Lorena is so close she can taste it. Three days per week on the Concept 2 Rowing Machine and another couple of days, hard on the elliptical. Her goal is to row 12,000 meters in less than an hour. She is only 25 seconds from that goal, but today (well, she might take one more shot on Thursday, but we are not talking about that) was her last scheduled rowing day in Texas. Of course she will take it up again when she gets to Centralia. One of the reasons we picked the place we picked is the Anytime Fitness right down the road from our new (to us) house. Lorena has been amazingly consistent over the last seven years or so with the last two years focused on the rowing machine. She has shamed me into agreeing to up my game when we get to Washington.
I have been wearing the Fitbit Kelly and Christian got for me for a present a couple of years back and my miles/steps are pretty good during the week. I kind of fall off the wagon a little on the weekends because of volunteer programming and church, but I am going to try to remedy that starting tomorrow. I have not been so great on the diet end of things–that self denial thing is not nearly as fun as getting outside and getting some fresh air. Still, I am down about ten pounds from my high and going the right direction. My buddy Lyle W. and I are competing a little with the steps thing over the Internet, so that is a good thing too.
Down 7.4 of 60
I noticed something from one of the photos taken over the weekend of Grandpa Milo’s and Grandma Sarah’s funeral. I am WAY fat right now. There is really no excuse. So, at Lorena’s urging, I broke out the old fitbit and have set a goal again to lose 55 pounds (ouch). The good part of the whole deal is that we are moving this weekend to an apartment that is exactly one mile from work. There is a grocery store that is also one mile from work. If I can walk to work and back every day and also walk to the grocery store for lunch every day (I am doing that now), I will have put in four miles and reduced my gas bill. No down side to that.
My hope is that I can get back down to my weight when I left Oregon in a couple of months then spend until August losing the additional thirty pounds. It might be too ambitious because I love to eat too much. Still, I would rather walk a little more than back off on the food, so there is a modicum of hope that I can do this. I will keep you posted.
Must be the Olympics have her inspired.
Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon day sun. I walk to and from a grocery store every work day to buy myself some lunch and get some exercise. I am beginning to realize that unless I want to remain damp from the exertion for most of the rest of the afternoon, I need to think about doing my exercising in the gym after work. That is really not nearly as satisfying as walking outside everyday, so I will probably just be damp until things start to cool down in a month or two. The walk was optimal at my last job in Oregon–it was a little further and a lot cooler. Still, I am thinking it is going to be great here in the Dallas area for all but a couple of months in the winter and a couple of months in the summer.
I am quite pleased with myself. I bought new Rockport walking shoes when I moved to Oregon and wore them out walking five miles per day for over 1000 miles. Yesterday, I was the fattest I have ever been in my entire life, so I bought some new Rockports that should get here tomorrow. I hope to do a lot of walking in them. In addition, I got myself my first pair, ever Chukka boots. Nothing quite as uniquely satisfying as a new pair of shoes.
Lorena continues to improve on her goal to be able to row 12,000 meters in one hour. It is a hard thing, but she sticks to it. In our two last homes we have lived within a block of an Anytime Fitness. That coupled with the fact that the kids are gone has allowed her to make amazing progress. We will keep you posted.
Lorena broke her previous personal record on a Concept 2 rowing machine. She was trying to get to 10,000 meters in less than 60 minutes. Actually, the numbers you see to the left are her second best effort. I did not have the best one to put up here which was slightly more. I checked into this and the world record for a light weight woman in her age group is over 15,000 meters and the U.S. record is over 14, 000 meters. Her achievement is an amazing one and she has decided to continue to try to improve on up to 12,000 meters in an hour. Rowing on a Concept 2 rowing machine was my preferred cardiovascular training mode when I was in my mid-thirties. What Lorena has done already is no mean achievement. She started out rowing for around five minutes per session a couple of years ago. I think she will be able to make it to 12,000.
Christian and I talked last night about avocation. There were lots of things we tried when the kids were growing up as part of our homeschool and just as part of life. We focused hard on specific academic paths that gave the kids as many options as possible when it came to career choices. The reality is we did not do so bad at that part–the kids are now in a place they can go virtually any direction they want career-wise. At the other end of the spectrum were things that would be characterized as life skills and or avocations. We had varying degrees of success with things that were not the central focus of our homeschool academics, but at which we invested time, effort and a fairly large amount of our resources. I thought I might make a list of some of that stuff. I say only some of it because there was so much that I know I will miss a bunch of it. So what am I talking about:
- Music–Lorena and I are actually very limited in our musical ability. The kids are a lot better than us, but not exceptional. Kelly can play the piano and sing very well. Christian is much better at classical guitar than he thinks he is. All in all, we did not do so bad. Both the kids got ten years of music/instrument lessons and both still love to play. I would put this in the joyful avocation category.
- Art–We did well in art. Of course there is the drawing (e.g. here and here) and all the crafts we did, but the thing that surprises me most is that we all like to go to Art Museums when we are together. We know some artists we like and enjoy art appreciation as much or more as we enjoy making art.
