Wednesday, March 05, 2014

In Praise of Modern Technology

With the way the rain has come down in February and this beginning of March, it has made daily walks something difficult to pull off.  Christy Johnson and I were able to get a river walk in on Tuesday afternoon (where the temps reached 66!), but the next day just brought more rain...which results in pictures like this...
As my weight has been more of an issue now than ever before, I realized I had to come up with a plan to get the workouts in.  Last January, we purchased a hybrid elliptical and recumbent bike when we dropped our membership at Eugene Swim and Tennis Club.  John installed an industrial sized fan that eliminates the overheating that is a side-effect of one of my headache medicines - and between that, the convenience of it being in my garage, and the fact that I can watch a tv show on my Kindle with headphones - it's just about the perfect set-up.   I have even started incorporating hand weights in to the mix during times I'm taking a break from either pushing or pulling on the handles and just using legs.  I almost look forward to it - for sure I look forward to the 600 calories 45 minutes can kill.  

However, as you could expect, Whitley isn't exactly content to sit quietly in the doorway to the garage while I spend 45 minutes sweating.  Even when the kids are home to watch her, she figures out I'm out there, and wails until they let her see me - and from that point, I'm done - as she won't stop until she's held.  Bummer.  

In a perfect world, I'd wake up around 5am and get the work-out done before she arrives.  But, another side-effect of the medicine I take is frequent night sweats.  And, let me tell you, nothing sounds less appealing than arousing cold with sweat and considering getting even colder being out in a dark and cold garage before I've even had a chance to wake up.  And, then, let's face it, the idea of working out post 5pm when everyone is getting home and ready for dinner is even less appealing.

So, I started thinking through how I could accomplish my work-out while Whitley took her naps.  She's now been averaging around an hour, and is that time is actually getting longer and more consistent as our routine wears on.  (Another Hallelujah).  I used to take that time to nap along with her, but will readily confess that I didn't really "need" that sleep - rather just enjoyed it.  It began messing with sleeping at night, and if it could instead turn into a consistent time to work out, it would be worth missing the cozy siestas.  

Since the garage door doesn't open from Mikayla's room, I needed to come up with some way to monitor Whitley.  Even when she's in her play pen (which I'm phasing her out of as she's now in Mikayla's bed), I would still feel horrible if she woke up prematurely and was miserably crying and I didn't notice.   The baby monitor that we have is only a sound version, which I wouldn't be able to hear between the racket of the fan or the machine itself - much less, I would have to sacrifice the excellent distraction of watching/listening to a tv show with headphones.  A video monitor could work, but I wasn't excited about dropping $80 to make that happen.  Then, one night, as Mikayla was "co-existing" with Nati as they face-timed each other while doing homework (often not even talking, just enjoying each other's company), it dawned on me that I might be able to accomplish that same result between Whitley and I.  

Using Mikayla's I-Pad propped up to face Whitley in bed, I "Face-time" call that device with my I-Phone right before laying her down to sleep.  When I'm confident she's snoozing, I sneak off, grab my phone, and proceed to workout.  I set the phone next to me on the high chair (using it because it's the right height to glance over to) - and keep an eye on her while I sweat away on the elliptical.

 A sample of what I view.

And, this is a screen shot I took this week when she decided to sleep for two hours.  The stuffed animal is "Little Bogey" that not adorable???!

I am so delighted with how this has all worked out so smoothly and become yet another consistent part of "our routine".  I still shake my head at just how far technology and communication has come over the last four decades.  When I was a kid, this whole thing would have seemed like something only possible on a "Jetsons" cartoon - and now, it's reality.  Crazy!

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