Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fitness for Sitters: Walking with Vampires

Between working full time for the public schools and making time to write, it's easy to get behind on reading. I often end up reading in bed and falling asleep after a few pages. I've had many late night conversations with my husband that go something like this:

Hubbie: You're sleeping.
Me: I'm just resting my eyes.
Hubbie: You've been on the same page for   ten minutes.
Me: No I haven't.
Hubbie: You're drooling on the book.
Me: Snore

At this rate it can take forever to make it through a book.

I like listening to books on tape while I drive, but going to the library to check out audio books takes time and when I visit the audio bookstore, they often don't have a lot of young adult selections in stock.

The other activity that often gets short-changed is exercise. It's hard to stay in shape when you spend hours sitting at a desk. By the time I get home in the evening, I'm too tired to go somewhere else. Especially somewhere exhausting like the gym. One day I had a flash of inspiration. I considered that if I listened to books on my phone while I exercised, I might actually accomplish both activities. 
I recently joined and started downloading books to my iPhone. The first book was Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Graham-Smith.  I found the book to be very well researched, despite the subject, though I must admit that by the end of the story, the lines between history and horror were a little fuzzy.

The story is built on the premise that vampires were behind the slave trade and the Civil War. No one complained when slaves went missing, so slavery provided the perfect cover for the vampire's bloody appetites. Rich southerners sided with the undead because it was lucrative, not to mention the fact that they were happy they were not on the menu. Abraham Lincoln saw through their real plot which was to have eventual control over everyone. He had a longstanding hatred of them because vampires were responsible for the death of his mother. The current movie version stars Benjamin Walker.

For the workout portion of this undertaking, I used a brand new workout video that I highly recommend: 5 Really Big Miles by Leslie Sansone. The title of the video is straightforward (kind of like the Lincoln-Vampire title). It cost me about thirteen dollars including shipping and came with an exercise band.  There are several features that I really like about this video:

- By the time I am finished with the video (sometimes it takes a few
      days) I have worked all the major muscle groups.
- The people on the video look like my friends and neighbors. Not like someone out of a fitness
- The routines are very basic so I can concentrate on the story I'm listening to and NOT think
     about tripping over my own feet trying to follow something complicated like Zumba.
- The routines are broken down into segments of about fifteen minutes each. Every segment 
     represents one mile so I can measure my progress. Kind of like counting pages.

Now that summer vacation is here and I have more time to write, I'm using the workout routine to help me get up from my desk and get moving. I have developed tendonitis after years of computer use. I write for a while, then get up and walk (while listening to vampire stories of course). Write some more. Walk some more.

If all goes well, by the end of the summer I plan to have completed writing my new book, lost ten pounds, and finished listening to numerous novels.


  1. I read Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Killer when it came out and I have to admit that I could NOT put it down and loved it! Read it in the car on a trip at the time and hardly talked to anyone I was devouring that book. I've always loved reading about AL since I was a kid. It was amazing the research and details about his life in that book and how the author wove it all together so seamlessly with vampires. A very wild premise, isn't it! The movie looks quite gory though so not sure I'll see it. I tend to avoid R rated movies anyway.

    I like your summer goals and exercising and reading at the same time! Good idea!

  2. I saw the movie and, as usual, there were many departures from the book plot, but Oh Well! That's what makes people want to run out and read the book to find out what really happened to old Abe.


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