Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sock-Shaming, Survival Gaming, Goal Regrouping

I have some sort of muscular-skeletal weirdness that causes all of my socks to get holes in the same spot with annoying frequency. Last week when I was putting my socks on in the pool locker room, I swear some woman noticed and actually looked at me askance. I’m convinced she was grossed out by my sock hole. I don’t know why she felt my socks were any of her business, but Little-Miss-Perfect-Sock’s furtive glance at my footies and her subsequent mouth-curl of disgust did not escape my attention. I’m glad she has all the time in world to go around replacing her socks at the first sign of wear, but I have a job, and hobbies and stuff.   

Speaking of time sucks like jobs and hobbies, the latest in the hobby category for me has been “Stranded Deep”, one of the many survival video games floating around on Steam. I’m not generally a fan of the survival genre, but I downloaded it about a week ago and have been weirdly obsessed with it ever since. After several unfortunate perma-deaths and lots of deep dives into Youtube instruction videos, I’ve finally hit my stride! I got the food and water thing down to a science, so I’m not constantly getting dysentery, and I was ridiculously proud when I built my first structure: A humble supply shack. It’s a cheaply produced game and a bit glitchy, but the graphics are colorful and beautiful, and it’s giving me a real charge. My brain is bathed in feel-good chemicals from learning something new, and I think it’s actually improving my terrible sense of direction, because I’m forced to use a compass frequently. I have a nice little encampment set up now, and my next goal is to build a motorboat so I can get around faster and plunder the earth’s natural resources more efficiently.  

As predicted, my grand goal of the 6:00 a.m. swim has not worked out…yet. But I was listening to the Joe Rogan podcast the other day, and he may have successfully shamed me into forcing myself to try it. I’m a big fan of Joe Rogan, but sometimes he does go on a bit too much about the mechanics of maintaining his meat castle. On this particular podcast, he gave a little spiel about his intense physical discipline and how he’s good at forcing himself to do physically hard things and then upping the ante on the level of challenge. I rolled my eyes terminally hard at this, but he was right when he said that the first step is the hardest. I’m no Joe Rogan when it comes to physical skill or discipline--I'm uncoordinated, and I must distract myself at all costs during exercise, then bribe myself with rewards. We can’t all have the self-mastery and iron will of an ex-MMA fighter. But I could push it a little bit more, and as I age, I need to be constantly vigilant against the threat of total middle-aged blobbery and muscle degeneration. So, I’m off for a swim, even though I don’t really feel like it. I’ll try for the 6:00 a.m. jaunt again this week. Stayed tuned!

Not the official game trailer, but I love the song. (Our Last Night - "Sunrise")


--Kristen McHenry

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