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  • Robert Lynch

Endurance

Last week I decided to start walking again. I want to get to 10,000 steps per day; I currently do about 5,000 per shift at work, but I don't do any when I get home. My plan last week was to do a walk in the morning when I got up and another when I got home, each about 2,500 steps to get me to my goal straight away. You can immediately see the problem. I did this three days in a row then barely moved on Sunday because my muscles were sick of it.

I don't even want to write this. I managed to do what is considered to be the bare minimum of physical activity for three days, then couldn't keep going. I felt pathetic. I wish I had had a pedometer when I was growing up. Back when I walked to school and worked outside when I got home. Back when, as a 12-year-old, I could heave a 40Kg bag of grain over my shoulder no problems. I haven't tried to do that lately, but I don't think I would be happy with the results.

I definitely picked up a few bad habits on the farm. As I said, it was back in the days before fitness trackers, but you can make a few assumptions based on the meals we were eating (large-portion carb-heavy) and the fact that we weren't putting on weight. I would make an educated guess that we were burning about 1.5 times the average energy expenditure. There was a tonne of lifting heavy things and non-cardiovascular work, but if you convert all the energy to walking for comparison, it would be around 30,000 steps per day. And I'm now struggling to do 10,000.

Another bad habit is that on the farm you have no need to exercise recreationally. I never had to go for a walk to make up my steps for the day, in the natural course of the day I was already smashing it. Now that I need to exercise to supplement my daily activity, I find it hard to stay motivated.

Since I left the farm, I studied at uni and worked some cashier/storeman jobs. My body has got used to being lazy, and while I can still spend a day helping my brother pick pumpkins when I need to, I pay one hell of a price for it.

Why is this the topic of my writing blog? Getting the base content done is the same as getting 5,000 steps at work. It is fundamental, but not satisfactory.


I want to get more done, but sprinting before you can walk is a quick way to fall on your face. I need to ramp up incrementally. I've started doing a short half-hour walk when I get up. Before breakfast, before coffee; a quick 2,500 steps to start the day. I'm finding it clears my head from sleep and helps me to be more creative. For this week and next week, I'm going to try for 7,500 steps per day. After two weeks of hitting that goal, I'll do a walk when I get home as well, getting to 10,000 steps per day. Since 10,000 steps are about 7.5kms, I'd like to go even further and make it a round 10kms in the future.

With my writing, I plan to follow the same course. I want to do an hour of writing before work and an hour after work. This should get me ahead on base content quickly and even start some long term projects during the week. Then the weekend is just gravy.

For this week, I want to hit 7,500 steps per day and two hours of writing on the weekdays. I've got my fitness tracker and my RescueTime App to keep me honest.