What I’ve learned from 20,000 30,000! steps

I hate my brain sometimes.

I can go months feeling guilty and in a rut, sure that I SHOULD start exercising and knowing that I COULD start exercising and just … not doing it.

But then Jim reminded me that two summers ago he was doing a 10k step a day challenge at work, and how it made him feel that summer, and I thought, well, hell, there’s proof right there that it’s possible. So I started doing it. I’d already been running for two weeks so I was getting around 5-7k steps a day, so if I run in the morning, do my normal movement throughout the day, and then do a walk at night, there’s my 10k. *

And holy shit, it worked.

I’ve been running two days on, and one day rest, so I’m a little worried about how I’m going to manage the 10k steps on a rest day,** but I have discovered some things:

  • It’s about 500 steps to my friends Richard and Melinda’s house. So I could walk to and from their house during writing breaks 10x and be done. Don’t worry guys, it’s not stalking; it’s exercise!
  • I can wear flipflops all day, but if I do a concentrated 1,000-step walk in them, I will get blisters between my toes. Don’t do that again.
  • I’m an even bigger slave to my fitbit now than before, as I REALLY want all the steps to count. I tried to explain to Jim and the dogs this morning that I couldn’t feed them (the dogs) until the fitbit charged, else those steps would be wasted. None of them thought this was a good excuse…
  • I’ve joined fi.tt for daily step challenges. I think the site is somewhat new, because there aren’t a lot of challenges, but it’s an interesting place because some of the challenges are a flat number (1 million steps this summer!) but others challenge you based on your own level, just saying to walk 20% more steps than usual, for example.
  • I’m really, really getting a lot of Zombies, Run! and The Walk episodes down. This pleases me so very much.
  • Rest days are difficult. Very difficult. I was in a car for 3 hours today, going to fetch the kid, and in the middle of the trip we stopped for lunch where there were no treadmills. Whole Foods really should install treadmill tables. So I came home and went for a 3 mile walk to the grocery store, and still had to walk 1.5 miles tonight to make the 10k. But I made it, dammit. Tomorrow I run again.
  • I am feeling better and feeling very accomplished. This is what exercise is supposed to do. But I’m also focusing on this a lot and when I am done exercising I feel a little too accomplished – ie, I’ve done the one big thing I am supposed to do, so then it’s naptime and Hannibal marathon, and those chores and writing and family time be damned. So I have to figure out how to make sure I don’t wear myself out at the expense of everything else in my life. I hear this exercise thing will make me have more energy after my body stops being OMG SO FREAKING TIRED after walking and running all the places.

* I work from home, so things like “just park further away from work and take the stairs!” pieces of advice don’t work that well for me. Although I am parking further away when I do errands.
** I started this post this morning, and finished it tonight, so I can say that rest days are hard, but doable.

Three things I would not be good at

I was just thinking today and realizing that some things people know how to do and I have no idea where to start.

1) Buying drugs. I mean, I am pretty sure I know people who know people.* But if I really wanted to get down and dirty with some illegal substances, I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea where to look, and I’d probably be stupid enough to put it on Facebook- HEY, ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN SCORE SOME POT? And then the Durham Police Department will debate whether they want to highly publicize the entrapment of a 40 year old suburban mom who just wants to get high. **

2) Lawyering up. I read the internets, I know that if a police officer wants to talk to you, it’s really best to have a lawyer present. Even if you’re not under arrest. The only problem is how do you find a defense attorney? I mean, on television (and everyone knows that is real) people always talk about their lawyer like their dentist, or even a close friend. Someone whose number they have on hand, and the lawyer is just waiting at the starting line for the gun to go off so they can run to rescue you, briefcase in hand. Only, the only lawyers I’ve worked with have been real estate and estate lawyers. We bought a house and made wills. I don’t think my last will and testament lawyer is going to come running if I get arrested. I interviewed some IP lawyers but I don’t think they count either. ***

3) Baking bread. Although I am aware this is something that can be learned, with practice.


*I do not want drugs. This is hypothetical.
**I am aware that this is how the television show Breaking Bad starts out.
***Still hypothetical. I do not need a lawyer.