Exercising: 2021 review

1 Jan

When I last wrote about exercising I found the totals quite unbelievable. I look back at those today with a smile, because the ones I now have 9 months after are even more unbelievable. So I’ll check back here in a year to see how relative this all is.

My Apple Watch is my coach

This wearable wonder of computing makes it very easy to stay on top of sports. The reminders are annoying but useful and I noticed that I got those only when I slacked (hint, hint), which does not happen frequently. That’s how driven I am.

Monthly challenges

In 2021 I earned each of the monthly challenges, which are determined based on recent past progress and are meant to either keep you at the same level or elevate you a bit, so that at the end of the year you have improved. I wonder how big they can be after a while.

  • 10x double move goal
  • 180.9 km (6.5/d)
  • 17x double move goal
  • 30x close all rings
  • 19x double move goals
  • 349.5 km (11.7/d)
  • 3695 minutes (120/d)
  • 26700 kcal (861/d)
  • 4220 minutes (140/d)
  • 318.4 km (10.2/d)
  • 27500 kcal (917/d)
  • 4770 minutes (153/d)

Apparently there is a point after which every challenge rotates between kil(ometers), min(utes) and (k)cal.

In 2020 I earned all but one, which I decided not to go for (24100 kcal, or 717/d) because I knew it was going to be too much even if it was the month of August, and I needed a break.

The January 2022 challenge is to walk or run 366.7 km (11.8/d). I’m not particularly up for it but I want to do it anyway. I miss the easy challenges though.

New gear

I now rotate between 7 pairs of sneakers and running shoes. I have also invested in some proper running outfits for chilly weather. It is to note that all of the sweaters I got were from the Men’s section. Not out of peculiarity but really because the colours are less flashy and the sizes fit me better.

Picture of some of my new equipment, me in it, preparing to go for a run

My sidekick: Gizmo

Gizmo is now 8 years old. He happily prances along and I’m very glad he’s with me. We both get our share of daily exercise, fresh air and adventures, and it gives me greater security to be accompanied by a muscular yellow Labrador. When it’s not too cold and we are next to a river he gets to swim too (but not in the sea because the sound of the ebb and flow scares him.)

Long gone are the days when he would lag at the other end of the leash and need to be dragged, after running only 3 or 4 kilometers. We now go for 5K jogs once a week or twice, come back walking, and it’s perfectly fine. When we don’t run, we just walk. Sometimes for two to three hours on the weekends, and on average for an hour and a half everyday.

Graphs

Daily average of exercise in 2021: 116 minutes (December peaked at 164 minutes per day on average)
Daily average of active energy in 2021: 773 kcal (December peaked at 996 kcal per day on average)
Daily average steps in 2021: 12340 (August peaked at 15859 steps per day on average)
Daily average running and walking distance in 2021: 10.2 km (August peaked at 13.4 km per day on average)
Activity graphs in 2021: move, exercise (both going up), stand (steady at 19)
Tallies of fitness and exercising metrics for the year 2021

Notes on the graphs

According to those tallies (generated by the excellent and free Fitness Stats iPhone app), my 2021 in sport can be broken down as follows:

  • 711 hours of exercise
  • 3746 kilometers walked/run
  • (of which I ran 226)
  • 103 hours on the elliptical
  • 650 workouts

To put things in perspective:

  • 711 hours of exercise is about a twelfth of the year, because it is equivalent to 29.6 days.
  • As I walked or ran over 3700 km, I only drove a wee bit over 5000 km with my car this year.
  • 226 km of jogging are an average of 4K every week (but there are months I don’t run, and when I do it’s 5Ks).
  • 103 hours on the elliptical are equivalent to watching 123 typical TV series episodes (guess what: that’s exactly what I did while on the elliptical)
  • 650 workouts mean that on average I did almost two different activities everyday.

From an addiction to another

2021 is when I stopped smoking. I made up my mind in January or February and my strategy was to ramp up exercising, pick up an electronic cigarette, gauge if that was going to work, and carry on with the routine without smoking. That happened in May. I have not smoked since then. Woohoo!

But ramping up exercising meant that I burned more calories and therefore needed to up my food intake. Stopping smoking made me more hungry too, so I had two reasons to eat bigger portions.

I remember starting to eat as much and then a little more than my teenage boy! (Who abandoned basketball during the first year of the pandemic, and now more or less refuses to walk or hike with me even every now and then.)

I gained a lot of muscles apparently

I was a bit dismayed when I saw my weight ramp up slowly but very very steadily. It has now stabilized after 8 months or so, sometime in September.

Weight graph for 2021: 62.42 kg on average (current trend is 63-64 kg)

But most of my clothes continue to fit me so that means that I lost fat and gained (6 kilos of) muscles.

Strava’s year in sport

One of the perks of being a paying subscriber of the sports tracking app Strava is the yearly report. See below.

