Well, that month flew by…Sam is checking in for February, 2022

I don’t know about you but for me, February flew by. I’m not even sure why. It was busy at work. I rode my bike lots and lots in the evenings. It’s a bit of a blur.

So what’s up?

On the bike riding front, I’m on track with my yearly distance goal of 5500 km. In the first two months of the year I’ve ridden 916.9 km, divided pretty evenly between January and February.

What was all the riding about? Well, I completed the Tour de Zwift. I raced in the ZRL (Zwift Racing League) as team captain of TFC Dynamite. I raced as a team member of and sometimes team organizer (aka “herder of cats” a job for which my academic life has prepared me well) of TFC Phantom in the WTRL team time trial series.

TFC logo

Along the way I did some social recovery rides. Zwift now has Black Celebration rides year round but there’s special focus on Black History Month in February. It was great to see some of the rides hosted by Black Girls Do Bike. I’m glad Zwift decided to keep this going.

Black Celebration runs and rides on Zwift

There are also the Pride rides now every two weeks on Zwift and there’s the LGBTQ+ Zwifter community group on Facebook.

Pride Ride

February was also the month I got back to the gym and in person fitness classes. I’ve been enjoying lunch hour TRX and yoga classes. Since Ontario is dropping its vaccine mandate for regular gyms at the end of this month, working out on campus feels like a safer choice. Universities in Ontario are keeping our vaccine mandate through the end of winter semester at least which means everyone working and working out at the campus fitness centre will either be vaccinated or have a medical exemption and be tested regularly.

Overall, I’ve logged 75 workouts in the 222 workouts in 2022 group. It’s mostly a mix of Zwift, dog walks, Yoga with Adriene, plank challenge, and lunch hour group fitness on campus. The more I do the better my knee feels (except for walking which I have to moderate). Luckily there are other people who walk Cheddar!

There’s a lot of numbers in this post, a lot of tracking of various sorts and I’ve been thinking more about the gamification of fitness ever since reading C. Thi Nguyen’s work on games and agency. You can hear a great interview with him in which he talks about fitness, fishing, and rock climbing. It’s on our list of recommended podcasts for the week. He talks about the giddy glee we get when we score points and what it adds and what it takes away, sometimes getting us to focus on the points and their pleasure rather than the intrinsic joy in the experience itself. Maybe more on this theme later…

Instagram snowy dog walk post

Oh, oh, oh. Speaking of joy, I also did one more thing that I cannot recommend enough, Snow Yoga with Alpacas. The instructor is excellent and the alpacas will make you smile. Guaranteed.

I haven’t been fat biking. We’ve had a February of snow, followed by freezing rain, and rain and then ice. I really hope to get out once more at least before the season is over. For the same reason I haven’t been bike commuting either. Oh, and while I feel like I have been doing a lot of yoga (a lot for me anyway) I still haven’t finished Adriene’s 30 Days of Yoga, the Move Challenge. I’ll get there. Just a few left. Tracy blogged about it never being too late to start. I hope it’s also never too late to finish.

I also haven’t been lifting serious weights. Things to look forward to…

I have been reading, mostly fluffy fiction and gripping mysteries.

February is also the start of birthday season in my house. I have three kids with birthdays in February, March, and April. They’re 25, 27, and 29 and have turned or are turning 26, 28, and 30. I can’t believe that last one. 30! I’m soon to be the parent of a 30 year old. Not to make it all about me but there it is. This year we’re actually able to see one another indoors and have celebratory meals together. It felt so good.

Birthday cake with lit candles

Of course, we’re ending the month watching in horror as events in Ukraine unfold. I’m too much of a pacifist to feel good about any of this. War is brutal. I’m sad and frightened for us all, but especially for the people of Ukraine.

Ukrainian flag