fitness · holidays

Sam’s starting early and somewhat silly Christmas list

I am one of those people who is just a little bit challenging to shop for, I think. I’m lucky. Mostly, if I need or want things, I buy them. But I also know that gift giving is fun. And I do take breaks from work and ogle things on the internet.

Here’s some of the latest stuff I’ve spent time looking at, and lots of it is even fitness related.

🎄 Exercising My Demons Tank Top

I love silly workout t-shirts.

🎄 Hoka hiking shoes

Maybe these ones?

You’ll recall I went sneaker shopping after my first knee replacement surgery. I bought a pair of Hoka shoes for everyday (and a pair of New Balance hiking/trail shoes for walking Cheddar on trails.) All good except the Hokas are so much easier on my knees, I now want all of them! The ones I got were their athleisure shoe, “The Kawana is the perfect athleisure shoe for those who like the Hoka look but don’t run.”

I keep browsing their website and visiting running stores trying to decide what to buy next. I want both a hiking/trail shoe and a dedicated indoor only pair for the gym. Friends and family, if you spot them on sale, I’m a women’s 10. All the wild colours welcome. My first pair are black and white. Very comfortable and great on my knees but maybe a bit boring. I wear them a lot, most days since last September. Here’s 10 things you might not know about Hoka shoes.

🎄 I’m gearing up for bike packing next summer. I have rear panniers, including a new excellent one for commuting to work that has a shoulder strap for off the bike and a special padded spot for my laptop. What I want next is a bag for the top of my rear rack.

Maybe this one?

But my last Ortlieb bag kind of fell apart. It’s got a 5 year warranty but I don’t have the receipt and the stores I thought I bought it from don’t have a customer record for me. Puzzling.

🎄 While we are on the subject of cycling gear, for years I’ve wanted one of the Garmin rear lights that connects to your computer, notifies you about traffic behind you, and that brightens up when it detects cars. According to Garmin, “The world’s first cycling radar, Varia helps create a safer cycling environment by warning cyclists of vehicles approaching from behind up to 153 yards (140 meters). The radar tail light also warns approaching vehicles of a cyclist ahead.” There’s a fancy one that also records video footage. But I think I just want the basic one.

🎄 The media has been going on and on about the percentage of toys that are bought by adults for themselves. I’m not there yet but hey, I’d love some as gifts.

How about this great Lego Succulent set? Plants that will survive in my office!

🎄 A big part of what’s fueling the adult toy craze, is our desire to express our belonging to certain fandoms. Count me in, I’d like a Stevie Nicks Barbie please.

🎄 Finally, if you’re rich, and wondering what to get me for Christmas, how about a bike camping trailer for bike packing. When I’ve been trailer shopping, I usually think of tiny tear drop trailers to tow behind our small hybrid vehicle in which we could pack bikes and head south for the winter. But lately I’ve been seeing trailers that can be towed behind bikes, a home on wheels. Check out the Hupi Wagon. Yes, I’d need an e-bike but wow, this might be fun.

Hupi Wagon

Happy Betwixtmas!

I’ve written about this week before, the strange week between Christmas and New Year’s that we’re calling Betwixtmas now.

Mostly for me, it’s never been a thing. For me, for most of my life, the week between Christmas and New Year’s has been a regular working week. The people I grew up with held the kinds of jobs that didn’t go on hold. My parents were bakers and my friends’ parents were mechanics, nurses, transit workers, truck drivers, police officers, and so on. Only the school teachers and maybe some civil servants had the week off. Kids were off school but parents worked and somehow we all had to cope.

I didn’t know any university professors.

And my life for a long while also fell into the ‘working the week after Christmas’ pattern. As a student journalist that was the week of cheap hotels and the annual meeting of Canadian University Press. As a professor, it was the week of the American Philosophical Association’s Eastern Division meeting. I know lots of people hated the timing but I loved it. After a week off before Christmas with family, I confess I was ready for a week of seeing old friends and of Philosophy.

The APA has long since given up that less than family friendly date and now its new dates instead overlap with the start of the teaching term in Canada. Me, I’ve joined the rest of the working professionals for whom the week between Christmas and New Year is technically a holiday. I say ‘technically’ because I also have a long academic to do list–drafts of papers, referee reports, reviews of people going up for promotion for other universities, etc etc. If you’re an academic, you know the drill.

This year this week has seemed extra ‘betwixt and between’ because thanks to the pandemic, lots of things to do just aren’t happening. I like to see friends this week and we’re not doing very much of that. I had a long list of movies I wanted to see in the theatre but that isn’t happening either. I am reading fiction, catching up on some shows I’ve wanted to watch (Witcher!), eating lots of chocolates, wearing my new socks, and riding my bike lots.

Just 60 km left before I reach my year end goal of 5500 km!

Also, I definitely need to eat a vegetable!

(I like the suggestion of someone on our Facebook page that for the weeks around the holidays, clementines count as vegetables.)

How do you approach the week between Christmas and New Year’s? What’s on your plate this week?

Here’s my past post about this week:


How many bicycle ornaments does one Christmas tree need?

Here’s the tree!

Sam’s Christmas tree, next to the family piano

Here’s the bikes!

A red tricycle Xmas tree ornament

A red bike tree ornament

A silver tandem bike tree ornament

The answer is n+1 of course. I’m going shopping. Let me know if you see any good bike themed Christmas decorations.