The Decade In Exercise

The 2010s have drawn to a close and its time to take a look back at the previous decade. Today, we finish off the series with exercise, specifically my step performance between 2010 and 2019. I started tracking my daily step totals in July of 2011, thanks to a program at work that ““encourages you to track your steps and help you to focus on your fitness in a simple and accessible way.”  The GlobalFit Destination: You program lasted until late January, 2015.  At the point, I had enough invested that I wanted to continue, so, after looking at a couple of options, I purchased my first Fitbit as a replacement option.  The rest of the decade used one of 4 Fitbits I’ve had (with the most recent coming this past Christmas), giving me about 8 1/2 years of data for the decade.

In just over 3 1/2 years on the GlobalFit program, I finished with 6,511,500 steps.  This estimates out to about 35,197 steps per week, or 5028 steps per day.  My best day came during a 2013 trip to Disney World, where excursions to both Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom ended with 24,988 steps.  I finished with 45 days over 10,000 steps, 4 days over 15,000 steps, and 2 days over 20,000 steps.  Over the last year and a half, my highest weekly total was 60,216, thanks to a trip to southern California in 2014, and my lowest total was a mere 15,800, thanks to a long Christmas vacation that caused me to lose data before I could check back in at work.

 

 

For the nearly 5 years remaining in the decade, I put up 13,041,430 steps tracked with a Fitbit.  That averages out to roughly 2.6 million steps per year, or 50,159 steps per week, or 7165 steps per day, over a 2000 step increase over the GlobalFit program.  My best day came during a 2018 trip to New York, where the day’s excursions included trips to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, Central Park, the Guggenheim museum, and, finally, the Empire State Building.  I finished with 216 days over 10,000 steps, 36 days over 15,000 steps, and 11 days over 20,000 steps.  My highest weekly total was 105,924, thanks to a trip to Washington DC last summer, and my lowest total was a mere 18,510, which really only consisted of 3 days as I switched over from GlobalFit to Fitbit.

Overall, I logged 19,552,930 steps in the 8 1/2 years I was keeping track, with 261 days over 10,000 steps, 40 days over 15,000, and 13 days over 20,000.  I completed 2 BTN 5Ks, 4 Sprint & Strides, 1 hike up a mountain, and numerous trips to foreign countries, amusement parks, and tourist destinations.  My highest step total by locations were: Continue reading →

The 10,000 Step Club – 2020 Edition

Last year, as I was finishing up my fourth year with the Fitbit, I took my last look at my 25 best step days since I first started tracking my steps way back in July of 2011.  At the time, I had surpassed the 10,000 step plateau 217 times.  In the past year, I have managed to add an additional 45 occurrences, my 3rd best year to date, for a total of 262.  With my fifth year using the Fitbit coming to an end last week, I thought it would be appropriate to take a new look at my top 25 step days over the past 8 1/2 years, featuring only 3 new entries.

1: 4/14/2018 – 27,470 steps

My best single day total is from my April 2017 trip to New York to see Angelina.  The day’s excursions included trips to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, Central Park, the Guggenheim museum, and the Empire State Building.

2: 7/21/2018 – 27,278 steps

My July 2017 trip to Virginia, to hike up Catawba Mountain to McAfee Knob with Jeff and Val, fell just short of the top spot.

3: 6/6/2013 – 24,988 steps

2013’s trip to Disney World, which spent 5 years as my single day best, included excursions to both Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom, and yes, falling 12 steps short of 25,000 still irks me.

4: 6/3/2019 – 24,665 steps

The first new entry comes thanks to last summer’s trip to Washington DC, and the day spent at the Smithsonian Zoo.

5: 8/8/2019 – 23,866 steps

The second new entry is from last summer’s work trip out to San Francisco and the day I walked to Pier 39 and then back to Oracle Park to see the Giants take on the Phillies.  It would have been even higher but I was dead tired and took an Uber back to the hotel after the game.

6: 3/18/2018 – 23,780 steps

Dropping out of the top 5 after only 1 year is my first day in Las Vegas for the 2017 IBM Think conference.  The day’s totals include gallivanting around town, including a trip up to Caesar’s Palace from the MGM Grand to see Absinthe.

7: 10/24/2018 – 23,362 steps

My October 2018 trip to Boston to see Angelina for our birthday gives us our next entry.  While she was in class, I took tours of Fenway Park and Harvard, before meeting up with her for a late lunch and then heading to the airport for the trip home.

