Time is on my side

I’m struggling – both in trying to keep up my steps each day, and also to find the time to write about it in my blog.

The last couple of days have been an enormous slog.  There aren’t enough hours in the day to try and fit in the walking I need to do in order to meet the 10,000 step target each day for my Global Corporate Challenge.  I’m finding that I’m having to walk around the house and run on the spot, waggle my arms around or do just about anything to keep the pulse device counting.

There are now 4 members of our 7 person team updating their steps on the GCC website.  This makes me feel a bit happier to think that at least some of my team are now taking it seriously, and that it’s not just me doing it.

There is a mini-challenge over the next 3 days where the team have to record 100,000 steps collectively.  I have a photoshoot planned for the next 2 days, which means that I won’t get much chance to walk.  I’m hoping to do a few steps around the studio while makeup and hair are being done, but I doubt I’ll get anywhere near my 10,000 target.  I certainly don’t feel that I can make a good contribution to the 100,000 target over the next 2 days.  Perhaps Saturday will be the day when I can make a difference.  If only there were more hours in each day!

Seaside Shuffle

My wife (Angela) and I wanted to make the most of the weekend by going somewhere for a ride out this weekend.  Our friends Linda and Andy came with us to Bridlington and this was an ideal opportunity for me to get a few steps in for day 5 of the Global Corporate Challenge. I’d already done a couple of thousand steps this morning while Angela was at Church.  I’d been to do the shopping and got a couple of other jobs done at home before going back to meet her.  When we contacted Linda and Andy, they didn’t have any better suggestions, so off we wen to pick them up and we headed on our way to Brid.

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After a pleasant journey there, we parked up at the North Bay, and took a steady walk along the sea front and the fun fair area.  It was a windy day, but not too cold.  Loads of people were there (as I would have expected on a Bank Holiday weekend), but at least it was still reasonably easy to navigate through the crowds pushing Angela’s wheelchair.  We stopped from time to time to watch the people on the rides.  I was keeping my (hot) feet firmly on the ground today.

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We walked along the harbour and watched the ever-popular pirate ship come in briefly, before taking another set of passengers off for a quick trip around the bay for 10 minutes before returning  again for some more families to take out.

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I was getting into my stride by this time – walking around Bridlington seemed almost effortless by having people to talk to and things to see while I was walking.  I was thoroughly enjoying the afternoon out.  We decided o walk further along the harbour.  Andy, Linda and Angela decided to get an ice-cream, so I took a walk up the steps back onto the main road to get myself some crisps to eat from Marks & Spencer.  I returned to the harbour to find they were still waiting to be served.  Once they had got their ice-creams, we sat on the harbour wall watching the children around us with their faces smothered in ice-cream while the seagulls avidly watched for anyone dropping chips for them to snatch.

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I pushed Angela up the steep slope (with Linda’s help) back onto the main road again, and nearly had a heart attack from pushing.  It was particularly steep as we reached the top, and a real struggle to do those last few steps.  Someone watching us had a great laugh watching Linda and I both turn purple as we made the last push to get Angela to the top.

I got my breath back as we walked back along the seafront, and Andy decided he wanted some fish and chips.  He called in to get some, and I followed a couple of minutes later to get something for Angela. We waited, and waited.  And then we waited some more.  And then a bit longer.  Finally, Andy placed the order.  By this time, Linda and Angela had both turned cold and come in to warm up a bit.  The sat in the cafe area while we waited to get served.  I’ve never known such slow service.  I’ve no idea how they cope when it gets really busy.  If I’d been on my own, I would have given up waiting and gone somewhere else instead.

After Angela and Andy finished eating, we took another walk back along the seafront and called in the newly opened Leisure Centre.  It looks really good inside.  We had a quick drink and watched the swimmers for a few minutes before taking the final walk back to the car.  By this time, it was blowing a gale and bitterly cold.  We were all glad to get back to the car to warm up.

I’d walked exactly 9000 steps when we got back to the car, so thankfully, it left me with just a thousand left to reach my target before the end of the day.  I should easily reach the 10,000 today – and for once, it hasn’t felt like hard work.  Shuffling around Bridlington at a fairly relaxed pace has made it so much more pleasurable.  I wish all walks were as good as today.  I’ve had a lovely day with great company.

