Monday, February 14, 2011

I Would Walk 500 Miles

Last week, I was sitting, bored, in a doctor's exam room, waiting for him to come back with a tiny camera on a long, long tube, which he wanted to stick up my nose. To take my mind off things, I decided to check my pedometer. I've been wearing it regularly for more than three months, hidden in a pocket, tucked into a waistband, or floating around inside a boot or bag. It's my secret, constant companion and I knew we were about to reach a milestone together.

Sure enough, I discovered I'd reached 999,999 steps on the way to the doctor's office. Very carefully, without getting out of my chair, I managed to take a photo to document the occasion. I figured that if I moved even one step, it would zero out, leaving me with no evidence of our achievement — except for a clearer head, stronger legs, less shoe leather, and possibly a less-flabby torso. (My old jeans fit better, but it might not be from exercise. It might be my new stretching technique, where I yank the heck out of them while they are still damp from the dryer.).

A song came into my head: "But I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more, just to be the man who walked a thousand miles to fall down at your door...".

Remember the Proclaimers?  I was glad it was queued on my internal playlist instead of that depressing Peter, Paul & Mary song about hearing the train whistle.

Where would walking 500 miles from my door actually take me, I wondered. Google had the answer: Youngstown, Ohio.

Hmm. Time to walk 500 miles more. Youngstown is not my dream destination. If I keep walking at least 10,000 steps a day, I should be out of Ohio pretty soon.

I checked the pedometer again as I was heading home from the medical area, after the nose-camera (it wasn't so bad). It was still reading 999999, so I had to figure out how to re-set it.

Since then, I've missed getting 10,000 steps on two days. One morning, I forgot all about the pedometer as I was dashing to gym class and doing errands. And one night, I forgot to do my late-night, jog-in-place catch-up to get my last 1,200 steps because I was too busy watching Eddie Izzard. An occasional lapse is okay; walking a few miles a day is an enjoyable habit now, after all these weeks. I'm just too easily distracted and lazy to be obsessive about it.

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