Wednesday, July 28, 2004
This moment, I'm just stepped back indoors from my evening walk. During the past four months, I've been doing a Moon Walk. Folks from my workplace and from other employers around town are logging their miles each day, and our totals are added together. The goal is to cumulatively walk the distance to the moon and back, and so far I've logged almost 500 miles.
Wearing a pedometer each day, I've discovered some patterns to my walking. Some days, I can accumulate 18,000 steps without noticing the distance. Other days, I barely make 5,000 steps all day long. Those are the couch potato days, the days where I hunker down in my office for eight hours at work and then spend the evening eating popcorn in front of the TV. Not my most glorious moments.
The trick is to get the feet moving throughout the day. My favorite way to rack up steps is to take the long way around. The college where I work was built in the 70s, and the entire building encircles a courtyard, making a loop that is about a third of a mile around. Need to run some files up to my boss? I'll make a pass around the courtyard before heading upstairs. Feel the urge to refill the water glass? I'll do a lap around the entire building before stopping at the drinking fountain. If I keep my feet moving, I can add up 10,000 steps before I leave the office at the end of the day.
When I'm on the ball, I can do a good mile-long walk before work, a half-hour walk at lunch, and then a solid walk after work around the neighborhood. Those are the good days. Some days, my lazy bones don't want to expend the effort. Today, I was running late and missed the morning walk, then things got rushed around the office, and the lunch walk became out of the question. By the time I got home, there were barely 4,000 steps on my pedometer. Now, after an hour walk, I have a respectable 13,000 logged for the day.
There are walks, and then there are good walks. I consider a good walk one where I strap on my athletic shoes and break a sweat tackling the hill up the street. What I like best about going on a good walk is the perspective factor. When the anxiety level gets ratcheted up, a brisk walk can melt the worry lines away. After a few healthy strides, I sometimes realize I've been holding my breath--like I've been afraid to let got or something. This evening when I started my walk, I was in a lousy mood. Cranky coworkers, crazy delays, a long list of items on my "To Do" list, and too many interruptions to get any of them done for the day. But after a good walk, I could care less.
I think I've earned my TV time for the night.