My blogging friend P.J. Lazos over at Green Life Blue Water, reviewed the first Geocaching GPS book on her blog yesterday. She’s not a cacher (yet), but she understands the way it can connect people:
“What I found most intriguing — in addition to the inspiring and characteristic geocaching names used to log into a find — was how story after story talked about introducing the sport to others, generally family members who either never heard of it or had poo-poo’d it and then were hooked.”
Read the full review here: Geocaching GPS: Great Personal Stories of Romance, Adventure and Connection
I have been traveling and will be gone until July 7. I am visiting cultural sites in Western and Northern Europe, cruising on the Baltic Sea, and seeing friends and relatives in my husband’s home country of Germany. Wifi access is spotty. This is my first blog post from my phone. Continue reading On a trip
Our house in CA has two “living rooms.” We didn’t have the same configuration in our old house, so our furniture didn’t quite fill the space. We got a nice old rolltop desk off of Craigslist, which I now use for writing. Continue reading Mundane Monday: My Writing Desk
These two words follow each other on the UU Lent list. Yesterday’s was curiosity, today’s was fear. Never one to meet daily challenges in a straightforward manner, for me it was never a question of whether I would end up combining two or more day’s words into one post, but when. Continue reading Curiosity and Fear
If you’ve heard the first word in the title of this post at all, you’ve probably heard it associated with a different word: “Farewell.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens this week. My son is now right about the age that I was when what is now called “Episode IV: A New Hope” opened in 1977. (Back then we just called it “Star Wars” and left it at that.) I was a fan, and my younger 7-year-old brother was an even bigger one, with all the action figures and play sets. We’re still fans, even in adulthood. (Somehow Facebook knows this about me, and recently suggested that I purchase a Darth Vader Hello Kitty helmet.)
My husband is getting a bit restless to go on a bigger caching trip, but I like these small ones that help me explore our new surroundings. We went out to shop for a new bicycle for our 12-yo son. He has been biking to school, periodically but not totally enthusiastically. It didn’t help that the bike he was riding was too small and was inherited from his older sister.
We drove out to a Walmart several miles away. My husband picked this Walmart because of its proximity to some caches. If you looked up, it seemed to be on the edge of civilization.
But the first store we tried didn’t have a bike we wanted. They had mostly bikes with cheap-looking components, even the tip of the kickstand of the one we tried was falling off. So we had to drive to the other side of town. Before we left, we went to find the caches. One, down by the river:
Another, concealed in a birdhouse (no spoilers here, though).
Trips to Walmart in Boston weren’t like this.
Just for fun, I’m going to try to answer the question posed by the Impromptu Promptlings Sandbox Writing Challenge 11: What Fascinates You?
I am fascinated by hidden patterns and connections in things. I’m fascinated by the brain. I’m fascinated by tests that divide people up into interesting categories, like the Myers-Briggs test, or Gretchen Rubin’s 4 tendencies, even if there is no scientific basis for the results of these classifications. I’m fascinated by self-knowledge. I would like to have my genome sequenced.
I’m fascinated by theories of the origin of consciousness. I met Julian Jaynes and took a course from him in college, but I still don’t know what to make of his theory of the breakdown of the bicameral mind. I’m fascinated by the neuroscience of mindfulness.
I’m fascinated by the “Problem of Evil” and the literature of theodicy. Whenever I have what I think is an original thought on the subject, I always find that there is someone else who has written about it, in great detail, first.
I’m learning a lot since I started blogging here on Word Press. For example, I started following a fitness blog called “Fit is a Feminist Issue” a few months ago, and from it I just found about a group of people called exercise non-responders. The “Fit” blogger calls these people “rational couch potatoes,” because they don’t get more fit or stronger with exercise. Some of them might even get worse, worn down and exhausted by fitness programs. She linked to an article by Gretchen Reynolds from earlier this year: Exploring Why Some People Get Fitter than Others.
This was an interesting and eye-opening article, although not because I am surprised that non-responders exist. After all, I’ve been living with the condition myself, or something related that I will call “low response” rather than “non response,” for almost 50 years. Mostly, I’m annoyed that in all this time, I had never read a serious NYT-level, or even Word Press Blogger-level, article about fitness from this angle before. I almost feel as if there’s been some massive gym teacher and fitness-enthusiast conspiracy targeted at me and my fellow low- or non-responders, aimed at dismissing us, excluding us, and making us feel crazy, lazy, and bad about ourselves.
For example, I’ve been telling people for more years than I’d like to remember that I don’t get “runner’s high.” If I didn’t have some good runner friends whom I consider trustworthy sources, I would say that “runner’s high” is a complete myth promulgated by fitness magazines and personal trainers. But as it is, I’ve come to view runners’ high as being like certain religious ecstatic experiences that I’ve never had either. It’s not that I disbelieve or discount that others are telling the truth when they say that they have had these experiences. But such experiences remain outside my personal ken. And I’m not going to fake it, or lie, until I “make it,” just to jump on the bandwagon and avoid whatever personal hell the enthusiasts seem to be so afraid of.
I need to sit with this idea of exercise non-response being a thing for a while and process all the ramifications. I don’t think the right response is to stop exercising altogether. The way I have been behaving, before this knowledge, has been as follows. I keep exercise very light and moderate. I walk instead of run, I bike slowly and without toe clips.
I have been trying to follow a push-up app called 100 pushups for the past 3 years. This app claims to be able to get you from zero to 100 in 6 weeks. There is a graph function for your progress, but the x-axis is not proportional to time spent:
The beginning of the graph shows me, during the first several months that I tried, progressing for a little while, repeatedly hitting a wall, and going back to the beginning. That one ridiculously high peak that got up to 200 reps a day came when I switched to doing pushups from my knees rather than doing full-body pushups, because I just couldn’t keep up with the program doing the full-body ones.
The graph does not show the long, sometimes months-long, gaps between crashing and burning, and starting over again, over the course of 2 years.
About midway through the graph is what I started doing this year, in 2015. I started slow and just kept repeating levels over and over again. I didn’t move on to the next set of reps until I really felt like I could do the level I was at. This usually took 5-10 repetitions of the same level. I found it absurd that these levels were called “days” and that some people spent only one day at a particular level and then felt able to move on two days later. Again, I still wonder what mythical people the app was written for. Bodybuilders, maybe? Or maybe just high responders?
In any case, I’ve actually stopped doing the app again recently in favor of doing sets of 10 full-body pushups at random times of day. I do 10 when I get up and I do 10 before I go to bed, every day. I sometimes do 10 in the middle of the day at lunch too.
What I like about this method is that I have, after 3 years of doing pushups, gotten to the point that 10 quick full body pushups is, literally, no sweat. I can do them anywhere, anytime, no matter what I am wearing. They are like brushing my teeth. This is absolutely progress from when I started and could barely do even one. I even like the way my arms look, no middle-aged lady flabbiness. And I’m getting more core strength, which in my case was an even bigger problem than lack of arm strength. So, I can’t say that I’m a non-responder to this type of exercise. I do respond, but apparently not on the time scale that people seem to expect.
I’m assuming this research was rarely reported or written about in the past because it was assumed that people would use it as an excuse to give up and stop exercising. That makes me angry. I appreciate this research because I could really do without the shame, guilt, low self-esteem, and feelings of being defective and doing it wrong, that have accompanied exercise for me in the past. This knowledge makes me more likely to keep exercising (exercising my way), not less.