posts tagged with '1000 hours'

epic day

What a day we had today! We started off with a hike in Greenough Land with our school friends—half of whom are just back from two weeks of traveling. Greenough Land isn't so large, but we made the most of it with two hours of walking and playing followed by lunch in the parking lot.

the kids walking along the edge of a little pond

out in the woods

After that I took the boys across Carlisle to Great Brook for some biking. See, we got a new bike rack (after the old one fell apart and dropped the bikes on the road as we were driving, which deserves a post of its own!) and I wanted to test it out. Plus I wasn't sure how long our walk was going to be, so I planned for further exercising. As it happened the boys were tired enough to prefer %%%not doing more, but I was committed. With the promise of ice cream at the end of the ride they went along with me. We only did a couple miles, but they were hard (and fun!) hilly, woodsy miles, so the post-ride frozen treats were well-deserved.

the boys eating ice cream at Great Brook Farm

ice cream with the cows

Then when we got home Leah was heading out to the pool and asked the boys if they wanted to go along. Never mind that they'd been completely wiped out on the drive home, the idea of swimming gave the younger two a new jolt of energy and as soon as they could change they were out the door again. Harvey and I needed a bit of rest, but after we got that we went out and did an hour and a half of solid work in the garden. To cap the day off, friends came over for dinner on the deck and the kids played outside into the dusk. All that took us to nine hours outside for the day; needless to say that brought us over the 2.75 hour per day average for the year. It's not a given we'll stay there, of course, but a couple more days like today will seal the deal.

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500 hours

Not only was Monday a big day thanks to Fourth of July celebrations, it was also a special occasion for our family: the day that we reached 500 hours outside (and smashed past it, to 506). We're doing this 1,000 hours thing and I'm having fun recording our time, after I come back inside, on a spreadsheet. We started off doing the beautiful "color in a box per hour" recording sheets, but it was too easy to lose track of which hours we'd recorded—we're not organized enough for that. The spreadsheet is easier, plus—plus!—it gives me our average hours per day for the year and each month, along with the running total for the year. We reached 500 slightly past the midway point in the year, and we haven't quite hit the 2.75 hours/day mark that we need to be sure of 100, but there's more warm weather in the second half of the year than the first so I'm not worried. Plus we haven't even gone camping yet! Here's to another 500 amazing hours this year!

out and about, lately

We ended February with 52 hours outside for the month, which is a little bit under the two hours per day we were hoping for. But still respectable! And we had some lovely outings the past few days, very much enjoying the winter that still has us in its grip.

Zion and Elijah on the ice at Estabrook Woods

there's still ice

After the snow on Friday we took a walk Saturday morning at Great Hill in Acton. The parking lot wasn't plowed and as I drove in anyway I was worried we would never be able to get out again. Luckily the snow was light and fluffy so it wasn't a problem, but the same lightness made the walking very tiring indeed. Even though folks had broken trail, we still sank and slid with every step, like walking in deep sand. Also, Great Hill is kind of a big hill. So our walk wasn't long, but it was invigorating... and beautiful.

Harvey and Elijah hiking on a snowy slope

great hill, great snow

Monday we got out for some sledding with friends. I sledded, at least; the boys, not loving the characteristics of the snow, took a walk instead with their crew and discovered that the ice was actually—surprisingly—in fine shape, neither melted nor snow-covered. So of course they had to get the skates out (luckily we always keep them in the car!). The younger kids engaged in some spirited short-track races while the older set lay around on the ice and talked about how to monetize a Youtube channel.

Zion and friend skating, Harvey and a friend lying on the ice

something for everyone

Tuesday's outing was to Estabrook Woods in Concord. We had never been there in full winter, so I was interested in possibly taking the sleds on the "ski slope" that those woods feature—but just like our airport hill the slope looked a little too bramble-covered to make it worth dragging the sleds all the way in. Plus getting up to the top of that hill is no joke! So that will remain an unfilled dream for now. Despite that disappointment the rest of the walk was great—the going was much easier than on Saturday, with most of the trails well-trodden and packed down. And there was some ice to play on. And we got to have a picnic lunch!

Elijah eating lunch on a snow-free rock by a pond

just enough melting to have somewhere to sit

Then yesterday, of course, was park day: three and a half hours of sledding and hanging out with friends. Five hours in the first two days of March... not bad.

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more outside that I can count

When we started our 1,000 Hours Outside challenge in January I kind of assumed that we'd have a tough start, but things would all get easier as the weather warmed up. Well, yesterday was pretty warm—positively spring-like—and we certainly spent plenty of time out of doors. The kids had on shorts, we ate lunch on the deck, there were bike races and basketball and tennis games (tennis with dodge balls is the best!). But how many hours did we log? I have no idea! See, when it's wintery cold we pretty much only went outside in discrete chunks, either for an adventure or to very deliberately play in the yard. The rest of the time we were inside recovering. Now I remember that, when it's warm enough to have the doors open—as they were for a couple hours in the middle of the day yesterday—we're constantly in and out. How should I keep track of that? I'm going to give us three hours for the day, but that's only the bare minimum: it could well have been four. I just can't say for sure. Oh well, those three keep our February average to an even two hours per day so far, so I think we're doing fine!

five out of a thousand

Harvey and Elijah looking out at a frozen pond

great outdoors

The best kind of New Years Resolutions to make are ones for other people. This year I resolved that my children—and me too!—would spend 1,000 hours outside over the course of the year. At a minimum. 1,000 Hours Outside is a thing; ironically, I heard about it on Facebook (which I barely ever look at, honest!) but it seems like solid motivation to get out and moving. And sometimes it's fun to do things other people are doing too. Of course, there's an argument to be made that midwinter isn't the best time to kick off this sort of challenge—but on the other hand, now's the time when we need some pressure to keep us from settling into too cozy a hibernation!

We kicked off the hours with a whole-family walk at Fairhaven Bay on Saturday afternoon. It was gray, damp cool, and drizzly: just the weather to make you love being outside. There was some dissension in the ranks as to how far we should try to walk, but in the end the compromise of about an hour and a half out was about right. Elijah really wanted to go farther, though, so he was pretty grumpy after we turned back towards the car. He stayed grumpy all the way home then stomped upstairs without talking to anyone, ran himself a bath, then came downstairs in his bathrobe and fell asleep on the couch for two hours. After that he was the liveliest and cheeriest of all of us!

me and boys pausing for a rest and water in the woods

everybody was having fun, I promise

Yesterday we took a walk with friends up to the center of town, where we played on the playground and skate park. Some of us discovered that it's possible to slide down the halfpipe head first on your back! Thrilling. We also visited the library. Then today I tortuously manipulated our errand route to take us by Mount Misery in Lincoln, where Harvey, Elijah and I—Zion was home with a stomach ache—enjoyed walking up and down the hills, across logs over streams and ditches, and, tentatively, onto the brand-new ice. It's finally gotten cold! It's been a while since we walked at Mount Misery; in fact, we haven't since our first visit back in late summer of '20. It was so dry then that the streams were basically gone, but we saw the bridges and wished we could enjoy the water. We enjoyed it today!

Elijah crossing a log over a stream

but be careful not to experience it too directly

With four days down in the year we're at five hours outside. Well under the two and three-quarters a day needed to hit 1,000, but it's early days. Cold and wet days, too; things'll be different in the summer. And not only are we doing better than some other folks I know doing the challenge, we're having fun too!

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