Walk This Way….

So on Friday, the walking initiative at my workplace officially ended. The goal was to get all participants to hit 10,000 steps a day, and as an individual participant, I think I kicked ass. Between taking daily walks and hitting the elliptical for 30 minutes every workday morning, I totaled roughly 967,687 steps from May 13th through August 2nd. I say roughly because sometimes, I forgot to attach the pedometer (like when I woke up at 2 in the morning to pee). That’s 82 days, and that averages to roughly 11,801 steps per day.

So yeah, I kicked ass. 🙂

Part of it was great weather. While we had rain, more often than not I was able to squeeze my thirty minute walk in at some point in the evening. On weekends or vacation days/holidays, when I didn’t force myself to do the elliptical, I did two laps around my neighborhood instead of one lap. I discovered that I prefer walking in the heat (with plenty of sunscreen) rather than the evening when it cools off. Sweat is far more preferable to bugs.

On weekdays, I learned that getting up at 6:00 am to jump on the elliptical for thirty minutes actually wasn’t that bad. I thought for sure I’d hate it, but really? While I wasn’t like, Woo-hoo, EXERCISE!!!, I still felt pretty good. I was awake and mobile in the morning by time I got to work, and that led to me feeling far more productive. Also, short of vacation days/holidays (of which I took a handful), I only missed two elliptical sessions: once because I was up for nearly half the night and didn’t think that jumping on the machine the following morning would be good for me, and the second because somehow I slept through my husband’s obnoxious alarm not just once, but TWICE that same morning, which prompted me to set my own alarm from that morning onward. You know, just in case.

Also, to keep up the steps, I set a chime on my phone to go off hourly while I was at the office, a reminder to get up and move around, which involved me walking the inner parameter of our office, just to stretch my legs and back.

My best day I hit 22,390 steps: not only did I do the elliptical that morning, but I took two laps around the neighborhood that afternoon because I felt like it. I think that day was also a grocery store day.

My worst day was 3307 steps: it was a vacation day, so I shrugged off the elliptical, but it also rained all day, so no walking.

So now that it’s over, the big question is, will I keep it up? I want to. I know there’s going to be a part of me that’s like, “I don’t have to record my steps any more… I can shrug this off….” but I don’t want to do that. I’m rather attached to my pedometer, the bulky thing, even though I don’t have to use it anymore. Yet I know what I need to do during any given day to reach a minimum of 10,000 steps, so it’s not like I need it. But it’s an accountability tool, you know? Without the elliptical or my daily walks, I’m lucky to hit 3000 steps in a day, which just goes to show you how lazy and sedentary I can be when I put my mind to it.

So yeah: Monday morning, I keeping the alarm set at six. I plan on dragging my ass out of bed and getting on the elliptical, even though the official, work-related challenge is over. Because it’s better for me, and I might as well do it while I can, you know? Who knows what winter will bring, and I’d really like to drive this habit home.

Today, a list!

1) Yesterday, I saw two dead animals: one was a rabbit at the entrance of my neighborhood. I was all like, “Awww, cute bunny!” because I thought it was just SITTING THERE and then as I passed, it didn’t jump away, and I saw its leg. Poor bunny…. the second dead animal also was discovered in my neighborhood: a snake that ran afoul with a lawn mower. Except I didn’t know it was dead when I came upon it in the street while walking and nearly had a heart attack. I’d say “poor snake,” but… yeah. It’s a snake. Poor bastard is better.

2) The teaser trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has been released, and I’m as giddy as a schoolgirl. If I were still in college, or if I still had my ginormous crush on Legolas, I would’ve found high-def screencaps of this sucker and already made Live Journal icons out of all the Legolas shots. Because that’s how I used to roll.

3) Speaking of The Hobbit, I’m totally excited about Evangeline Lily’s character Tauriel. Yeah, she was made-up for the movies, but you know what? I’m cool with that. The books will always be the books and the movies will always be the movies, and damn it, the movies need more girls! And this one brings me a kick-ass elf. So yay. However, I have a theory: she and Legolas will somehow have a RELATIONSHIP (either closely platonic or verging on romantic or actual romance) and he’s all sELFish (see what I did there?) about not helping others except elves and she’s all like, “We have to defeat evil no matter what.” and then? MY THEORY: poor girl’s gonna die. Just you watch: she’s going to die (hopefully heroically), and that will soften Legolas’ heart enough to volunteer for the Fellowship come Frodo’s quest. JUST YOU WAIT.

4) Oh, you probably want a trailer now, don’t you? BEHOLD! The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug teaser trailer.

5) I’ve decided that when I take a day off of work, the office also has to close. Because when I’m gone, all sorts of crazy crap comes out of the wood work, and seriously, why does this stuff WAIT until I’m gone? Tuesday was DEFINITELY my Monday. I did not appreciate that. :-/

6) Fans of Johnny Cash might know that he and June Carter did have one son together: John Carter Cash (hey, John Carter… of Mars?). Well, that son has apparently written a book (by the cover, it looks to be children’s/middle-grade, but I could be wrong), and what I’ve read of the review on Tor.com indicates it’s actually really good. Color me surprised, if for no other reason that I wouldn’t expect a novelist to come out of those two singer/songwriters. 🙂

7) This week I’ve been spending my lunch breaks watching Moonrise Kingdom. I’m not done yet, but it’s weird, quirky, and has both a kitten and Edward Norton. Those latter two things alone make this movie a WIN.

