Levelin’ Up

When I lived in Chicago I was able to walk anywhere and everywhere. Two miles to work? Pfft, that’s nothing. Five mile round trip after getting lost near Wrigley Field? My only regret was not wearing better shoes. Part of this was because I was in shape before I moved there, having just trained my way up to the Danskin triathlon and completed a mini indoor triathlon. Walking in Chicago kept my system going, and the only reason I gained weight was because the medication I was on jacked up my metabolism.

Now, I’ve been on my butt for a while. Even going to the fitness center every now and then hasn’t done much for me so I’ve been using Fitocracy to try and get myself into more regular exercise.

If you don’t know what Fitocracy is, it’s even easier to explain than Spotify. Basically, it’s a fitness program that gives you points for activity. It takes your tracked exercise and converts it into points that are then added to your profile, and you level up when you gain a certain number. People can give you props or comment to motivate you, and you can join teams (I’m in Dumbledore’s Army) to meet other people and get more motivation.

A perfect example of why it is great is this: I hate crunches and tricep dips. God, do I ever hate them. But thanks to Fitocracy’s addictive points system, I’ve been doing them every day without fail. Even when I didn’t do any walking or running, I did my stupid crunches because I wanted just a little more toward my next level. It’s basically grinding for experience and while I wouldn’t call it fun (neither is fighting random encounters so I can get enough money to buy a mythril helmet), I know it’s good for me and I like leveling up. Basically, it’s the perfect program for an RPG geek because even though the carrot at the end of the stick is just a little badge that says I gained a level it’s still a great motivator.

I wonder what it is about these social tools that motivates me so much? In the real world I try and stay away from people but online I make friends like a mofo. Maybe it helps that the people I’m interacting with on the site are ones that want to give me encouragement instead of telling me I’m going to fail, that don’t think that taking a walk isn’t “real exercise,” and that just because I don’t spend three hours at the gym lifting weights I’m not worthy of their time. It’s a community of somewhat geeky people (at least MY feed is) who are all in it for one reason: getting and staying healthy. There’s only one thing they can’t do for me.

I still hate crunches.

If you’re on Fitocracy, be my friend! I’m “geekerella” on there. I am sure you are surprised by this.

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Son of the Return of Tacos

I know I already had a taco happy, but this is a NEW taco happy.

Mister E went to play poker the other night and I stayed home to have a Hannibal Lecter movie marathon. I got out my copies of Manhunter, Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, popped in the first disc, sat down with my computer and started what promised to be an evening of quiet reflection and screaming at the screen.

Two hours later, I was down two packets of My Little Pony fruit snacks (when did they make those packets so tiny?) and a little peckish. So I tweeted that I really wanted tacos and that I wished I had some tacos. Then I ate another packet of fruit snacks because I was hungry and cannot drive.

Half an hour later, I got a text message from Mister E saying that he saw my tweet and he was bringing home tacos. So not only did I get tacos, I got more proof that my husband is the best husband ever and really does pay attention to the things I tweet. He also got nachos because apparently he’s going for some kind of husband award. ❤

What’s your happy for today? Trot on over to Band Back Together and tell us all about it!

Performance Anxiety

I’m gonna warn you, there’s a plug for my book here.

I wrote a book. See, there it is up there. It’s a mainstream fiction type of thing that has been described as a “love story that’s not really a love story” and has managed to weasel its way into the hearts of independent reviewers and readers alike. You can buy it for the Nook, the Kindle, or just about any other format you could possibly want at Smashwords for the reasonable price of 99 cents and people seem to really like it. And therein lies the problem.

You see, even the people who gave it three star reviews said that they liked the story and characters, to say nothing of what the people who gave it high ratings said. I even had someone who said they were mostly into genre reading but thought it was great. The consensus seems to be that it is a good book filled with many feels. While I’m really happy that people like it, it also makes me really anxious.

Every time someone says they like my book, I start getting worried that they’ll think the one I’m working on now isn’t as good. That they’ll think that I only had one book in me and that everything else will be crap. When I think about that, I end up staring blankly at my computer screen and not writing anything because I start worrying about sentence structure, the voice of the characters, the story arc and anything else I can possibly think about. Hell, I’m having trouble writing this stupid blog post.

I know that I should be encouraged by this praise, that I should use it to push myself forward and write more but I suppose I’m just afraid of disappointing them. I also know I’m supposed to write for myself or risk losing the voice that people like to read, but that also seems ridiculously difficult right now. I’m sure I’ll get over this at some point so for now I’ll just try to push through it and get something done. I’m also sure I’d still like to hear compliments and good reviews, so here comes that plug. If you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for? Trust me on this one, you’ll like it. Probably.

The Great Outside

Yesterday was an interesting day for your friendly neighborhood recluse. Yesterday morning I decided to go a little crazy (more than normal, y’know) and go for a walk in the neighborhood. And when I say that, I mean it a little loosely. You see, we live in an apartment complex that’s situated on the side of a highway access road. So to get to anything even related to a neighborhood, I have to walk up to the corner store and make a right. A little ways down and I’m in a pretty cute little area just in front of an elementary school.

According to the route I mapped, it was just short of 3 miles and it took me almost an hour to walk. It was a nice walk, though, and much to my relief I did not have a panic attack or get lost. I did bring along a bottle of Ativan and some water just in case there was a problem, and made sure there was a path I could cut down if I had to take it.

I’m pleased to report that I did not freak out. It also felt a lot shorter than I thought, and it was pretty nice outside so it was actually really enjoyable. I walked at a leisurely pace because I have a tendency to get shin splints when I walk too fast over uneven terrain, but I’m looking forward to strengthening my calves so I can walk a little faster.

While walking, I also came across a church that had one of those meditative labyrinths that said anyone was welcome at any time so if I ever have a tough decision to make I’ll know where to go to wander around for a while.

After I came back from walking, we watched a little bit of Deadly Premonition and then went to the pool. I’d been asking to go ever since school started back up so I wouldn’t have to deal with kids in my water and today was the day we’d agreed to go splash around. We went to the “back” pool and it was completely empty except for about a hundred bees, which Mister E carefully removed for me (no easy task without his glasses on) so I could swim comfortably. We also found a swimming ring, so it was pretty fun even though I almost whacked both of us in the head with the ring.

I also got a sunburn. You heard me. I was in the pool with Mister E for an hour and my shoulders and the back of my neck are sunburned. How the frak that happened (more accurately, how I missed them when I dumped a bottle of SPF 55 on my entire body) is beyond me but I’m like a lobster now.

This is why I do not go outside.

Walkies!

We found an Asian grocery near our apartment a week or so ago and, to my unending delight, they sell an pan there. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a piece of bread that looks like an unsliced hamburger bun filled with red bean paste. They have no sugar in the bread – all the sweetness comes from the red beans – and because it’s basically a huge mass of red beans there is a crazy amount of fiber in it. Basically, it’s a perfect food. And they’re selling them for $1.00.

Mister E got the great idea of using them as a carrot on a stick for me, so on Saturday we walked from our place to the Asian market to get me a delicious an pan. It was nice walking with him, getting a different kind of exercise, and of course getting my an pan. We also got some daikon radish pickles, which I can’t wait to try.

I would like to walk there again sometime, perhaps on my own, to get used to getting out of the apartment. I’m thinking that maybe I’ll try walking up to the neighborhood and around the “block” by myself because it might be less terrifying. I’m going to need one of those walking programs though, that use your GPS to tell you how far you went and what speed. Which means I’m going to eat up battery like crazy but at least I’ll know where I am, right? RIGHT?

What’s your happy for today? Head on over to Band Back Together and tell us all about it.