Hoo boy. So I’m sitting here writing this on my laptop while sweat is dripping merrily off my face and hair and rolling into my t-shirt, and my knees, calves, and ankles are throbbing like the rhythm of the samba on a hot Rio night. Why am I so drenched (not to mention throbbing), you ask?
I walked for ten minutes on the treadmill.
Yes, it was just ten minutes. Yes, it was just walking. Yes, I’m sweatier than a social media baron in front of a Congressional committee. Did I mention that I’ve already done ten treadmilling minutes today, and I’ll do one more bout before showering and bed tonight?
Audience: “Um … why?”
I’m so glad you asked. See, one of the problems of my job is that it tends to be seriously sedentary, which is not good for your average 52-year-old human, especially when that human also has a couple of metabolic disorders and a lot of extra weight. It also makes it difficult to do things like sleep (because my knees and heels are hurting like a stone bitch. You have no idea what I’d do right now for a decent night’s sleep — I would cheerfully shank Keanu Reeves if it meant I wouldn’t wake up every hour with my knees on fire). I’d also like to start traveling again at some point, and enjoy myself without dreading walking around these new and exciting places. In order to do that, however, I know full well what I have to do — I have to get off my ass and rebuild the nice leg muscles that support all these increasingly old joints, not to mention develop a faint glimmer of stamina.
In order to achieve this, I’m doing what the medical profession has been recommending for some years now — I’m walking for thirty minutes every day. Not really fast — I think I’m doing about 1.5 MPH, so that’s along the lines of a slow stroll. But it’s consistent and enough to get my heart pumping and blood circulating through all those big-ass muscles in my legs. I started this on Tuesday, which makes today Day Three, and boy I can tell. Tuesday night, I was in fucking agony and couldn’t sleep until I came downstairs and took my last two Midol and 500 mgs of CBD oil. Wednesday night I got smart and took some new Midol and a dose of Green Lotus before I went to bed. Slept remarkably well that night, only waking up a few times to pee. I’m hoping the same thing will happen tonight, and I eventually get to the point where I don’t have to dose myself with painkillers just to get some sleep.
“Yeah, yeah, we get it. You’re walking for health reasons and so that you don’t have to shiv Keanu. Why are you walking in ten minute chunks?”
Because a friend suggested it. Turns out that you don’t have to walk for 30 minutes consecutively — you can break it up and still get all the benefits of walking. And okay, I could walk for 30 minutes consecutively at the moment but I would not be happy at the end of it, and the thought of doing it over and over again every day until the end of time would make me cry.
So I’m breaking it up into bite-sized chunks; I put in my headphones and listen to Pod is My Copilot while I slog along the treadmill for ten minutes. The cats think I’m absolutely insane, by the way, but that may be because I’m laughing hysterically with Taffy, Taylor, and Rodan as I plod (seriously, check them out — they’re incredibly entertaining). And crazy as it sounds, this works. Even I can fit in ten minutes around writing or doing chores, and when I sit back down to work the brain is full of oxygenated blood. Even better, I seem to be more willing to dive back into the WIP. And anything that put words on the page is A-OK with me.
By the way, I don’t know if I’m losing any weight doing this — I’m not really focusing on that, to be honest. The goal is to build my leg muscles and stamina back up. If I shed some pounds, great, but I’m more interested in being able to sleep through the night and walk around nice places like New Orleans without wanting to shoot myself.
And like I said, it’s only Day Three. I’ll check back in on Day Ten and let you know how I’m doing (unless y’all want me to do a daily report — I can do that if there’s any interest).