Tuesday, July 12, 2016 1:42 PM

This is Last Thing I Thought I Would EVER Blog About!

I will admit, I am not good with the cell phone machine, but my kids are!  Over the weekend, they started to move a bit more than usual.  OK, they started moving a LOT more than usual, as in my teenage daughter walked over four miles voluntarily on Sunday in addition to the miles she put in on Friday.  In a day and age when a normal kid acts like a P.O.W. on a forced march to walk even one mile this was an attention grabber to say the least.  So needless to say curiosity has gotten the best of me and an investigation has been in order!

Turns out my kids have caught onto the Pokémon Go craze that started last Wednesday.  I can’t believe I am actually going to say this, but, “Thank you Pokémon!”  I am so, so, sooo happy to see my kids not only off the couch moving but taking the initiative themselves to get moving!  I love that I don’t have to prod them to get them moving!  I am so amped to see and hear the buzz about this!  I am so happy to see kids excited about moving.  In my mind I don’t care if it’s walking, running, via scooter, skateboard or bicycle as long as this get’s people moving and it seems this cell phone app ROCKS at getting people moving.

Which brings me to a quick and shameless plug for the Steps-2-Change Challenge, if you are taking part in the Steps-2-Change Challenge here on the CRMC campus what a great way to get extra steps!!!  If like me you are just not up on the whole Pokémon thing and are not interested in playing yourself, escort your kids or grand kids on a daily quest to collect Pokémons.  Is that a word?  What is the grammatically correct way to refer to more than one Pokémon?  Anyway, make it a whole family outing and lead by example when it comes to getting some exercise!

I know there has been some negative news about Pokémon, like the people who got robbed by four nefarious teen age punks in the St. Louis area. They set up a beacon near a Pokéspot to lure potential victims for an ambush. So beware there are some potential dangers to this. Obviously, don’t let your kids go alone after dark and use sound judgment yourself on when and where to go to hunt your elusive Pokémon.  In my mind this is a GROUP activity for the kiddos.  It could be a great chance to teach your little ones a thing or two about cyber-security, identity protection and good old school situational awareness.  Oh and one more thing, don’t get any wise ideas about driving and catching Pokémons.  From what I have read, 20 mph is the cut off and you will be moving too fast to be catching a Pokémon to try to deter that kind of hazardous behavior.  Check out this sensible PSA put out by Clovis PD yesterday about how to play safe.

https://www.facebook.com/ClovisPoliceDepartmentCalifornia

There have also been some very good questions raised about how Niantic, the company that owns the Pokémon Go app, uses the data it has access to on your cell phone.  For more details on this topic check out- http://www.bustle.com/articles/171965-how-secure-is-pokemon-go-concerns-about-privacy-safety-have-increased
 
I will admit I am too old to really know anything about Pokémon other than what my kids have taught me and some of the younger staff members here at the Employee Fitness Center have schooled me on.  With that in mind, if you are curious to learn more and give it a try, I have enlisted the help of one of our resident Pokémon pros Veronica and will be turning your Pokémon blog experience over to her to explain how to get started.  It should also be noted that there are plenty of Pokémons to be snagged right around the hospital if you should be so inclined as to take a short stroll on your lunch break!

Beginners Guide:

  1. Download the game off Google Playstore (Android) or the App Store (iPhone)
  2. You can set up your account through Google or create your own Pokémon Trainer Club account. Create your avatar and familiarize yourself with the main setup.
  3. When you encounter a Pokémon in your radius, click on them and proceed to catch them with your Poke balls! All you do is flick the Poke ball at the Pokémon.
  4. The poke balls you begin with are limited, so make sure you stop at Poke Stops. Those are typically iconic places like historical landmarks, churches and murals around your city. Once at a Poke Stop swipe the picture of the stop to spin it and see what you win. You could win Poke balls, potions, revives, Pokémon eggs etc.
  5. Do not forget to place your poke eggs in incubation; the only way they hatch is by you walking the egg’s certain kilometers. The higher the Kilometer the more valuable the Pokémon, so always start incubating your best. They can be found in your Pokémon tab.
  6. As you catch Pokémon, your experience will increase and so will your level. Once you reach level five you get to join a team (Team Mystic, Valor or Instinct) and your Pokémon’s can now battle in gyms. There you will battle a number of Pokémon in hopes of beating the current owner and claiming it as your team’s gym.

Tips:
  • Current Pokémon Hot Spots in Town: Fresno City College Campus, Fresno State campus, Woodward Park, Downtown Fresno, Fresno Chaffee Zoo
  • This game drains your phone, so make sure to have a full charge while on the hunt. It wouldn’t hurt to bring a portable charger and a pair of comfortable shoes too!
  • Certain Pokémon types can only be found at certain hours and places, for example water types can be more likely found in areas of water.
  • Use your Incense and Lure modules. Incense attracts Pokémon to you for 30 minutes. Lure Modules are placed at Poke Stops, and lure Pokémon to everyone in the radius of the stop.  These are quick ways to get Pokémon!
  • You will encounter a lot of the same Pokémon over and over again. Catch them all because you earn experience points, which helps you level up! You also earn stardust and candy that help level up and build strength for your Pokémon. All the extra duplicates can always be transferred to the professor for candy, so catch them all!
  • Don’t Pokémon and drive, and be very aware of your surroundings.  You do not want to end up running into a tree or another fellow Pokémon goer.
  • For a more detailed guide, go to: http://www.imore.com/pokemon-go#world

Right when I downloaded the game it was on! I spent five hours wandering Fresno and Hanford for Pokémon. What I love most is catching the Pokémon, especially new ones! It’s become a competition amongst my friends as to who levels up faster and has the best Pokémon. I also love that my daily steps have doubled because of the game play. Pokémon Go may sound crazy to some people but I encourage everyone to at least try it. It’s a fun way to get you more active in my opinion. I just want to finally add that you should always be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times during the hunt. Now go out there and catch them all!

Tim Clark, Manager Fitness Club
CMC Fitness Center