Friday, December 12, 2008

The fitness problem

A couple of years ago, it dawned on me that exercising on a treadmill, though it is good for me, is actually a negative for the environment, because of the electricity use. I prefer running outside, generally, but I had, at that time, used treadmills on a regular basis in case of bad weather or darkness interfering with my ability to run. Then, for my first three years, I ran or walked on the treadmill with Roxanne, because with treadmills it didn't matter whether we felt like running the same pace that day or not; some days, she ran and I walked, while other days we both ran but her running pace was adjusted to her exhaustion from chemo. (Note that she *always* ran.) But since Roxanne died I have had truly zero motivation to get on a treadmill. And this is fine, from an energy and carbon footprint perspective, but the truth is that it is not fine for my fitness.

The last couple of weeks I have been trying to incorporate exercise into my life. This is not the same as scheduling in a run, exactly, though sometimes it has involved that. It means that I am trying to figure out places I can walk and times I can take time to walk. On one occasion, I parked at the bank and then, after banking, walked to the video store and the office supplies store, neither very far away, but a distance I would sometimes consider driving. Last weekend I was feeling stir crazy and walked in snowy darkness around the school track while Brian got the girls ready for bed. Two nights ago, I took a detour around the soccer field before picking up the girls at afterschool. I took the teasel picture at right (weed of the month), though I was looking for foxtail. The detour doesn't count for much as exercise, but on the other hand it was better than playing scramble on Facecrack for the 200th time.

None of these little efforts have earned me a holiday cookie, and goodness knows I have a lot of those to work off already. But it's a start, and if I can figure out how to make my carbon footprint lower at the same time I reduce my personal waistprint, it could be a really productive winter.

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