Fitness Friday: 500 miles

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked 1,000 miles
to fall down at your door.

Proclaimers – “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”

Back when I was in high school, I remember going to the dollar theater with several friends to see Benny and Joon. Because Johnny Depp. Until I Googled the movie a moment ago, however, I couldn’t recall what the movie was about. Heck, I thought Depp was one of the title characters. (He’s not.)

What I remember most about the movie was the Proclaimers song that I quoted above. That song has been in my head lately as I go walking. I’ll find myself stepping to the beat and imagining myself racking up mile after mile.

Steps have been on my mind since I found myself a pedometer and started wearing it. Like many of the techniques I’m using to lose weight, I’ve tried it before with success. A pedometer motivated me to do a three-day sixty-mile walk. I was in the best shape of my life at the time but then I got out of the walking habit. I lost that pedometer and didn’t bother to replace it.

I first wore my latest pedometer on a Saturday. I was quite proud of how quickly I racked up the steps. This is easy, I thought. Why did I stop? Philip literally keeps me on my toes. I move from one end of the house to the other making sure he is not in the middle of destroying something. In addition, I walked the dog, ran errands, cleaned the house and took Philip outside to play. Sunday was a repeat and I easily clocked over 10,000 steps each of those first two days.

And then I went to work.

I checked the pedometer at lunch time and was shocked to see I had walked less than 2,000 steps. That morning I had been in a hurry and didn’t take the dog on as long a walk. I sat at my desk and dove into my pile of Monday tasks. I had only been up to fill my water bottle and take restroom breaks. How can I possibly get to 10k by bedtime? I asked myself.

I didn’t.  I didn’t even get to 5,000 steps.

Rather than get discouraged, I lowered my goal. I suppose that sounds like a cop-out, but I knew I needed to tackle this in smaller, more manageable increments. I made it my goal to walk 5,000 each day. I managed that for the rest of the week before adding 500 more steps per day the next week.

Except for when I was sick last weekend, I’ve been hitting my goals. If that means I have to stand beside the couch and walk in place while watching TV or reading a book, that’s what I’m doing. Thanks to the pedometer, I realized how little I moved during the work day. I admitted I had no reason to be physically tired after work. Knowing that made sitting in the recliner to “relax” less appealing.

And as I walk, I think about that song. I’ve been thinking how the song’s about a grand romantic gesture: “just to be the man who walked 1,000 miles/to fall down at your door.” It’s a lovely thought, but I’m having none of it. I’m not going to walk 500 miles for my husband or my son or anyone else. I’m doing this for me. Each step is a step for me. Each mile I log is a love song to myself. Each step says, “you are worthy of good health.” Each mile says “you deserve to be in shape.”

Plus, if I keep this up, “I’m gonna be” in such good shape. I’ll never have to worry about falling down at anyone’s door.

Do you use a pedometer? What are some of your favorite tunes to accompany your walks? It’s Musical March, so I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments. 

11 thoughts on “Fitness Friday: 500 miles

  1. my phone includes a pedometer, which I check just about every day. I’m not convinced that it’s very accurate though. I barely get to 2000 steps a day, you’re doing good getting to 5000.

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      1. I thought it was based on GPS data, after all if the phone can track the movement if my car on a map it should be able to track me walking around, but I found out that it is just based on how the phone moves. So if you walk slow it doesn’t work well. My wife and I tested it once, starting from zero comparing how close the result was
        for a long walk. We had results that were off by thousands of steps.

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  2. Well done on achieving 5,000 steps in a day. I don’t have a pedometer because I think it would discourage me too much that I couldn’t achieve 10,000 steps a day. I’m not sure how many I do achieve but it won’t be anywhere near 5,000 and that’s down to being sat at a desk for most of the working day. I walk 10 minutes to the bus stop every morning and then another 5 minutes at the other end. Walking upstairs instead of taking the lift with the same in reverse at the opposite end of the day. I will also walk down to the canteen if I want to treat myself to a latte or cappuccino. I’m struggling to lose weight but I try walking around as much as I can. At the moment I listen to David Bowie on my commutes but that’s down to being unable to change the playlist on my phone, still I do enjoy his music.

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    1. A ten-minute walk with my dog usually gets me at least 1,500 steps, so even your walk to and from the bus is helping you.
      I’ve had “Starman” by David Bowie stuck in my head since watching “The Martian.” He was a fantastic musician.

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  3. From my experience with a pedometer, I applaud you for decreasing your goal to a more manageable amount rather than getting discouraged and eventually quitting when you didn’t consistently get 10,000 steps. I did the same thing, kept plugging away, and am now consistently hitting the 10,000 mark. It helps that I’m retired. I can see where it would be difficult when you work.

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    1. It’s helping me persevere having the lower goal. This week I’m working toward 7,000 steps/day. I love when I can smash past that. That is more motivating that constantly falling short.

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