8: 3/22/2016 – 22,493 steps

My one-time second highest day took place during the ill-fated trip to Disney World in March of 2016.  The day’s excursion started at Hollywood Studios before heading over to Epcot Center with Jeff and Val.

9: 7/27/2013 – 20,592 steps

Still my highest total at home in the state of Illinois, the next entry comes thanks to the 2013 BTN 5K and a, for lack of a better word, misunderstanding about where I should be picked up after the race.

10: 12/29/2018 – 20,374 steps

We wrap up the top 10 with 2018’s trip to California and the trip to Disneyland to see Danny perform with the Lincoln-Way Marching Band.

11: 8/5/2017 – 20,218 steps

The next entry came in August of 2017 on the first day of my trip to Boston with Danny and Michael.  After landing in town, we traipsed to the Science Museum, a breakfast joint, our hotel, and, finally, Fenway Park.

12: 7/14/2017 – 20,208 steps

Down to #12 is my 2017 trip to Disney World, a one day journey with Angelina to celebrate her high school graduation. Continue reading →

The Still Growing 10,000 Step Club

Last year, as I was finishing up my third year with the Fitbit, I took my last look at the top 25 step days I’ve had since I first started tracking my steps way back in July of 2011.  At the time, I had surpassed the 10,000 step plateau 165 times.  In the past year, I have managed to add an additional 52 occurrences, my best year to date, for a total of 218.  With my fourth year using the Fitbit coming to an end last week, I thought it would be appropriate to take a new look at my top 25 step days over the past 7 1/2 years, featuring 10 new entries.

1: 4/14/2018 – 27,470 steps

My best single day total is our first new entry, coming this past April during a trip to New York to see Angelina.  The day’s excursions included trips to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, Central Park, the Guggenheim museum, and the Empire State Building.

2: 7/21/2018 – 27,278 steps

Another new entry, from July’s trip to Virginia, fell just short of the top spot, thanks to a hike up Catawba Mountain to McAfee Knob with Jeff and Val.

3: 6/6/2013 – 24,988 steps

After 5 years as my single day best, 2013’s trip to Disney World falls down two spots.  The day’s excursion to both Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom ended up with a total of approximately 12.5 miles.

4: 3/18/2018 – 23,780 steps

The third new entry comes from last spring’s trip to Las Vegas for the IBM Think conference.  The day’s totals include gallivanting around town, including a trip up to Caesar’s Palace from the MGM Grand to see Absinthe.

5: 10/24/2018 – 23,362 steps

We round out the top 5 with the fourth new entry, from last fall’s trip to Boston to see Angelina for our birthday.  While she was in class, I took tours of Fenway Park and Harvard, before meeting up with her for a late lunch and then heading to the airport for the trip home.

6: 3/22/2016 – 22,493 steps

My former second highest day took place during the ill-fated trip to Disney World in March of 2016.  The day’s excursion started at Hollywood Studios before heading over to Epcot Center with Jeff and Val.

7: 7/27/2013 – 20,592 steps

My now seventh highest total, and my highest at home in the state of Illinois, came thanks to the BTN 5K and a, for lack of a better word, misunderstanding about where I should be picked up after the race.

8: 12/29/2018 – 20,374 steps

The eighth highest entry, and fifth new entry, took place just over a month ago and the trip to Disneyland to see Danny perform with the Lincoln-Way Marching Band.

9: 8/5/2017 – 20,218 steps

The ninth highest entry came in August of 2017 on the first day of my trip to Boston with Danny and Michael.  After landing in town, we traipsed to the Science Museum, a breakfast joint, our hotel, and, finally, Fenway Park.

10: 7/14/2017 – 20,208 steps

We wrap up the top 10 with another trip to Disney World, this time a one day journey with Angelina to celebrate her high school graduation. Continue reading →

2018: The Year In Movies

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The loss of my annual long December vacation saw a slight downturn in movie watching for me, with my lowest total since 1988.  I managed to watch 55 movies last year, my seventh consecutive year under 100 and my lowest total since 1993.  Again, many things contributed to this, chiefly the insane amount of TV I’ve been watching, the greater effort made towards going out for walks, and the awful amount of time I spend either at work or getting to and from work.

Here’s a look back at the first 50 movies I did manage to watch last year and what recollection, if any, I have of them. The films are listed in the order I saw them.

The French Connection (1971)
Hailed as one of the best films of the 70s, I can’t say it plays well here in the 21st century.

Cobra (1986)
Somehow I missed this Stallone “classic” back in the day.

