hanging out at the playground during unicycle lessons, i noticed odin’s new haircut ( he requested a “spikey” haircut and even wanted to try out gel?! ) and glasses that he picked out for school make him look all growed up!
he’s getting to be such a big boy. i don’t have to try very hard to look at him and see a teenager. ack!
he only has about a foot to grow before he’s taller than his mother. sigh.
right before we left for vacation we were walking by odin’s school playground and noticed a bunch of kids on unicycles. as it turns out, they’ve been having classes there every wednesday night over the summer and odin definitely thought it was something he’d really, really, really like to learn. and you know what? i’ve always wanted to learn how to unicycle too, so we made a plan to start going to lessons after we got back from vacation.
unfortunately in the few weeks that passed, the instructor of the class left town but some of the kids have decided to keep teaching the classes themselves which is some excellent initiative for kids that aren’t much older than odin.
the first step to learning how to ride a unicycle involves getting used to balancing and pedaling by slowly moving along while holding on to a fence. according to the kids, you’ve graduated from the first level of unicycle training when you can move along two panels of the fence without holding on at all. usually it take about a month of once-a-week practice to gain mastery over the fence.
watching the other kids do bunny hops and ride backwards and forwards is just the right motivation for odin to quickly graduate from holding onto the fence.
what luck! holding hands with poppi is totally within the rules of beginner unicycling 🙂
one day odin will find something that is difficult to learn, but unicycling will apparently not be that thing. after one day of practice he was already close to being able to move along two panels of the fence without holding on. it’s highly doubtful that he’ll need the whole month to graduate from the first level.
his poppi on the other hand, well that’s another story…
maybe one day we can bring the darth vader bagpipe unicycling tradition to viroqua.
i have a friend who has long claimed that squatting while pooping is the au natural way to, er, go and that instead of getting a special squat toilet you can get the same effect by squatting on top of upside down paint cans placed in front of a regular toilet. “uh, huh. shooooore. who is going to do that?” i thought. much to my surprise, i ran across the the squatty potty which has a great educational video touting the benefits of squatting and their product which has positive amazon reviews ( lacking, though, in the expected potty humor ). if you need more convincing, the squatty potty site links to medical case studies which confirm that the, “sensation of satisfactory bowel emptying in sitting defecation posture
necessitates excessive expulsive effort compared to the squatting posture.”
on a trip to my ancestral homeland in machias, maine my mother showed me one of many photos she has been entrusted with that tell the story of her mother’s side of the family which have been handed down from matriarch to matriarch. they are simply incredible.
they were written by a woman named grace who, i believe was a cousin to my grandmother’s mother ( my mother will correct me if i’m wrong ).
this one tells the story of elaie(sp?) fuller berry means who daughter of william berry jr, descendant of william berry who was the a member of founders of portsmouth, new hampshire and newburyport, massachusetts. she was also the direct descendant of benjamin berry who was the first white child born in machias, maine and his father, was one of the “original 16” founders of machias in the 1630s ( i fail at geneology because i can’t quite decipher the relationship between william and benjamin berry ).
william berry came over to the colonies from devonshire with the “mason colony”, led by john mason in 1630 settling in what would become portsmouth. she claims they brought the first cattle to new england and notes that the mason colony “had the contempt of the [massachusetts] colony which said they came to fish and not to pray.”
given my love of taking photos and telling stories, i think i really would have gotten along nicely with grace.
phew! 16 miles on the long slow distance (LSD) run which averaged in the high 10 minute miles and i only stopped once! LSD runs are done at an “easy pace”, 1–3 minutes per mile slower than your 10k pace. so that’s about right -at this point i can just about keep a 9 minute mile pace over a 10K. so i’ve got 8 weeks to turn my 10K pace into my LSD pace if i have any hope of breaking the four hour chicago marathon running time.
it’s theoretically plausible to get to a 3:45 running time, but it’s going to come down the wire. not exactly record setting times, but i’ll take what i can get after a 9 year break.