Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Where I Walk (1)

I've had my Fitbit Flex for nineteen days now, and I'm starting to really get into walking. Except for a "down day" on each weekend where I only get about 5,000 steps, after the first couple of days I managed to hit the goal of 10,000 steps a day every day. How am I doing that?

Mostly, I walk the halls at work.

you are here

I start my day by parking in the spot farthest from the door, which is the opposite of what I used to do.

the farthest spot from the door

Look closely at that photo. See the tiny, tiny VW Beetle next to those orange things? That's my car, in the last spot for faculty/staff, before the parking lot turns into student spaces. Every morning I walk from there to the building. If I am twenty minutes or more before I need to be at my desk, I walk the entire length of the first floor, take the stairs at the end of the hall, walk the entire length of the second floor, take the stairs at the end of the hall, and so on, until I reach the fourth floor. Then I walk to the office.

If I don't have time to walk the whole building on my way up, I take the elevator. You know how I feel about taking the stairs the whole way up, and I really don't want to start my day with that level of wheezing.

During the day, I try to take a break every two hours or so, and that's when I walk the halls. My schedule is to do it once between 10 and 11, once at lunchtime if I don't walk somewhere for lunch, and once between two and three. Walking the entire building takes about twelve minutes (slightly less if I don't stop for anything, slightly more if I chat with people), and is about 1,000 steps.

What do I see on these walks?

Hallways. Long, white hallways.

interior hallway (1)

Also, curvy white hallways.

interior hallway (2)

Depending on the time of day, sometimes the lights have shut off, and they turn on when I walk through them.

interior hallway (3)

I also walk the hallway leading up to the place where I saw dead people.

benches and shadows

I also see stairwells.

work stairwell (1)

I know what the stairwells at either end of the building look like:

work stairwell (2)

but oddly have no idea what some of them look like above the first floor. I know that I've used the one at the center of the communications side of the building before, but can't think of a single distinctive feature except for the weird ceiling pipes on the first floor, which I see when I walk through it:

ceiling pipes

There's no other spot in the building, at least in the hallways, that has exposed piping. It seems weird to me.

The stairwells also don't get cleaned enough.

sam adams cap

I've been walking past that beer cap for a couple weeks now.

I'm using the stairwells at the end because my walk through the building is a loop: I walk down the fourth floor, take the stairs to the first floor, walk the whole first floor and take the stairs to the second, walk the whole second floor and take the stairs to the third, walk the whole third floor and take the stairs to the fourth, and walk the rest of the fourth floor until I get back to the office.

Anyone who has worked in Res Life or Housing will recognize this as a classic hallwalk pattern. The whole building is covered with no hallways repeated.

What do I see besides the building?

I run into students that I know. They don't often stop by my office to visit, so it's nice to see them in the halls.

I see people I wouldn't run into otherwise. I've started to get to know faculty in the communications side. They know my name, too. We say hi in the halls. The lady from the second floor who walks the halls during her breaks stopped the other day to show me a video of her son from the holiday weekend. The university can be a large place, and I'm running into people that I wouldn't know otherwise.

I'm also running into people that I do know. I say hi to my colleagues in the offices at our end of the hall a few times a day. I walk past the admissions office on the third floor, and they wave through the windows. Today, they cheered for me on my afternoon walk, and it felt great. People understand what I'm trying to do, and they want to help. They want to encourage me, and I appreciate it.

I walk the halls now, and I like where I work even more than I did before.

Now I just need to stop sweating so much in my shirt and tie while doing it.

1 comment:

Marcheline said...

Fab! As a fellow "working walker", here are a few suggestions:

1. In the fall, or whenever it finally cools down there, do try and get outside to walk. It's SO much better for your mind and spirit than concrete, and your eyes will be happy because you'll notice different things every single day even if you walk the exact same route. For example, I just walk around and around our fenced-in parking lot - but it's surrounded by trees and plants, which means birds singing, and there are some cats that live in the woods there, and they come out to watch. It's great to breathe fresh air while walking! (Obviously not in the summer time in TN... wayyyy too hot!)

2. Wear a plain tee shirt under your work clothes, and then remove it or replace it with a clean one right after your walk. It will absorb the damp and keep it from staining your work shirt, and you'll feel all refreshed instead of soggy after.

3. This might sound weird, but... baby wipes. You can get scentless baby wipes in a soft package at the grocery store. Stick them in your work bag, along with a travel stick of deodorant. Use them to take what I call a "bird bath" in the restroom. It's not an actual shower, but it hits the high spots and makes the rest of the day less stressful because you're not wondering if you smell like sweat.

Happy trails!