Prompt 061: Evening Favourites
[This begins the subset of writing prompts based on "The Evening."]
61. What is your favorite thing to do in the evening when all of your work/homework/chores are done? Would you do something different if you had no work to do? Why or why not?
I think I've once again come to the point when I look forward to exercise. It makes me feel good.
For one, my exercise bike is a super-cool machine, and using it is thoroughly enjoyable. Additionally, my other main mode of exercise is walking in nature. On weekends to mix things up a bit, sometimes I'll drive out to a local trail and go along it for a couple hours. Just today as a matter of fact (it's Sunday), I went "out to the county" and walked along the trail for an hour, took a snack break, then walked back. It was relatively crowded with people, and I ended up veering off the trail a few times to allow bikes to pass and/or maneuver round slower walkers.
Other times when I want to walk but I want to stay closer to home, I'll walk to the sandwich shop not far from where I live. I bring a canvas bag with me, walk the mile and a half or so to the Subway, grab my sandwich, and head back home. That's a much shorter walk, but it scratches the itch, supports a local business, and fills me up with vegetables for lunch or dinner that night.
But my exercise bike is a treat. It's an "Airdyne," or air-resistance exercise bicycle. Imagine an exercise bike with one wheel in the front that looks more like an oscillating fan than a wheel, offset foot-pedals that push an oversized crank, and handlebars that move back and forth like those found on an elliptical cycle. Recently, I've been setting the timer for 20 minutes, and then just pedaling in place. In 20 minutes, apparently I burn an average of like 330 calories. I feel accomplished afterward, and since the handlebars move, I exercise my upper body (which I seem to stubbornly avoid most of the time) as well as my legs. I feel most comfortable on my exercise bike, so it seems remarkably easy to come up with excuses to never do push-ups and especially any abdominal work. So the handlebars sneak that in, at least a little bit.
Better yet, since the front wheel is a series of fan blades, the harder I work the more resistance I have. The bike will push back as much as I push it. So if want a shorter, intense workout, all I need to do is pedal like hell. If I wanted to, I am pretty sure I could burn those 330 calories in half the time. But I'd be dead afterward, as my heart would likely explode. But you know, I've never tried it...
Other recreational stuff I do in the evenings at this point would include:
- board game design/play
- video game design/play (more play than design these days, as it happens)
- reading a graphic novel comic book, typically before I settle in for bed
- tinkering with my laser-cutter tool
I'm pleased with my personal routines these days, if perhaps I'm a bit lonely. But the nature of my hobbies is such that I become so absorbed in the activity that not only does time melt away, but I find massive intellectual stimulation nearly the entire time. Beyond that, for the past several weeks I've been the head instructor at my day job for the in-house training cohorts. When I'm home after talking to people all day long, it feels lovely for an introvert like myself to close myself off from humans and just stew in my own juices to recharge. So right now, solitude and alone time are helpful - and at times are all I can manage.
I'm also confident in saying that, should I have no chores for a given evening, I'd easily find something to fill the time with from the list above. Those activities just feel so good to me, and the end result so positive and/or useful, that there's really no reason for me to struggle to fill the time.