Monday, March 03, 2008

Next up... the Boston Marathon

Because of a trip to California followed by a trip back to Griffith for the baptism of the latest Bartinicki family addition, I haven't had any drum practice since my last lesson on Monday, nearly a week ago, and even that's only a half hour long. The week before wasn't much better, with the logistical aerobics brought on by Amy's necessary trip to Evansville, and me doing my best (and failing miserably) at juggling the kids schedule while she was gone.

Long story short is that I hadn't had much time on the actual drum kit, and since I've put my official lessons on hold, I've been anxious to get back at it so that I didn't fall into the habit of not playing at all. Annoying the guy sitting next to me by drumming on my lap throughout a cross country flight doesn't really cut it.

So, I headed down this evening after the kids went to bed and decided just to have some fun on the drums. No real practice drills - just popping in the iPod and attempting to kinda-sorta play along. I put on my top-25-most-played play list and drummed all the way through it. Twice.

Not me.

Amy popped her head in about 10:30pm to check on me, which isn't too surprising since I did head down to the basement at 8:30. I could see what she really wanted to say was "Have you lost your flippin' mind? You've been in here for over two hours!" It may have been the actual question and declaration of "Are you drunk? It stinks in here!" that tipped me off. This is the kind of insight you gain with 10 years of marriage. (For the record, I had had only one drink, and that was 2 hours earlier, so, no, I wasn't drunk. Although I'm sure I did stink. What kind of second-class, pretend-rock star am I? The stinky, sober kind, apparently. Pathetic.)

Nevertheless, I was on the last song of my playlist run anyway, and I decided that, while I had played so poorly as to be classified as "worthless" by any sort of band, I could still be identified as "a guy who is attempting to play drums" as opposed to, say, "a guy who is attempting to fish." Good enough. I decided to call it a night.

When I finally stood up, I realized that my legs and arms were actually pretty tired. So I looked up how many calories you burn while playing the drums.

Much to my surprise (and excitement!) an hour of drumming (for a person of my weight) burns 345 calories. This is the same as walking "at a very brisk pace", playing volleyball, playing hacky sack, gymnastics, or (ironically) fishing.

Here's the website
where I found all this info.

Now, granted, the last two throw the creditability of this whole thing into question. Both of the girls are in gymnastics, and so I've seen the kind of things the older girls (or my girls, for that matter) have to do, and there is no way on this earth that an hour of that stuff is the same as an hour of drumming, hacky sack, or speed walking.

Also I also don't know how many fish I'm *supposed* to be catching while fishing, or how much those fish are supposed to weigh, but clearly I'm doing something wrong. Outside of harpooning for Moby Dick, I can assure you that when I spend an hour of my time fishing, my calories burned are a lot closer to what I might burn when, say, "sitting in a chair, largely motionless, drinking beer" (just as an example). This is probably not the same as what I might burn when "playing competitive volleyball in a gymnasium." I mean, come on, let's use a little common sense here for Pete's sake.

Anyway, I don't believe everything I read, but I will believe, based on how I feel alone, that drumming is comparable to walking at a brisk pace or playing hacky sack. So the 345 calories burned an hour adds up to 862 total calories for the 2.5 hours I was playing, which is going to be far and away more than I would have burned by playing World of Warcraft, which in inevitably what I'd have been doing otherwise.

And it sure was a lot more fun than walking 10 miles to nowhere on the treadmill.

Boston Marathon, here I come!

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