Sunday, September 8, 2013

How do you FEEL? How do you KNOW? - (or the start of What i did with my summer - non-vacation.)

hi guys - thanks for checking in on b2d - so sorry it's been rather quiet over the summer - have a bunch of blog posts in the hopper around fixed gear bikes, amazingly under known clipless pedals, the surprising delights of chamois cream, and how a saddle design can work for men and women even without funny shorts for serious riding. Yes, there's been a bit of biking this summer. and hot sauce. WHo knew, cambridge (the uk one) was a hot bed of hot sauce?
m.c. - happy in her summer office thinking wellbeing thoughts

But mostly there's been research. I've been working at a Lab in Cambridge, UK, collaborating on stuff that has my full attention and passion.

The survey i've posted over on facebook is part of that. If you haven't tried it, please give it a go this week. We could use your help. There will be cake.

The research i've been futon wrestling this summer  is around the design of wellbeing applications - and asking questions like:

  • what the heck is a fitbit supposed to do? - i mean, really. 
  • - and for how long? 
  • i have one i'm using right now. Do i know what i'm doing with it? 
(Do you have one of these devices? Do you use it? Please answer the survey - we NEED you.

So, health and healthiness
do we wake up at the start of our day and say, i can hardly wait to clock one more step than yesterday?

(Ok i wake up and do some stuff and check my ithlete HRV - it's true...but i'm an uber geek who sees data collection as a kind of organ donation of the future - i wish i'd called it that but that's natasa millic-frayling's categorisation of my data gathering penchant - love it - a math genius who's been bending her thoughts with us to consider models of interaction for wellbeing).

Anyway, part of the question has been - who of us have a weird obsession with sleep data such that when your partner asks "how'd you sleep, hon" - you look at your zeo to find out?

Do we Feel as Great as We Could?
or do some folks just sleep? and wake up?
And is our culture so messed up that the likelihood of doing well on something seemingly so basic - and let's face it - beyond our control; eventually, as the wife of  Mithradates said to her hubby, honey, you have to sleep sometime - how do we know we're doing ok? Especially if we don't really know what "feeling better" than we do now - feels like?

and if we do just sleep or eat, what do we wake up thinking?
where do our aspirations fit into our daily practice? do we arise thinking today i'm on step X of my path to aspiration Y? or do we think, sh*t i'm late! gotta dash, and forget to tell our honey and little bees of our love for them?

Where does being in a body (and the brain is in the body) fit into how we make sense of the world?

I ask because if we are going to  use all this smart mobile computing power to make a difference to the stats we in my world claim to care about (the effects of sedentary lifestyles, for instance), we might want to know something about ourselves, and how we think about ourselves as well, bodies, in the world.

And there's more: death to change!? how bout just better?
Why do so many people talk about "needing to change" ?? in terms of health goals.
We all eat, sleep, engage with other, think, move. Change sounds like to be better we need to do something other than those things. Like no, sleep is so 1990's; now is the era of standing on our heads. Really?



When not doing that kind of cogitating, and trying to figure out how to fit that into a framework designers/researchers can use to situate wellbeing artefacts, i've been using bands for assisting one arm push up work for full range of motion reps and it's wicked.

 I've also discovered when chamois cream can be fun. and that fixed gear bikes with track bars are just an awesome, fun and affordable way back into biking hard outside instead of on a trainer -  esp. in a flat land. I am learning both to track stand and skid stop, thanks to Sam at bicycle ambulance in Cambridge. Skilz. i so don't got 'em. but i will!

Thanks for listening, and hanging in. More to come.
let me know how your summer's been.

soon to replenish the dearth of cambridge chill sauce co.
ones i really dig - they just taste rich and lovely - not just of heat.
the wee list:
ghost pepper 10, luck (yellow pot) 7, voodoo chocolate habenaro (i think that is my overall fave, having done two bottles of it in two months, with the lucky 7 next; they mix really well too), trinidad scorpion mustard (awesome - really rich, fruity taste from the whole grain mustard) and some smokey scotch bonnet. Wicked that most of these peppers are grown by these guys in the UK.

sadly empty or nigh empty bottles.
Sample Application
Morning Ghost Pick Me Up
Here's one way i've been using the sauce like the ghost pepper 10:
with greens i have reheated in the morning - like curly kale cooked for dinner the night before:
i'll put a couple good squirts in a bowl, add in a bit of water and pour that into a hot pan, then put the kale or whatever green into that. Stir it around, let it simmer till the water's gone but the hot stuff is now all over the leaves. Oh wow, there's a kick in the AM - gets those endorphins gearing up.

Again, thanks for your patience over the summer. Do give the survey a go, and let me know of your sumer.

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