- Cooking–Lorena is amazing and deserves a post all by itself. She has followed a pretty incredible culinary path that is wildly eclectic. Kelly is going down that same path, but with here own twist that is heavily influenced, I think, by the fact that she lives in the amazing food culture of the Pacific Northwest. Christian is more utilitarian, but goes on a baking or cooking binge that pushes the envelope on a semi-regular basis. As for me, I make an OK omelet which is also the entire cooking legacy I leave to my children. Well that and how to cook a turkey.
- Sports and exercise–This deserves a post all by itself because we made a decision very early on to assure that exercise become a normal part of life, but sports, especially football, basketball, soccer and baseball were given very, very low priorities on the list we wanted the kids to do or watch. Part of that is because I had seen this so up close and personal, but part of it was because those sports are a time and resource drain that have negative value as either life skills, avocations or activities that engendered positive values. We tended more toward swimming, running and a little bit of hiking. Both the kids are active as weight lifters and runners these days.
The thing that was great about all that stuff is we got into all of it and got excited about it at the same time we did not over emphasize it. We wanted this all to be something for which the kids could have lifelong enjoyment without it consuming their lives. We will have to wait awhile longer to see if we had any level of success at that goal.
Lorena arrived at an amazing milestone today. She rowed over 10,000 meters, burning over 500 calories in a little over an hour. I am sure she will get that time under an hour pretty soon, but the fact that she did over 10K in a single sitting on a Concept 2 rowing machine is an impressive feat. She has worked out hard on an uncompromisingly regular schedule for well over a decade now. Kudos to her.
We are taking a brief hiatus in Tempe to visit Christian in our road trip to Texas. Lorena needs to get her workouts in. She explained it is not so much that she is fanatical about doing it, she just hates the pain of starting all over again when she has missed a week or two. She is actually up to two 35 minute sessions per week on the elliptical and three 60 minute sessions per week on the Concept II rowing machine with some weight lifting thrown in the mix, too. It pains me just thinking about it.
In the meantime, we get to see Christian mostly just in the evenings because he has to work even though it is spring break for the undergraduates. He remains dedicated to his research. I think the classes are just a pain in the neck for him now even though he says he learns some stuff.
We plan to continue on to Texas right after Sunday morning meeting.
Betty Blonde #494 – 07/08/2010
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Lorena heard a conversation between a group of middle aged women talking about their kids college choices on her train ride home last Saturday. It seems one of their priorities was for the kids to go to universities with really good football teams. The entire sports culture in America these days seems a little bit crazy. One of my biggest regrets about my high school and college days is how much my studies suffered because I spent so much time focused on sports. I think the problem is that like any other area that, in moderation, can be great, but as a vocation, even at the highest levels, is a waste of time. It is not like art or music with things created that take on lives of their own long after the artist or musician is gone. Sports is irrelevant the minute the game ends.
The sad part is so many kids get caught up in what really amounts to very small time, worthless endeavors. I am talking about the kid that plays college basketball, football, track wrestling or baseball whether the school is big or small. The commitment is so great it is not possible to get a good education while doing it. Of course there are exceptions–I work with a Stanford football player who is a great engineer, but most kids do their stint as a player then spend the rest of their lives mourning for their glory years, doing a job they hate because they got a weak education and pushing their own kids into the same hamster wheel existence. Worse, for all the talk about sports building character, there is little to no evidence of that character anywhere but when young kids are involved and even that fails much of the time. Again, there are exceptions, but you see displays of exceptional character so rarely in college and professional sports these days that people make a big deal out of it when it happens.
Betty Blonde #471 – 04/30/2010
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Day 832 of 1000
Betty Blonde #15 – 08/06/2008
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I just signed up Lorena, Kelly, and Christian for the 10th Annual Krispy Kreme Challenge. It is a five mile fun run to raise money for charity and let the college kids get silly for a little while on what is usually a cold winter day. I think this will be the kids’ third or fourth time. Lorena wanted to get in on the fun. The kids will be moved out to the West coast by the time the next one rolls around. Lorena will be out there, too, if the house sells. This is one of those events that makes us love Raleigh and NCSU.
Our family belongs to the beautiful Kraft YMCA in Holly Springs. We initially joined the YMCA as a resource for our homeschool physical education efforts, but it rapidly became a favorite destination for the whole family to swim, work out, and lounge by the pool. Even when I had work, I could sit in the lobby, have a cup of (free) coffee, and work (great wifi) while everyone else got their exercise. Now that the kids are at NCSU and have their PE classes there, Lorena is the main user of the Y. The good thing is that there is a sister YMCA right by the NCSU campus where Lorena often gets a workout in while waiting for the kids.
My hat is off to Lorena, she has hammered through a hard aerobic workout (usually the elliptical machine) and weight lifting three or four days per week five years. Longer than that, actually, but five years at this YMCA. She has the t-shirt to prove it. No wonder she looks so good.
Day 105 of 1000 (215.9 lbs.)
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I hit a new fatness high: 216.2 lbs. Today, I weighed in at 215.9. That is WAY out of line. I am starting a new job in a little over a week, the new year is coming, and it is a great time to get back to eating right, exercising more. I have started a spreadsheet–with me, that is the thing that makes it truly official. I will post a link to the graph as soon as I make one.
P.S. I am aiming for 170.
Lorena, Kelly, and Christian are running in the very demanding 8th Annual Krispy Kreme Challenge. I personally have decided not to run because it is so much more demanding to drive the car, eat the leftover donuts, and hold the coats.