5 days and walking


I didn't walk before work this morning, which means I felt kind of off and not quite awake all morning. And I'm still in my pajamas. I'm going to take a walk as soon as I'm done blogging though, so at least I'll have done something for myself.

A year ago, I could barely walk two blocks without crippling back pain. When I went on the occasional walk, I planned out my route so that I had a couple places where I could sit down and rest my back along the route. It made for a very limited choice of routes. I also worried about going places that might involve a lot of walking. Jim and I went to a Twins game one evening last year and I was mad that he always wanted to park at the meters half a mile away because that meant I had to walk and walking was pain. I whined and moaned the whole walk back to the car, wishing Jim would give in and say "Wait here, I'll get the car and come get you and next time we go to a game, I'll drop you off at the front gate plaza." But he didn't, and I got angrier.

Then boss/brother Mike got me a vivofit step counter bracelet at the end of August (a gift "from work"), and I started walking daily. I started out with the goal of 5000 steps a day. That seemed like a lot, but I started to change my walking routine. I allowed myself to go on short walks and did them more often. I liked knowing that I reached my goal at the end of the day.

Now I'm up to 11,000 steps a day and I can walk 2.5 miles in the morning with no back pain and mostly no stopping. Walking takes a lot of time--11,000 steps for me is nearly 2 hours of walking--but I still break up the walks into 2 or 3 and sometimes even 4 a day (some of them only 1500 step walks around the block).

I feel so much better. I move better, I sleep better, I handle crises better, I am happier, and I look forward to my walks. I look forward to doing things that involve a long walk. Jim and I have gone to two baseball games this year and we parked in the same place we did last year. I practically bounced all the way to the stadium. It was so easy to do!

This is going to be a life-long thing. I will always have to walk. But that will allow me to enjoy life. When I read posts on fb from people who are chronically depressed, I think to myself (and I realize I don't know their situations so I really can't be judgy) "I wonder if they are walking? I wonder if they know how much walking helps?"