 

Sit down

I had a feeling that day 4 of the Global Corporate Challenge would be tough.  The soles of my feet are always hot, my ankles ache and my legs are a little bit stiff, so the challenge of walking any great distance today was definitely going to be a struggle.

By the early evening, I’d only achieved a couple of thousand steps, so to get another eight thousand this evening seemed impossible.  I really didn’t want to go for a walk tonight, but forced myself to get up and give it a try.

It didn’t take long before I was out of breath, with sore feet and a complete lack of motivation.  The weather was much more pleasant than I’d expected, so by the time I got onto Inglemire Lane away from most of the traffic, it was nice to take in the peace and tranquility.  I stood and watched the horses in the field for a few moments and then continued my journey up towards Cottingham.  It was tough… real tough.  Each step seemed like a tremendous effort.

I was therefore thankful to see a seat near a bus stop, just before I reached the West Bulls pub.  It was wonderful to sit down for a couple of minutes and get my breath back.  As I sat there, I saw a man walking up with a couple of dogs.  The dogs looked old and tired, and I could imagine exactly how they felt.  I fussed one of the dogs as it trundled past me, and it turned back to stay for a fuss.  It sat down and I spoke to the owner while stroking the dog.  The second dog became jealous at this point, and also came up for a fuss.  Not to be outdone, the first dog climbed up, and threw its front paws around my leg and started getting frisky, much to the owner’s embarrassment.  The dog obviously had a lot more energy than I had!

At this point, I decided to resume my journey and walked along Bricknell Avenue, and once again, I was relieved when I found something else to momentarily distract me from my walk.  I called in to the local Tesco Express and bought myself a Cornetto ice cream.  I very rarely eat ice cream, so this was a pleasant change for me.  I stopped and took a couple of bites before continuing the journey, but felt much better walking and enjoying the mint choc chip ice cream at the same time.

The walk down Fairfax avenue seemed long, so I counted the steps until I got bored and lost count.  The final stretch down Hall Road seemed longer than ever before, but I’d done the walk in a reasonable amount of time, despite all the stops and distractions.  It was good to get home and have a shower before settling down in front of the TV for the rest of the evening – I felt I deserved it.

It’s almost time for bed, and I’m still about 300 steps short of the 10,000 target for today.  I’ll try and walk around the house as much as I can to reach the goal before bedtime.  I hope tomorrow is a bit easier.

Don’t stop me now!

Day 3 of the Global Corporate Challenge and I’m still walking (and even more remarkably, still blogging).  I picked up my ‘Pulse’ device from work today, so I can now finally start tracking my steps from tomorrow using the recommended equipment.  I’d already done over 1,000 steps before I called in at work, so I decided it was better to continue tracking my activity for the rest of the day using my phone.

As today is one of my ‘non-working days’, it was good to have a rest this morning and not have to consider getting up early and walking to work.  The downside, is that the day presented little opportunity to do any walking without making a determined effort.  My wife and I already had plans to go out this afternoon, so I couldn’t do it then.  By the time I got back home and had eaten, I really didn’t feel like making an effort to get the steps I needed.  I was really tired, and could have fallen asleep at the drop of a hat.

My wife suggested that she came out with me, and we would walk about a mile or so to the local pub, have a drink and then come back again.  Even that didn’t give me the enthusiasm I needed, but nevertheless, I forced myself to get ready.

Pushing my wife in her wheelchair can be hard work at times, mainly because the paths can be so uneven.  We set off, and it was a lovely sunny evening – quite cool, but pleasant.  Pushing Angela in her wheelchair quickly got me working up a sweat as we started our journey, but the cool air was refreshing enough to make me decide that perhaps we could take a longer route.

We ended up walking about 4 miles in total.  By the time we got to the pub, I was ready for a drink. We sat outside in the beer garden.  Angela had a diet Pepsi and I had a lemonade.  Sitting outside was quite nice, but by that time, there was a breeze getting up.  When we’d finished our drinks, we were both starting to turn cold, so we set off on the last mile or so back home.  I was tired when we got back, and my feet ache a bit tonight, but I really feel as though I’m achieving something by continuing to put the effort in each day.  I’ve exceeded my 10,000 step target quite easily today, even though it was looking unlikely earlier this evening.

We have made plans to go out together on Sunday evening if the weather is reasonable.  I just hope I can get enough steps done tomorrow without too much effort.

