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  • wip78 5:57 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    A year of adventure: Take 2 

    A couple of weeks ago, I contacted Ms. Hula about a reprise of this campaign. I was a member of the original cast back in 2010, and those first couple of weeks were filled with adventure- quitting smoking, a food challenge, reality t.v., acquiring a trainer, and a few others. What a send off!  But,  as many of us are all too familiar with,  life takes us in a different direction and our focus is placed elsewhere. My year of adventure came to a halt during the first quarter after getting into a fender-bender with my roommate’s car (what a headache!….which also started my nasty habit of smoking again), and the daily grind and being a creature of habit smothered my desire to be adventuresome. There were times I wanted to get back on “Train 52” , however, being embarrassed that I had let so much time pass by, I abandoned the campaign altogether.  Over the past year and a half, I have experienced several personal challenges.  I have learned life long lessons that have made me a much stronger, reflective, and authentic  individual. I am thankful for all that I have encountered because they have led me to the person I am today.

    With that being said, I’ve noticed I am in need of a little spice in my life….to experience something unfamiliar, something new, something exciting.  To challenge myself mentally, physically, and/or emotionally….and I just want a  year full of fun!!  What a better way to fulfill this need by participating in adventures based on my terms?!  Intriguing?! Keep reading… (More …)

    • Lauren Maki 6:30 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      I’m doing the Polar Plunge in February at NU! It’s so much fun! Also, now I’m inspired and I’m starting my own year of 52 adventures.

    • wip78 6:35 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      Join us!!! Share your stories here. We would love to read about them:)

    • wip78 6:37 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      P.S. I’ll join you for said plunge.

    • Kimberly Hula 12:56 pm on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      Roberto, I love every ingredient you’ve cooked up here! When I’m next in Chicago can we be adventure pals?

    • wip78 9:05 pm on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      Yes, please!

  • wip78 8:29 pm on April 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    8/52: A Beast of a Sandwich… 

    Ahhh….  my fellow adventurers.  I apologize to all of you for not blogging about my adventures.  Life took over for awhile, so, I have a little reading and adventuring to catch up on…

    For my 8th adventure.  I decided to do something with food.   I decided to take on a “Man vs. Food” challenge  over at Lucky’s.  The challenge-  to eat 3 of these….

    ….. in 45 minutes.

    Do you see the fries in this sandwich?  Do you see the deliciousness?!  I asked the waitress what the host from the T.V. show ordered and I ordered the first one: Pastrami.  I took it down in 6 minutes (HOLLA!).  I ordered the second sandwich half way through the first which was filled with Roast Beef yumminess.  As i ordered the second one, the waitress said, “Wait. Are you doing the challenge?  You need to have all 3 sandwiches  in front of you before you start the clock!”.  Ummm thanks, Toby.  No picture of me on the wall. No free meal. Oh well.  Let’s keep it going!   The second one came and I took the first half down in 4 minutes.  I was slowing down.  I could feel the oil coating my mouth and throat and the taste of the Roast Beef made me feel like I was going to hurl all over my poor friends that came to support me.  I started on the second half and couldn’t finish it.  I stopped at 17 minutes. I was doing AMAZING on time, but I just hit that wall where my stomach was like, “mmmmmno more”.   I felt disappointed a bit and extremely round.  BUT, I got to feel like a kid again and eat a sandwich stuffed with fries:)  I am planning on doing this again…all in the name of adventure!

  • wip78 1:48 pm on February 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , shoes   

    7/52: Shoes…..Shoes….. 

    Since my first adventure, I have been working out consistently.  Last week, my shins started to hurt and I realized that my 6 year-old Addidas could no longer cut it.  Saturday,  I had a cool experience in purchasing my new kicks at Fleet Feet.  They sat me down and asked me what type of excercise I usually do and what I was looking for.  They handed over a pair of shoes and had me jump on the treadmill.  As I ran, they filmed my ever so graceful strides in order to see how my feet rolled as they landed.  We then viewed the footage of myself running on a flat screen tv above our heads to discuss what we saw.   He had some technical terms for me about how my heel rolls one way and how my foot shifts and rolls the other way towards the toes.  He then checked my arch and came back with several pairs from different brands to see which one was the better fit.  I ran on the treadmill with each pair; eliminating a few as I went along. I ended up with the, as he put it, the “Cadillac” of the running shoes (which is code for pretty DARN expensive).  But, I have never had a better fitting tennis/gym/running shoe.  It feels like I am walking on clouds.  I am in Fleet Feet Heaven:)

  • wip78 3:10 pm on February 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Adventure #6:… and the unexpected. 

    Adventure #6 was supposed to be the parade in Chinatown celebrating the Chinese New Year, but I got my dates mixed up and realized I was supposed to be about 40 miles south volunteering and my participation in said festivities would be impossible.  Sad clown.  I volunteer two times a year for the high school organization Snowball that sponsors a Thursday- Sunday retreat.   The focus of this organization is leadership and team building activities that allow small groups of 12 with one teen and one adult leader facilitating the group to work together in a drug-free, 0% peer pressure environment. They focus not only on the group as a unit but on the individual; preparing them to make healthy lifestyle choices in order to acquire success.  The kids sleep in cabins and the support staff that helps implement the schedule and keeps the retreat on track stay in the main house.  We feed the teens in the mess hall, some meals being catered in, other meals made by the camp itself.

