• Jeremy Likness

The Burpee Bootcamp Rap Update

OK, so the title may have been a little bit of clickbait. I'm not really doing a burpee bootcamp rap. It is, however, true that I'm honoring my previous commitment to do an extra burpee per day, every day, in 2022. I also started a fitness training bootcamp. And I rapped. That's a wrap! Just kidding. Let's tackle these one at a time.

The 365-Day Burpee Challenge

Reflecting on 2021, I realized I'm most consistent when I have a personal goal or challenge to achieve. Instead of figuring out several goals, I decided to go with just one: a burpee a day. Only, that's too easy, so instead I made it a new burpee every day. As in, one burpee on day one. Two burpees on day two. It doesn't sound so bad unless you think about any days after the first two weeks. Like now. My first two weeks are behind me, and so far, I captured video evidence of my commitment.

My first week was fairly easy. I even had some help from our German Shepherd, "Pepper."

Week two started getting "for real." If you look closely at the last few days, I'm no longer going nonstop. I have to catch my breath to make it through. But... I got it done!

Bootcamp

Inspired by my daughter's example of joining an at home bootcamp, I decided to do the same. After all, we should "go confidently in the direction of your dreams" and my dream is to train hard so Parkinson's Disease slows. Now I can use my compass to orient in the right direction.

Breakfast and a motivational  quote
My compass

The bootcamp is delivered by coaches from a local CrossFit garage, Rebel Mel's Fitness. It involves four workouts per week and lasts eight weeks. It includes a meal plan.


So far, I've enjoyed the workouts and have been following the meal plan but tweaking it for my vegan-plus-eggs lifestyle. Although my primary goal isn't weight loss (I do want to shed fat, but I know that will happen as a side effect of making good choices), I am down seven pounds in the first two weeks! More exciting though is that after training consistently my symptoms have all improved!!!! All of this while eating fun meals, like these:


Delicious food
Impossible Fettuccini Alfredo, Steel Cut Oats with Apples and Cinnamon

Or how about these?

Delicious food
Vegan M.O.D. Pizza, Vegan Buffalo "Chicken" Salad

These are just a few of many I post (and tag the vendors who provide the awesome vegan options) on our Parkinson's Disease Instagram.

Rap

When I was 10 years old, a friend of mine convinced me to watch the movie, "Breakin'" and I was exposed to rap and breakdancing the first time. I fell in love with both. I joined a "dance crew" and participated in "breakdance battles" that we came to armed with a big piece of cardboard (to spin on) and a boom box. I was called "Glidemaster" because my signature moves were similar to the popular "moonwalk," but I would glide in all directions and not just backwards. My friends and I constantly engaged in freestyle rap battles (coming up with rhymes "on the fly").


After casually rapping and freestyling with friends off and on, I finally decided to try out writing a song and delivering it. Although I'm not going to be recruited by record executives any time soon, it was a fun creative outlet and I think I'll keep practicing and writing and putting out more of these. This first one, "Steppin'" is written from a rap battle perspective although I kept it pretty light.


The engineering manager for one of the products I work on at Microsoft, Arthur, recently started experimenting with creating his own music. We were talking about our hobbies and passions and realized he could produce a music track and I could write the lyrics and rap the vocals. So, we got together and out of that collaboration created "Unicorns Kickin'" about our data access product that has a "magic unicorn" nickname.

Next on my list will be a rap written to raise awareness about Parkinson's Disease. Stay tuned!

Astrophotography

I haven't had much chance to work on this hobby because it's been cold and cloudy for months. In September 2021, I purchased a larger telescope and motorized mount (that holds and positions the telescope) but both have been backordered for months. I recently received the mount and figured out how to hook up my Sony camera to take long exposures. My first successful target on the mount is called the Merope Nebula, part of M45: The Pleiades.

M45 The Pleiades
M45 The Pleiades

I also took my Stellina out to image at the same time and captured this shot of the moon.

The moon
I give you... the Moon!

M42: The Orion Nebula is a very popular target. I captured a few more minutes of exposures on this beautiful nebula, then combined it with prior exposures dating back to March of 2021. The result of stacking 604 10-second exposures is this.


M42: The Great Orion Nebula
M42: The Great Orion Nebula

I don't only photograph the stars. Here is a shot I took of clouds outside our home just after the sun set. I didn't apply any filters to the photo and just used noise reduction to reduce some of the graininess. I love these sunsets!

Blazing dusk
Blazing Dusk!

After a "meh" look at 2021, I want 2022 to be "BOOM!" and "POW!". I'm off to a great start with two weeks down and 50 left to go. The hardest part is going to be keeping up with my burpees, so please feel free to offer words of support and encouragement when you can. I need all of the support and accountability I can get!

Until next time,


Jeremy Likness


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