When I can’t come up with a damn thing to write about.
Time for a very short blogging hiatus. Now, now. Dry your wee little chipmunk tears. I’ll be back next week!
Psst: This Friday at the Go Jules Go compound, it’s Peppermeister (Hub #1) vs. Rachel’s Table. That’s right. Those two are finally going head to head in a Spicy Pepper-Off to see who can handle the hottest homegrowns! I’ll have plenty to report next week.
If you want a delicious sampling of what’s in store, check out Rache’s fantastic “Peppermeister Roulette” videos (video one and video two)!
You know how golfers love to compare their sport to life? Heavy-handed metaphors about taking aim, working with the winds of change, etc.?
I’m starting to do the same. With hiking.
I realized this weekend, while battling an unrelenting swarm of gnats for over 3 hours in the New Jersey highlands, that every hike this summer has provided a new challenge. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another.
As soon as I was sure, fitness wise, that I had a trail in the bag, something would come along to knock me off course. (See what I mean about the heavy-handed metaphors?) This past weekend, I thought the pests were going to do me in, despite toxic levels of bug spray coating my red, soaking wet, weary limbs. By mile 5 of one of njhiking.com’s most challenge trails, I couldn’t see for all the gnats.
I came to a crossroads.
If I went straight, I’d knock 2 miles from my remaining distance. By turning left, I’d have 3.6 miles -and another steep mountain climb- still to go to complete the originally planned trek. I stood there for 5 minutes, waving my arms in front of me fruitlessly, chugging warm water, studying the trail map.
I looked up at the brightly colored green and yellow trail markers painted on a sturdy oak.
“Fuck it,” I said aloud, wiping away the 8,000th gnat who’d suffocated in a pool of my sweat. “I’m no quitter.”
I turned left.
Why did I do it? Week after week, no less. Clearly this was torturous. Was I insane? A glutton for punishment? Just plain stubborn? Even Hub #1 had taken to calling me Forrest Gump.
I watched a video this weekend on why people hike. The filmmaker interviewed a series of hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Their answers to that million dollar question sounded familiar.
I needed to shift my perspective; it helps me let go of the day-to-day worries and focus on the immediate. You don’t worry about work when you’re trying to find a dry place to sleep.
I wanted to clear my head.
I’m trying to figure out what to do with my life.
That’s the thing about hiking. Walking for walking’s sake may seem a little pointless, but that’s exactly what makes it so powerful. For that time in the woods, however brief, the only thing you’re responsible for is staying alive. To again paraphrase what fellow hikers have said:
Hiking allows me to push myself farther than I think I can go. I bring that back with me into the real world.
It’s not about how fast or far you go, but just that you keep going. In the end, I may wind up right back where I started (at my car, hopefully), but I know I’m one step closer to who I want to be.
What…what are you waiting for? Go set your DVR! (I say “set your DVR” because I assume that, like me, you a) go to bed at 8:30pm, and b) with great pain, deleted a high-def version of Sharknad0, and now have room on your DVR.)
What TV characters from your youth would you poop a brick to see brought back to life on a late night talk show?
What the sugar-free fudge is a Fitbit? Thanks for asking. It’s basically a pedometer on crack.
Two weeks ago, a colleague showed me a nifty little device, about the size of a money clip, attached to her belt. “It tells you how many calories you can still eat for the day! It even monitors your sleep!” she said. Much like how Anna made pickle juice sound delicious in my last blog contest, the seed was planted. I wanted one. Bad.
“It costs about 100 bucks,” she continued.
Yeesh, never mind, I thought. Surely with my 40 mile/week fitness regimen, I can lose weight for free.
Except I couldn’t. I’d been stuck in a plateau, halfway to my weight loss goal, for almost two years.
I was sick and tired of taking blog photos from only certain angles.
Of not wanting my profile captured.
Don’t even get me started on full body shots and bathing suits!
On Thursday morning, I hopped on my whore of a scale and the writing was on the wall. An hour later, one thing was already lighter. My wallet.
And now this little piece of black plastic between my breasts tracks my every move, dictating my remaining caloric allowance based on activity, height, weight, age and gender. (Provided I honestly report my food intake using my Fitbit online account.)
Thankfully, for the project manager in me, it displays all of these goodies in some pretty neat dashboards and charts, which I can view on my computer or smart phone.
It wasn’t long before I realized I was a walking stereotype (pun intended). Despite my self-proclaimed diet savvy, I was severely underestimating my calorie consumption.
I even signed up for a trial premium subscription to check out how I compared to other Fitbit users in my country.
So now that I know every calorie going in and out, how am I doing?
Have you ever used any fitness gadgets? What are your dieting pitfalls and how do you cope?
Ahhh. I love settling into writing a post with a crisp, cool, Super Gulp-sized glass of vodka.
And hey, as long as we’re on the topic… Let’s talk about my latest blog giveaway contest! To celebrate Independence Day, I asked you to describe the person or thing you were unreasonably attached to – your codependent. One lucky entrant would receive this:
Boy. Your entries were stellar; I could scarcely pick a favorite angry cat meme. Nevertheless, the time has come to announce the sole winner. And that is…
Now is as good of time as any to unload something. I like to drink pickle juice. No, not a quick sip, but LONG pulls once the pickles are gone. No one needs to witness this. The spicier the better. Sooo, I’m hooked on McClure’s Spicy Bloody Mary mix because it’s sort of like drinking spicy pickle juice … with vodka. I am not always good at life. This stuff is insanity and makes me, but for a brief moment, forget my deplorable Cherry Chapstick addiction.
Obviously, we’re a codependent match made in heaven.
2) Amazing Fred pens, clever enough to trick anyone into thinking you frequent places like Verdant Fields Nudist Camp or Stuffed With Love Taxidermy.
Simply leave a comment describing your unreasonable attachment to any person, pet, place or object. Who or what controls you? That’s right. This Independence Day, we’re celebrating codependency! As usual, I’ll oh-so-subjectively pick a winner based on humor and originality.