Sometimes, math hurts. For example, a little over a week ago, I loaded up a video game, and my save game file told me how much time I’d invested in that game. Then, I compared that number to the amount of time I’d actually owned said game. And I compared to the time I’d recently invested in actual responsibilities.

I wish I could say I was surprised, but I’ve been here before. As much as I love a good video game, if I get too caught up in one, it’ll eat my life. I hope that my wife would tell you that I’ve improved in this area. The days of World of Warcraft are (thankfully) behind me.

But media and video games in particular seem to be one of those things I have a hard time growing out of. That’s not to say that video games are only for children, but I would say playing them overly much is. When it comes right down to it, it’s not so much a question of whether I should play a video game in my free time, but whether I’ve done everything else I could or should be doing, and if I truly need that sort of down time. It would be nice to sit down to play a game knowing that I’m truly in a good position to do so.

Will I change? That’s the question I end up asking myself. If I’ve been here before, will I inevitably be here again? Hopefully, asking the question is part of the answer.

What about you? Is there something that you need to move down the priority ladder?


Couch to 5K? Me?!

As a kid, I remember having to run a mile in grade school and wondering why I couldn’t just walk it. So what in the world would compel me at this point in my life to think running was a good idea?

It starts with me thinking about how not in shape I’m in. And over a year ago, I started working out with a friend. But as my schedule filled up, my workout schedule emptied out. Now I have his weight set in my basement and it sits collecting dust.

But the entire time, I’ve been keeping up with Nerd Fitness, a site run by Steve Kamb. The name is right on, because it is the fitness site for nerds and geeks. Each week he writes some great articles about eating healthy, working out, and, as he puts it, “leveling up your life.”

By reading articles there and at other sites and thinking about how I need to work out more, I decided it was time to kick something in gear. I needed something I could pick up quick and do right away. So after some digging around at the Nerd Fitness message boards, I decided I might give endurance exercises a try like running or biking. I already own a bike and have always wanted to in the annual bike ride across my state. Plus, I saw some coverage of the Iron Man last year and thought, “That would be a pretty cool accomplishment.”

I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to either of those points, but I figure I need to start somewhere. So with winter here in full gear making biking a little more difficult, I decided to start out with running. Many places I’ve researched recommend a Couch to 5k to start. It’s around a 9 week program that gets you started running and moves you to the point where you can run a 5k. Hopefully, I’ll knock that out of the park, and from there, who knows?

Are you a runner? If so, any tips or encouragement for a running newbie like me? Any equipment or websites or plans you’ve found helpful?

Mr. Mom

There are times where you’re given a responsibility.  The weight of it falls on you, and yet, despite your training, you feel woefully unprepared.  You take it on with gusto, but at the end of the day, you wonder how you’ll keep going.  This is the story of me as Mr. Mom.

Over the weekend, my wife came down with a nasty stomach bug, and had to be quarantined.  Before we had kids, this wasn’t fun.  Actually, it never happened.  But if it had, it would have meant me checking up on her, going on runs to the grocery store for ginger ale, etc., and otherwise hanging around the house by myself.

Except we have a two-year-old.  This changes everything.  Rather than just crashing in between care sessions, I am now the sole caretaker.  Sometimes, I get exhausted with our daughter when both of us as parents are running optimally.  It was time to kick patience into overdrive.  Also, the Wii and Netflix are both awesome.

Maybe that makes me sound like a bad parent.  We still played with Legos, and wrestled, and the usual crazy dad stuff.  But Dad is only used to doing these things for spurts, not all day.  And with Mom sick, sanity must be maintained.

In the end, I made it, and I cleaned up the house to boot.  I also learned a few things.  For instance, when push comes to shove, I am capable of making meals, changing diapers, playing games, and cuddling for two days straight.  Also, my wife is pretty much the greatest mom ever, and I never want to be a single dad.

I’m posting every week in 2011!

The other day, my wife and I were discussing New Years Resolutions.  She let me know that she doesn’t make them since she doesn’t often remember or follow through on them.  And I think that’s a fair assessment.  Like anything, resolutions are merely tools to help you accomplish what you want.  And I’m as forgetful as the next guy.

Before this year started, I’d already made a goal, perhaps even a resolution.  I wanted to blog more in 2011.  But I knew that wouldn’t work.  It’s a pretty vague goal, and easy to ignore.  Besides, how do I measure it? Should I count the total number of posts I made last year and then do one more this year?  That’s just silly.  So I decided that I would try to post once a week all year.  It was measurable, definitely more consistent than last year, and gave me a clear outline of what I should be doing.

Then I found out that WordPress (the home of this blog) was encouraging bloggers to do the same.  So this post is to let you know that I’m taking them up on their encouragement.  I’ll be posting once a week, both here and at my review blog Mike on Media. So I guess that’s twice a week.

Regardless, if you’re stopping by as a part of Post a Week or Post a Day, thanks!  I hope I can craft some content you’ll find worth reading.  If you’re as regular a reader as possible on this irregular blog, feel free to hold me accountable and share your thoughts in the comments below.