Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Year End Wrap Up: Exercise Turns Civilian, Reading Tops Riding

For the first time since I started riding a bicycle again in 1987, the total number of book pages I read exceeded the number of miles I rode.


This year I rode more than 8,000 miles, probably 8,300 by December 31, but I have read more than 10,000 pages in more than 50 books.  

Also, because I had trouble with my shoulder, I stopped doing pushups.  Every year since I re-enlisted I did more than 6,000 pushups, nearly 15,000 in 2011, but this year, less than 300.  

And I pretty much gave up running after the Ironman triathlon.  I also stopped swimming in September when I took four college classes.  But in the weirdest stat for the year, I swam more miles than I ran:  87 miles swimming, 74 running.  

The most troubling, beautiful, sad book I read this year was "Life and Fate" by Vasily Grossman.  It is the 20th Century version of "War and Peace" centering on Stalingrad.  

Eleven of the 52 books I read this year were written by Russian authors, but all were in English.  I am continuing to study Russian language, but not at the point where I can read Russian.  I can still read French well enough that one of the books I re-read this year was an abridged "Three Musketeers."  

Next semester I will be taking Russian language and 19th Century Russian Literature, so I will continue to have Russian in my mind.  If I leave the Army in May, I will definitely be riding more.  My plan will be to ride 10,000 miles in 2016 to get ready for racing in the 65+ category in 2018.  It's great to be the youngest in an age group!






"Don't Judge Me!"

The drill sergeant is judging the soldier in front of him. "Don't Judge Me!" was a phrase I heard more and more often i...