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Sunday
Jan172016

For Sentimental Reasons

This is a picture of Emily and I about sixteen years ago. I'm wearing the very first sweater that I ever knit for myself. The sweater was at least three years old, maybe four, by this point. I loved that sweater. I was ridiculously proud of it. It was so warm and cozy. It was also really big. I could fit it over top of other sweaters it was so big. These two factors made it ideal for trips up north to the cottage but not for much else. It was just too big: the body, the sleeves, all of it.

I moved it out of regular rotation and into the file of clothes dedicated to yard work. I only wore it for gardening a couple of times. I just felt too guilty. I loved that sweater and it wouldn't take long to get ruined out in the yard. I also couldn't stand the thought of giving it away. That's how it came to spend the next ten years locked in a plastic tote in the closet under the stairs. Whenever the seasons would change and the warm coats would replace the summer hats, the plastic tote would come out. Waiting for me every time was my brown sweater. My eyes would get big with surprise (every time). I would audibly exclaim how much I loved that sweater whether there was someone there to hear me or not (every time). I would pull it out and hold it up to myself, look down and remember the undeniable awkwardness of the thing (every time). Then I would fold it back up and tuck it away. After years of being unable to wear it and equally unable to throw it away I wondered why I didn't just turn it into something more useful. Turn it into a better version of itself.

This was the year. I spent countless hours haunting Ravelry until finding the perfect solution. A simple cape with a big chunky cabled edge. I unravelled all of those carefully constructed stitches and got to work. And now I love it. I wear it all the time (weather permitting) and even though it's almost unrecognizable from its former self, it still feels like I'm wearing the very first sweater I ever made for myself. It feels good.

Wednesday
Jan062016

December 2015

Tuesday
Dec082015

November 2015

Monday
Nov092015

October 2015

I don't take pictures every day but I do take pictures most days.

I haven't done a monthly round up for a long time. Now that there is some distance between me and them I see why they are so important.

1. They motivate me to take more pictures.
2. They require me to organize the photos I've taken at least once a month. If I don't, my folder of images becomes a monster I don't have time to tame.
3. I love to see how the month translates into a few favourite images. An unintentional theme always emerges. And I love going back to look at them again and again.

Monday
Oct262015

30 Repetitions from Hell

I have been known to find the rabbit hole that is the internet. I have spiralled for hours. I've learned a lot of things and been inspired by even more. I have also wasted a lot of time on nothing. And to call it nothing is probably giving it a compliment. I'm pretty sure that some of the garbage that sucked me in probably stole a few IQ points.

I have also been noticing that I'm a little out of shape. By the end of this entry, we might all agree to call me a lot out of shape. My body is a little rounder. My lungs are a little shallower. The hills (and Lunenburg is a pretty hilly place) are a lot bigger than they used to be.

The fact that the first point and the second point are happening in tandem is purely coincidental. At least that's what I'm going to keep telling myself.

While journeying down the rabbit hole one day I saw an article titled The 15-Minute Workout Everyone is Talking About. I'm not sure who everyone is since this was the first time I'd heard of it but but still everyone is a lot of people and who am I to question so I promptly clicked that link. It certainly looked easy enough. The thing that really caught my eye was the phrase Rest for One Minute. Workouts that include resting are just my thing and this one called for you to do it 5 times. Rest five times in 15 minutes? A third of the workout is resting? Yes, please. Well, actually maybe. Let me sleep on it. Or at least finish my journey through the rabbit hole.

A few days later the same article popped into my sidebar. Everyone was turning out to be a lot more people than I thought so I took another look. It still seemed easy enough. The workout still involved 5 minutes of absolutely nothing. All the double-clicking in the world wasn't going to firm up my body and racing through the rabbit hole faster than normal was doing nothing for my lung capacity. Time to give it a try. I employed my internet trolling skills to figure out what burpees were. Burpees and dips. I didn't want to rush into this exercise thing without all the facts.

Let me start by saying that resting for one minute is a joke for this out-of-shape body. Three minute rest periods would have been a little more my speed. I may have taken a three minute break in there somewhere. I'm leaving it open to suggestion but I'm not comfirming anything.

I stood in my living room where nobody could see me and felt just as exposed as I did wearing my shorts in the freezing cold gym in ninth grade. The only thing missing were the giggles and snears from the two girls who sat at the end of my row. I still felt just as out of place.

I figured that each of these tasks would require the same amount of athletic output so I let the first task set the pace. Thirty squats. Easy enough, right? Wrong. Twenty. Huffing, puffing and starting to sweat I managed to squeeze out twenty. But it was my first day in at least 20 years. Twenty's not bad. I just stuck with twenty. Twenty for everything instead of thirty. That sounded fair. A one minute rest. Well deserved. I set the timer. That was a fast sixty seconds but no matter. I moved onto the second task. Push-ups. I remembered push-ups being hard for me. Good thing I moved the bar down to twenty. One. One full push-up. That was just too embarassing to be real. They must have meant half push-ups. The ones you do from your knees. Nine more. Nine halves plus a full push-up. That's ten. One minute rest earned. I reflected on the sad state of affairs that I call my body and decided another ten were in order. After the full minute rest, of course. I did it. Ten more push-ups. Yes, I was huffing, puffing and sweating for real now but I did twenty push-ups... almost in a row. I took another minute. On to burpees. Or action push-ups. Either way, I knew it wasn't going to be good. I could squat down but it was far more graceful to extend my legs one at a time in a way that was more reminiscent of slow-motion movie making. I think calling what I was doing graceful is an indication of my ability to sugar-coat the truth. I was able to jump my legs back to the squat. Most of the time. Half of the time. Some of the time. I'm not sure. The oxygen level in my brain was severely depleted by this point. Oh and the jump at the end. We can't forget about the jump. The finale. The thing that makes the burpee so satisfying. If the jump was supposed to make a sound it was proably supposed to be WOOOHOOOO! All caps. With an exclamation point of satisfaction. My jumps sounded more like meh. All lower case, unbolded. Absolutely no exclamation point. I would have even set it in a smaller point size if I could. That's how jumpy my jumps were. Set the timer. I can't set the timer for less than one minute so I know it was a full minute. I let it beep a while just to make sure. Crunches. I did twenty. It wasn't too hard. Well, not impossible. I must have been doing it wrong. Set that timer. Dips. I did them on the edge of a chair set against the wall. I put my arms in place and had my legs closer to the chair than farther. The man in my research video assured me this was the easier way. I didn't test the theory but I couldn't imagine it being much harder... fourteen, fifteeeen, sixteeeeeen, seventeeeeeeeeeeen. Yup. That's enough. Seventeen. Done! Huffing, puffing, sweating, resting! Set that timer for five. You earned it.

Final Score

Squats: 66%
Push Ups: 3%
Burpees: 15%
Crunches: 66% but if you factor in the fact that I did them wrong 0%
Dips: 57%

Breaks: 140% just look at me go.