Even though I know the days are getting longer, February always seems like the darkest depths of winter to me. Fortunately, it's a short month, and jam packed with holidays, perhaps to offset the gloom that settles into the bones this time of year. Here are some popular, as well as lesser known, February holidays:
- Groundhog Day
- Valentine's Day
- President's Day
- and the quintessentially American celebration of the Super Bowl, which is a de facto holiday that falls on the first Sunday in February
- Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent - a moveable feast which sometimes falls in March
I watched hours and hours of Australian Open tennis this week, even though it was only two matches - Nadal v. Verdasco and Nadal v. Federer. For his semi-final match, Nadal played the longest match in men's singles history at the Australian Open: 5 hours and 14 minutes. His finals match against Federer lasted 4 hours and 23 minutes and was yet another classic in their rivalry. I remember the first time I saw Nadal was while watching a match broadcast from the Miami Masters tournament when Brad and I were in Paris in 2005. Unlike American television coverage, which averts the gaze of the camera while Nadal adjusts his underwear between every point, the French commentators mocked his OCD rituals. "He's looking for his socks. Will he find them and be able to play tennis? Yes! He has found his socks. Now he must find his shoes." It's an interesting cultural difference, and it was made more memorable by the match being another 5 set duel back in the days when Nadal was seeded 29th. Nadal's OCD has decreased dramatically in the intervening years, at least what's visible on television, and it hasn't seemed to slow him as he became the number one player in the world and the first male player to hold Grand Slam singles titles on three different surfaces simultaneously. I feel lucky to be able to watch Nadal and Federer play in my lifetime.
Which brings me to F is for Fitness:
If I were a space alien coming to Earth to choose specimens for my Human Zoo, I'd certainly take Nadal and Federer along with me as some of the fittest humans on the planet. It's great to flop on the couch for hours watching them exert themselves to their utmost. I have a new GoWearFit device as my February 1st gift from Brad which gathers all kinds of data about nutrition and movement and sleep, and during the long tennis matches it sometimes thought I was asleep.
Here are some samples of the actual sleep data reports it generates:
This is my sleep record for the night of January 31st into February 1st
And February 2nd to February 3rd
You can see my lovely luxurious afternoon nap, where I apparently fell asleep immediately upon lying down. I'm an excellent sleeper.
I slept much better than Brad, who only got 4 hours and 39 minutes of actual sleep 2/2.
And even less the following night:
No wonder he gets tired sometimes?!?
For the data obsessed among us, this is quite useful information, and may yet inspire me to move my body around a bit more instead of being in full hibernation mode. Or not.
And F is for Finishing, which is really hard for me. I've had a draft of this post sitting in my TypePad Drafts since February 3rd, which is what the posting date will be, even though it's getting finished on Friday the 13th. I'm going to keep practicing the habit of finishing and posting. G is for Geography is on the way.