BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Well, that's something ...

Last year about this time I was coming off of a couple of months of working on an intense Second Life project where I was pretty much at the computer 14-18 hours a day for weeks on end (and, unfortunately, only ended up getting paid about 20¢ on the dollar, but that's another story). Two things came of this: one, I'd gained a lot of weight from getting zero exercise, and two, my leg muscles went to hell, having spent the better part of two months or more either sitting at the keyboard, or asleep ... with the resulting condition being like I'd been in a hospital bed for that much time!

Since on normal days I'm probably at my computer 12 hours a day, and typically only leave the house when I have some networking event to go to (admittedly, that's 2-4 times a week), and don't have any regular exercise regimen, I spent most of last year in pretty pitiful shape for walking. Add to this residual "mechanical" issues left over from the car crash in '93 and blowing out my knee at dojo six or seven years back, I was moving "like an old man" for months.

I had a couple of things that I wanted to pick up down in the Loop this weekend, and hadn't gotten around to dealing with that ... but when The Wife came in late this afternoon, she was encouraging me to go out (since it was glorious in downtown Chicago today: 52° and clear), so I pried my hands off the keyboard/mouse and got dressed.

Now, in the past several months, I've been making conscious efforts to walk where possible, aided by the extremely mild winter we're having, regularly walking to something I would have typically taken a bus or the El to previously. Today's destination was about a mile and a half down State St., and I was very pleased to find that I got down there at a reasonably brisk pace (nowhere near what I'd do in my 30's, but, hey) and managed to get back without getting into "dragging" ... for a total of about a 3-mile walk.

"In my youth" I used to be a very fast, aggressive, and habitual walker, doing regular walks up and back to Wrigley Field back when I had Cubs tickets, about 4 miles each way, and being "that guy" who wove in and out of slower pedestrian traffic so as not have to slow my pace. Needless to say, the "shuffling grandpa" that I'd been looking like most of last year was humiliating and depressing, and it's VERY nice to at least be back to a decent speed. Of course, having 2 bum knees and one ankle that's being held together with the organic equivalent of "chewing gum and bailing wire", there are days when the mechanics just aren't there (it's a crap shoot every morning which hinges are or are not working), but on the pain-free days it's nice to be able to at least muster some semblance of my old self!

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