Challenge Update #4

According to math, I’m four-fifths of a man now.  That means I can recite 40 state capitals from memory, can eat 25.6 ounces of a porterhouse for two (for one), and can play four minutes and ten seconds of the guitar solo in “Free Bird.”  Except not really.  It turns out becoming a man doesn’t follow a weekly linear curve.  I’m hoping it’s exponential because I could really use a big boost of testosterone in these final months.  In the meantime, let’s look back at the last ten challenges before I come down the homestretch.

Week 31: Make Good on Old Bets

Since my last poorly devised bet with Q, I’ve shied away from making any bets with her that will only lead to more humiliation.  I have that area of my life sufficiently covered, thank you very much.

For a couple months, this blog was the top hit on Google when you searched for peter andre naked, which I must add, was not false advertising.  Now that the jig is up, it’s fallen to number seven, but I’m still thrilled to be disappointing several people on a daily basis.

Week 32: Donate Blood

I haven’t returned to the blood bank since my maiden voyage, but I’m now eligible to give blood again.  The emails I receive from the New York Blood Center are the only spam that serve a valuable purpose, reminding me that I shouldn’t wimp out of this obligation.  Q and I have talked about making a donation once a year from now on, and that seems like a good place to start.  I’m just hoping I won’t turn green after donating blood a second time.  I’d even settle for a pale chartreuse.

Week 33: Banter with Barbers

I went back to the same barbershop a few weeks ago, but did not receive the hero’s welcome I expected after Arthur and I became best buds the previous month.  I even had my opening line all ready to go: “Hey, remember that time I asked you about lunch?  That was CRAZY!”  Instead, I sat down with a new barber, with whom I shared none of the camaraderie I had worked so hard to develop with Arthur.

Perhaps I’ll attempt the barbershop equivalent of speed dating: visiting several shops across the city and asking for the tiniest of trims while deciding if I could be simpatico with this barber.  Maybe I’ll finally find my BBFF (Best Barber Friend Forever).  Though it’s more likely that I’ll be shaved bald first.

Week 34: Ride a Motorcycle

Even though I haven’t hopped on a bike since my crash course (thankfully, sans crash), I wouldn’t be opposed to returning to two wheels in a controlled environment.  Oddly enough, I haven’t seen more than a few motorcycles on the road since my class, unless I haven’t been paying attention.  Perhaps that’s more telling than I’m letting on – maybe the thrill of the motorcycle has dissipated.  Out all the modes of transportation I’ve attempted in this project, this might be the one I’m least likely to try again.

Week 35: Throw a Shot Put

CL>new york>bronx>for sale>sporting goods


Selling one gently used shot put.  Bought with dreams of Olympic glory, now lays dormant in hall closet.  Some caked on dirt and scratches, otherwise mint condition, despite my best efforts.  FULL DISCLAIMER: May have suffered some emotional abuse after I yelled obscenities when I stubbed my toe on it.  To be fair, obscenities were totally warranted and I meant what I said.

Will accept trades (specifically, fake beards and flannel shirts).  WILL NOT DELIVER, IS TOO HEAVY, MUST COME PICK UP.

Week 36: Ride a Horse

It’s fair to say that horseback riding is not the most cost-conscious activity in which one can partake, so unfortunately I’ve not had the time nor funds to venture out to the Bergen Equestrian Center again.

However, I recently discovered that there are stables in Van Cortlandt Park, only a mile and a half from my apartment building.  With this winter finally releasing its stubborn grip on the city, it might be high time to saddle up again.  This is, of course, assuming I can successfully find my way to the horse stables (see Week 40).

Week 37: Chop Wood

As I mentioned in my post, I found the repetitive physical motion of chopping wood oddly satisfying and relaxing.  It’s a shame New York City doesn’t have a venue where I can engage in this activity.  Maybe I just need to be more resourceful.  Certainly Central Park will be no less majestic if a single tree goes missing, right?  (I’m currently being told that I’m not to lay a finger on a single tree in the park and that a citizen’s arrest will be made if need be.  So nevermind.)

Week 38: Do a Polar Bear Plunge

Nooooope.  Once was enough.  Unless they’re planning any polar bear plunges between July and August.  Then I’ll consider it.

Week 39: Volunteer

Q and I have lined up another volunteer activity that serves the dual purpose of an upcoming manly challenge and an opportunity for us to work together.  I can see us making volunteering more of a priority if we can find activities to do together, which will also keep us accountable.  Though the next volunteering project will still be fodder for the blog, I’m trying not to obsess over reaching some ideal of selflessness and instead focusing on enjoying the work.

Week 40: Use a Map and Compass

Though my tale of getting lost in a public park may have come off as hyperbole in the eyes of the directionally stable, the truth is that Week 40 was one of my least exaggerated posts.  There must be a part of the brain that is devoted to spatial awareness, and I simply have not been able to activate that certain part.

I consulted this phrenology chart, and from what I can deduce, I must have bonked myself in my head above my eyebrow one too many times.  It also explains why I’m always late to things.  And they say phrenology is obsolete.  Psssh.