My walking journey began December 15, 2019, or three years, eleven months, and a couple of days ago. I had no idea this journey would last going on for four years now. But it has. The journey has had a few phases.
- Initially, I was fixated on 10,000 steps per day, which was my minimum goal for a few months. I met that goal for 450 consecutive days until an injury slowed me down for a couple of days.
- When I realized that 10,000 steps was, given my step length, just short of 5.0 miles, I raised the goal to a minimum of 5.0 miles per day, every day.
- When an occasional injury or illness caused me to fall a bit short for a day, I felt disappointed in myself. Finally, I changed the goal to a minimum of 35 miles per week or an average of 5.0 miles per day.
I’ve been on the last “program” for quite a while now, and it sits well with me. For example, a couple of nights ago, I drove to my club to put in the last couple of miles to achieve the “minimum.” I took my jacket off and hung it up, opened my locker, and stood there for a minute. I realized it was okay to go over and have dinner a bit earlier. I only walked 3.6 miles that day. That’s okay because with the normal days logged the rest of the week on my Fitbit Sense 2, I ended the week with 39 miles or an average of 5.6 miles per day for the week.
September was a light month. I tore or twisted my right meniscus on August 28. Needless to say, after a cortisone shot and an exercise regimen from an ortho doc, my walking was curtailed a bit. I averaged less than 4 miles per day until late in September when I began to be able to walk more normally. Since then, I’ve averaged about 5.5 miles per day.
Unfortunately, I still lack the confidence in my knee to play pickleball much, so that area of my life has suffered.
What Walking Has Done for Me
The COVID-19 pandemic hit in mid-March 2020, almost exactly three months into my walking journey. All of our lives were impacted by work-from-home mandates, masks, painful lines, no in-person church, no pickleball, and much more interference with our daily lives. I kept walking.
During the pandemic, I instituted my “one plate per meal” rule and eliminated seconds and most desserts. I still honor that rule for most meals, and it has been beneficial. I wrote that post at the end of April 2020, 135 days into my walking. There were some other “rules” as well that are timeless if adjusted to the present. Take a read or watch the video.
When I started the walking journey, I weighed in at 212 pounds, and it might have been a pound or two more. My blood pressure and cholesterol were out of whack, and I felt rundown. I didn’t take care of myself very well during 2019.
While many folks were experiencing the “pandemic bulge,” I was dropping weight. Depending on the day, I weigh between 192 and 195 pounds (193 pounds this morning). That’s the equivalent of four 5-pound bags of flour I’m not carrying everywhere. Needless to say, despite being four years older, my energy level is much improved, and my blood pressure and cholesterol are at levels that make my doctor smile.
A Bit More About Walking
I’ve written a number of posts as my walking journey has evolved. I addressed the questions “Where do you walk?” and “When do you walk?” in this post at 1,000 Days. The bottom line is that I walk anywhere and everywhere. If the weather is horrible and I have no indoor options, I do a form of running in place that is effective. I’m at the point now where I’m always looking for opportunities to walk an additional few minutes several times each day.
At 450 days, I asked four questions about walking and answered them as best I could. The questions were and are:
- Why should anyone walk?
- What does it take to develop a walking program?
- What are some strategies to keep walking?
- Is a walking program right for you?
My nearly four-year walking journey has been beneficial for me both physically and mentally. It is just easier to have a good mental attitude when one feels healthy and in good shape.
Let me end with my statistics at 3.93 years (1,435 days):
- 8,728 miles (or about 90% of the way from the top of North America to the tip of South America}
- 18.4 million steps
- 6.1 miles per day over the entire period
- 13,877 steps per day
- 42.6 miles per week for 205 weeks
Yes, I do keep a spreadsheet where I record mileage and steps so that I can create these stats. It is fun and also motivating.
As always, comments are welcome on this post. If you want to talk about walking, give me a call or email, and we will set something up.
And be well as the long Holiday Season begins this week.