Sunday, June 30, 2013

Life with Theme Park Mice: The Chair

I stand at the bottom of a paved hill, in the middle of Disney's doomed Pleasure Island, and begin to doubt my strength. Pleasure Island used to be filled with dance clubs and bars before they were all shuttered, and I wonder how any drunk person managed this incline without tumbling down it. My recently injured wife is in a wheelchair, and I must push her up this hill. There are other paths, but none this direct or quick.

Suddenly, I notice a wheelchair next to ours. There's a teenage girl, most likely also with a broken leg, sitting in it. She smiles at my wife, who smiles back to her. It seems like a pleasant enough scene, but I know the real truth. This is now a race, and I will reach the top of the hill first.

Hunching down, I begin to push with all of my strength. My wife isn't heavy, but this steep grade is punishing even without a wheelchair. The Florida humidity clings to my flesh as the sun sears my face. I almost begin to run, pushing and pushing while trying not to lose my grip.

Monday, June 24, 2013

? Pounds to Disneyland: The Hiatus

Not a wheelchair, but it is a giant wheel.
  The continuing tales of one chunky Disney fan's personal quest to lose 80 pounds and visit Disneyland, in that order.  
See my first 80 Pounds to Disneyland post for all the details.

In my last update, I had finally hit the halfway point to my goal. I celebrated. I was ecstatic. I thought nothing would get in the way of my goal.

Hubris, my friends, makes fools of us all.

First, life brought even more chaos, with my amazing wife Nicole receiving excessive hours at work, while I tried to juggle freelance work, my continuing job search, and keeping the house from filling with garbage and dirty dishes and catching on fire. Weight loss slowed to a crawl, but I still made half-hearted attempts to keep working towards my goal.

Unfortunately, fate decided Nicole needed to take a break from her exhausting schedule by breaking her ankle. She both shared my weight loss goal and the recent backslide into bad habits. Now, progress towards her goal is completely stalled until her ankle heals.

As a show of solidarity, I've decided to temporarily put my weight loss goal on hold until we can both progress together. I'm going to stay active and eat healthier, but I won't be actively weighing myself or planning our trip to Disneyland.

At the very least, I'll be getting some extra exercise. Pushing a wheelchair around amusement parks has given me the realization that I have way too little upper body strength.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Life with Theme Park Mice: A Halo of Bubbles


"I'm not here to have fun." This thought passes through my head as I pull into the parking space, far away from my destination. I feel a moment of relief, having made it through the madness of Interntional Drive traffic once again. It's a gauntlet of distracted vacationers walking into traffic, drivers from the middle of nowhere dealing with congestion for the first time, and buses making continual stops along the strip of tourist traps.

My relief vanishes when I remember what's next. I check for car keys multiple times, delaying the inevitable. Finally, slowly, I take a deep breath and climb out of the car into the humid Florida air. The heat makes my head reel for a moment, but what keeps it spinning is the sight before me. I gaze upon the massive outlet mall and its shopping masses, and I wonder how I'm going to get through to my destination.

As I make my way through the parking lot, my body instinctively changes stance, taking on the form of a football player ready to crash through his opposition. My glasses slide down my nose, but I let them hang just a few centimeters from falling. Seeing everything as a blur only helps me deal with navigating the crowds.