A different kind of reset button

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The guaranteed part of any big or life-changing journey is the unexpected obstacles that you encounter along the way.

This is not a post about the obstacles. It’s not a post about overcoming or enduring obstacles. It’s simply about rallying oneself to focusing on the original task – in my case, a better life through lower numbers on a scale.

When I purchased my scale in June and synced it to an app on my iPhone, the first weigh-in saw a much larger number than the one on the display at the top of this post. For those who were just going to ask anyway, about 38 pounds higher than the pictured readout. It was an embarrassing number which left me no choice but to blame myself.

It also left me no choice but to make changes.

When I’d tell people what the number was, there was shock. Most couldn’t believe that number. I guess being 6-foot-4 has its advantages when people honestly were stunned at the number I had reported. 

By the time that I had bought the scale, I had already restarted regular trips to a gym for about a week. I had already made alterations to my diet. I had cut soda. Almost all sweets. I even chose options at restaurants that were borderline healthy. From June 5, 2017 to June 5, 2018, I was going to somehow get to 185 pounds, or as close as I could.

The number – albeit a crazy one – was never the true goal. That true goal was progress and the promise that I’d get to the goal number eventually, even if not by the date I had set, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of my high school graduation.

(No, there are no plans to show up at any sort of reunion and brag about the lost weight if I hit my goal. It was just an easy-to-remember target date)

In the almost three months that I was all-in on this quest, the progress was great. Milestones weren’t easily passed, but they were passed all the same. I was down about 40 pounds through the end of August. It felt like I wasn’t even doing all that much, but there was still a reward for the effort that was put into it all.

Hell, in June there was a social-media post that had me feeling all sorts of ways about losing 16 pounds. Sixteen. Or about 11 percent of my goal. Eleven percent had me giddy. When I was basically at 27 percent, it was a great feeling. Eventually I was going to hit a wall.

Turns out, the wall hit me.

It wasn’t one specific event, but a combination of multiple factors that absolutely throttled me.

The result of that collision was receiving a colossal effort from king’s horses and men (and women) to rebuild. So far, that’s been a success – don’t believe all the nursery rhymes, kids. Resparking that motivation hasn’t been the success story that the emotional rebuild has been.

Sure, I made a few trips back to the gym after a shift at the office. OK, it was two. Two trips in two months. Somehow from the day that I had hit the wall to the day that this post was written, I had lost four more pounds. And that was with me reverting back to a ton of coping mechanisms. The same kinds of things that put me at the original number to start with … Soda? Yup. Quick-service food? Uh huh. Choosing laziness over activity? Allllllll day.

It wasn’t for a lack of desire – or the acknowledgment that I need to start up again. There’s a bag in my car with items for gym visits. Each night – except for Fridays – I get in my car and head to the office with the goal of hitting the gym post-shift. That goal has not been met in a long time. Each day it shakes down to either wanting to go home and sleep, or an office project which occupies that hour that would have gone to an elliptical, a few cable-weight machines and even a treadmill.

This past week, I made a vow to myself that November was going to be the month that I was going to get back into something resembling the earlier routine. My reset button, if you will. While the motivations still aren’t 100 percent back, it’s still something I need to do for myself. Maybe I’ll find a way to rekindle that spark on my own, or find another source for the spark. 

At the time of the wall unloading on me, I was on a pace to be within 10-15 pounds of the target by June 5. To get there now, I’d have to shed 14.2 pounds per month. That’s kind of a ludicrous number. Not impossible, just ludicrous. 

So maybe that target-number trophy won’t be one that’s in my hands by June 5 of next year. But maybe in a year, I’ll look back at this post and see a 1 on the left of the readout with that 85.2 following.

It’s still a very ambitious goal. All I need is that ambition.

NBA Live’s lifespan may prosper while living in the past

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It’s been sitting in my modest office/gaming area for the past five weeks. Not long enough to collect dust – at least a visible layer, which is surprising because I’m a horrible housekeeper – but still an awfully long time for a purchase I just *had* to make. I popped it in my PlayStation 4 just to dump the data onto the hard drive on the day I purchased it, but with my job and in recent dealings to find myself after a not-so-great August and September, it sat there.

