One Vaccinated Summer

Summer is looming large. It seems like five years since 2020’s Summer of Lockdown, which saw our big trip to Philmont postponed and most normal summer activities (going to the beach, going to an IronPigs baseball game) were canceled. Heck, I haven’t slung dice in the real world in 15 months.

If last year was the Summer of Lockdown, then this one is the Summer of Vaccination. We’ve got multiple vaccines available to us, and all of them provide substantial protection against the coronavirus and mitigate the worst effects of the disease should you still get infected. While I’m mindful that other parts of the world aren’t doing nearly as well, and it will likely be another year or two before things return to anything like normal globally … it feels like we’re closer to the end than the beginning.

My own family is now fully vaccinated and that opens up a ton of possibilities.

Thrive at Philmont: After two years of training … we’re finally going on our 12-day backpacking trip to New Mexico. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but I am looking forward to it.

Summer Reading: If it’s summertime, then I’m reading. Nuketown’s Summer 2021 Reading List is online, and I want to complete it before September 22. Will I? Who knows. I made only a minimal attempt at keeping the list reasonable this summer, so we’ll see what happens.

Disc Golf: This was one of the casualties of the pandemic era. While time will be at a premium this summer, I’d love to get back to it with some early morning games.

Run a 10K: Last year, I started a 5K-to-10K training programming. My knees started hurting, so I stopped. When I started jogging again for Philmont – and backpacking and climbing stairs – my knees started to hurt again. Not wanting to imperil Philmont, I went to physical therapy. The good folks there informed me I had “runner’s knees”, which isn’t actually a problem with my knees. it’s a problem with the muscles and tendons around the knee. My goal here isn’t to run a 10K this summer … but I do want to be ready to run a 10K. After Philmont, that’s my next big challenge.

Go to the beach: It’s been over a year since my last visit to the Jersey Shore … I’m aching to go back. I want to go at least once, but two or three times would be great.

Go to minor league baseball games: Last year, all of the minor league baseball seasons were canceled. As a longtime fan of Minor League Baseball in general, and our own Lehigh Valley IronPigs in particular, that was hard to take. This year though, we’ve got an abundance of baseball. In addition to the IronPigs, we’ve got… XYZ. I need to get to a ‘Pigs game (actually, a lot more than one if I can swing it) and visit some of our other local options.

Go to major league baseball games: It’s been more than two years since I’ve been to a Major League Baseball game. I’m looking to end that drought and stop taking the game itself for granted. We’ve got a lot of major league options in our area – the Yankees, the Mets, the Phillies – and I want to see all of them.

Go to Lake Champlain: For the last dozen years, my family’s spent part of our summer on Lake Champlain. Even during the pandemic, we managed to get away, so I’m hoping we can do the same this year. After all… I have a lot of books to read.

Complete Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: A recurring goal for the last few summers (and each summer, I get a little closer). This summer it may actually be doable; I just need to clear the final temple…

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