    (More …)

  • wip78 11:04 pm on February 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Adventures 4 and 5: The planned…. 

    There are adventures you plan for, and then there are adventures that find you.  Some are great, some are inspiring, some are permanent, some are tasty, and some you just learn from.  The past couple of weeks have been simple, fun, and interesting to say the least…

    For adventure #4, I got inked:)  Tattoos say a lot about a person.  Each tattoo usually has a story attached to it.  Was it to rebel when you were 16?  Did you get it during a drunken debauchery?  Does it stand for something meaningful?  Spiritual? Or does it symbolize a moment in your life? My first tat was about 4 years ago.  I waited so long to get one for fear of the wrath I would receive from my parents.  I was considered a good boy who obeyed his parents….catholic guilt goes a loooong way.  When I finally grew some cahones, I said screw it.  Over the last two months, I have gotten 3 more, with the latter one being the focus of the fourth adventure.  All my tattoos are personal.  They are an extension of me…  This last tattoo is an adinkra symbol that comes from the Asante tribe found in the western African country Ghana.  This symbol is known as “the wisdom knot” that stands for wisdom, ingenuity, intelligence and patience.   This symbol represents the wisdom I give my students and in turn what they teach me on a daily basis, a reminder of the patience and understanding they deserve, and the intelligence and ingenuity that we all possess.  This tattoo ties in with the one on  my wrist that stands for the life-long quest for knowledge…to always remember that there is something to be learned on a daily basis. (More …)

    • yearof52adventures 6:17 pm on February 24, 2010 Permalink

      I’m going to go ahead and nominate this for adventure MVP for week 4 🙂

  • wip78 11:58 am on January 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Little people are funny 

    Need an adventure?! 

    I posed this question to 24 second graders- What adventures can Mr. Lopez have this year?  I explained what I would be doing for the next 49 weeks and what I have accomplished already (sanz the smoking).

    To give them an example, I said they could have me eat a live worm if everyone in the class recieved 100% on their spelling tests, four weeks straight.  In working out the lagistics, I then obligated myself to eat what one student suggested- a “Worm Dog”.  You see, a worm dog is like a hot dog except you extract the hot dog and insert a disgusting worm.  Maybe I’ll have a chilli and cheese worm dog.  I just got sick thinking of it…

    Listed is just a sample of their ideas.   So, in no particular order:  The 52 Adventures per Room 233:

    1. Eat a Worm Dog.  (Where’s the Pepto……)

    2. Go to a basketball class (She obviously knows I suck at sports).

    3. Jump out of a plane with a parachute

    4. Jump out of a plane without a parachute (She’s getting silent lunch)

    5. Go to Paris

    6. Go to Six Flags or Safari Land

    7. Go to Chinatown and eat popcorn with chopsticks

    8. Go to space

    9. Climb a mountain

    10. Eat your skin (Whaaaaaaaaa?!)

    11. Go to Cheers in Boston

    12. Paint your shoes like a rainbow (She knows something…)

    13. Where girl clothing (She’s in cahoots with #12)

    14. Memorize a poem that is very hard

    15. Ride your bike from home to work

    16. Don’t eat junkfood (this is actually a good one)

    17. Eat a worm patty, worm soup, worm doughnuts, worm ice-cream, worm in apple and then go to Mexico and rest from all the worm eating.

    18. Fight a famous wrestler

    19. Make a funny face every morning

    20. Go to Haiti and help people there

    21. Go to Canada walking

    22. Say hello to people as you pass them by (I wonder what reactions I would get?)

    And lastly….

    23. Have fun

    That indeed, number 23. That indeed:)

    • yearof52adventures 12:29 pm on January 28, 2010 Permalink

      I absolutely love this post. And your class.
      I think I’ll go to Canada walking next week 🙂

    • jeindeer 2:44 pm on January 28, 2010 Permalink

      This is such a great list! I might actually memorize a long poem–I think that’s a lost art in a post-google world. Thanks for the list, and well played, little #14!

    • lisametts 7:17 pm on January 28, 2010 Permalink

      I teach second grade also. I wonder what my students would say if I asked them.

    • JScribe 9:48 am on January 29, 2010 Permalink

      Oh my gosh! this is totally hilarious. I like 14 too–some professor in undergrad once told me that his goal as a writer/teacher/scholar of English was to memorize 200 lines of text. thats always stuck with me. Maybe i should add memorize a poem to my list, too. I also think you should paint your shoes rainbow. I could do that, too! Adventure # 4, tonight!!

    • renea murray 10:39 am on January 29, 2010 Permalink

      …you gotta love those little people! Thanks for sharing this gave me a laugh.

