COVID Challenges

I posted a January challenge with family/friends to do something (your thing, your target) in January.  I'm doing hiking everyday with a loaded backpack (currently 20 lbs, but will increase).

So, Nation, what are you doing to escape from the malaise of indoor COVIDity?

 

27 thoughts on “COVID Challenges”

      1. You and Rhu both are poking me on this. No, I did not. I know very well where my gas line is buried and it ain't here.

        If it were, the gas line would have ruptured long ago, either from the large tree and tree roots, or from the removal of said tree long before we bought the house. And since the break was within a few inches of the popup sprinkler that the line fed...I think I can be accused of being stupid/careless about how I excavated the water line. But not stupid for having dug in the first place. YMMV.

        I certainly won't be doing this kind of excavation on the other side of my house, where the gas line is.

  1. I had been doing exercises to strengthen my back for a few months now, as I was diagnosed with bulging discs. I was using the exercise glider pretty regularly until Mrs. A had her knee replacement surgery, and I have just started back into that now. And FYI, Mrs. A continues to do really well after the surgery.

  2. I have tried to get a consistent walking program going. Since July, I've broken my toe twice, had tendinitis in my foot and have had fairly painful upper back issues that seem to be exacerbated when I walk for about the last month. I did go to the chiropractor for a treatment and I need a second treatment, so it's been tough.

    One thing: my wife got us nanospikes to wear over our shoes to deal with ice. They really work well.

  3. Can't wait for weather to warm up so I can get on my bicycle once again. My lake road is so icy it is very difficult to get walks in right now. I may need to invest in some spikes for my shoes/boots. So, for now, my exercise is basically working 12-14 hour days at the joint right now.

  4. I had started running a bit late this summer, but, especially these last few years, running in cold air is just too difficult for me - something about it triggers massing coughing, and recovery takes a lot longer than it should.

    I've broken out the Wii Fit a handful of times, and am trying to do something with that a few times a week. Is it real exercise? Not really. But it is better than nothing. I'm looking forward to temps picking up so I can get back to running... gotta drop some weight before I hit 40.

      1. That's what I found this summer... the last couple years have been death to my weight, but I feel like we're starting to turn a corner. Aquinas even came with me on a run or two. And even just being able to slip downstairs for a half hour of Wii is not something I would have been able to do all that long ago. Hopefully my experience tracks with yours...

        1. I remember my daughter riding her bike as I ran when she was 8 or 9.

          "You're never going to win if that's all the faster you run."

          "Is the t-shirt you get like my soccer trophies? You get it just for signing up?"

    1. You might want to get checked for exercise-induced asthma; I had that when I lived in NYC (ahhhh, pollution!) and would have that same thing happen with running in the cold. A couple puffs of albuterol beforehand made a huge difference.

      1. I did get checked out for asthma a year or two ago, since I had a similar reaction when stepping out of the shower - cold air from outside the shower hit my lungs, big coughing fit. They came up with nothing, except that my lungs were strong (like 115% percent of expected capacity or something) (having a brother with CF, it was cool to compare our PFTs). I don't know that we discussed exercise-induced asthma. I might look into that next time...

  5. My wife and I just discussed getting a rowing machine for the basement.

    With my bad shoulder and poor posture, my back could really use some attention while I'm still relatively young.

    1. I have a rowing machine and love it. Rowing a pretty comprehensive workout, it protects my knees, and it is a form of exercise I believe can last most of the rest of my exercising life — which I’m fairly certain will not be true for running, given joint health.

      I know you didn’t ask, Mags, but I recommend doing some careful research on features to make sure you get a machine that you’re going to enjoy using. Pay attention to the not just the type of rower, but performance monitor, particularly any related technology that can sync up with any devices you have (if that matters to you). I wound up going with a WaterRower despite the mediocre features on the monitor/tech side (compared to the Concept2) because it’s much quieter, which definitely mattered to me when I had an infant/toddler in the house. I came to really appreciate the quiet operation for other reasons, too. I know the supply was tight for rowers earlier this year, and that certain models move quickly on the secondhand market. If you can resist the temptation to get something because it’s a “good” deal, and focus on what’s right for your needs, you’ll be well-served down the road.

      1. I bought a Concept2 back in 2006 and it still works great. It's loud, so you can't watch TV without good headphones. That said, I tend to use the elliptical more because it's easier to set up for watching shows and I'm lazy.