Even through October as I regained myself and started finding joy in life again, it chilled patiently along with my copies of NBA 2K18, NHL 18 for the PS4 and the recently snagged Super Mario Odyssey for my Nintendo Switch.

Eventually I’ll play it.

Hopefully it’s good enough that I’ll be forced to play the hell out of it.

I don’t need it to be some kind of unforgettable gaming experience, I just need it to be good.

Continue reading NBA Live’s lifespan may prosper while living in the past

Why are we here?

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Shawn

“Do something pretty while you can” For those not in the know, it’s the refrain/chorus of the track “We Rule the School” by Belle and Sebastian. While I’ve known the song for years, it really didn’t have an impact on me until it was involved in a recent dream – Grey’s Anatomy style. So right as the dialogue in said dream ended, the music swelled at just the right part … Hitting me with that chorus.

What is that “something pretty”? Who knows? Maybe it’ll be The Bat Flip. That’s why I’m here. I want to find out if I am capable of doing “something pretty” … Or even “something petty.”

I’m happiest when I’m writing. I have this urge to write about what impacts me? I love to share opinions and stories. At times, I can pacify that at my job (sports editor at a daily newspaper/website in Pennsylvania). There are other times where my duties veer me away from writing.

Here’s where I hope The Bat Flip can fill those voids.

Here’s where I hope that The Bat Flip can help me to add joy to my life and time behind a keyboard …

… All while providing joy and distraction to any readers that we pick up along the way.

I named this blog The Bat Flip because bat flips are joy. Bat flips are exuberance. They’re reactions. In the right moment, a bat flip makes an already great moment a legendary moment.

This blog – and all associated and developing media under its banner – hopes to live up to that standard.

But how about some background? It might help.

Having always loved sports and video games while having this gift to write semi-coherent copy has led me to wanting to always write about those things. On occasion, that itch is scratched by my job.

There are plenty of occurrences where a great idea for a written project quietly sits in a pocket of my brain until the enthusiasm atrophies to nothing. That allows the idea to fall into the file of “Man, that would have been awesome if …” It’s a file folder that’s constantly bursting at the seams. 

Sometimes it’s because the time is lacking. Other times it falls on not having a proper outlet.

The Bat Flip can be that outlet. The Bat Flip was created to be that outlet.

I created The Bat Flip with the hope that it never becomes stale or predictable. I asked Robbie to join so that it’s not just one voice.

It’s a hope that The Bat Flip is never just one thing as much as it’s an easel to display all things that are our passions and/or reactions to whatever catches our attention.

There will be a podcast. If it’s anything like years of text messages and conversations between Robbie and I, it’ll be a blast for us to produce. It’s my hope that it’ll be just as fun to listen to.

If we do this right, Robbie will become the MVP of The Bat Flip while I churn out all-star numbers.

We thank you for your visit.

We thank you for your future visits, as well.


Robbie

When Shawn approached me with the idea of creating this blog/podcast it was a no brainer for me to jump on board.

Starting a blog is something I have wanted to do for a long time but never put all the pieces together to make happen. You have to invest a lot of time and be very committed to the project to make it successful. Having someone to work with on this journey makes the task seem less daunting.

As we tossed around ideas over the past couple months I became very excited at the prospects of where we could go as a team. Between the blog and the podcast the possibilities are endless and having so much in common with one another, the sky is truly the limit.

Our mutual interests allowed everything to come together and really made me believe this is a great opportunity to get involved in such a project. Having the chance to develop and create something where you are the one making the decisions is something I could not say no to.

Writing has always been a passion of mine regardless of the topic. Now, I have a place to display that writing using the subjects I love the most. Even as I write this, a million ideas are bouncing around my head that I hope I can someday turn into great content for you all to enjoy.

Sports are my truest passion in life, you can ask anyone who knows me. I could talk about sports for hours on end and here is where I can do that, either in blog form or on the podcast. Along with Shawn, I can guarantee there will not be a lack of sports talk.

