I threw in the towel about a week ago. It just wasn’t happening this year, for a variety of reasons. Reasons, not excuses. I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of the things that have kept me from writing consistently enough to finish Nanowrimo – excuses are things that couldn’t be helped, and you’d rather have avoided. Like dental appointments, of which I had two. They were during working hours, though, so they don’t count as either reasons or excuses.
I kind of wish I’d admitted defeat earlier – the ideas weren’t coming to me at all. I switched stories three times. But I couldn’t be blogging a lot, because, gee, that would mean I had enough time to write fiction for my word count, and was purposely wasting time blogging. So I found myself not blogging, not writing, and stressing about it, like it was a real deadline, and not the fun, entertaining thing it ought to have been.
What did I do instead of write 50000 words in the month of November?
I took up running
I have been firmly in the camp of “I Don’t Run” since grade school. But I wanted a fitness-ey exercise that I could involve Gwynn in, and then I found this downloadable App for my phone. I also have an exercise buddy whose level of un-fitness is basically identical to my own, so we huff and puff away and don’t feel self-conscious about it. I’m actually enjoying running. I truly believed this would never ever happen. I was more of the opinion that the only thing that would get me to run any distance was something aggressive chasing me – and that the only enjoyment I would get out of it would be the enjoyment of surviving – not of a run well-done.
We’re doing the Couch to 5K (30 minutes! 3 days a week! 9 weeks!) program whose App you can download HERE . You can also just get a chart from them that says the durations of walks and runs. The App costs something like $1.20, and I consider it well worthwhile, if you have the option, because it means you don’t have to be checking your watch to figure out when to start/stop, etc. The walk and run durations are different from each other and different each day, so an egg-timer is do-able, but not ideal. The trainer (one of three options) tells you when to run and when to stop running, while the program plays music from your playlist on your phone. Music – definitely helpful. Dogs frolicking around you – also helpful! It’s such a gradual increase in workout that, while you’re definitely getting a workout, it doesn’t feel like you’re dying, much. I really like that it lets you gain strength slowly and steadily, rather than running until you fall down the first day and then taking a week and a half to recover.
Gwynn Jumped Through Hoops
Gwynn and I are taking a Saturday afternoon Intro to Agility class. Gwynn is talented! I am… in need of practice. We’re both having a great time, regardless of my lack of timing/understanding/skill, and I’m learning a whole lot about body language, and silent communication with Gwynn. The teamwork we’re building in the class is working outside the classroom as well, and I think that the jogging-with-him thing is both improving and being improved by our agility class. If anyone’s looking for a thing to do with your dog after the basic obedience training is done, this is a great option – it keeps you practicing training and obedience, and the dogs love it.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but I started back into Crossfit this summer, using another fantastic Groupon type deal. This crossfit place is MUCH closer to my house, and we (my exercise buddy and I) have actually continued past the finish of our 20 classes for 40 dollars deal. I don’t think I’d recommend crossfit to everyone, because it really depends on what motivates you best to work out. I really like it because it’s kind of like having a group personal training class that changes every time that you go. It starts off with a skill or strength exercise, and then you do a timed workout that will leave your legs like jelly, your lungs burning, and your face red. The person monitoring the gym at that time will yell at you to keep going if you stop midway through the exercise to sit and chug water – that’s not for everyone, but I guarantee, I’d never do this tough a workout alone. You also see huge signs of improvement in relatively short periods of time. It is amazing the things that I NEVER thought I’d be able to do that I can now DO! I can climb a rope. Scares the crap out of me (fear of falling amplified by knowing that I am the only thing holding me up there), but thrills me to death that I can do it at all. I’m also very close to being able to do a kipping pull-up without any help. Help = giant elastic that supports part of your weight while doing the pull-up. Kipping = kind of a floppy-fish movement that helps jack-knife you up to a chin-above-bar position. Easier than a straight pull-up, but you’ve got to start somewhere!
I Drank with Dinosaurs!
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is doing a Friday Night at the Museum event, that I’m hoping will become a regular thing. The Museum is converted to Museum/bar/club. It has bars and snack bars (all local and interesting restaurants serving good food) set up throughout the museum, a DJ in the main atrium, bands set up throughout the museum, it’s fantastic. It’s like going out to a bar, but in a museum, which is so much more fun. Cupcakes in the Geode Room, lobster rolls in the dinosaur area, random activity centers setup throughout, and themed nights! They have definitely found a great way to encourage the young adult crowd to come to the ROM, and it makes a great date-night for people of any age.
I Wrote All Night… ish
I might have abandoned Nano-ship, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t do things with Nano. Nanowrimo’s GTA region hosts a variety of events, most of which I don’t go to, because weeknights are tough to stay up late on. I do, however, go to at least part of the all night write-in they host. Sanctuary is an old church converted into a community center. It’s a potluck – lots of baked goods, chips and pop to keep your blood sugar high! Lots of late-night shenanigans! I don’t stay all night anymore, because the first year, I slept on the couch for 5 hours in the middle of it, which frankly seems to defeat the purpose of staying there all night. I am not an all-nighter-able person. I got about 8000 words written in my 4ish hours of actually being there this year, though, which was certainly helpful to my word count. Plus socializing!
I found some one-of-a-kind things
The One of a Kind show in Toronto is a place to get some interesting and original gifts for people for the holidays. Also samples. SO. MANY. SAMPLES. Food is delicious.
My friends and I are not necessarily wild and gallivanting about town. This kind of cooking+movie night is more my cup of tea. We made Fajitas, we made Pecan Pie, we made Whiskey Sours, we watched Brave, and Tangled and Beauty and the Beast. Our hostess made us all princess hats! There were sparkles everywhere as we all napped through the second half of Beauty and the Beast, in a full-on sugar coma.
Congrats to everyone who finished Nanowrimo successfully! I’ll try again next year, but I figure that at least this year I had fun with all the things I was doing instead of writing.