100 days ago I made a decision to walk every day – for 100 days.
I did it for many reasons – but mostly to get “back in my body”.
Ya see, when I discovered art making 6 years ago, that’s ALL I wanted to do! Once I began painting, I kept my ritual of writing morning pages with my coffee, but out went the exercise that typically followed.
Until then I’d been a fairly devoted exerciser – running marathons, hitting the weights and enjoying yoga. Now there was no time for exercise – I had to hit the studio! I was having so much fun swirling paint on canvas and lounging with my sketchbook, I had become downright sedentary. Bleh!
Now, I was feeling tight and constricted in my body – and oh yeah – chubby and weak and lethargic! So in a fateful moment 100 days ago (while actually walking) I decided to change my ways.
I wanted challenging, yet I needed doable! I needed to feel successful. Believing walking to be the most “portable”/least-excuse-probable exercise, I committed. I’d walk for 100 days straight – for a minimum of 30 minutes. No other rules. Period. Just get off my butt! So I came home from that walk, photo copied a monthly calendar and numbered off 100 days. I had begun.
I decided to Instagram my daily walk, but within a few short days I had bored myself silly. That tedium threatened to make me quit walking – so I quit Instagramming and kept the walking instead. K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid. Right? Right.
On the days I saw something exceptionally beautiful, on landmark days or on the days I just felt like it, I posted a blurb and a pic on Instagram. Otherwise, I kept the time just for me. It was good.
I worried about lots of things at first. Things like:
- I’ll never make it through 100 days without getting sick or injured – surely something will stop me. It didn’t.
- I’ll get bored as hell and just stop. I’m a “scanner”. I need diversity and a change of scenery at the very least. So I linked my love of new experiences and discovery and adventure to the goal . . . I sought out new places to walk, changed up routes in my normal haunts and varied my length of walk time. Mostly I walked alone, but sometimes I went with my hubby or a friend or drug my lazy ass dog along.
- I’ll “fudge” my time and not always do my minimum of 30 minutes. I’ll cheat. Wrong. I’ve averaged 49 minutes over my 100 days! It became a kind of game!
- I worried there would be days I just wouldn’t find the time. Yeah – that didn’t happen either. Blew that theory. Huh.
- I worried that my plantar fasciitis would get worse with all that dang walking. Didn’t! Seems that time spent on my custom orthotics daily has helped me immensely – it’s nearly gone!
Of course, the experts tout the many benefits of consistent exercise. Sure, I know that to be true logically. But until you do something every single day, you can’t really k n o w – u n t i l y o u d o !
SOME benefits of daily walking I now KNOW:
- it makes you a happier human!
- it gives you way more energy than it takes
- it gives structure to your day – seemingly increasing the time one has (to paint)! It’s magic.
- you can lose a bit of weight easily – without making any other changes
- but it will make you want to make other changes too
- it’s pretty freakin’ easy – it’s pretty freakin’ fun
- you’ll reconnect with neighbors and friends
- you won’t forfeit time with your spouse – you’ll just drag him along with you
- you’ll solve problems more easily and have lots more brilliant creative ideas while walking! Take a notebook. Really. Do.
- you’ll discover places you never knew existed!
- your confidence will soar – cause you are keeping promises to yourself and creating a sense of completion and accomplishment
In my 100 days, I’ve walked at dawn and at dusk.
I’ve walked on days where my to-do list was longer than my arm and on tired days I wanted to hide under the covers.
I’ve walked in four states!
I’ve walked with dogs, old friends and a woman I’d only just met.
I’ve walked in the rain and in temperatures over 100.
I’ve rescued a dog from traffic and stumbled onto a homeless encampment I never knew existed.
On my walks, I’ve laughed till I’ve nearly cried and actually have cried having witnessed the aftermath of domestic violence.
AND I’ve seen such beauty – dolphins – white pelicans!
I’ve gathered enough inspiration for a 1000 paintings!
So what now? True to my scanner personality AND my new found love of self-imposed-challenges, I’m onto a new 100 day program. I’ll move in some way – any way that feels good – every day for the next 100. I’ll keep the majority of it (4 days minimum) a cardio based movement – walking, biking, hiking, spin class, whatever. But now I’m free to do many other things I love – yoga, weights, dance! I’ll also up my minimum to 35 minutes – just because I can!
I’ve marked off the next 100 days on my calendar!
Let #everydaymove100 begin!
Anyone care to join me?
You can do this – I KNOW you can.
(Why do I have a feeling this will become a 365 day thang?)