On April 17, in one of the several little notebooks I scribble in daily so I don’t actually pester the internet with all my bullshit, I unofficially began a 100-day fitness challenge. It’s unofficial because I’m figuring it out as I go, I guess. I have two goals so far: variety and no rest. That is, I’m not going to skip a day, for 100 days. I typically take 2-3 days a week off. That’s out the door, for a few.
Now, if I was going for 10 mile runs or doing heavy duty kettlebell/strength stuff for 2 hours each day, that’d be an utterly insane goal for a man my age, with some of the medical challenges I’ve had in the past. I’m not that crazy.
I’ll work out at least once a day, and no routine will be shorter than 12 minutes. That may mean 5 straight days of 12-15 minutes of something, each day, but that’s better than nothing. To keep myself honest, I’m noting what I do on paper. That’s also a way to organize the effort and keep it honest on the variety end of things. I’ve found that since I went from just running or walking to body weight, dumbbells and kettlebells, I have favorite exercises and will stick to those if I don’t think too hard about it–when my body might be better served by a wider variety of lifts and moves.
I suppose I just want to see what, if anything will happen. I don’t necessarily feel I’m at a plateau right now or anything, but I do feel a bit slowed, somehow. And there’s something charming in the 100 Days concept, even if I get tired of seeing “inspiring” 100 Days videos posted on Facebook (hell no, I’m not going to make any videos, ew). That’s not the fault of the people using the challenge to achieve something, it’s the fault of our forced inspiration/whimsy internet culture. Which is another subject, entirely.
Sometimes the neatness with which a minor historical moment lines up with today’s world is hard to ignore. The article on the left is a throwaway item from the front page of the Sunday New York Times, published April 12, 1914. It was probably more appropriate to a society page, but editors have always scrambled to fill space with meaningless content. This particular meaningless filler came from an American who’d apparently married into nobility (see Downton Abbey for a noted fictional example of the same) but still wasn’t above finding a way to brag about meeting Pope Pius X and discussing with him the favorite obsession of moral scolds of the day, the dastardly dance craze known as The Tango. As you see in the article, the Pope noted that the Church had banned the dance and that it was a “children’s craze” that would fade away. Like heelies and blinking lights on shoes, or The Marijuana, I guess. Pope Pius X would soon die and be replaced by Benedict XV. The tango, which had been around since the 1890s, would endure and become a beloved part of South America’s cultural heritage, particularly in Uruguay and Argentina–which is, funny enough, where the current Pope, Francis, was born, in 1936.
Richard Parker, the man whom I knew when we were boys and who allegedly murdered his in-laws with a package bomb in February, goes on trial in October. Richard made a court appearance in Lebanon, TN this morning. In that preliminary hearing, his trial date was set for October 28, 2014. The Lebanon Democrat reports that Richard has been “charged with two counts of premeditated first-degree murder, two counts of felony first-degree murder and one count of unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon.” The Tennessean notes that Richard is being defended by public defenders and is currently being held at the Riverbend Maximum Security Prison. The Tennessean’s Andy Humbles also reports that Richard’s case is no longer sealed.