Friday, November 7, 2014

Two Birds and One Stone, Playtime = Gymtime

If you're anything like me, your idea of physical fitness consists less of how much you accomplish at the gym and more upon the evaluation of dozens of little decisions made daily. 

Decisions like parking toward the back of the parking lot at the grocery store so you have to walk further. And other decisions like saying "No" to the 12th Oreo in the bag because, THAT would be the threshold constituting overindulgence. 

At the end of the day, I take an inventory of all of these decisions. My confused, feeble mind attempts to calculate all the caloric credits and debits and I arbitrarily determine if it was a good day or a bad day.

The boy, after one of his intense
playtime sessions. 
I don' t know if this in any way mirrors what others do. Frankly I hope not, as it's a torturous exercise in self deprecation and, many times, self flagellation. ("Why oh why did I eat the sixth slice of pizza? Five was just fine." Ammigh riiight???)

What I do know, is that, for the vast majority of people, finding the time to go to the gym, or work out at home, can be difficult. Finding the motivation almost always is. 

I get paid to write for a living — not this blog, of course. (I do this because I have compulsive tendencies and need an outlet for an abundance of nervous energy which would otherwise manifest itself in the form of a tumor daily creative inspiration). 

While it's often stimulating, one thing writing isn't, is physically engaging. If you're fortunate to have a job that entails some physical activity, good for you.

For the rest of us, well, we gotta find what works. 

To that end, I might have stumbled upon something earlier this week while I was playing with the boy. 

We were alone again, as Mrs. Blackwell was out for the evening at yet another whisky tasting. 

The boy and I started out playing "hockey" in the basement, which lately consists of me tapping a small ball to him with a miniature hockey stick while he picks it up with his hands, and throws it in any direction where I'm not located and then screams, "Hockey!" 

The game shifted, we put down the sticks and started to play "airplane" (lifting the boy into the air with my feet while lying on my back). Then we played chase the boy, we played lift the boy, throw the boy, twirl the boy, flip the boy, bench press the boy, curl the boy and swing the boy. 

We did all of this and had fun doing so, but it wasn't until he asked me for the most innocent game of all that it hit me that I was working out. 

That game? 

Ring Around the Rosie. 

Sounds innocent enough, I know. But, we don't just circle, round and round; I lift the boy up and we swing in a circle until we all fall down to a lying position, before quickly jumping back to our feet which, as it turns out, is not as easy to do as one might think.

Dropping to the ground and standing up once? No problem. 

Twice? OK.


The drill sergeant from 'Full Metal Jacket.' Just replace
all the F-bombs with the word "more" and you get the
idea of the boy's approach to playtime with dad. 
Three times? Hmmm. This is getting a bit tougher to.......

Four times? Wait a second, I don't know if I want to do this any.....

It wasn't long before the boy started to cheat by not falling down. That said, he insisted I fall down — all the way down. 

As an adult, summoning the energy to fall down and stand up repeatedly is not something I have occasion to do frequently. As it turns out, it's damn tough.

It's especially so when you've got a relentless — and ruthless — two-year-old barking orders for more "Rosie."

I don't know how many Rosies I did that night but I do know that after he went to bed and my profuse sweating and blurred vision subsided, I came out ahead on the aforementioned arbitrary, daily caloric calculator. 

Getting to the gym, or finding time to dust off the P90X DVDs in the basement, isn't going to get easier as the boy gets older. However, as long as Master Blackwell is into Rosies, I can feel less guilt if I want to park closer to the front door of the grocery store. 

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