Instead of a long drawn out introduction or my typical Week In Review post, I thought I’d tell a story today.
A long drawn out story because well, that’s how I roll.
A few years back, my office sponsored a Walking Competition. It was eight weeks long, and we were grouped into teams of four. Each participant was sent on their way with a pedometer and a return promise they’d be honest about tracking their mileage. The team with the most miles at the end of the program won airfare anywhere in the United States.
A big prize, coupled with a touch of competitiveness, and I was ready to rock…or walk, but you get the idea.
At first it started simple enough.
Each day when I rolled out of bed, I would quickly affix my pedometer to my hip since I wasn’t going to miss a single step; that would be a travesty, and it’s possible I’m misusing the word travesty since some people have real problems, but I’m going for effect here, and travesty carries significantly more weight than its lesser known counterparts. Besides, airfare was on the line.
In addition to my lunchtime workout, I’d made it a point to walk some extra steps each day. I would park my car as far away from any entrance as possible. If someone needed something from another room, I’d be the first to offer to get it for them. See how thoughtful I am? Who cares it I was doing it for purely selfish reasons. It’s the thought that counts…oh wait. Strike that last statement from the record.
Where were we? Oh yes, we were four weeks into the program and my team and I were doing good. We were averaging about seven and half miles a day, without really pushing ourselves because we were all kind of gym rats to begin with. In any case, it was enough to put us in second place, which was lovely but certainly not our objective. Did I mention the airfare?
We had a team meeting. We might have played Eye of the Tiger. There certainly was a power speech and some chest thumping, and we set a new goal. A goal which was going to force us to step, literally, outside our comfort zones. Our new plan of attack included walking no fewer than ten miles a day.
Were we ambitious? Sure, but we were also young and driven. Plus, there was that Rocky theme song. You can’t discredit the power of Rocky. He was the underdog in so many cases (spoiler alert), but he always won.
So I walked. A lot. An awful lot.
I’m not sure I can express how many steps you need to take in any given day to achieve ten miles, but it was more than being active and a lunch time workout would net. My life for the last four weeks of the program revolved around how I could best get my miles.
I started going for walks every single night after dinner; hour plus long walks. While I was cruising my neighborhood nightly, I’d call my family and friends to chat. I’m pretty sure I spoke with them more times in those few weeks than I normally do in an entire year.
I made more changes.
I wouldn’t let the Hubby mow the lawn. Instead it became my job because those were some quality steps. I’d take an hour to put newly folded laundry away because I would bring the clean linens (as if I had fancy linens; ha!) one piece at a time, from the guest bedroom to the master bedroom to my dresser. It took forever; I didn’t care.
I did laps in my living room at night while watching television. I did standing in place laps at the copy machine at work. I looked like a wacko; I didn’t care.
I did stadium laps at the Indians game and other sporting events. I did laps at family parties, when everyone else was reclining in chairs or playing corn hole. If I had a conference call at work, I’d march in place. I didn’t sit still…pretty much ever; I didn’t care.
I went through two pairs of sneakers and countless blisters. I lost a few pounds, and my friends thought I’d turned into the Energizer Bunny, without the drum and funny ears.
The very last week of the program, I decided to push myself a little harder.
You might be asking, “Why,” and while I wish I had a logical answer, I don’t.
I do know I decided to shoot for 100 miles in week eight, which mathematically breaks down to 14.28 miles per day or a marathon every two days. The only problem was this new plan didn’t account for the fact I had walked no fewer than ten miles for the last twenty-one days straight. It didn’t account for the fact I was already run down and walked out, pun absolutely intended. Still I has set a goal, so I forged ahead.
I barely squeaked out my fourteen miles each day, and by day seven I was completely and utterly spent; exhausted both physically and mentally. After spending the majority of that last day in a car or on a boat (no joke), my miles were abysmal. I got home at eight o’clock that night and when I saw I needed another seven miles to complete my goal for the day and the week, I sat down on my steps and I cried; huge alligator tears because I had nothing left. The Hubby assured me ninety three miles in a given week was already enough, and I should pat myself on the back and call it a day. In fact, he had been urging me to call it a day for weeks.
Instead, I laced up.
I’d like to think I did that last walk solitary without any phone calls to anyone. I’d like to think I reflected on the entire experience. Honestly though, I can’t remember. I was too damn tired, and I’m pretty sure my brain stopped working back in week six. I do know I got my miles in though. I also know my team won, by a landslide, and I hopped a plane to New Orleans with the Hubby and my hard earned free airfare.
The moral of this little (or long winded) tale is if I can get a little carried away sometimes with my need to get things done, it’s because I’m a touch crazy. I can be intense when I put my mind to something. It’s how I’m wired. Sure, sometimes it can be nice to accomplish all the things, but just remember, it comes with a healthy dose of nuts. The unsalted kind.
Enough about me. Let’s hear from you.
Interested in participating in the Week In Review?
The Week In Review is a list, in its purest form, not of the things you still need to do, but of all the things you have done in the past seven days. It’s an achievement list and one with the sole purpose of bringing pleasure. Want in? Grab the Week in Review button for your post, link back to Clean Eats, Fast Feets and get your list on. For more details, click here.
Link up and get your list on.
What is one your best personality traits? What’s one of your lesser personality traits? Tell me a story about it. I like stories.
Ok…did I miss it??? Did you win??? I need to know this!!! Good story. I get a bit obsessed sometimes myself! Have a great day, Meghan!!
Yep, we won, by a landslide and I ended up going to New Orleans with the Hubby.
Having trained to walk a half marathon and posting my weekly mileage on your WIR posts last summer, I can appreciate the efforts required to get in 100 miles in a week.