My team mates still haven’t entered steps for day 2 yet – so only two of us have recorded our activities so far. Because of this, we continue to slip further down the leaderboard in comparison to the other teams from work.  I’m hoping that now the ‘pulse’ devices have arrived, the entire team will get recording their steps next week.  For now, I’m just concentrating on doing my bit and so I’m not too bothered about the competition against other teams.

Walk, don’t run!

I was excited to enter my steps from day one into the Global Corporate Challenge mobile app when I woke up this morning.  My total for the day was 12,738 which was far better than I expected.

I was keen to see what my team colleagues had done, but only one of the other team members have entered their steps so far.  This is a little disappointing, as our team are now fairly low in the ranking against the other teams from our organisation.  It’s probably because we still haven’t received the ‘pulse’ devices for recording our steps.  Thankfully, the devices have arrived towards the end of the day, so from tomorrow, I can start using that, and I hope the other team members will soon join in too.

I walked to work this morning, and took the long route to get there – the same journey I used last night on my way home.  I was a little late setting off, and so I tried walking as quickly as I could to get there.  Almost 6,000 steps later,  I arrived at work drenched in sweat with legs like jelly.  Hurrying isn’t a pleasant experience, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful to arrive at work.  I don’t think I could have walked much further.

After a quick wash and getting changed, I got on with my work and settled down.  By lunchtime, I was ready for another go, and managed to do another couple of thousand steps in just under half an hour.  Thankfully, it wasn’t raining today so at least that made it a little more pleasant.

I’ve done just over 10,000 steps today – it’s not quite as much as yesterday, but at least I’ve reached my target for the day.  It still remains to be seen whether my motivation will last.  Having the time to do the walking is going to be the biggest challenge, particularly over the weekend.  If the weather stays reasonably fine, that might encourage me to make a determined effort.  Time will tell.

Walk a mile in my shoes

Today is day 1 of the Global Corporate Challenge – a venture that my employers have signed up to in order to encourage staff to be healthier and fitter.  I thought it might be a good idea to give it a go.  The general idea is that those taking part (in teams of seven) will use a device called a ‘pulse’ to record the number of steps they take each day for 100 days.  The idea of working in a team is to have people of mixed fitness levels to compete against other teams in order to increase their fitness and wellbeing.

I’ve eagerly been waiting for my pulse device to arrive, and, as the launch day came closer, it looked increasingly unlikely that I would have it in time to record my steps for the first day of the challenge.  The devices still haven’t arrived, so for the moment, I’m using my phone to record the steps.

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t particularly have much enthusiasm to start the challenge – especially as I don’t have the pulse device yet.  I considered walking to work for a moment, but as the weather was looking pretty miserable I put it off – maybe tomorrow!

I made a feeble effort to start recording my steps by going to the supermarket (in the car, of course), but parked as far from the store as I could so I could get a few steps done.  I made sure that I walked down as many aisles as possible, and then took the seemingly endless walk back to the car with the shopping I’d purchased, then drove back home again.

Briefly, I reconsidered walking to work, but realised I would arrive even later than normal if I decided to walk, so I took the easy option and drove.

My first real effort to try and get a few steps recorded was at lunchtime, when I decided to go for a walk.  It was raining – not the best weather for day one.  I decided to walk for about half an hour or so.  I knew I wouldn’t get much done, and was surprised to find that by the time I arrived back at work looking like a drowned rat, my steps were slowly starting to notch up.

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While I was walking, I had the idea of documenting my challenge by writing about it in this blog, and perhaps adding a few photos here and there from my walks.  If it’s like my photography blogging, I will possibly give up within a few days, but at the moment, I am motivated.

I decided to do a bit more walking immediately after work, and took the same journey that I’d done at lunchtime. I figured that if I did the same as lunchtime, I’d be about three quarters of the way towards my 10,000 step target.

Starting my second journey away from work, I was pretty fed up. Once again, it was raining – heavily.  I walked the same route as before, and when I got to the furthest point, I thought I would do just a bit more before turning back again.  I carried on, and before I knew it, it was going to be easier to continue walking all the way home.

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I’ve done pretty well today, and easily exceeded my target.  Whether I will keep it up remains to be seen, but at least I’ve made a positive start.

Because my car is still at work, I now must walk to work tomorrow. I just hope it’s not raining!

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