Friday, April 27, 2007


Yes, it seems that I hear the word FRIDAY sighed, shouted, laughed, and cried all around the office. I'm sure most of you are hearing and feeling the same thing. When I was younger, Friday was just another day. Now I find it more and more a demarcation of sorts . . . a boundary between my "have to" life and who I am actually wanting to grow up to be. Does that make sense? Does it mean that I am finally growing up or does it mean that I am heading into my second (or third) childhood?

Over the last couple of weeks I have been staying true to my running. At least four days a week I've been out there, slogging aroud, trying to get back into shape. I've been running about half of my runs in Susan's neighborhood where there are lots of rolling hills. I think that will pay off.

Yesterday afternoon I did a quick four miler, half of which I ran with Marc "Animal", my neighbor. We were taking it semi-easy since we were both whining about tired legs. We had a nice chat during the run. He seems to be doing well after losing his mom last month. After my run, I called my mom and dad and let them know I was still alive. Of course, being parents, they're curious about how life is . . . . How do you answer that?

After the phone call, Susan came by and picked me up and we headed to the Y. She was wanting to do some cardio and I had planned on lifting but I decided to go upstairs and check out the cardio room. Keep in mind that I ABSOLUTELY HATE machines. I cannot believe that people would choose to run on a belt indoors when the outside is so much nicer. Anyway . . . Susan said let's do elliptical. Sounded kinky to me so I said "sure!". Little did I know the agony that awaited me. Susan jumped on her machine, programmed it and was doing her thing in a few seconds. I just looked dumbly at the buttons, knobs, and lights. It looked like something from an old horror flick. How do you make it go???? Finally, she felt sorry for me and told me to do a 30 minute preprogrammed cardio workout. Right. Easy to say . . . which button? She helped me through that too and I finally got started. It's not that I am unfit. It is just different. When you're used to running, this machine is very tough to learn, as I quickly discovered. I couldn't figure out if I was supposed to be moving my whole body or keeping my upper body still and just using from the hips down. I am sure everyone in the room was having a good chuckle watching me. I finally got comfortable, picked what I thought was a decent cadence, and shlupped through the next 30 minutes. I kept my heart rate around 125 and the lights on the machine showed that I was working between the weight loss zone and the cardio zone. I guess I did okay for a first timer. Remember that I had just run 4 miles and had never done this machine before. I felt pretty good about it until I tried stepping off the machine and walking. I was definitely a rubberband man! Legs are a little sore this morning but I really enjoyed doing something different.

I also did something yesterday that I had never done before-
I took MAC, Susan's 10 year old daughter, to work with me. For those of you who didn't know it, yesterday was "Take your daughter and son to work day". MAC had been asking about my job and office for the last couple of months. How do you explain to a 10 year old that you work in an office that was the prototype for the DILBERT cartoon? I asked her a couple of weeks ago if she would be interested in coming to work with me and she was fired up about it. I gave her a couple of opportunities to back out over the last week but her resolve just became stronger. So yesterday was the big day and I think that she really had a good time. I showed her some of the things I do. Some very boring to a 10 year old, like updating databases, writing 10CFR50.59 evaluations, etc. However, I also do some pretty cool stuff, like 3D modeling of piping systems. That was a hit. Almost like a computer game! I let her play with Autocad and she learned simple stuff like lines, circles, and she even learned (sort of) how to do 3d solids. We had a nice luncheon for all the kids that were in the office and they were indoctrinated about nuclear power (that is what I do, afterall). I really didn't think that she was paying attention but after lunch, when we got back to my desk, she was asking questions. Very cool. We spent the afternoon browsing the NRCs ( website since they have a lot of elementary information about nuclear power. I helped her pull together some information for a handout and report that she was going to give in school today. At the end of the day, I told her it was time to go and she wanted to stay longer! The difference in a 10 year old and a 47 year old. In her words . . . It was fun.

Have a great weekend!


Anonymous said...

So okay, Ashville is first in line. Sounds like your life is filled, busy and happy and that is good--keep up the good work. Running, exercising, teaching a child, hey how good can it get---think about it.

DawnB said...

I'm glad you're getting back into the swing of things with your running and hope your weekend went well!!