Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Part 3 Building The Active Runner Dad: Greg.1: The TV Challenge

A massive thunderstorm woke me up the other night, and I staggered from my bed to unplug our household electronics.  I plugged in my computer the next morning, but forgot  the TV until I returned home the next day.  After a good workout at the gym, I came home sat down on the couch, push the button on the remote and nothing.  I hadn't plugged the TV back in, but rather than get up and rectify the situation, I decided to think things over:
  1. Hockey season ended for me.  My Caps are out, and as much as I love hockey -- I am no fan of any of the remaining teams. 
  2. I only like TCM and one show currently running new episodes: Mad Men
  3. I hate commercials -- especially the Time Warner Cable Commercials.
  4. Reality TV is a waste.
  5. My wife and I are old school in a lot of ways.  We have dinner together . . . at our kitchen table . . .every night . . . and we talk . . . No TV (ok, during Hockey Playoff exceptions were made), Cell Phones, or Computers.
  6. When I was a young kid, I was only allowed to watch 1 hour of TV a night, and I lived!  And, coincidentally, my weight gains seem to begin around the time this rule went out the window . . . hmmm.  
After pondering these ideas for awhile, a notion struck me . . . No not a notion . . .

...A Challenge!
Re-institute the old rule: 1 hour of TV a day.  Want to watch a movie that is 2 hours long, you better save up, buddy.  Game goes into triple OT, guess you won't find out how Ted met their mother this week.  Yep, TV on the net and Netflix counts, so you may want to rethink that 3 movies a week  and unlimited streaming plan.  

After thinking about things, I decided to except the challenge and left the TV unplugged.  Hiroko doesn't watch much more than one hour a night, and it is all cooking shows and project runway when it is running, so I won't get sucked into her shows that often.  Nor does she  really re-watch things that she has seen just to waste time, like I am apt to do.  She does watch some Japanese Shows on the net, but that is more her way of staying connected to her country and culture.  I don't have a game system because I realized long ago that I could not maintain a relationship with a woman and a game system at the same time.  I always sold them when I started dating a girl, then bought a new one after we broke up.  Once I got married the game systems left my life for good.  Regardless, I don't think my challenge will effect Hiroko in any negative fashion.  It is not going to turn into one of those: "you can't eat what you want because I am on a diet situations." 

The simple fact is that I need this challenge.  I want to build the active runner dad, and I can't do that if I come home and plop down on the couch to watch TV night after night.   I don't want to be the role model of the couch-potato for my child.  How can I tell my kid to turn off the TV and get outside and play if I can't do it myself.  So . . .  Challenge Accepted!

If anyone else would like to join me in my challenge, I'll be happy to share my Reading list with you: Currently I am 200 pages into The Girl Who Played With Fire and will be moving onto 1Q84 soon.  I am also reading Bart Yasso's Article about Running with The Amish in Runner's World form a few months back.

P.S. The TV remains unplugged.


  1. Great challenge! I will be curious to know how your evenings have changed after a few weeks of doing this. I'm not a big TV fan and when Spike is out of town (which is often) the TV never gets turned on. I do enjoy watching a movie from time to time but that is about it.

    Let me know when you get started with 1Q84, I've just finished book 2 and going to start book 3 tomorrow... it is very... different.

    1. Yeah, I have gone long periods without TV before, but that was when I was in school and didn't have much free time. But, I know that this will be good.

      As for 1Q84, mine is in the mail and should arrive next week. When you say it is "different" do mean by Murakami standards or from other authors? I've read a lot of his books, so I am used to his weird in terms of his other books like The Wild Sheep Chace or A Hard Boild Wonderland and the End of the World. If he is goning even weirder than those, then I really want to read it! ;)

      2 things about him:

      1: Did you know he is a big runner and has written about about his marathon training?

      2: If I hadn't found one of his books just randomly and bought it on a whim, I would not have gone to Japan and met Hiroko. I owe him a major debt of gratiutde.