And the insanity.
This week I am sharing today’s post–for the chief reason that it’s my first foray into the insanity that is participating in a multiblogger event complete with giveaway and sponsor. To wit–I am editing the code in my blog, the hard way not the pretty ‘click here for lists’ way, because once I put in the rafflecopter link I don’t want to screw it up. I’ll go back and add “participating in WIR” later when I can figure out how to do that in html.
The suck part that I did not realize is that even though there’s an OXO prize pack attached to this giveaway, I don’t get in on the action. At all. So why don’t you try? You know you love the stuff. And the recipe (Buffalo Butternut Squash Hummus for Hashtag#AppetizerWeek) is in the style of pile it all on a plate and dig in that we both enjoy.
This recipe sounds delicious, and I did enter the rafflecopter thingamajig give away because I do love some OXO goodies. Hello strawberry huller.
I knew you’d appreciate the miles because I remember your walk-a-thon.
Wait, the moral of that story was that you get carried away? I just thought it meant that not tracking steps was a travesty. Did I start daydreaming somewhere in the middle?
New Orleans had to taste pretty sweet. In more beignets than one. 🙂
I have a sweet tooth, in fact an entire mouth full of them, so the beignets were liking diving headfirst into a pool of white powdered sugar coated deliciousness. Sigh…those were some good memories.
You have some pretty freakin nice walking trails up there in the big O. I’m also a “step nerd” now that I have a fit bit.
I’m pretty sure none of those were taken in Ohio, although we do have the metroparks which can be pretty fabulous.
Davida @ The Healthy Maven says
Lady I feel ya! I have an obsessive personality so when I get stuck on something it’s hard for me to deviate. I legit would have walked to New Orleans just to get the free airfare (illogical right?). I’m also a sucker for free things. This is part of the reason I don’t run anymore. I kept trying to push myself harder and further and I kept getting hurt. Running stopped being fun and I still feel the painful effects almost a year later. Now I have to attempt to not go overboard with everything else in my life…
Moderation; it certainly ain’t easy, although I loved that you would have walked to New Orleans just to win the tickets. That could be fun. A new kind of road trip; we could start a trend here. 🙂
Sarah Pie says
Can I get in on this walking road trip?! Airfare is expensive 😉
Marina @ Lazy for Diet says
Ou, to me your persistence! I am the most inconsistent person on Earth – I often begin something new and seldom I finish… Though this purpose in 100 miles something unimaginable!
Yeah, it was rough, but I’m also super proud of myself for accomplishing it.
Sarah Pie says
New moral for this story: you really are a badass! I don’t think I could ever have that kind of dedication even if there was a sweet prize at the other end. Pretty please teach me your unsalted nutty ways so I can up my mental game?
Upping your mental game comes with a side being mental though. 😉 You can come on any road trip with me.
Ha, remind me to always have you on my team! I like extremist.
Extremist. That’s it; that sounds much better than crazy. I like it!
Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut says
Oh hey I told a story in my post today too!
PS I feel like this story was inspired by my fitbit post? 😉 And I can totally relate to doing laps around the living room…me and the BF are getting a tad competitive with our fitbits haha!
It was; your post on the Fitbits reminded me of this program and I thought it would be a good story to share. Thanks for inspiring me and linking up. I can’t wait to see your story.
Eating 4 Balance says
So I kind of came away from this with two thoughts: 1. As everyone already mentioned, you are seriously impressive my friend. I wish I had more of the determination that you showed with this. And 2. While I have never been obsessive about walking like this particular example, I have been with a number of other things and like you, mentally broke down in the end. Sometimes it was worth it, sometimes it was not. But when you get that long cry out (several if we’re being honest), it’s just this huge wake up call, right? Moderation = good. Trying to pump out marathons of work/exercise/etc. at a time = not so good. At least for mental health. Or your poor shoes.
I pretty much have the exact same thoughts you do so either we think alike or I’m a good story teller. ;0
Arman @ thebigmansworld says
Wow, Meg this is incredible….I’m so glad that you won but damn!! I don’t blame you for losing your mind in week 6….10 miles a day and I’d have lost my mind halfway into the third mile of THAT day!
I think the lazy trait extends to other competitive feats in my day to day life….I go full force for abit then stop and give up! Need to work on that…
When we were little, my parents instilled in us you don’t start something you can’t finish, so we’re all a bit extreme when it comes to completing things; sometimes to a fault.
How about I give you some of my crazy if you send me some of your lazy. It’ll be the perfect blend.
Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli says
You, my friend, are an excellent storyteller…I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole time! Isn’t it crazy how we don’t really see how CRAZY we can be sometimes? Or how about this bit of craziness? Up until the last half of your story, I was like, “Hell yeah! Go Meg, go!” I still give you some MAD props for busting out 100 miles in only one week (even though I’m having a really hard time actually wrapping my head around that), but I totally get it. I am right there with ya…extremist to the core. It’s ALL or nothing! And along with the perfectionist side of me…well, you know…you just have to be THE best…at everything! Second place is for losers! And this is why I shouldn’t breed. Ha!
Aw thanks for the story telling compliment. It means a lot to me. I’m always a little hesitant about posts with no food and few pictures. You never know whether people will get bored and click on or away.
Sometimes us extremists need melt downs to see the bigger picture. It’s unfortunate but necessary.
Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli says
So so true!
And I like it when you break things up a bit on the food front. I mean, I love the eats, but as you knoooooooooow I love you a bit more! So learning more about you is always fun! 😉
Awww, if you were here, I’d give you sloppy wet puppy kisses.