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!

The Philosopher of War and Terror and Politics: Hannah Arendt

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