Friday, February 22, 2008

The Fat Man Walks Alone

A friend gave me her copies of WW’s magazine before I ever joined and I’d look through them. I remember reading about an older guy, probably in his late 60’s or early 70’s, who walks three miles a day. I thought to myself, “If he can do it, then what’s my excuse?” So the night I joined WW, I drove around and mapped out a three mile course that I could walk. The next morning I woke up early and went walking.

Let me tell you I wasn’t shooting to do it in record time, but I wanted to work up a sweat. I made the three miles in under an hour. I also made the stupid mistake of not stretching and was amazed at how sore my shins were the next day. Of course my arthritis didn’t care for it at all and my ankle hurt the whole way. It would go on to hurt for the next month or two.

That’s something that I came to realize. When you let yourself go and then start working out, you’re gonna hurt. I knew that if I stopped then I wouldn’t want to start back up again. So I walked through the pain and I’m glad I did. Important lesson learned, “No pain, no gain (or should I say 'loss')!”

Monday through Friday I’d wake up and go walk my three mile loop. I’d take the weekends off from having a scheduled workout and still do. I’d walk my loop whether it was raining or blistering hot. I was determined.

I think walking is about one of the best things you can do. It’s free and easy to do. It’s easy on the joints and you can do it alone. I’ve never been a fan of gyms or clubs and when you’re huge who wants to work out in front of others anyways. Walking gives you the freedom to do it alone and work against yourself only. Plus it’s a good time to map out your day in your head as you go along, like what you’re going to eat and when you’re going to eat it.

I’m also a firm believer in getting outside. There’s just something about fresh air and not the stale, sweaty gym smell.

I began to repeat a mantra as I'd walk. I'd repeat, "Leaner, Faster Stronger!" over and over again. I'd walk in rhythm to that as I'd say it time and again in my mind. It help keep me motivated and focused on my goal and the task at hand. When I played high school football our offensive line's motto was "Bigger, Faster, Stronger" so that's where the idea came from, slightly modified of course.

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