Aside: I used to complain a lot about how that app was geared towards triathletes only. They fixed almost all the things I complained about and now it celebrates and motivates every kind of athletes, not just those who cycle, run and swim.

SportsTracker’s summary view

I was so ready to ditch Strava because it caused me more frustration than it brought me satisfaction, that a former work contact recommended I gave a try to the vastly underrated, and free, SportsTracker, developed by Suunto.

I love it. It’s a nice complement to Strava. I started using it at the end of March.

Art: Japanese river scene

26 Dec

I tested acrylic gouache. They are similar to regular gouache except that they dry much quicker and once they’re dry they can’t mix anymore. It’s both an advantage and a challenge! An advantage because you can layer other colours without any smearing. A challenge because the error margin is much narrower: if you don’t get it right the first time your mistake has to be worked around.

This is a river scene with two persons using long poles to maneuver a boat each, and passing next to patches of grass where trees like willows are growing. It must be the start of autumn because the trees are bare but there is still grass. A few huts are visible on the horizon. The sky is home for a big orange setting sun, and grey and orange clouds. Framed in black, 10×15 cm (4×6 in.) [and since then sent to my friend Isabelle fir whom I painted it.]

Art: cormorant fishing

8 Dec

Tonight’s artwork, framed in white: Cormorant fishing. Somewhere in China. Near a blossom-laden old tree. There are hills rising from the mist, and a temple sits at the top of a hill, under a big red sun.

Black, grey, pink and red brushpens, water brush, on watercolour Montval Canson paper. 10×15 cm (4×6 in.)

Le télétravail, c’est fou !

30 Nov

Je choisis volontairement un titre à la fois ambigu et provocateur pour exprimer une déception face à l’espoir de progrès que représente le télétravail. Car j’en ai gros [sur le ❤️] à ce sujet (d’autant que c’est une situation que je pratique depuis une quinzaine d’années ou plus, sur presque 23 –gasp !)


Le Monde publiait hier dans sa section Économie un article intitulé « Le télétravail améliorerait la productivité », alors que j’ai encore aujourd’hui dans la bouche le goût amer que m’ont laissé les deux tentatives récentes de négociations avec la direction des ressources humaines, visant à généraliser le télétravail potentiellement total à ceux de mes collègues qui peuvent le pratiquer, qui le souhaitent, et pour qui ce n’est pas encore autorisé.

Car chez nous, même si la majorité du personnel est en capacité d’effectuer l’activité professionnelle de n’importe où, seuls certains sont télé-travailleurs à temps plein.

Or, le grand fossé qui sépare les uns des autres n’est pas près de se combler, alors même que durant les dix-huit mois suivant le premier confinement Covid-19, l’intégralité du personnel a été en télétravail.


Pour la Direction il ne fait aucun doute que tous ceux pour qui c’était nouveau sont rapidement et efficacement passés en mode « travail à distance ». Belle preuve d’agilité et belle faculté d’adaptation ! Ils ont mis en place d’eux-mêmes les protocoles répondant au mieux à leurs besoins et utilisé des méthodes simples, logiques et optimisées.

Pourtant début octobre ce n’est pas ce que la Direction a choisi de mettre en exergue pour justifier son refus de généraliser le télétravail. Non, ce qui fut déclaré, c’est que personne en France ne fait du télétravail complet, et que les accords nationaux interprofessionnels recommandent un maximum de trois jours par semaine télé-travaillés, insistant sur un équilibre servant à éviter tous risques psycho-sociaux.


Mesurez s’il vous plaît l’ironie de la situation : L’organisation pour laquelle je travaille (en télétravail total, depuis des années) met en place de manière collective et collaborative les standards du web, mais la société qui m’emploie pour faire cela prétend qu’aucune boîte française ne fait du télétravail total (*), et ainsi n’admet pas la généralisation au reste de son personnel de ce statut auquel tous se sont parfaitement adaptés.

(*) hmmm, et donc quid de mon statut de télé-travailleuse ?

(L’organisation légale est complexe mais pour simplifier, je suis employée par une société pour travailler dans une autre, telle un projet. Et pour continuer dans le complexe, notre Comité social et économique (CSE) est constitué de trois personnes affectées à ce projet et d’une travaillant pour la société directement. Je suis l’une des deux titulaires au CSE et j’ai donc pris part aux négociations en octobre et bis repetita en novembre.)

Mes collègues se contentent de ce qu’on leur accorde. Moi, de l’autre côté du fossé, je vois ça comme une punition à leur égard dont je ne comprends pas la justification.

Question bonus : Quid des risques psycho-sociaux pour ceux d’entre nous en télétravail total depuis des années ? Aucune idée. La question est posée mais restée sans réponse.

Art: Kamado Tanjiro’s water dragon

23 Nov

I drew this card and did some lettering in white for my son at the occasion of his 14th birthday today. (He loved it)

This is some fan art of Demon Slayer, a manga/anime he’s a fan of. This is Kamado Tanjiro and his water dragon.

Card complete with the envelope

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