My mum and me, it’s complicated

My brother and I turned 48 ten days ago. Our mother called him and left a happy birthday message on his voicemail. She didn’t call me.

I didn’t expect her to, actually. Our relationship is complicated and has been forever (i.e., as long as I can remember.)

She can be really nice, but not for very long. Not just to me, but it seems like I coax it out of her, somehow. Never deliberately though. I just don’t think we are suited for one another.

So most of the time she’s been absent from my life, and some of the time she’s been very nice to me. I remember a lot more of the former, sadly.

Sadly? Not, really. It’s too bad, for sure, but I have been accustomed to this for decades so it’s just part of the ebb and flow of our relationship.

In the last ten days, two emotions filled me:

  1. I was vexed for a couple of days. Nothing new. Each time she plays favourite feels like a slap to my face and it hurts for a bit.
  2. I now feel liberated and much much lighter.

How did I go from one emotion to the other? I simply chose to stop caring about this: I chose to give her up.

I am aware that in doing so I renounce any hope for a healthy mother-daughter dynamic, and that I will regret it when it’s too late. But on the other hand, I did try very hard for so long and, it was probably never going to happen. So I closed that book and shelved it. I am no longer in the expectation. I am lighter, free-er, and less sad.

Longest “move” streak: 908 days

I broke my “move” streak the other day for the first time in 908 days, and didn’t close my “exercise” ring in time. I noticed after work when to my surprise it was already the next day (and had been for an hour) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I did exercise on what to me felt like that day, but that counted for the next day.

Assuming I close my “move” ring everyday, the next time I get the “longest move streak” award is Wednesday, August 20, 2025.

Exercising: 2022 review

2022 was the third year in a row after I started exercising daily. Before 2020, I was stubbornly against any form of exercise (I don’t even know why.) This is the review post of my exercising year 2022, following the review I wrote last year.

2022 was a good year. Not as impressive as 2021. I think I overdid it back then!

Raw numbers

Collage of two screens of the Fitness Stats app that crunched the numbers for energy: 273K, exercise time: 688h, steps: 3.6M, walking and running: 2955K, hiking: 130K, running: 146K, cycling: 1315K, yoga: 27h, elliptical: 67h, total workouts: 625

I covered 2955 km (1,836 miles) walking and running.

I cycled 1315 km (817 miles) in 4 months.

I exercised 688 hours.

I engaged in 625 workouts.

To put in perspective some of these tallies (generated by the excellent and free Fitness Stats iOS app):

  • In 2022 I walked or ran more than I drove! 2900 km (1,800 miles) vs. 2500 km (1,500 miles)
  • 688 hours of exercise is equivalent to 28.6 days (roughly a month of February)
  • 625 workouts (25 fewer than last year) mean that on average I engaged in almost two different activities per day

Burnout and anemia

I became aware a few years back that I have anemia. I had been giving blood four times a year (following the recommendation for women) until I was advised that however generous I wanted to be, it was better to donate twice per year. I was medicated the first time this was diagnosed but it was just a temporary fix. My body does not absorb iron very well. And since hemoglobin carries the precious oxygen to muscles, anemia leads to fatigue. Meh. I also burned out at work after Summer. So I gradually ramped down exercising to a gentler degree.

My Apple Watch is my sidekick

I respond very well to the daily coaching of my Apple Watch. I start my “activities” on it, launch from it the music, podcasts or audio-books that I listen to via my headphones (Apple AirPods Pro or Bose QC35, both of which have noise cancellation.) I heed its reminders, enter the monthly challenges, the limited edition challenges.

Monthly challenges

In 2022 again I earned all of the monthly challenges. They are determined based on recent activities and are meant to either keep you at the same level or elevate you a bit, so that at the end of the year you have improved.

  • 366.7 km (11.8/d)
  • 17x double move goal
  • 31x close all rings
  • 15x double move goal
  • 3140 minutes (105/d)
  • 23902 kcal (797/d)
  • 31x close all rings
  • 5x double move goals
  • 22400 kcal (747/d)
  • 14x 700 kcal
  • 3x double move goals
  • 5 walking workouts

Notes: The first challenges of each quarter were not easy and required extra effort. In addition to these three (January, May, September), June was also difficult because burning almost 800 kcal everyday of the month on average required intense sessions during the weekends in order to make up for the work week where it’s usually harder to fit longer workouts. The last three of the year were really easy and I welcomed the break!

The January 2023 challenge is to cover at least 4 kilometers a day 14 times.

New gear

I got myself a nice pedal assist mountain bike 😍 early September.

Smiling middle-aged woman wearing a bike helmet standing next to a dark grey mountain bike in a steep incline covered in dead leaves
Me next to my Nakamura eSummit 950 (picture by Daniel Dardailler)

Daniel asked me in the Spring if I might like to go biking with him once. To be honest, I wasn’t that chuffed and I said “sure, why not” but I didn’t think of it anymore until he asked again in the Summer. We finally went on the last day of August. It was A BLAST! We biked in the Esterel and I loved it so much that I bought my own e-mountain bike the same evening!

I bike as often as I can. With Daniel or not. To go places.

Screenshot of my longest and furthest cycling on 13 November: 6 hours, 96 km (60 miles), elevation gain of 1067 meters (3,500 ft). The map shows the round trip from home to Fréjus.

My longest and furthest cycling was on 13 November: 6 hours, 96 km (60 miles), elevation gain of 1067 meters (3,500 ft). I managed by saving as much battery as I could.

The advertised range of that e-bike is 80 km but in practice in the area it’s more accurate to plan circuits that do not exceed 50 km.

The part that was actual mountain biking was a small 9-kilometer area which I covered in less than 30 minutes! But going there was fun (and challenging) and going back along the coast was really beautiful. Great memory!

Aside: Even less use of my car

Since my teenage boy started high school in Cannes and takes the train I no longer have to drive him. I drove under 2500 km (1,500 miles) in 2022 and refueled only 3 times (180 liters).

I have continued walking, running (and now cycling) to places, to run errands, instead of driving which I do basically for grocery shopping.


Screenshot of the Health app: Exercise Minutes, with daily average of 113 minutes in 2022.
Daily average of exercise in 2022: 113 minutes (January peaked at 156 minutes per day on average)
Screenshot of the Health app: active energy, with daily average of 747 kcal in 2022.
Daily average of active energy in 2022: 747 kcal (January peaked at 925 kcal per day on average)
Screenshot of the Health app: steps, with daily average of 9817 steps in 2022.
Daily average steps in 2022: 9,817 (January peaked at 16,712 steps per day on average)
Screenshot of the Health app: running and walking distance, with daily average of 8 km in 2022.
Daily average running and walking distance in 2022: 8 km (January peaked at 14.3 km per day on average)
Screenshot of the Health app: cycling distance, with daily average of 31.5 km in 2022.
Daily average cycling in 2022: 31.5 km per day (August is misleading because I biked about 40 km on one day that month)
Screenshot of the Health app: activity.
Activity graphs in 2022: move, exercise (both fluctuated), stand (steady at 19)
Screenshot of the Health app: weight, with daily average of 63,12 kilos in 2022.
Weight graph for 2022: 63.12 kg on average, slight decrease

Strava’s year in sport

One of the perks of being a paying subscriber of the sports tracking app Strava is the yearly report. See below.