’m terrified, but that’s normal for me every day after I wake up. And if you look at the map, you can see there’s land close by as I’m near that big peninsula jutting into the lake. That peninsula has a piece of Jim Flanigan history linked to it which I will explain.
While on my recent business trip, I decided to take a walk on a treadmill in the fitness room of my hotel. Here’s the problem … I couldn’t figure out how to get there. It appeared that the elevator would take me to the 7th, 5th, 3rd, or 7th floors.
I took the stairs. Nobody takes the stairs in hotels with elevators. I don’t blame them. Elevators are fun. I like jumping in the elevator while it is moving. Yes, I got one stuck once. Oops.
Anyway, the stairs led me straight to the laundry room on the first floor. Oops, again. I saw a door and headed toward it, hoping it would take me to the hotel lobby. Nope. It was an exit. There I was, standing outside in St. Louis … the murder capital of the USA. Oops, thrice.
So, I made the bold decision to take this sage advice printed on my hotel room key packet.
I tried. I really tried to reach my goal of 20 pounds lost before fall. But I’m solidly stuck at 17 down as the cold, wet weather has rolled in. I upped my daily steps in September to this daily average for the month …
I had slipped into a summer exercise routine that felt as comfortable as my fat pants with the stretch waistband after about 20 wearings without a washing. I would get up early and take a long solo walk or bike ride. Most days I would stop at one of the many wild berry patches I had scouted and pick fresh mulberries, raspberries, or blackberries for my consumption that day. After work, I would walk the dog and swim some laps in our little pool. Then the weather started to change. We had a stretch of rain and cold. No cycling for a week. I took down the pool before it turned into an above ground ice skating rink. So much for my swimming workouts. I immediately started to gain back the weight I had lost. My quest for a 20 lb. weight loss seemed unattainable.
But then, one man inspired and motivated me to try and make that weight loss happen. Who, you ask? I’m pretty sure I heard someone ask. Come on, raise your hand if it was you asking. Nobody, huh? Regardless, that man is …
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.