Archive for February, 2011
Last weekend there was an orchid show at the Cox Arboretum, so John and I walked over to check it out.
The orchids in the show/exhibit were spectacular.
Those are some of my favorite photos, and the rest are here on my flickr site.
I like flowers in general, and have started to like orchids in particular since getting into the Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout.
In addition to the orchids that were part of the show and exhibition, some of the orchid breeders/growers also had orchids for sale.
And I was tempted. I was really temped to ask around to find an orchid that would be easy for a novice to take care of, and get one to bring home. I like flowers. And I would like to be able to have flowers around the house.
I ended up not getting an orchid. I know how it probably would have ended if I had gotten one – it would have ended with a shredded plant and multicolored flower vomit on the carpet, courtesy of one or both of the cats.
I don’t know what it is about the cats, but they have eaten or otherwise mangled every single plant and flower that have ever been brought into the house… with a few exceptions. Those exceptions being the potted clementine in the kitchen (cats don’t like citrus, plus the clementine has some formidable thorns) and a couple of succulents (I guess that the cats don’t like chewy leaves) in the library.
It is probably just as well. It the cats didn’t kill an orchid, I probably would have. I am not the best about taking care of plants that need more the benign neglect in order to survive.
Earlier this year when John and I were in Cleveland visiting my folks, my Dad gave me his spare pedometer to try out. The Cleveland Clinic has started doing a fitness/nutrition program for its employees, and my parents both signed up to participate, and my Dad ended up with an extra pedometer, which he passed on to me.
I think of myself as a pretty fit and active person – I go to yoga class on the weekends (usually both Saturday and Sunday), I fence at least once a week, and I do cardio (running on the elliptical and/or treadmill) and use the weight machines at the gym at work during the week. (I have found that a workout sometime around mid-afternoon is great for clearing my head and thinking, and is also the guaranteed quietest time at the gym at work.) So I figured that wearing the pedometer would be a good way to have hard numbers to confirm my own impressions of my fitness level.
According to the little instruction manual, 10,000 steps a day is an indicator of an “active” lifestyle. Anything below that is some variation of a “sedentary” lifestyle. I figured that I should easily average somewhere between 9,000-10,000 steps a day.
The big shock was that unless I was doing a cardio workout of at least 45 minutes that day, I would average only around 4,000 steps. Days where I ran on the elliptical/treadmill were the only days where I hit or surpassed the 10,000 steps-a-day goal. So I sit more and walk a hell of a lot less ten I thought that I did. Which I guess should have been no big surprise since I work at a computer 8 hours a day. But still.
Granted, the pedometer didn’t register about half of my workouts – the yoga, the weight machines, and the fencing. There is not a lot of walking around involved when you are doing yoga or on a weight machine. And there was just too much jumping around and too many erratic movements for the pedometer to accurately track anything during fencing. (Also, after the first time I stopped wearing it to fencing practice since I was worried that it would get hit by a blade and break.)
So is the pedometer a good way of measuring fitness? Eh, I dunno. I am going to keep wearing it, certainly (because I love numbers and data) but I think that I will be taking my daily numbers and averaging them out over the week, and shoot for an average of 8,000 steps a day, regardless of other types of workouts. That seems to be more reasonable to me then kicking myself on a daily basis because it is so difficult (as a suburban-living, desk-bound, computer-jockey) to hit the daily goal of 10,000 steps.