Friday, Dec. 12, 2008
Dear Diary:

One of the joys of living in the woods is that you get to see a lot of wildlife. Lots o' birds, squirrels, raccoons, tiny cranky skunks, porcupines and deer. Sometimes, though, you get reminders that there are some really big ass critters sharing your neighbourhood.

A few days back I noticed that something had broken through the ice on the new pond we've started near the house. The holes looked to be too large for deer, so I figured it might be a stray dog or maybe coyotes.

I wandered over to the pond to look at the tracks in the snow around the pond to see if I could identify our visitor. They were big tracks. Really big tracks. With claw prints on the end of them.

Uh oh.

I called the spousal unit over to look at them.

"Bear?" I asked.

"Bear," he confirmed.

Uh oh.

Then I noticed that it had completely torn up the ground under our bird feeders and ransacked the feeders, probably for the seed. When we had supper last week with a neighbour, he said a bear had done the same thing at his place. We've lived here over 30 years and never had bear come directly into the yard before. Hopefully it's a one shot experience.

Fortunately, it's gotten stupidly cold since then. Fingers crossed that Bruno has decided that hibernation is the way to go. While it's very nice to open the door and see tiny critters in the yard, coming face to face with a bear is not how I want to start my day.

Or end it.

Speaking of ending days, three evenings a night the spousal unit and I end our days by pitting ourselves against the 100 push-up challenge.

"Remind me what the point of this is," the spousal unit grunted through clenched teeth Wednesday.

Yes, we're still plodding away at this together. Plodding is most definitely the operative verb.

You're supposed to whip through this program in six weeks and then tah-DAH do 100 push-ups. You're supposed to advance three levels each week. Well, right now it's taking me five or six tries (basically about two weeks) to crawl up just one level.

I try, almost make it, and then two days later I try again. I come frustratingly close until one day, for no logical reason, I can finally do all five sets and move up one more level. At this pace, I will probably see 100 push-ups right around the time of my 60th birthday.

If I live that long.

Is it wrong of me to gloat that the spousal unit is also currently mired, and that it takes him four or five tries to advance a level? Yes, yes it is.

And still I gloat.


To myself.

On the exterior, I am supportive. Inside, I'm totally grateful that he's finding this as hard as I am. Yes, I am that petty a person. Oh, and jealous. Let's add jealous to the list.

I am mired at the top of Week 4 Beginners, which means the most push-ups I have to crank out is 16. He's at the bottom of Week 3 for Intermediates and has to find 16-21-15-15-21. He can already do 21 push-ups and gets all the way to 19 in his final set, so I know it's just a matter of time before he does all 88 push-ups in that set. 88 push-ups. It saps my will to live.

Still, I have to say that we've both made amazing gains. When I started I was lucky to get one set of 10 push-ups. Then my arms were totally burnt out. Amazing to think that over the five sets in my last level I cranked out a total of 55 push-ups. Sure, I was doing it at 11-13-9-9-13, but that means I did 55 push-ups in about 15 minutes.

This program really works.

As I expected, it's really toning my arms. What I didn't expect is how it's also strengthening my back and abs. The spousal unit reports that he really notices a difference in his back�he's prone to back problems and says his back feels a lot better than it has for a while. That's unexpected.

The downside to all this is that he's turned into a real keener. While he whines as much as I do about how hard it is to do the push-ups, the spousal unit's really invested now in finishing the program. Any hopes I had of slackitude are gone, poof.

Even worse, he insists that there won't be any breaks for Christmas because he doesn't want to lose any ground.

No. Breaks. For. Christmas.

I have created a monster.

A push-up monster.

When we began the push-up challenge, I seriously considered moving on to a pull-up challenge. Now? Not so sure.


Mileage on the Marnometer: 407.81 miles.

Going Nowhere Collaboration

Goal for 2008: 500 miles

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She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -

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