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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Writer Fitness: Walking with PokemonGo


As you know, one of the things I have decided I need to improve is my fitness. This is important for everyone, and not just writers, but it’s hard to actually get out and do. Me? I hate walking for the sake of walking, moving quickly but aimlessly for the sole purpose of keeping mobile for 30 minutes.

This is in spite of knowing I need to keep my blood pressure and blood sugar under control, and in spite of seeing an improvement in both of these, my weight, and my general health. There are days when I wonder why that isn’t motivation enough. Instead, I use two augmented reality apps to help improve my attitude to an activity that does me no end of good: Ingress and PokemonGo.

Both these apps have built-in encouragement for walking: Ingress has its Trekker medal in five levels, and PokemonGo has a Jogger medal, as well as the need to walk to hatch eggs. This does not mean that every PokeGo or Ingress player is going to be fit, though. Many still take to their cars and do only what they can from their driver’s seat unless it’s absolutely necessary to do otherwise. I walk whenever possible, because the walking was why I started using these apps in the first place.

Right now, I’ve progressed to where the rewards in Ingress are taking longer to attain. That’s okay; it just means you’re going to hear more about PokemonGo for a while. I hope that doesn’t bore you.

Balancing a walk that’s actually worth doing, namely one which doesn’t have too many stops and starts, can be difficult, but I’m starting to work out how. First, I learned how to spin pokestops, catch pokemon, and glyph portals without stopping. That helps a little, but it needs to be coupled with a walk that has some distance between portals and pokestops in order for the walking to be an effective fitness tool.

Saturday’s walk (April 8) did exactly that. I had a cluster of portals at the end of a 3-4 kilometre walk, with only one, more remote portal to break up the distance. This meant I could walk without stopping for 20-30 minutes at a stretch, longer on the return journey when I was starting to feel the pinch.

Along the way, I hatched two eggs, one of which was a new Johto region catch:




















This militank came out of a 10 km egg, and I was pretty surprised to see it. It was also a strong pokemon with good stats, which was even better.

The other was another Johto-region native, but one I'd caught before, and came out of a 2 km egg. It, too, was a strong, well-statted version, so I kept it for powering up - and maybe evolution later on.



On top of that, I made a new Kanto region catch at the portal/pokestop cluster:






















This wasn't the only onix I caught today, but it was a good strong one, with good stats. The second one, needed improvement to battle, so it assisted with the candy supply.

I was also lucky enough to add a new Johto-region catch on the return journey, bringing me up to 50 for that region:

 




















This rounded out my PokemonGo week nicely, after I found bunch of misdreavous and earned the silver medal for catching ghost pokemon the day before.



It was all good fun, but I think what topped it out, beyond the beauty of the day, was this piece of graffiti, which I saw on the way back. Now, that has to go in a story sometime. I’m not sure what as, or why, it just does.


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