Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Log books provide motivation

Log books are a wonderful source of motivation for me. During the past three years I've kept a log book for kayaking and for part of that time I also logged my running miles. In fact, during 2010 I kept a workout log for all my fitness activities. It was part of a fitness program developed by the company where I was working at the time. Employees received a deduction on their company-sponsored health insurance premiums by meeting certain minimum workout goals, which I did easily as part of my regular routine of kayaking, x-c skiing, running and bicycling.

2010 results:

  • Running: 54 hours, 352 miles
  • Kayaking: 162.5 hours, 93 times in the kayak
  • Scuba: 11 hours,  15 dives
  • Biking: 9.6 hrs, 134 miles

Near the end of 2011 I ended my employment at the company and therefore with its fitness program. I lost track of the workout log I was keeping that year. However, I did keep a separate kayaking log so I know that I logged a total of 330 kayaking miles in 2011.

In 2012 I kept a more detailed kayaking logbook. I also keep a dive log for all my scuba dives. I now have 110 lifetime open water dives, with more coming in a few weeks.

2012 results:

  • Kayaking: 118 times for a total of 514 miles
  • Scuba:  17 dives

Monday, January 10, 2011


According to Wikipedia: "A euphemism is a substitution for an expression that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the receiver, using instead an agreeable or less offensive expression, or to make it less troublesome for the speaker. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse, while others are created to mislead." One euphemism that I frequently hear is when men refer to themselves as being "big." Of course, nine times out of ten, they are not just big; they are fat. But somehow, calling themselves "big" seems to carry a positive meaning in our society. Let's call it like it is. If you are 6' 10" tall and 250 lbs or less and can run a mile in 8 minutes or less, then I will grant that you are indeed "big." Otherwise, you are fat.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Day paddle on the Chicago River

It was a cold day. Temperature of 18F with stiff winds making the windchill about 0. Still, it was fun to get out on the water with dozens of other paddlers. This picture was taken by a photographer for the Chicago Tribune.

2010 fitness log totals

Totals from 2010 outdoor fitness logbook - Kayaking: 162.5 hours, 342 miles - Running: 54 hours, 352 miles - Skiing (downhill and x-c): 21 hours - Scuba: 11 hours - Biking (road and MTB): 9.6 hours, 134 miles* - Other workout activities: weight lifting, hiking, rock climbing - Total workout hours: 377 *My lowest yearly biking total since learning how to ride; a reflection of my kayaking addiction.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New study links "active travel" to health issues

Good reason to leave the car behind and walk or bike the next time you need to run errands. Results of a soon-to-be published study underscore the huge importance of walking and bicycling in combating two major U.S. public health epidemics – obesity and diabetes. John Pucher, PhD, professor of urban planning at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and HIS colleagues will publish their findings in this month’s issue of The American Journal of Public Health. The team of researchers looked at health and travel data for 14 countries, all 50 U.S. states and 47 of the 50 largest American cities. “At all three geographic levels, we found statistically significant, negative relationships between active travel and self-reported obesity,” they said. “At the state and city levels we found statistically significant positive relationships between active travel and diabetes. Over half of the variation among countries’ obesity rates is linked to differences in walking and cycling rates.” The researchers concluded that their study, which agrees with others that have been done, demonstrates the health benefits of active travel. They suggested transport, land-use and urban development policies be designed to encourage more walking and cycling for daily travel.