Friday, September 19, 2014

Cracking on!

Well, so far I've managed 18 consecutive days of my 10k steps a day challenge. And all without resorting to wandering around the house late at night in a desperate bid to pass the target! It's very interesting both physically and mentally to engage in a challenge. There's the obsessive side of things where you find yourself checking your pedometer every so often through the day to see how you're doing, and the frustration of discovering you haven't gone nearly as far as you thought. Then there's the knowledge phase where you've figured out how many steps it take to do the weekly supermarket shop and factored that into you Friday plan (we shop on Fridays). You also get to know that it's 750 steps to the postbox or that an hour on the tennis court might give you 7k or even 8k if you have to run a lot. You might even become familiar with how many steps there to the bottom of the garden and back.

One of the biggest factors in any challenge is the motivation to keep going. There are ups and downs, highs and lows that catch you unaware from time to time. Just when you think you've got it cracked and that getting up, slipping into your trainers and pounding the streets has become part of your routine an injury or illness looks to stop in your tracks. Then you realise just how hard it is to motivate yourself to either keep going or get going once your back to fitness or health.

I remember the first time I did the challenge I suffered an injury to my calf. Determined not to miss a day, I iced it, elevated it, compressed it and fortunately got back out the very next day with no significant ill effects. I don't recall how far through the 100 days I was at that point, I just remember thinking I needed to keep going. Then we had the snow and the ice that followed, making walking quite difficult. But by then I was well into the challenge and I persevered.

Any of these things could have set me back and caused me to give up, but they didn't. I think that was because the walking challenge was part of a health and fitness programme I was committed to at the time. Both Anne and I wanted to lose some weight and get healthier for our daughter's wedding the following year, so that in itself was a motivating factor.

This time around it's mostly about doing the challenge. Hopefully I'll improve my fitness too, but I want to see if I can achieve the goal just for the sake of the goal. It's a bit like walking coast to coast just because you can. Maybe one day we'll do that too.

I don't know if anyone else has taken up the challenge to do 100 days that I suggested at the beginning of September, but you can start anytime, and even if you have to make two or three restarts it doesn't really matter.

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