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Neighborhood Walks

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. Longtime readers of my blog – going back to its debut here on WordPress some 15½ years ago – may remember a series of blog posts under the heading of “The Major’s Walk-A-Thon”. It’s where I revealed and described my various neighborhood walks – mostly at dawn. They were dedicated to the memory of my Dad – who lost the ability to walk on his own in 2007 – and eventually passed away from the devastating effects of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

16 months into my fantastic journey (salvation in Christ) I began neighborhood walks to get healthy – physically, mentally, and spiritually. The walks were mostly over 1 mile in length, and up to 2, 3, and even 4+ miles. They were confined to the dry seasons here in South Florida – generally from October to May. They were “power walks” – with a pace of between 17 and 18 minutes per mile.

Season 1 was 2007-2008, and it was a shock to the system, as I had never done such a thing before in my entire life – walk to get fit. It was well-documented here on my blog. At that time in my life – I was slowly rebounding from the worst physical shape of my life. (I actually quit drinking less than 2 months earlier.)

I’m now approaching the end of Season 16. That’s right – 16 seasons of walking. So far this season I’ve walked around my neighborhood 27 times. That’s the 2ND-most number of walks in a season (surpassed only by Season 8 – 2014-2015). Those 27 walks include 8 in my longtime Homestead neighborhood (or the nearby city park) – and 19 in my new Sebring neighborhood. (My new 55+ neighborhood is near-ideal for such walks, and many of my neighbors are doing it too. I need to keep-up with them.)

So far this season I’ve walked a total of 37.80 miles. That’s the 4TH-highest number of miles (surpassed by 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017).

This season is not yet complete. We’re still getting (weak) cold fronts up in the Florida Heartland, and those cold fronts are still delivering the refreshing 60s into the region at dawn, and low humidity during the day and into the early-evening hours. Eventually it’ll get too consistently wet, warm, humid, and buggy to walk, so I’ll just be resting-up in preparation for an early debut to Season 17 come September !

Next #TravelThursday it’s all about the miles – on my car. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2023 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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Step By Step

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. I’m on my 4TH smart watch now in 7 years. I was introduced to the wonderful world of Fitbit back in November 2015. It was one of my surprise #ThanksChristmasGiving gifts that year from my family. I wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t really know what a Fitbit was back then. They bought me a Fitbit Charge. I eventually got that first Charge replaced with a new one free-of-charge because the wrist band broke on it. After a few years I got a Fitbit Blaze to replace my Charge, and that was definitely an upgrade. I had to replace the wrist band for it several times, but recently it’s been increasingly difficult to find replacements because it’s obsolete. (I’ve been lucky to find it mostly via Amazon.)

I asked my brother for a Fitbit Sense 2 (brand-new in 2022) as my main #ThanksChristmasGiving gift this year, and that’s exactly what I was expecting to open at the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving morning.

I did not get that. I removed the wrapping paper, and there it was – an Apple Watch. For a few moments I was disappointed. My brother kind of sensed that, as he mentioned that he had the gift receipt for it in case I didn’t want it.

I don’t return gifts. I embrace gifts. So as is tradition on Thanksgiving morning – after everyone in the family opened all of the gifts underneath the Christmas tree – I went upstairs to pack. (I usually drive or fly back home the next day.)

But before packing for the return trip home – I unpacked my new Apple Watch, and I charged it up all the way while doing research for it online. (I knew nothing about Apple Watch until I read all about it.) The more I read – the more I got excited about it. I was looking forward to having it completely charged so that I could take off my Fitbit Blaze for the final time and put on my Apple Watch for the first time. And so I did that.

My new Apple Watch has been on my left wrist ever since then – with the exception of showering every day and recharging it every couple of days. I even wear it to bed to monitor my sleep. In a nutshell – I love it. It’s got far more features than my former Fitbit Blaze – particularly all of the charts and graphs on the various iPhone apps associated with it.

I wonder how long this wrist band is going to last ?

I guess I’ll be with Apple Watch indefinitely now. Fitbit had a good 7-year run on my wrist.

Next #TravelThursday I’ll go the distance. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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The Major’s Walk-A-Thon

Date: Saturday April 09TH 2022
Time (EDT): 7:14 AM – 8:14 AM
Sunrise (EDT): 7:05 AM
Location: Homestead Florida
Sky: Partly Cloudy
Temperature: 60°F / 16°C
Dewpoint: 57°F / 14°C
Relative Humidity: 88% Rising
Winds: Calm
Barometric Pressure: 30.07″ / 1,019 MB Rising

Longtime readers of my blog know this series. It’s one of the originals from the late-2000s era.

