Wednesday, May 27, 2009
In the wake of my Richard Simmons "debacle" (I discussed it in my last blog entry. Short form: used to disdain him, then found out I love his exercise DVDs), I'm reluctant to admit this. But guess what? I was wrong again.
A few weeks ago, I signed up for a workplace walking challenge. I didn't really expect to get much out of it; I've been walking for exercise ever since I joined SparkPeople, back in August 2007, so why would I need more encouragement? But there were some minor incentive prizes, and a chance for a little recognition, so I figured, might as well sign up. And a week ago, we were issued pedometers and the four-week challenge started.
Now, I have to say, I wasn't totally off-base: most of the time this past week, I didn't really have to do anything out of the ordinary to make my goals. I was just walking the way, and at the times, I normally walked; the only difference was wearing the pedometer and recording the number of steps. But there were at least a couple of days when being part of that challenge DID change what I did.
Take today, for example: day off, strength-training day. I walk a lot on the job, and I don't typically do cardio on my strength days, so today I probably wouldn't have done much walking at all. Indeed, at 5 p.m. I had fewer than 1000 steps recorded. And my son wanted to go to the library, where of course, there would have been more sitting around.
Well, I did want to go to the library. But I didn't want to go in to work tomorrow and record such puny numbers for my day's efforts. So I bargained: well, okay, we'll go to the library for an hour, but after that we need to get out for a while, because I've been in the house all day. And the bargain was made.
Well, by the time we got back home from all of that, I was up to 4600 steps. Daily goal for this week: 7000. I was still low. So after Junior went to bed, I put on a walking DVD, and knocked off another quick 2000. Then I put on a DVD I wanted to watch, and walked in place another 1000 steps. Over my goal. I win!
The grand irony was: before today, I actually already HAD enough steps recorded to meet the weekly goal. I just didn't want to miss getting credit for a full day's walking.
So, um, about that thing I had going in my head about me being too smart and too stubborn and too this and too that to let some arbitrary challenge change my behavior? Yeah. Not so much. While I was thinking up that flattering estimate of myself, I forgot to factor in just how competitive I am.
Though I normally hate being wrong (and can BS a blue streak to prove how I'm actually NOT wrong, from a certain point of view), this is another case where I don't really mind it so much. Among other things, I've already learned how I was missing some easy and obvious opportunities to get off my duff -- and to get my son off HIS duff, as well.
And it's only the first week of the challenge, so I may not be done learning yet.
Okay with me.