Thursday, February 3 2022

gregxercises, a blue collar spider, and figure skating

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Dear Journal,

Hey friends. Good morning, and welcome to Thursday. How are you holding up? Is the week fatigue starting to set in? Are you having day dreams about sleeping in or taking afternoon naps?

I'm feeling the fatigue start to set in, but lately tiredness is kind of our baseline. The daily Gregxercises kind of have that effect. And maybe Marissa and I were just delirious from muscle exertion, but the first time I uttered the word Gregxercises we had to take a five minute break just to finish laughing about it. It's still easier to say than "Trainer Greg's Transformation Program", so maybe trainer Greg should consider a rebrand.

Part of yesterdays workout called for regular old push-ups. Given all the variety so far, I was almost kind of disappointed. "Just push-ups? Really?" I teased. "I don't have to stick one leg up in the air or bark when I reach the bottom?"

There's one gregxercise that I've grown to detest, and even though I don't remember the official name, I'd be happy to describe it to you. We stand in the middle of the room with two dumbbells at our side. We lift one leg backwards and place it on our couch ottoman, laces facing down. Using the other leg still planted in the ground, we bend at the knee and stand up again. After 8 reps, we switch legs.

Simple, but the pain is excruciating. This simple motion makes me feel like my thighs are going to fall off my body. It makes my legs feel rubbery, and walking around the living room to catch a breath, I feel like the CGI rendered version of Robert Deniro in The Irishman - Gumby legs.

It's a good burn, though. Afterwards I fell back into the couch with a bottle of water. I could make out bulging muscles around my knee caps that I've never seen before. "Check it out," I said to Marissa. "I look like I got body builder knees."

That's the power of Gregxercises. Everyone knows it starts it the knees. In a few weeks, I'll have veins popping out of my biceps like a garden hose wrapped around a tree. Greeeeeeg - I want to be strong enough to wear a t-shirt that says SECURITY without people assuming it's ironic.

Tiredness has put me in a silly mood I guess. Where the hell is my coffee?

Sip. It's good to be here today, and it's been a good week. The second day of our remote team summit is in the books. In the morning, we invited our friends on the Optimize team to discuss cost. Then Vicente led us in a debugging deep dive. I was supposed to order lunch for myself, but I took the easy way out and just reheated a few leftover slices of pizza in the microwave. I thought about making a cheeky expense report for $0 to celebrate my cheapness, especially since we had spent the morning talking about how to reduce expenses.

Throughout the day, I noticed Spidey busily shuttling dirt around his enclosure, taking trips in and out of his cave. I covertly dialed into our zoom bridge from my phone and left my camera pointed at the his burrow entrance. Vicente was the first to notice.

"You should put some tiny construction gear in there with him," he said. I like where Vicente's head is at - we could give him some traffic cones, a cement mixer in the corner, and maybe a lunch box with a big metal thermos. Spidey does seem like more of a blue collar spider.


Caution: hairy spider at work.

Meanwhile, Marissa and the boys accompanied Archer and his mom on an after school date to the Arboretum. The lush, humid greenhouse is a great place to visit during brutal Madison winters like this one.


After work, I carted Rodney off to ice skating class. We took our usual seat on the bench so I could squeeze his feet into his skates, tightly wrapping the laces around his ankles. "I know where to go," said Rodney unprompted. "The pink square over there." I left him by the door, and watched him skate out to his teacher.


After class, they ushered all the kids to the side bench again for a figure skating demo. I guess these are becoming a weekly thing now, but as long as it gets Rodney excited about ice skating, I'll get on board.

"You could try out figure skating if you want," I said while pulling his skates off. "I bet that's the kind of thing that could pay for college."

"What's college?" asked Rodney.

"Eh, don't worry about it," I replied dismissively while boxing up his skates. In my head I pictured Rodney as a teen figure skater. He'd probably wear black and red tights like Spider-man and mix plenty of chops and flying kicks into his routine put to the song What's up, danger?.

Back at home, Rodney and I played video games while Marissa finished up dinner. "How was LEGO Marvel?" asked Marissa while she plated up fish tacos.

"Want to know what playing video games with a five year old is like?" I quipped. "Rodney made me play the entire level as naked Tony Stark, and then the moment we finally recovered his ironman suit, he said 'I wanna be ironman'."

"Yep," added Rodney proudly. "I was ironman."

I continued, "And then he flew around in circles while I fought like a hundred guys by myself on the roof."

That's what I got today. Hey, happy Thursday.