Friday, September 18, 2015

Step It Up

Most days in my job, it is a constant go-go-go.  I work with babies and toddlers and visit homes within two counties.  I'm in and out and up and down and back and forth throughout the day.  And like most moms, the busyness doesn't stop once home.  Then it's time for dinner and laundry, taxi service for kiddos, and all the odds and ends that most parents try to keep tied together.

Shew, I'm tired just thinking about it.  (And glad it is Friday!)

Because I feel forever busy and am exhausted by day's end, I assumed that my step count would be pretty high.  Facing the dreaded big 4-0, having my eye on a Fitbit, and due to a walking campaign at work, it's something top of mind right now.

I'm a few points away from the Fitbit I want, but this week we were given Fitbug pedometers at work to track our steps.  Our team's goal is that magic 10,000 steps a day.  Each.  Falling in line with goals I already had for myself, and certain all the in and out of my job would add up help, I joined without hesitation.

The first day was a big disappointment and truly, a wake-up call.

Though I clocked nearly 10 hours on the job, I was barely reaching 1,000 steps.  Was there a zero missing?  Maybe I was wearing it wrong.  Did I hit a button and clear steps by accident?  Seriously?!

I know I'm slow when I walk and hobble now a then, thanks to old wreck injuries and genetics, but I thought slower might actually mean more steps.  After all, it feels like it takes me twice as long to get somewhere when walking next to someone.

Thinking back through my day, rather typical for me, I realized that my feet really don't get as much action as I thought.  Yes, I'm constant and busy, but a large majority of my day is spent behind the windshield and in the floor with families.

But I'm so tired when I make it home.  The last thing on my mind is exercise.  Wah Wah Wah!

That evening we were at my niece's birthday party and gathered around the grill awaiting dinner.  Kiddos were running everywhere, full of energy and spunk.  And although I was enjoying the adult conversation, I decided to get up and join them.

All the littles are under eight, so when I bolted up and started walking down the hill, I quickly gained a curious line.

"What's that thing on your shirt, Aunt Heather?"

"It counts my steps," I told them.  "Want to walk with me and see?"

A vibrant yes exploded from them and we were off.  1, 2, 3, 4.....they began chanting in a sing-song tone.  Every now and then I'd stop and show them how the number grew.  This excited them and they'd push me to go more.  Around the house, up and down the hill, and through a secret path they wanted to explore.

My niece joined us on her pretty pink new bicycle.  At least until it was time to go up the big hill and then it was "Help me, Aunt Heather!"

I'm not sure how much time passed, but by the time I made it back to the party my number had doubled.  Still nowhere close to what other coworkers are doing, but I'll take it.  My number may be small but the rewards were great.

The next morning, when random insomnia pushed me out of bed earlier than planned, I decided to dust off a walking dvd.  Fifteen minutes later, thanks to a peppy and inspiring Leslie Sansone, I had my first mile logged.  By day's end, I'd doubled the steps from the day before.

Yesterday, I logged an additional 1,000.  Slow and steady wins the race?  At this rate, I'll be lucky to reach 10,000 by the end of the challenge! While I'm not going to be a leader on my team, I still feel like a winner.

Here's hoping I can walk lighter and healthier into my 40s by the first of the year.


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