    2. One thing I can suggest is to find a friend w/ a guest pass (or check out some gym's free days) so you can check out some rowers. When I had anytime we could bring people once a month for free so people could test stuff out.

  6. I’ve made some very substantial changes to my life since last July. I’ve had some recurring lower back issues over the last few years that, combined with dissatisfaction with my appearance, led to some very thorough changes. Using a combination of a major change in my diet, continuous intermittent fasting, PT for my back, and rededication to exercise, I dropped fifty pounds over the second half of last year. I weigh less now than I have at any time in the past decade-plus. As a result, my 5k times on my rowing machine dropped four minutes over the previous year, I’m down six pants sizes and two shirt sizes, and my back isn’t giving me nearly as many problems. I don’t have any specific fitness goals, other than feeling good, feeling better about how I look, and improving my strength & limberness.

    Rowing has been a big factor in getting me moving. I participate in a challenge with friends every November; we row 1 km for every year of the Marine Corps’ existence. This year we rowed 245 km in November, which came out to averaging 10 km every day with five rest days in the month. During the month I dropped my 5k time by two-plus minutes, and my weight by about 15 pounds. My 5k rowing time is now within shouting distance of where my 5k running time was in my early twenties. I’ve kept the weight off despite scaling back on the rowing during the holidays and early part of January. I think part of the problem is that my rower is in the basement, where I already spend most of my day working, and where it’s pretty cold. I like cold, but standing on the concrete pad with just a restaurant-grade rubber mat to insulate me is enough to make additional basement time less appealing now that the weather has turned properly cold.

    My back issues were intermittent, but could be very debilitating. I wound up getting connected to PT through the VA, and the guy I worked with basically said, “Look, your back is what it is, no matter what you weigh. Keeping the weight off is going to definitely help, but you need to commit to a home PT regimen. Plan on doing it for the rest of your life.” I was surprised by how quickly I accepted that message. My phone reminds me to do a few stretching routines throughout the day, and I have a 15-minute PT regimen to do in the evenings. I use an app called Streaks to keep me honest about my adherence to the program.

    All of that is great, but I recognize the continual need to be vigilant. I know my own tendencies to grant myself an occasional exception that can become a standing rule over time. When it comes to food, intermittent fasting has been a major help in that regard, and I think it’s here to stay. I quit eating a lot of food I love pretty much entirely, which might bother me more if I simply didn’t have it in my environment thanks to the circumstances of life these days. I’ve also tried to push myself to expand my appreciation for the vegetarian dishes of cuisines I love. Turns out I’m pretty consistently enthusiastic about chickpeas — which I never would have guessed would be a thing. My vegetarian recipe repertoire has expanded significantly; I’ll never be a full-time vegetarian — I still love meat and eat it a couple times a week — but for the first time in my life, my diet is primarily plant-based. Anyone raised on traditional Midwestern regional cuisine will probably recognize that’s a major milestone.

    1. Damn, congrats on all that, especially the diet part. That's what's really keeping me from losing more than 20 lbs, especially with kids who's plates don't usually get completely cleaned. And falafels for lyfe, yo.

      1. Thanks. It helps that I’ve basically stopped drinking beer entirely, with the rare exception for something I know I’ll really enjoy. Any time I’d previously feel like having a beer, I crack open a Toto Chico instead now. Still, I was maintaining the weight loss while drinking a cocktail a night on average over the balance of the summer. I’ve tapered off that since September or so, too; it’s 150 calories or so I can put to better use. When I do have a drink now, it’s a neat glass of mezcal or some nice tequila, or a nice pour of well-aged rum on the rocks. Or — as was the case over the holidays — a nice pour of homemade coquito.

        1. I discovered mezcal a few months ago. What a revelation that was! I would definitely also need to cut back on drinking to lose a load of weight as well, but the food and drink are too good. I was doing pretty good over the summer with biking though, and dropped about 20 lbs. But with the weather getting cold I've had to move back inside to the stationary bike and it just isn't as good. I'm way more motivated to hit the roads than I am the basement concrete. This flooring project has definitely helped get some sweat out, though.

          1. I actually hate working out indoors — running trails is a hard thing to shake. Ultimately, I put an industrial air circulator front of my machine to simulate the feeling of moving through air/rowing into the wind. It’s not perfect, but it definitely helps.

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