If you’ve ever lived in Florida, you know summer is harsh. Temperatures in the 90’s every day with 90-100% humidity makes even the toughest Floridians want to sit inside under a fan with ice on their face all day. For the past month this heat has put me in hibernation mode, which is really good for my now very clean house, but not so great for my mental state. If I go weeks without a good hike or paddle, I start to feel confined and a bit depressed. All I want to do is stay in my room and sleep.
Hey Babe, What’s that Game You’re Playin?
A couple weekends ago I was having a pity-party with myself about the fact that it was too hot to go on a long hike, too hot to camp, all the swim-able water was too far away, I feel like I have walked around town a thousand times, I have binged-watched all the good TV shows and there is nothing left! I was bored. Nothing was holding my attention.
Then at breakfast Grant pulled out his phone and started dusting-off his old Pokemon GO account from 2 years ago when the game first came out and EVERYONE was playing. I looked over his shoulder and I’m not gonna lie…it looked kinda interesting.
Now I wouldn’t really consider myself a gamer. Once games started getting more complicated than Mario Kart on Nintendo 64 I was out. And when I saw people freaking out about Pokemon GO in 2016 I just rolled my sassy eyes and thought, “I have better things to do than play that game for kids.”
Well Turns Out I’m a Kid and I Love Pokemon GO.
I saw Grant firing back up his account and decided to try this thing out. For those of you who were living under a rock 2 summers ago, Pokemon GO is a game that uses your cell phone’s GPS to find, catch, train and battle these creatures called Pokemon. The goal of the game is to catch all of the Pokemon in the Pokedex. So you have to physically go to certain places to catch Pokemon and gather items that help you catch, evolve and battle your “Pokies” (not the correct term, but that’s what I call them 😉 ).
I created my profile and immediately realized there are 3 gyms (where you can train and battle) and about 10 PokeStops (where you gather items to help you catch, evolve and revive) really close to my house. So I grabbed a bottle of water and headed outside in the July heat to catch some Pokies!
Y’all this thing is addicting. Not only are you getting outside and noticing areas of your town that you might not have noticed before, but it’s easy to start and learn as you go. You get to use your imagination, strategize how to “catch them all,” and just play. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just want to turn my work-brain off and play.
I’m the type of person that needs accountability when it comes to going to the gym, writing blog posts 😉 and taking time for myself. The game gives me an extra push to get myself outside even for just a short 30 minute walk, when I would normally just talk myself out of a walk in the moment. You can say it’s become my accountability partner. I’ve found a lovely bench in the middle of 5 PokeStops where I can play and watch the sunset over the lake, and it’s become one of my favorite things to do after a long day of work in front of the computer.
It’s a reminder that even though I can’t go on a 7 mile hikes and 4 hour paddles everyday, I can take regular walks at home to refresh my spirit and engage my imagination.
Veterans Memorial Park
This has become my favorite sunset walk. I never paid much attention to this quiet little park around the corner from my house until I started playing this game. Y’all this place is beautiful. When I’m not catching the Pokies, I’m reading about all the brave men and women who have fought for our country over the years as well as the people served directly in our community. The artwork is wonderful and the memorials really make you stop and remember how blessed we are to live here.