A mushroom cloud arose from between my toes earlier this week when the scale flashed an unwelcome number. The big One, Nine, Zero. I know 190 pounds isn't grossly overweight, but knowing it's not muscle that I've packed onto my 5-10 frame makes me feel gross. And so it compelled me to get out and run again. But I also began another trend that I hope to keep up: the lunchtime walk.
Sitting at desks is kills us all. Staring at this computer screen is ruining my eyes. Typing at this keyboard is giving me T-Rex arms. My ass is conforming to the contours of this plush office chair. My back is rolling into an arc to form the top curl of the "S" my body resembles. That doesn't stand for "Super" (or "Hope," for you Man of Steel fans), but rather for "Slug" or "Slothful" or "So not super."
The lunchtime walk is my new reprieve from the tyranny of interoffice atrophy. A little stroll to help digest my food and let my mind wander from the day's tasks, I've found, really revitalizes the spirit for the second half of the day. Those nebulous experts recommend a half-hour of exercise a day, in which time I can walk about a mile and a half. I'm even using my phone to track myself, just to see, and it seems I average about 3 mph at walking pace. So that's something.
Sometimes I miss the days when walking was my primary form or transportation. In college, I drove buses for a living, but I didn't own a car until maybe my junior year. I'd borrow my parents' car on the weekends, but otherwise my feet were my chariot. I forget how good walking is for exercise.
Our neighborhood now is pretty walkable. We have bars, a couple restaurants, a library, a movie theater, and some shops, but since all but one of those requires money to enjoy, we don't take advantage of these nearby features much. We're supposed to get a grocery store in the next year or so, which will be great, but otherwise we're so reliant on driving everywhere.
Mrs. Viper and I have talked about going for more hikes together, but between our work schedules and her being six months pregnant, we just haven't made it happen yet.
Oh, for crying out loud, is this turning into another "Ugh, getting older sucks" posts that Nitmos summed up so well on Monday? But it doesn't suck. The new normal just takes some getting used to, like runners acclimating to the heat and humidity of summer — not that I would know anything about that this year, but still!
This is one of those big life milestones. It's a major change. It's scary and exciting. We're like official grown-ups now, married with a dog and a house and a kid on the way. Life has stopped being a selfish pursuit. We have responsibilities that we have to consider.
While we both want to be healthy role models for our child, Mrs. Viper and I have other things to worry about right now. Besides, the kid's not even going to remember anything until like age 5, right? That's a lot of time to screw up before we attain our healthy ideals.
We seem to put this pressure on ourselves to have everything now, now, now. But that's impossible. Some things will have to wait. We're just getting started with our lives. This time is our time. Running will always be there, whether it's getting out once a week or training for a marathon. I just have to ride the ebb and flow.
Wait, didn't this start off being about lunchtime walks?