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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Likness

Happy Independence Day

It's been a minute since my last post. I've been working on a blog about Indi, but it's taking a lot longer than I expected. If you like reading stories and have a long attention span, it will be a good long (bittersweet) read. Yesterday would have been Indi's 8th birthday. "Indi" is actually short for "Independence Day." In a week, I'll celebrate my 3-year anniversary of working at Microsoft. At the end of July, our daughter, Lizzie, is moving to Washington State! We have a lot to be thankful for.

Happy 4th of July
Happy Independence Day!

While I work on the longer post, here are some updates.

A Mossy Hike

It felt great to get outside yesterday and hike for the first time in awhile. We met a good friend of ours, Dan, his son, Samuel, and his two dogs (Coco and Gracie) and headed up to the Lime Kiln Trail. The trail is about 7 miles round trip. We took it very easy. Just over 1.5 miles in, we encountered a tree across the path. Not impossible to pass (dare I say, impassable?), but something we weren't comfortable crossing due to of Doreen's back. So we headed back. It ended with almost 5K total distance and over 500 feet elevation gain.

A hike route, a picture of a bridge, and a large tree stump
It was a fun little hike...

I look forward to many more hikes this season!

Burpee Fever

I still do burpees every day. Right now my daily workout consists of:

  • 50 burpees

  • 5x 45-second plank holds (no forearms)

  • 50 squats

  • 50 push-ups

It takes me around 15 minutes to finish. The burpees happen in the first 5 minutes. I've hit a total of almost 3,500 burpees since I started. I am at the end of my current challenge, so this weekend I'll figure out the next goal. My workout is a bit push-centric so I need to add some back. Maybe pull-ups?

YUR What?!

A lot of my cardio happens in virtual reality (VR). I wrote about Beat Saber in the past, but now I have many more options to choose from. I have a few boxing games that knock me on my butt, and a few dancing games that burn steady calories over long sessions. Although I track the sessions using my fitness watch, a VR group I participate in made me aware of a new option: YUR fit.

Talk about amazing new technology! The premise is simple: the app installs and runs in the background to track your VR activity. It is unique because it can read your headset and controller feeds to determine how often you punch or squat. From that, it determines your calories burned. It can also track heart rate. It connects with most Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitors, and if you don't have one, uses artificial intelligence to compute a pretty good estimate of your HR.

Most apps aren't aware it's running. The company provides an SDK that integrates it into games as a virtual watch! That feature very cool. Two of my games currently integrate. Here's a shot of me in Synth Riders looking at my virtual fitness watch.

The circle shows calories burned today and a visual indicator of progress to the next "level." I can see time, how many squats I've done and my estimated heart rate. All of this feeds into a dashboard:

A dashboard showing calories, gameplay, and more
Dashing isn't it?

It's also fun to check out the widgets:

Widgets showing squats, time, calories, heart rate.
You don't know squat!

Finally, I have my fitness watch on one feed and YUR Fit tracking my VR workouts. To reconcile them, I connected both feeds to Google Fit. That gives me a nice, integrated view of all my activity for the day:

A list of activities
Google Fit

As you can see, yesterday I started with burpees, hiked, then burned some extra calories in VR. I keep moving because Parkinson's won't stop!

Garden Time

Last, but not least, I've been working with my wife a bit in our backyard (on our "garden" as they call it in the Pacific Northwest). It's been fun getting various trees and plants, planning where they'll go and putting them in the ground. Here's the lavender we planted right outside my office window:

Here is a tiger lily in bloom:

Now it's time to relax and enjoy this beautiful 4th of July day. Have a great holiday weekend!


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