Speaking of the podcast, that’s where the fun will be. Our first one has been recorded and once we work the bugs out I feel like that will be our bread and butter.

Most of what Shawn said above is where I stand as well. I hope this is just the start of something special. I can’t predict where it will go or how big it will get, but I can predict that we are going to have a ton of fun while doing it.

I hope you come along for the ride.

 

Who are we?

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Who: Shawn

Position: Co-founder, co-editor and Director of Nostalgia.

What I do: Sports editor at a daily newspaper.

Strengths: Wingspan along with a self-professed ability to write coherent and meaningful copy.

I root for …: The Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, the University of Pittsburgh (because I embrace disappointment), the Brooklyn Nets (because I want basketball to be pain, apparently) and chaos.

My best moment as a sports fan: Oct. 1, 2013. The moment where believing in the Pirates through two decades of losing paid off.

What systems I play: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and a hell of a lot of retro systems.

What games I play: Whatever is current in the sports-title realm, what’s new and shiny on the Switch, a bevy of retro games when the muse strikes and a few RPGs.

Biggest gaming accomplishment or best gaming memory: Picking up “EarthBound” on a lark in 1995 and discovering the single-best game to ever exist.

What I bring to the table: Calming influence in a world filled with absurd takes.


Who: Robbie

Position: Co-founder, co-editor and commissioner of the rules.

What I do: Write about sports. Wash cars. Occasional computer troubleshooting.

Strengths: Wingspan and an appreciation for all takes despite how bad they may be..

I root for …: Pittsburgh sports (Penguins, Steelers, Pirates) in the professional world along with whatever NBA team is fun at the moment but in the college game I’m all about the Nittany Lions of Penn State. Overseas I follow Manchester United in the Premier League and AS Roma in the Italian league. Those last two are soccer.

My best moment as a sports fan: It’s really hard to pick just one moment when you’re a Pittsburgh Sports fan.

What systems I play: Unapologetically PlayStation for life. Known to dabble in the emulator world as well.

What games I play: I can find enjoyment in games from all across the genre spectrum. Particularly fond of the Assassin’s Creed series which satisfies the history buff inside of me.

Biggest gaming accomplishment or best gaming memory: Being an unstoppable force on “NBA Street 2” and the endless enjoyment from the “Backyard Sports” franchise.

What I bring to the table: Having opinions on everything from sports to pop culture which works out well for this blog. Also, Star Wars takes.

FlipCast Episode 1: The One We Recorded at Panera

The FlipCast (4)

Find it here

In this episode …

• Shawn and Robbie introduce themselves and what the FlipCast is all about

• You can hear what the end of a lunch rush sounds like at Panera Bread

• Shawn says “you know” about 356 times

• Robbie withholds a life-changing take

Shawn’s notes: It was an experience cutting the first podcast in a public setting. Not a bad one, just kind of different. Personally, I kind of like having the restaurant sounds in the background for this one. It adds this feeling like the microphone was eavesdropping a bit into a lunch conversation (May I suggest the bread bowl with the cream of chicken with wild rice soup?). I’ll venture that future episodes – maybe the ones not recorded in restaurants – will come off as more candid as Robbie and I tried to be courteous to the folks two tables over who appeared to be studying. Also, I need to work on fading music on the intro end of things. Learning processes are fun.

What is The Bat Flip?

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Welcome to The Bat Flip. It’s a blog. Just like many of the sites that are powered by WordPress.

It’s also going to be a ton of other things.

“What will it be?” you ask.

Well …

… It’s commentary.

… It’ll be more of a virtual water cooler than it is a newsroom.

… It’s two guys who love sports, video games and whatever pop culture grabs their attention. 

… Those two guys are Robbie and Shawn.

… It’s two MacBooks.

… It’ll be accompanied by a weekly podcast that you’ll really want to listen to.

… It’ll be a hell of a lot of goofing off.

… It’ll also be a hell of a lot of fun.

Join us.