I walk every day whether I feel like it or not. I gave up my car two years ago when driving my old junker became so infuriating (because of major leaking and beeping issues) I decided I'd rather walk through a blizzard naked than get back in that car one more time. So, I started walking everywhere - clothed for the sake of humanity.
I've become such a walking snob. I don't count anything under 5 miles of straight walking exercise even though I know it doesn't matter the distance, it only matters that you are out and doing it.
Yesterday, I did my first real training walk after work. It was a nice day when I got home, so I changed clothes real quick (before the weather changed its mind) and out the door I went. There are two things you should know - or actually, you probably shouldn't know but I'll tell you anyway - about my exercise wardrobe:
1. I wear baby-blue old pj bottoms to walk in. I'm always the only one in color walking around the track.
2. I inevitably never have a pocket to keep my keys in, so they end up jangling around in my sports bra. Pockets! Why don't any of my workout clothes have pockets?
As it was my first real walk of the season, I decided to just go up to the park and do laps. It's relatively flat with a slight incline and some steps to get a good variation. Since I hadn't walked for exercise in, oh, about four months, I figured it would be a good starting point. My goal was 5-6 miles which translates into 10-12 laps.
Also, the park is fantastic when you're walking alone because of all the people watching opportunities. Last night was no exception. There were the typical Bellevue-ites out with their tiny dogs, walking in heels on gravel. There was the stereotypical wealthy couple: her with her fake boobs and skin-tight everything, him with his designer shades and the phone clutched to ear. Lots of middle-aged women with their dogs chatting in the middle of the track, dogs sniffing and growling with wagging tails.
And then there were the single walkers like me. These people I enjoy watching the most. I notice I tend to make up stories about why they aren't walking with anyone. She spent the day homeschooling her three kids and now that Dad's home, she gets an hour to herself to unwind. He spent the day having tests run and found out he needs to start exercising to stave off high blood pressure. That one had a fight with his lover and needs to cool off. She wants to shed just a little more so she can fit into her dress for her high school reunion. I invariably start to wonder if anyone else there is walking like I am: to get ready for 60 miles. I wonder if I were to wear a sign if any one of them would come up and say they are walking for the same reason. Perhaps next time I go, I'll wear my old 3-Day shirt and see.
Those 5 miles were invigorating and eye-opening. When I walk for exercise, I walk at a good clip. I was done with 5 miles in a little over an hour. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy that endorphin rush that only exercising can give you. It was eye-opening because today my glutes and hamstrings are singing. I have a long way to go before I'm in shape!