Well, it’s here

It’s January 9th and we are in the middle of a really cold, snowy winter. I’ve already been stranded once trying to get home from work in a blizzard, so all in all, just a typical crappy scenario for walking outside

Here are some ways I am trying to get my 10,000 steps.

Walking in my basement. It’s not as boring as it sounds. Well, maybe just a little, but I have an open floor plan and it’s a relatively cheerful and happy place, so an hour of walking to pumped up jams isn’t bad. It’s an hour I would have spent sitting in front of the TV in a cabin fever induced coma, so already it’s better.

Walking in malls. That’s if I can drive somewhere through the snow. Lots of people walk at the mall. So, on days when I want a little company and a change of scenery, that’s where I go. Plus, window shopping is fun, too.

Parking far away and building steps into my day. This does help. Taking the stairs at work, parking as far as possible from the grocery store… it all helps.

Walking outside is still an option when it’s sunny, and the roads are plowed. I try to get out there. They say there is no cold weather, only inadequate clothing, so I’m taking that to heart and breaking out the thermals.

I’ve also tried snow shoeing which is a very strenuous way to get steps, but it’s a lot of fun.

The one thing I haven’t done is go to the gym, and there is a good reason for that. I am paring down expenses, and at $60 a month, it’s no longer an option. And it doesn’t need to be. I’m getting my steps most days, just doing what I’m doing.

So, all in all, I’m passing the time, getting steps and waiting for Spring.

The people on the road

img_0894When I’m out there on the road everyday, doing my steps, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of people that I see everyday. In the morning, there’s an older guy on his touring bike, all decked out in a cool Tour de France uniform and helmet. He always says “good morning” as he whips by on his way up the hill.

Some days there are more Tour de France bikers. Our hills are grueling and probably great training terrain.

There are various people with dogs. The tall, thin woman who looks like her tall, thin greyhound. The puppy trainer. The elderly couple who take turns walking their tiny frou-frou dog.

All these faces are starting to look familiar, as I’m sure my face is. There’s a guy in my neighborhood who walks everyday, and he has been doing that for years. We’ve always referred to him as the “Walking Guy”. On any given day, at any given time, he can be found somewhere in a ten mile radius, just walking along. Sun, rain, snow, it doesn’t matter. He’s out there.

Recently, our paths crossed on the road, and I finally, for the first time, said something to him besides, “Hi”.

I asked him how far he walks in a day. The answer was seven miles. Seven miles! No wonder he’s always walking.

He said he doesn’t know why he chose that particular distance, but he’s done it every day since he retired. I was so inspired by that. I was beginning to feel that I was a little bit nuts for trying to walk 10,000 steps, or roughly 4 miles a day. It was really nice to finally connect with Walking Guy, and to find out that he walks for the sheer joy of it, too.

I continued on that day with a renewed inspiration and a new sense of camaraderie. But next time I see Walking Guy out there on the road, I’m going to remember to ask him his name.