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Kerry in Shenandoah

There I am, hiking in Shenandoah National Park two weekends ago. Yes, I’ve gained four pounds. No, I’m not happy about it. But I’m back here blogging about it at least, so we start anew 

Pat, Emma and I

See that dog? Her name is Emma. She weighs 14 pounds. She kicked my ass down hill for three miles and then straight back up. Wench. Pat, her human, is my former roommate. Pat grew up hiking in South Africa. She hardly even cracked a sweat. I’m sweating like a beast and in this photo we’re still on the way down the hill, not anywhere near the bottom (or the climb back up!). Wench.

Bear!! And not Bear Grylls!

Yeah, this bear was hanging out by the side of Skyline Drive, the road through Shenandoah. He waited until traffic stopped in both directions to stare at him before he crossed. If you think about it, that was really very human of him.

Jefferson's gazebo

Pat and I went to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s former estate. Pat thought she should chill in the gazebo structure, that hangs over the edge of a cliff in the vegetable garden. I thought she looked quite natural there.

Am I happy?

That’s me, self-photo-ing in front of Jefferson’s house. Okay, technically, behind his house. On his lawn. It was HOT. But you know, I love me some history. I really do.

Me and the big guy himself

That’s me. And Jefferson. He looks a little stiff in this photo. It’s cause he’s been dead for about 280 years. Or thereabouts.

Okay, so what else to bring up you to date on?

Family reunion: happened last weekend. I realized that I’m taller than my whole family, except for my brother. I think the average height on people on my dad’s size is about 5’2″, mostly because the family only has four or five guys and a LOT of women. It was kinda like henfest. But funner.

Got a gym membership. My last one expired while I was at FR this spring. I kept hoping my old employer would hook me up with a reduced rate membership. However, I realized after about oh, two months, this just wasn’t gonna happen. Still, I lost two months of working out. I suck.

I went to the gym yesterday morning before work. Yes, I changed my work hours. Well, I’m trying to. I’m working from 10-6, officially. In reality, that means I’m working for 8 hours from whenever I get into the office, but I should be starting at 10. I’m also on call only every other week during the evenings and that following weekend. Yeah, I got me some help.

My gym experience yesterday was just shy of awful. I was pretty sure at one point that my heart was going to explode all over the gym. It’s gonna be okay. I’m going in to do the treadmill for 20 and a circuit of weights for 20 tomorrow. I’ll just start over. I hate doing this. I don’t know why I do this to myself, other than I’m lazy.

Well, sorta. I bought a car almost specifically so that I could go to the gym. Yeah, that sounds strange, doesn’t it? But there’s a REALLY good gym about 6km from my house. I totally knew I could go in the morning and then go to work, but it’s impossible to get to by bus. So, I have a car and have no excuse now. None.

So, I have employer support on the working somewhat regular hours thing. I’ve also got their support on getting a parking pass in the building (which would be sweet). I’m on the good drugs and yes K, I’m taking your supplement which does indeed seem to make me feel better.

So, what’s left to do to turn my 4 pounds up into 54 pounds down? A lot. I’m leaving on Saturday for basically a month away. Two weeks I’ll be in Quebec City, living in an apartment about 10 minutes walking distance from the office. I’ll be working in French, and am replacing a regional colleague. I’ve always wanted some regional experience, and getting to use and improve my french will be great, if somewhat mentally fatiguing. The apartment is also near a 10km walking/bike path that runs along the St Lawrence Seaway. I plan to walk for an hour each day while I’m there, cause there’s no gym. Good times.

And then I’m off to the arctic. I’m doing some work on an icebreaker this summer and will indeed document it for you guys. There’s a gym on the boat and I intend to use it regularly, since I’m trapped on the boat for 9 days. It’s a big boat, but not THAT big. I have my safety shoes and will bring my sneaks and will be in like flynn.

When I’m back in mid-August, I’m back at the gym, working 10-6, switching off with my new backup who has a baby and would much prefer to work 8-4. I think this schedule will a) make my stress level go down; b) enable me to get actual work done instead of runnign around following up on stuff non-stop; c) let me focus more on me and what I want to do instead of what others expect me to do; and d) hopefully see the remainder of my stress-induced health problems go away. I’m hoping to see a very slow but realistic weight loss as a result.

My friend Pam is on a journey similar to mine. I think she tends to be more committed than I am. I was thinking about this tonight. The issue of commitment. It goes back to a discussion/talk I attended at Fitness Ridge. I have to commit to myself. I have a really hard time with that.

I wish I could win the lottery. I’d go back to Fitness Ridge and stay there until I looked like my cousin that I met for the first time last week. She and I look VERY alike. Except she’s a size 8 and still has pigment in her hair. I know now what I’d look like, I really do. I’d be really very cute. But, I don’t have the money to go and sort myself out. I just don’t. I really do wish I could win the lottery. I was there with a woman who was staying for 13 weeks. I thought to myself “man, that’s a REALLY long time”, but you know what? She left there feeling better than she has in her whole life, I’m sure. She paced herself.

Max, the brother of Mike from this year’s The Biggest Loser, is at Fitness Ridge now. He’s been there for 6 weeks and he lost 60 pounds. Clearly he weighs more than I do, so his weight would come off quicker than mine, but man, I would be coveting 4 pounds a week for 12 weeks. That would put me below what my doc thinks is my high end of healthy weight. I wouldn’t have to worry about starting cholesterol meds and insulin resistance meds. I just… I wish I could win the lottery. In my whole life, I’ve never consistently bought lottery tickets. I buy them twice a week now.

I have to commit to doing this. I have to commit. I just wish I had a little more help. Yanno?