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.
Onward to 200,000.