“The Major’s Walk-A-Thon” is simply the name of my personal fitness program that has run concurrently with much of my salvation in Jesus Christ. You can read how it all began at High Noon on Christmas Eve in 2007. That approximate 0.75-mile walk unsuspectingly began 15 seasons of intentional powerwalking around my neighborhood and elsewhere.

Each season is generally the 7-month mid-October to mid-May dry season here in South Florida where I live. This is Season 15, and this is my 3RD walk of the season. Last season (14) was pretty bad, as I only walked 3 times for a total of 6.72 miles. It was my worst season since Season 7 (2013-2014). This season (which is drawing to a close) may possibly be worse than last season, but hopefully it won’t with at least one more walk.

So this past Saturday at dawn on an unusually chilly South Florida morning in the low-60s (even some scattered upper-50s) I took advantage of the chill in the air, and I ventured over to the city park about a mile-and-a-half down the road from my neighborhood. It’s got lots of open spaces to walk or jog including an elevated (atop a manmade hill) 0.475-mile rectangular asphalt track.

This was a 3.40-mile power-walk in 59 minutes and 41 seconds. That’s a pace of 17 minutes and 33 seconds per mile. (I walked 3.42 MPH.) I did 7 laps around the track.

Some #Fitbit heart rate stats – 35 out of 59 minutes in “peak”; 19 out of 59 minutes in “cardio”; 162 BPM at peak; 142 BPM on average.

This walk by itself was longer than I walked in an entire day in the 7 days prior. It was my longest powerwalk in over 4 years – since my final walk of Season 11.

Fun Fact: During the start of the COVID pandemic (when we were all in lockdown) I powerwalked around my neighborhood on 16 mornings for a total of 23.10 miles.

We’ll see how it goes over the remaining 5 weeks of our dry season. Once the rains arrive, so do the bugs, and it’s no fun to walk in heat, humidity, and swarms of bugs – especially mosquitoes. (I live near the edge of the Everglades – where the bugs are born.)

Well I thank you for reading a special Wednesday edition of my blog. This weekend got an early start. Tomorrow it’s #TravelThursday – followed by #GoodFriday. After that it’s #SundayScripture – followed by #Top10Monday.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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Weekend Kickoff Mini-Thoughts

It’s Thursday, and it’s the start of a fresh new weekend of blogging. Longtime readers of my blog will know that this was once a Thursday night tradition. I only do this every once in a while these days. It’s my ‘Mini-Thoughts’ – a rapid-fire session of random thoughts on my mind right this minute:

  • I got my first dose of the Moderna COVID vaccine a couple of days ago.
  • Right now only Seniors are getting in Florida.
  • I work for the military, so I was lucky to get it early.
  • My second dose will be in 4 weeks.
  • I got the COVID vaccine 18 days after getting the Shingles vaccine.
  • That was my second of two doses of the Shingles vaccine.
  • I am not an “anti-vaxxer”.
  • I didn’t know there was such a thing as an “anti-vaxxer” until recently.
  • Some don’t get vaccines because they believe they do more harm than good.
  • Some don’t get vaccines because it’s against their religious beliefs.
  • Getting vaccines are a personal choice for each individual.
  • I neither promote nor denounce vaccinations to anyone.
  • I recently signed-up for the Discovery Plus streaming service.
  • If I’m not careful I can easily binge-watch shows on it for many hours.
  • Looks like I’ll soon sign-up for Peacock as it absorbs WWE Network.
  • I also like to “Hulu & Hibernate”.
  • I don’t “Netflix & Chill”.
  • I’m looking forward to my upcoming Florida road-trip.
  • Looks like I’ll cover about 575 miles in 5 days.
  • I’ll blog all about it after I return home.
  • Looks like I’ll drive more miles this month than 7 months last year.
  • Next month I’ll drive more than twice as many miles as this month.
  • It’s been a chilly winter here in South Florida.
  • I was shivering in December and the first-half of January.
  • I think it’s our coldest winter since 2010-2011.
  • Recently we’ve enjoyed a few days in the 80s for the first time in 2021.
  • But it’s gonna get chilly again starting today.
  • 50s in the morning is chilly for us.
  • We’ve had 7 mornings in the 40s since the start of December !
  • Exactly 35 years ago today the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated.
  • It occurred right after I got home from work (in England).
  • I think I watched BBC coverage of it for the rest of the night.
  • Exactly 2 years ago today I was in the middle of the Caribbean on a cruise.
  • We were supposed to spend the day on Grand Cayman Island.
  • But we couldn’t reach the island due to ferocious northerly winds.
  • A strong cold front had made it deep into the Caribbean.
  • It was an unusually chilly day on the islands and at sea.
  • So we had an “extra fun day at sea”.
  • I can’t wait to get back on a cruise next year.
  • Here’s my towel animal from exactly 2 years ago:

Towel Animal

All rights reserved (c) 2021 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries