One Awesome Summer

Summer is here. And it’s hella busy. Huge projects are in progress at work, divided up by family vacations that bring relaxation and their own special kind of stress. Oh, and we’ve got scout camp through in for good measure … and college visits and … well, a summer’s worth of activities.

All that said, while it’s going to be busy with family and work, there are also things I want to do for myself this summer. Inspired by my summer punch lists of old (20152017) I decided to pull together yet another list. I may not get to everything on it but I’ll have fun trying.

Summer Reading List 2019: A reader’s gotta read. This summer my annual reading list consists of 18 19 books and 5 graphic novels. It’s my second biggest summer reading list ever (it’s still 5 short of ’93, but that’ll probably be the case until the kids go to college)

Bring Back Monster Week: I love creature features. I love them so much I’ve run two Monster Weeks (20102013). With Godzilla: King of Monsters and Stranger Things Season 3 coming out this summer, I’d like to do it again … but only if I can write all of the movie reviews ahead of time. None of the last-minute scrambling that doomed my 2015 attempt.

Complete the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: I’ve been playing this game on and off for 20 years. It’s time to beat it.

Go to the Jersey Shore: There are few things better than spending the day swimming, reading, and soaking in the sun at the Jersey shore. In particular, I’m hoping to go to Seven Presidents Beach in Long Branch three times this summer.

Backpacking: I want to go backpacking at least twice this summer, preferably spread out. In June 2020, my son and I are going backpacking in Philmont, New Mexico with his Boy Scout troop. That’s a high-adventure, multi-day hike in a desert region … and we need to practice.

Play disc golf: Back in the Summer of ’15, my friends and I started playing disc golf as a way to relax and blow off steam. I want to get back to that.

Run five kilometers: My right ankle – which I broke at the end of 2017 – will never be the same as it was, but thanks for physical therapy and the Zombies, Run 5K training program, I’m confident I’ll be able to run a 5K again. I don’t plan on running a race this summer, but I hope to be in good enough shape to return to the Baconfest 5K (my first … and only … 5K) this fall.

Swim a mile: The mile swim is a staple of scout camp. I couldn’t do it last year because my ankle was still healing, but I want to do it this year. But first … I need to learn how to swim for a mile. Given the great success with my couch-to-5K routine, I’m going to try Ruth Kazez’s couch-to-mile-swim routine. I’m reasonably sure it’s going to kick my ass … but so did the 5K training.

Walk seven miles a day: If I’m not running or swimming, I’ll be walking. Back before I broke my ankle, I walked 7 miles a day during the summer months (a fact I only just realized while looking back through my phone’s Health app). This summer I want to get back to that average, which typically involves 1) a 2-3 mile morning walk 2) a 2.6 mile walk to work and 3) walking the dogs to make up any shortfall. Because I usually walk to work, 4-5 miles a day is pretty easy for me. Seven represents a stretch.

Get to 200 lbs.: In 2017, I got my weight down to 207 lbs. Then I broke my ankle, sat on the couch for a few months, and it went back up to the low 220s. I’m back down to 213 lbs, but I’d like to get down to 200. Between swimming, running, backpacking, and the occasional game of disc golf, that seems doable.

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