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To Fall Down at your Door

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Holy cannoli.

I have done it.

I have achieved 100,000 fitness minutes on Spark. One hundred kilo-minutes. Or, in the English system, at least a good 1700 miles, I kid you not, gentle readers.


Well, you see, here's the scoop. Here's how I did it.

I started at Spark in, um, February of '08 (it's on my page somewhere). And I immediately started logging time. And this was (and continues to be) EVERYTHING. When I first started, it took me, no lie, 5 minutes to get to the mailbox around the corner and back. So I would record that, and often it was the only exercise I got, when I first started out. Things are different now, of course, but back then I was over 300 and getting up and down the stairs was not easy and the very act of even buckling my seat belt was a chore and so, dammit, I had EARNED those 5 minutes so I was gonna record 'em.

I joined a gym in, um, 2009 some time, and the minutes started to come more in the form of gym cardio. And I also started running (ha, let's call it somewhat not so slow walking for truth in advertising's sake) 5K races right about then. So some of the time came in the form of 5Ks. A lot of it, too, came in the form of 20 minutes of resistance bands, which I pull on EVERY single morning, without fail, and have done so now for years.

Time also came in the form of frisbee, of house cleaning, of the exercise bike, a smidgen of basketball, some swimming and even in the form of painting, Pilates and lawn mowing. And let's not forget snow shoveling -- I've done just under 21 hours of that this year alone (and hopefully won't be doing any more until, perhaps, October).

But most of the time has come in the form of walking or running. I go run an errand (literally). I record it. We walk to dinner in our neighborhood. I record it. I go to visit my folks and make sure to stroll around the Mill Pond or around their meandering streets. I record it. I go to work and the commute involves not just a bus or a trolley but also some walking to get from point A to point B and I record that, then, too.

I record it all.

And in the middle of '09, I started to really record steps and keep a spreadsheet, because I loved the pedometer I had gotten for a work step challenge (it's an Omron Aerobic and BTW I was nowhere near winning that step challenge) and so I started recording. And I figured out, more or less, that every step is maybe 2 feet. So I started keeping records, and totals and then dividing them by 2640. And that's been a down and dirty way (I don't pretend that it is at all accurate) to try to determine how many miles I have been going.

Now, keep in mind that I have the pedometer on nearly constantly. I went on a job interview today and I wore it. I went to my High School reunion and I wore it. I wear it everywhere but bed and the shower. So the steps don't fully jibe to the recorded times on Spark but, the times also include bowling and whatnot so perhaps it's more of a wash than we think. Anyway, here's the deal.

In 2009, I started recording on the spreadsheet in August. I clocked over 1.77 million steps (yeah, that's a million, kids). This, using my calculation, worked out to 673.15 miles.

In 2010, I recorded every month, and ended up with over 2.26 million steps and 857.33 miles. This is about half the average of the prior year, and I can attribute that to surgery in January and some serious slacking off over the Summer when it was beastly.

This year, I am again recording every month and currently have over a half a million steps and 192.17 miles. My average is even down from last year but I expect it will go up as I go along. My highest monthly step totals are in the 300,000s. I've never been lower than 149,676 and that was January of 2010 -- and I had abdominal surgery on January 15th and was flat on my back for a while there.

Anyway, enough of my crowing, my numbers, and my rah rah. Here are some other facts.

I weigh 204.2, or at least I did as of my official weekly weigh-in yesterday. I have almost 60 more pounds to lose. I love hanging around and doing nothing as much as the next person. I have had my weight go up in the last year -- enough to pull me back out of 10s and 12s and into size 14s again. I looked at a recent picture of myself and thought I looked chunky.


This is not the cure-all to everything.


I have gained some pretty serious, shiny new habits. These include going walking, and thinking, rather than staring mindlessly at a TV, bag of chips in hand. They include going to a gym, even when I don't necessarily feel like it. They include using walking as a means for dealing with boredom and frustration, rather than giving in to a carton of ice cream or the like.

I encourage you to move. I am well aware that this is a daunting number, but it took me over THREE YEARS to get here so recognize that it is, perhaps, more of a testimony to longevity and faithful tracking than anything else, yet the number is still there.

Folks, I encourage you to move.

And, even more importantly, I encourage you to pass me.

But if you think I'm gonna just pull over and stop in order to let you do that, well, ha, you've got another think coming.

Happy exercising.

Onward to 200,000.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon emoticon emoticon It was really fun listening to the song while reading your blog. I think my pedometer needs a new batter. The pedometer let me know just how sedentary my job is. I had started my own midday huff&puff and have added quick fire to it.
    Yes -- move, ya got to move it, move it.
    your progress is emoticon
    3536 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4749243
    Yup. Moving is the thing that works and shows. Swim, bike, walk--now that spring is here and knee is better, you won't have me glooming around so much!
    3539 days ago
    I agree with JONATION -- your blog is full-to-running-over with important, useful, and impressive information. Quite amazing, really. And encouraging.

    Thanks for modeling how it's done!
    3539 days ago
    There is so much in this blog post, but here's what I like best:


    This is not the cure-all to everything.


    I have gained some pretty serious, shiny new habits."

    Waytogo.... J
    3540 days ago
    AWESOME-- I too have 100,000.....................spark points though! LOL!
    3540 days ago
    Holy cow. You are higher than DDOORN!
    3540 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4274730
    Awesome :) You're right, moving is absolutely necessary!
    3541 days ago
    I congratulate you for all this represents. And for sharing your work and your success with us. I am feeling pretty overwhelmed right now. Kind of hopeless and unmotivated. But I know this is the way it works. One step at a time. Add em up. I'm going to keep that image of you on the way to the mailbox compared to where you are now. And I appreciate the truth in advertising. You have done a lot with that fast walk. It is about adding em up not just about winning the race. Winning for me is going to have to be starting.
    3541 days ago
  • no profile photo DIASTER
    Totally awesome ! No wonder you are such a success.
    3542 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3542 days ago
    emoticon on passing 100,000 fitness minutes! I, too, track many of my short walks, but I don't wear a pedometer (yet). I don't track my grocery shopping, even if I'm pushing a heavy cart. You are definitely more meticulous about your tracking. I'm inspired to go look up what my current fitness minutes are.

    Keep up the good work!

    - Karen
    3542 days ago
    I'm walking right beside ya, sister! And running errands. And tracking. Hell yeah! Congratulations on that milestone! Gotta figure out how many more miles you've got to walk to get to where I live! :)
    3542 days ago
    Congratulations! I am a huge fan of tracking and graphing but not nearly as far along as you are. It's unlikely I will pass you but I am following in your footsteps.

    3542 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.