Table 19 (2017)
The misfit table at a wedding bands together to settle scored, both old and new.

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017)
The classic board game moves to the video age in this sequel.

Patriots Day (2017)
Mark Wahlberg plays the hero of the Boston Marathon bombing.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
It certainly took me a while to see the latest installment in this franchise.

Life (2017)
A team of scientists find proof that life once existed on Mars, potentially dooming life on Earth in the process.

Snatched (2017)
Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn go on vacation together and hijinks ensue.

People Like Us (2012)
When his father dies, Chris Pine learns that he had another family that needs some help.

The Layover (2017)
Two friends compete over a man when a hurricane turns their flight in to a road trip. Continue reading →

Fitbit III: Week 19

A slow start turned into a tremendous week, as I broke 60,000 steps for the first time since the end of March/beginning of April.  Things started poorly with a 3500 step day on Sunday, ending my streak of days above goal at 24.  Monday bounced back, as a concerted effort to make up for Sunday got me over 9200 steps.  Tuesday saw me working a bit late, which led to a long commute and coming in at just over my 6500 step goal.  Wednesday I was able to combine some work activity with an after-work walk to surpass 11,000 steps.  Thursday was even better, thanks to a post-work trip to Wrigley Field that ended up with over 11,300 steps.  Friday needed some last minute pacing before falling asleep to get over goal for the day.  Saturday was the big day of the week, thanks to a morning walk on a new route and Angelina’s graduation party.  When all was said and done, I ended up with over 16,200 steps, my highest total since Universal last June.

Total steps: 64,503

Daily average: 9214.7

Fitbit III: Week 8

A tremendous week, as I broke 70,000 steps for the first time since I went to Universal last June and for the first time ever in the state of Illinois.  Things got off to a good start on Sunday, as trips to a few different grocery stores contributed to just surpassing 8500 steps, my lowest total of the week.  Monday was my first 10,000 step day of the week, thanks to extra walking at work for the Jiff steps challenge.  Tuesday was the highlight of the week, clocking in over 13,000 steps thanks to extra work walking and then a neighborhood stroll once I got home.  Wednesday and Thursday fell back down under 10,000 steps, but were still strong entries.  Friday set record high temperatures, which enabled me to get outside for a walk at work plus a coffee run to get back over 10,000 steps.  Saturday again featured multiple trips to the store plus some in-home pacing to surpass 10,000 steps for the fourth time and guarantee an average of over 10,000 steps for the week.

Total steps: 70,147

Daily average: 10,021

Fitbit III: Week 7

Another great week, as my streak of 50,000+ steps weeks hits 7, I broke 60,000 steps for the first time since getting back from Universal in June, and my consecutive days over goal streak reached 55.  Things got off to a slow-ish start on Sunday, as I puttered around the house before going to a wake to barely surpass my goal.  Monday and Tuesday came up with similar totals, thanks in part to similar trips to Mariano’s for lunch and trips to Hayley’s hotel to attend to her injured back.  Wednesday was the beginning of the March Madness Jiff challenge at work, where I am on a team with 3 levels of management above me, so I worked in a few extra walks during work to cross the 11,000 step plateau.  Thursday was even better, as a post-work excursion to Milwaukee to watch Purdue in the NCAA tournament helped me surpass 12,000 steps and garner my highest single-day total since the Sprint & Stride in September.  I spent Friday in an all day workshop, but an after-work walk around the neighborhood helped propel me to 9000 steps.  Saturday was split between a trip in to the city to watch rugby with Hayley followed by another trip to Milwaukee for the next round of the NCAA tournament, ending in an 8000 step day.

Total steps: 60,740

Daily average: 8677.1

Post Mortem – House

After 8 seasons, Hugh Laurie and the folks at Fox and Universal decided that the time had come for the adventures of Dr. Gregory House to come to an end.  And, frankly, it was about time, as the show, which had been a favorite and a ratings hit, had started to become a bit stale.

There were numerous times over the course of the series where House was changed, and any one of them could have given the show more to work with.  Instead, all of them were discarded over the course of a few episodes, putting House right back where he started.  As the seasons wore on, the charms of the original premise started to wear a little thin.  Bringing in a new team of doctors had given the show a creative boost in the fourth season, but doing so again this past season did not, despite the best efforts of Odette Annable and Charlyne Yi.

At the end, House went out the way he spent the entire run of the show, by breaking the rules to get what he wanted. In his wake, he left behind a legacy of 8 mostly strong seasons.