My day in 16,913 steps

25 Jan
The Big Apple (tanks to Wikimidia Commons)

The Big Apple (tanks to Wikimidia Commons)

After reading an article  about how people (okay, this one guy) overestimated the impact of planned exercise and underestimated the impact of exercise that is more or less part of your daily life when he got a FitBit, I decided to put his observation to the test. In the article, the author went on a highly-admirable daily three-and-a-half mile run. But he was shocked that this run only added up to 5000 plus steps—only about half of the much touted goal of 10,000 steps for good health, 12,000 for weight loss. I forget where this idea came from originally. But hey, I’m a 10,000 step girl and I have been for years—since my first pedometer. If I don’t walk at least 10,000 steps a day I feel somehow unclean and unworthy. So I have been trying to maximize stepping opportunities for years. Today wasn’t as typical as I thought it would be for several reasons. One that it was colder than the most vengeful thought in my cruel, cruel heart. And I underestimated one leg of my daily journey. But, since I have the evidence, I will share it to give an example of one possible way that a person could walk almost 17,000 steps or approximately 7 point something miles in a normal day.

7:30-8:00—get up, run around looking for stuff, making breakfast with toast and nutella, drivivng to physical therapy—up to 680 steps

8:00-10:00—physical therapy—seems somehat unfair that two straight hours of leglifts with weights etc and other exercises add so few steps, but I am up to 2000  steps.

10:00-2:30—transform steaming pile of loathesomeness  into magically brilliant chapter for writing group by tearing out hair, pounding head on table, eating more nutella, etc. 2,680 steps

2:30-2:50—pacing in icy cold for bus to NYC—3658 steps

3:15-3:30—walking to subway, pacing until it comes—4976 steps

4:00–walk from subway to Dr’s office—5515 steps

5:00-6:20 walking from City Hall to 25th and 9th avenue for writing group—big miscalculation as class started at 6:00. I was starving, thirsty, cranky. New York was dark and melancholy and I was ashamed of myself for being late one day after teacher begged class not to be rude by being late. I thought about an apple in my backpack, but apples are miserable to eat in the cold. Inside my coat, I was hot, but my face was as red as a stop sign from the whipping wind. Yellow taxis flowed by, and as I passed by 15th, 16th, 17th street I kept thinking, SURELY I’m closer than that. I passed by a 7-11 that had Triple Cheese pizza for a dollar and it made me sad. Why is the price of pizza going down? Will stores go out of business? Was $1.50 really so much to pay for a slice? And anyway, how do you measure the tripleness of cheese on pizza? And why do I not have the time to have a piece of pizza when I’m soooooo hungry?—13,740 steps.

6:30-8:00—Do the walk of shame into my writing group. Teacher hates my carefully polished gem, quite legitimately I can see (though of course she doesn’t know my long term plan which may make these sections make more sense.) In my pocket I find a semi-crushed Celebration Birthday Cake flavored Two Points bar that was given to me out of pity by a Weight Watchers lady when I was horrified by my results last weekend and made my resolve to attend the next WW weigh-in in a bikini. But I was so hungry that I sneak-ate every crumbly bit of this excrescence.

I decided that if I were going to make Zero Dark Thirty I wouldn’t bother with any of that stupid waterboarding. I’d just lock the bad guys up till their birthdays and say “Here’s your cake. Yeah that’s it buddy. That’s how you’re going to ‘celebrate.” That’s all the cake you’re going to get.” They’d crack in an instant. Mr. B and I went through a long stage of favoring the just 2-point bars, but somehow the corner turned and now they are in the category of Sad Foods, like the KFC chicken and gravy bowl (Really? You’re going to eat that out of a bowl? Corn and mashed potatoes aren’t supposed to touch until YOU make them touch. That’s the law.)  Also very sad is that salad in a cup thing that Macdonalds used to sell, so you could put it in your cup holder. And of course, Soup for One. That is probably the worse name for a product ever. They could just as well have called it “You Have No Friends AND you can’t have seconds.”

8:00-8:30—Walk miserably up to Port Authority in icy, icy weather. I am listening to whatever’s on shuffle on my ipod. It happens to be a meditation for pain, which is very appropriate, since I am muttering one swear after another to the indifferent cold. The lady says, “Feel your breath.” I think, FEEL it? Lady, I can SEE it.

The streets of Manhattan were even more melancholy on this dark cold night. Under neon signs, or the sights of restaurants full of laughing diners, you walk, nose and chin hunkered down in a scarf, past others in the same condition. Bikers wobble by with bags of food to deliver. Poor, poor delivery guys. I would get teary but the tears would freeze on my cheeks.

8:30-9:30. Finally, I get to Port Authority, wait in line for an eternity, and go home. Mr. B. serves me a warm, delicious, pasta dinner and good conversation. I take off my pedometer to recharge it. Enough walking for one day—16913 steps

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