    • Anonymous 10:49 am on January 30, 2010 Permalink


    • gangstaoflove 1:51 am on January 31, 2010 Permalink

      So cute! I’m going to ask my students and see what kind of crazy things they’ll come up with. Korean kids are pretty intense, so this should be interesting. 🙂

    • Try2StopMe 4:55 pm on January 31, 2010 Permalink

      it made me get all misty! lol so beautiful! you have inspired to me ask my preschoolers!

  • wip78 4:52 am on January 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Adventure #3: Enjoying Chicago Orange- Line Style 

      I enjoyed a part of the famous Chicago “L” transportation system from one end to the other today.  I jumped on the Orange-Line at Midway Airport on Chicago’s south west side. I ventured through the city, then taking that famous loop around the heart of  downtown.  The trip only took about 45 minutes- it was short and sweet:)

  • wip78 7:00 am on January 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Adventure #2: A date with myself 

    I went and saw “Invictus”  on Saturday all by myself.    I bought myself some popcorn and a bottle of water and settled  into my seat.  I felt a little awkward at first.  I finished half the bag of popcorn before the movie even started.  Once it did, I forgot I was solo.  I really had a great time.  I would definitely do it again!  Great date:)  Hope he calls…..

    • yearof52adventures 5:34 pm on January 18, 2010 Permalink

      That sounds like the BEST.DATE.EVER.
      I’m going to take myself on an adventure date soon. Thanks for posting!

    • jscribe 3:45 pm on January 19, 2010 Permalink

      Oh hells yes. you deserve a perfect date! I’m glad you enjoyed yourself and that you found out a little something about yourself, too. Now lets see Avatar together.

  • wip78 2:32 am on January 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Adventure #1: The Non-Smoking, Work-Out Bandit 

    Hola!  sorry for starting in a week late, but my long-time pal and fellow adventurer (jscribe) told me about this awesome idea and after hearing about it, I decided to join in.  SOOO, here I am!!!  This is also my first venture into the blogging world.  I’m a bit nervous….EEEK!

    Anyhoots, I have thought about the different adventures I would like to have this year.   This is my list thus far:

    go to the movies by myself, cook a live lobster (yes, Julia Child style), cook a five course meal, run a 5k, sky-diving, sing karaoke, ice-skating, learn about a professional sport, try sushi, visit the museum of contemporary art,  take a salsa class, take a cooking class, go to a restaurant by myself, keep my phone bill below $90.00, be on-time, make a pizza, get my neighbor to have a conversation with me (I always say ‘hi’ and he just stares), approach someone at a bar (I’m painfully shy), learn how to make fancy drink (or two), stay at a bed and breakfast, play whirley-ball, pay it forward, wear a bow-tie …..

    …I’m still thinking about the rest of them. 

    For my first adventure, I quit smoking.  I smoked for the past 15 years.  It was a social thing at first, but then became a hardcore addiction.  Over the last several years, I would smoke a pack a day if not more on the weekends.  SO, on January 1st at about 2:00 a.m., I smoked my last cigarette.  it was extremely tough the first couple of days, but its been getting easier.  One day at a time, right?!  to make sure I did not pick up smoking again, I calculated the amount i spent monthly on cigarettes and signed a year-long contract with a trainer at my gym.  I’ve had about 5 sessions now, and I am feeling sore great!!! 

    I am looking forward to 2010 and reading about all of your adventures and sharing mine. 



    • jscribe 2:42 am on January 13, 2010 Permalink

      Oh Roberto! I’m so glad to see you here! your list looks great, I cant wait to hear more about your adventures. Quitting smoking might be a hard one to beat, but a new adventure every week is just one more reason not to be a smoker! I was just thinking today about adding “Iceskating” to my list of adventures. Lets head up to the Wrigley rink some weekend soon, ok? This year is going to be awesome!

    • yearof52adventures 2:58 am on January 13, 2010 Permalink

      Roberto, I read this and decided to quit smoking myself. Well played sir!

    • wip78 3:09 am on January 13, 2010 Permalink

      Wow. Awesome!

    • wip78 3:34 am on January 13, 2010 Permalink

      Quite! Can’t wait to iceskate!

    • Kelly 7:31 am on January 13, 2010 Permalink

      awesome list! I was a “figure skater” for 7 years and I can say with great pleasure it’s a lot of fun. Once you get the hang of it there is something quite cool about gliding around on something so fragile with steel blades attached to your feet. I’m interested to hear how the skating goes. I’m also pretty sure i’m going to quit smoking this year. I’m ready. March 1st is my quit date. If I tried it now right after the first of the year i’d just chalk it up to a new years resolution. this will make it feel more concrete. Let me know any advice you may have. Good luck on those adventures they sound fun!

    • Anonymous 9:42 pm on January 13, 2010 Permalink

      Congratulations! Don’t get discouraged….it’s the best thing you can do for yourself.

    • mjperry1 5:28 am on January 15, 2010 Permalink

      Wow. Turns out I quit on the day you posted this. Way to steal my thunder. Jerk. Kidding of course. Good luck to you!!!!! And kimberly as well!

    • wip78 1:19 am on January 17, 2010 Permalink

      Great minds think alike. Good luck to you, too!!!

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