Sunday, July 20, 2014

Where I Walk (2)

In the last entry, I talked about where I walk at work, but that only covers a part of my walking. 10,000 steps a day, the goal set by my Fitbit, is a lot harder than it sounds, but I've started using some other tricks:

1) I walk ten minutes on the treadmill every morning before my shower, unless I'm running late.


My treadmill is tucked away in the front corner of my living room, where I can turn the television to face it. I also use it at the end of the day, after dinner, if I am really behind on steps and a trip to the mailbox isn't enough to make up the gap.

I try to make sure that this never happens, because God damn, I hate walking on that treadmill.


I don't know if it's in its own bubble of time and space, but every minute on the treadmill is like three minutes in the real world. It's like the treadmill runs on dog years or something. It's not that I'm exhausted after ten minutes; it's that I can't force myself to do it for longer than that unless I really, really have to. I'd even rather walk the mall than walk on the treadmill.

Speaking of which...

2) I get a lot of steps at the mall and at stores, and not just in the store:

farthest parking

I park as far from stores as possible, even in the rain.

I'm so far from the stores sometimes that employees are parking closer than me.

Once, at the mall, the mall security guys were driving around in their truck while I was hiking in from my parking space and they stopped, rolled down their window, and informed me that, "Mister, there are closer spaces. You don't have to park way out here."

You don't say.

Sometimes it's really hard for me not to say horrible things to people.

Walking the mall is like walking through hell most days, but it's a lot of steps, so I can't give up on it. It's just an awful place filled with awful people, and why are there so many kids running around everywhere? For that matter, why are there so many kids running around in so many stores? Yesterday at one of the thrift stores I go to these two kids were running up and down the aisles, screaming and shoving each other while their mother obliviously picked through discounted Christmas items. As was probably inevitable, the kids rounded a corner, and the one in front collided with me.

Somehow, their mother noticed, and hurried over.

"Oh, mister, I'm so sorry."

"And I'm sorry that your kids think stores are playgrounds. You must be so ashamed."

OK, that was terrible. Even I felt bad after I said it, and I've said some really terrible things to people at stores before. There may be something to the idea, which my coworkers were trying to convince me of last week, that constant low grade hunger has made me slightly irritable and snappish.

Even though I felt bad, I left without apologizing, because the store didn't have any Pyrex or any good ties.

I shouldn't have been there, anyway. I should have been walking...

3) Outside.

Marcheline was just commenting on the previous entry to say that I needed to get outside more, and she's right. Over the past couple of weeks, I have fallen in love with the nearby Lakeshore Greenway. The greenway circles the grounds of the former psychiatric institute, and while I'd been there before, I didn't realize how nice it is.

There's scenery, both natural:

greenway flowers

lakeshore greenway (7)

and manmade, since the path cuts around a lot of the buildings, some closer than others:

lakeshore greenway (1)

lakeshore greenway (2)

lakeshore greenway (3)

lakeshore greenway (5)

lakeshore greenway (8)

lakeshore greenway (10)

It's also fully paved:

lakeshore greenway (6)

and only has a couple of hills. Unfortunately, if you go the direction that I usually do (the greenway is a loop, which is also a plus), one of those hills is the entire last quarter mile. It sucks. By the time I get to the car, I'm ready to sit down in the parking lot and suck in some air like a beached whale, wondering why I did this to myself.

Except for today, when I decided to walk the loop again.

The best part about the two mile greenway, though, is the people on it. Unlike the people at the mall, the people on the greenway are not horrible, and they're all there for the same reason that I am. What I like about them, though, is the variety. There are people in who are jogging, but also people walking their dogs. There are old people. There are families. There are people pushing strollers. And there are people who are bigger than me. Almost everywhere else I go, I am aware of my size to some degree. On the greenway, I am part of a crowd.

It's awesome.


leonor said...

when I used to do the elliptical, I would cover the time because it went so slowly. I went by number of songs instead.

Marcheline said...

Leonor beat me to it... the secret to using any sort of indoor exercise equipment is MUSIC. Put on your most exciting, motivating tunes and crank them the hell UP. (Use headphones if you have neighbors who may protest, like Holly Golightly.) Most songs are about 3 minutes long (unless you choose Bohemian Rhapsody or something) and you can figure your walking time by how many songs you've grooved through.

Also - good going, getting outside! So glad you have that paved path, full of other healthy people getting out to walk. You will see new cool stuff (and people) every time you go there. The paved part is great, too, since sprained ankles from uneven walking surfaces are not conducive to continued exercise.

As for the getting snippy from being hungry thing? (I get the same way)... try carrying "legal" snacks in measured amounts to eat at intervals during the day. Sometimes just a handful of sunflower seeds can make the difference when you're feeling like it's ten years between lunch and dinner. Fruit, nuts, and seeds make good between snacks, so long as you are careful with the amounts.

Your metabolism works faster and burns more when it's stimulated. Eating smaller amounts more often helps to keep your metabolism stimulated, while also keeping you from feeling like you're starving. Added bonus: you're not packing your stomach to the stretching point, so it actually reduces in size, meaning you feel full earlier each time you have a meal... it's a win-win!