Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

Giardina Margherita near our apartment

 “Walking would teach people the quality that youngsters find so hard to learn —patience."  ~ Edward P. Weston

"I wonder, how far we've walked" Mike said to me when we were in Barcelona last year. "I'd sure like to know how many miles we've put in."

"A lot."  I was a bit cranky since my feet were swollen from the crappy shoes I was wearing.  At that point, he dropped the subject, but at home a few weeks later, he brought it up again.

"I walk Riley twice a day. I'd sure like to figure out how many miles we walk."

"Get a Fitbit." I knew he wouldn't, so I starting researching Fitbits, Jawbones, Fuel Bands, and more. I really couldn't figure out what the big difference was between the plethora of activity trackers on the market. I thought I'd buy both of us one so maybe I could motivate myself to get out and do something.

Let me be perfectly clear about it, though. I do not exercise. My doctor once asked me if I exercised regularly.
Santo Stefano di Sessanio

"Well, I try....sometimes....not a lot...."

"You too busy?" he wanted to know.

"No, I'm lazy,"  Why lie?  I hate exercising.  Besides, the minute I get on some stupid machine, I have a thought of something else I want to  should do.

One thing I do like to do is walk, but that enjoyment is limited to walking in big cities.  Mike and I have walked end-to-end in Manhattan, San Francisco, and Chicago in the States, and any European city we've ever visited.  Walking is a way of life in all of those places.  Ask me to walk in Las Vegas—a city that I love, mind you—and I either get out the keys to my Mini or I put myself in that La-Z-Boy and close my eyes.

 At any rate, for Christmas, I bought both of us Misfits. I chose it merely on the strength of its name since I figured that Misfit suited me better than Fitbit or Jawbone.  Besides, the things come in a variety of colors, and I happened to like the "Topaz" which is actually more of an aquamarine color than orange.

 I've worn the thing on my wrist every single day since Christmas, and I rarely hit the 10,000 step mark until my feet hit Italian soil. As of Sunday, May 17, I've walked way over the 10,000 steps almost every day.  The days I didn't hit the mark were travel days. 

 (Let me step out a minute and interject that one of the reasons I love walking here is that it is such a part of the culture and life. I feel as though I'm really part of it. I love seeing new things every time I go out...things that I've walked by a million times but missed somehow. Italians do not rush. They walk at a leisurely pace, so walking here calms me down a bit. If you haven't guessed, I'm so Type-A and hyper, and walking in Italy slows me down.)

Since Mike started using his Misfit, he's been a fanatic about checking it to see how far he's walked.  He started at five miles a day and has worked up to seven, although I think the Las Vegas heat has slowed him (and Riley) down a bit.  The weather has been pretty nice since he arrived here, so he's been wanting to walk a lot.


 And, we have.  We walk to and from the train station if we go somewhere, and we walk around the historic center if we don't.  We compared how many steps we both had on our Misfits Saturday after we'd walked around town.

"I have 11,352," he told me.

"I have 8,566," I shot back. "How can that be?  I walked to the salon while you slept."  I told him that mine wasn't syncing right with Doreen's Fitbit while we were in Rome, either.

"Something's not right."  DUH.

I thought about it a lot, and I decided that the difference might be that I wear mine on my left wrist while he keeps his in his pocket.  Because of the shoulder problem, I move my arm very little, so I figured that might be part of the difference.  On Sunday, we went to Ferrara, and I put my Misfit in my pocket.  When we checked, we were within a few steps of each other.  I've been keeping mine in my pocket since, and we're pretty close in steps and mileage now... We're averaging about six-and-a-half miles per day.

So, the way I figure it, by the time I get back to the States, I'll be up on my yearly allotment of walking exercise. When Dr. Emery asks me for the zillionth time if I'm exercising, I can tell him I'm all caught up.

Please excuse me now.  We're heading out for gelato (350 steps both ways).

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