Thursday, August 21, 2014
Learning To Walk
I bought myself one of those step tracker thingers. I chose the fitbit brand because it can track a bunch of things besides steps, and because you can have friends that you encourage and compete with. I chose to use one because of accountability. I live in a remote area, away from most of the people in my life that would walk with me, or meet me on a walk. I needed something to marry my motivation and get me moving. Aside from hiring a muscle-y person to physically drag me out the door, this was the best option. Its was pretty spendy for me, but I am convinced that I WILL get my money's worth with this gadget!
At first I walked around a lake at a local park, near where I was dropping kids off at VBS in the mornings. I was alone, and the mornings were still cool. It was fabulous! Then the week of VBS was over. What reason would I have to drive the 30 minutes into town? Just to walk around the lake? I couldn't justify spending the gas money to do that every day. So, at a neighbors' suggestion, I began walking up a road in our area. It has a rise before you get to the dead end. It doesn't look like much of an incline when you drive up to it, but when you are walking it, wow! That little rise becomes a mountain! My first climb was crazy. I thought I would pass out! I was short of breath, my chest hurt, my head was pounding, but I pushed on. I knew if I stopped, the walk would end right there.
I walked every day for two weeks. I was getting in a minimum of three miles of 'purposefully leaving the house to participate in physical activity' walking. Some days I made it five miles. Then, I didn't walk one morning because I didn't feel well, but I walked the next few days. Then I didn't walk a day because I was too tired, then because I was too busy. Pretty soon a week went by when I didn't walk. Mr. TheZoo tried to encourage me by walking with me, but the best time for him is directly after dinner. I just can't huff and puff up a hill with a belly full of just chewed food! It's painful!
I'm still walking, and I'm still using my FitBit to track my steps. I need to see numbers quantifying my movement through the day. I need to know when I've fallen short so that I am re-determined to make my goal the next day. I am learning that I need to stretch a bit before walking, that I need to hydrate, that I need to eat after I walk, rather than before, that I need to wear the appropriate shoes. I need to remember that walking is good for me, and the change it causes in me is good for my family. I don't mean the inevitable weight loss, though that is a major bonus. I mean the extra energy a body gains when it becomes used to a certain amount of physical activity. I am beginning to see a small in energy and feeling alert. I'm hoping that somehow walking will help to be less forgetful, too!
Learning to work in the walking each day is challenging, and it isn't even the rainy season, yet!