For those that know me, they’ll probably spit out their mouthful of tea into their Cheerios when I mention the words ‘exercise’ and ‘me’ in the same sentence. Yes, not naturally known for seeking out most forms of physical activity, it has come as somewhat of a surprise that over the last 2 weeks, I’ve subscribed to ‘Strava’ and have achieved more than 17 miles in recorded exercise this week alone. Bet you weren’t expecting that. And in all honesty, it’s come as a slight surprise to me too.
I did mention in last week’s blog, that since the kids are now in school for 7 whole hours every day, I’ve the opportunity to create my own routine and daily activities. Well, sometimes it’s the things around you that inspire you the most, and we’ve got the most amazing Autumn colours and weather going on at the moment – to such an extent, that I’m beginning to take up residence in the River Valley, and delighting in how many different scenic walks and views I can manage each day. On average, I’m managing around 4 miles each day and it’s taking me just over 1 hour to achieve. See what havoc I create when left to my own devices …
Now, before we get too carried away – it’s only the end of week 2, and I wouldn’t say it’s formed part of a habit just yet. I’m also conscious that snow may only be just around the corner and when it does arrive, it’s here for a whopping 4 or 5 months at least. So, I’m taking the initiative, and spending time getting some brisk walking under my feet and revelling in the stunning scenery that I’m not used to being so blessed with just on the doorstep. Literally, there’s no excuse, and it would be a travesty if I didn’t.
So, back to Strava. It’s quite clever all this modern technology malarkey. I go into the ‘app’ on my phone when I start walking, and press ‘stop’ when I’ve finished – couldn’t be simpler! It maps my route, tells me how far I’ve walked, where I’ve been, and I can upload pics along the route too. The only thing it’s lacking is the ability to provide a cup of tea at the end of my efforts ….. For some of my routes, it even compares me to others who have walked the same segment and gives me a ranking. I’d like to say I’m not competitive in the slightest and that this doesn’t interest me at all. But I’d be lying. It’s extremely addictive, and has me to the point of seeing if I can beat my average pace per mile each walk I do. I’m up to a ‘brisk’ walk – not just any old saunter or stroll, but a good walking pace – just short of those who do ‘race walking’ and waddle like constipated chickens. That’s a bit too advanced and certainly not for me. Chickens can rest easy in the knowledge that I’ll be stopping short of adopting that pose. I’d rather run – and that’s an insight into how mad things have become in such a short space of time. I know! I’m unrecognisable …….
So how’s my body reacting to the onslaught of muscles being plied into action, I hear you ask? Well, last week I was walking like an 85 year old granny, but I’ve picked up since then and my body has readily acclimatised to the flexing of muscles. It’s been a shock to the system in the literal sense as well as the metaphoric. I’m finding the glass or two of red wine in an evening tends to balance things out quite well. Purely for medicinal reasons, you understand …..
Not only that, I’m now travelling in my truck ;-), with a pair of headphones, walking shoes and water bottle at the ready – so I’ve absolutely no excuse why I can’t take a stroll whenever the urge strikes. This is a serious turn of events. I’ve also discovered that it’s a brilliant way of finally getting round to listening to all the albums and tracks I’ve downloaded in the last 11 years but never had time to really listen to (my oldest kid is nearly 12 …..). And I don’t mean just background noise and stuff – or having it on in the car with the kids interrupting proceedings and any form of concentration I can muster every 10 seconds. I mean – really listen to. When it’s playing directly into your ears, and you’ve got a fast pace going on, beautiful scenery with absolute peace, it certainly brings new meaning to living and loving life. 🙂
And there are loads of people doing the same. The variety of people I pass on each and every route is astounding, and the numbers of people capturing some form of exercise is positively motivational. Everyone says ‘hello’ – it’s just like being back home in the North-West in terms of friendliness. I love that.
It’s much better than strangers just passing like ships in the night, with no acknowledgement or recognition of another human being. I can’t ignore people, and I’d need to be in a coma before I do.
So, I’m feeling all replenished, active and inspired. All the pics in this week’s blog I’ve taken along my walking routes so hope you get the bug and some form of inspiration from them too ….. 🙂