8) I wish this Ariel Makeup Kit from Sephora had come out when I was still an undergrad. Not only did I have shirts and stuff in those exact colors, but I also had the balls to match my eye shadow to said shirts and rock it. Nowadays, I have some shirts to match the eye shadow and nail polish, but it’s not such a good idea for a professional look. But who am I kidding? If I had this kit, I’d totally try it!

9) I’ve decided: if I use the elliptical, then I’ll only do a single lap around the neighborhood. If I don’t use the elliptical (like on weekends or days off from work), I’ll do TWO laps around the neighborhood. Laps are, of course, weather permitting. So weather, permit it, damn it.

10) We’ve started to reach that point in summer where I may need to ignore my own hatred of how my legs are shaped and walk in shorts instead of my usual yoga pants. On the plus side, I’ll be much cooler. On the negative side, my legs are showing. Also, bugs. :-/

To Hunt an iPod Nano (6th Generation)

On Monday, I returned from my daily walk and announced two things to my husband:

1) 30 Seconds to Mars’ new album would be releasing the next day, and he needed to get it for me.
2) I needed an iPod Nano.

Now, let’s talk about why I needed an iPod Nano. I currently use the iPod Classic. It was a hand-me-down from my hubby when he transitioned over to using his iPhone as his iPod (via the Cloud) and my old iPod (the rather awesome U2 Special Edition) used up all its memory and I had to pick and choose stuff to upload to it. The old iPod had a case with a clip, which was great for when I used to work out using the elliptical. My current iPod has a case but no clip, nor do I want a clip for it, because it spends most of its time in my car, and a clip would get in the way.

When I started making the effort to walk daily, I grabbed my U2 iPod and clipped it on my pants and started it up. Only the battery was dead. So I charged it and just put my current iPod in the pocket of my hoodie.

The next day, I took my fully-charged U2 iPod and started it up. It allowed me to scroll around a bit, and then the battery died. Again. Okay…

So what I’ve been doing is carrying my current iPod. The one with no clip. And because of the size and shape differences between the U2 iPod and my current iPod, I couldn’t just switch cases.

Carrying the iPod in my pocket is fine. When I have a pocket. Which happens when I wear my hoodie. Given the warming temperatures, that’s not always an option unless I want heat stroke. And workout clothing, for some reason, hates pockets. So I’d have to carry the thing, paranoid I’m going to drop it (it’s a rational fear, folks).

Hence, I need an iPod nano. It’s cute, it’s small, and it clips on to whatever I’m wearing. Only, when I started researching it, I realized the nano doesn’t look like this anymore. It looks like this, which is the 7th generation.

Which is cute and small, but does not clip onto whatever I’m wearing. In order to take it with me, I’d need pockets or one of those armband thingies, which, after reading reviews for, I wasn’t excited about.

However, iPod does offer the shuffle, which looks just like the 6th generation nano I wanted, but no touch screen and a smaller memory. But it’s cute, small, and has a clip.

So I did my research. I kept concluding all I NEEDED was the shuffle. But I wanted a touch screen so I could search my music. And the nano offered this really cool built-in fitness app sponsored by Nike. Which was tempting… really tempting, despite my having my own (bulky) pedometer that I’ve been wearing 24/7.

I couldn’t make up my mind. My hubby couldn’t help either, because he saw the pros and cons of both. Saturday, we went to Target, but beforehand, he went to a website that talked about the likelihood of the iPod getting an update soon (the keynote speech announcing new products and upgrades is in June). For the iPod shuffle? Upgrades are LONG overdue. But my husband is convinced they’re gonna phase out the Shuffle, which means no upgrade.

So picture me, sitting in Target, my eyes roaming back and forth between the Shuffle and the Nano. Neither is exactly what I want, but both have things I want. What I really needed, I knew, was the 6th generation iPod Nano, which had the size and clip of the current Shuffle, but the touch screen and fitness app of the current 7th generation Nano.

We decided to wait. I thought there might be places that sold used iPods and I might get lucky. We had to go to Hastings to return a book, so while I was handling the return, my hubby went back to the music section to see if there were any used 6th generation Nanos.

There were. But better still, Hastings still had unopened, brand-new, 6th generation iPod Nanos.

My husband finds me at the counter and asks, “What color do you want?” In which case I did a mini giddy-clap/happy dance, scaring the poor teenager trying to ring up the return.

I got it in green. I’ve had two walks in it, and it’s exactly what I wanted.

Thus concludes the great, epic hunt for the iPod Nano (6th generation). And yes, for those of you wondering, I got my 30 Seconds to Mars album. It rocks.