Sunday, February 17, 2008

Walk on by (now with photos).

Want to hear something pathetic? I've been signing up for all of these workplace wellness initiatives because the institution I work for actually PAYS employees to do things like take an online health-assessment survey etc. One of the programs I signed up for challenges people to take 10,000 steps a day and gives you a free pedometer. The free pedometer was in fact why I signed up. It's an extremely entry-level pedometer, but it gets the job done. I didn't want lots of data, anyway--I was just kind of curious about how much I've actually been moving my ass on a typical day and I've been wondering this for awhile. So.

I think I've been wearing the pedometer about 10 days now, maybe more, and today is the first day I have even approached 10,000 steps. I'm at 9500 right now and I feel like marching in place to crack my goal. It was a fairly typical day. I did some household chores, went up and down the stairs a bunch of times, went to the gym. But see, that's the thing: I went to the gym, which is only part of a typical day 3 days out of the week. I walked longer than usual during my workout today, too, with the express goal of logging some steps. The thing about running is that you cover more distance with fewer steps, so my usual slow jog thing does little to advance the 10,000 step cause.

I don't know, maybe this is all very boring. I've just been appalled about the whole thing, the whole 6000 step average I seem to be hitting. I've started walking around the kitchen at work when my lunch is in the microwave. Stomping in the copy room. Basically, I need to add a vigorous walk every single day, including the days that I go to the gym. This will be easier, I keep telling myself, when it is not fiftyleven below zero, which is true enough, but the fact remains that it is winter and I am doomed to fall pathetically short for another 2 months.

I have a friend who is in fact a workplace wellness coordinator and I remember she chirpily told me that she logged 14,000 steps the first day she wore a pedometer at work. But then she gets paid to arrange fitness outings and go for runs on her lunch. You could hardly avoid being virtuous in that position.

Willa. Willa.

Just so I haven't killed you with this content, let me tell you a few kid stories. First, I had 4.5 hours with Willa all to myself today. She is cuter than everyone. Also, she is for sure going to be a singer. I decided to try out a little Rossini aria on her today and she LOVED it, smiling and singing along. I contemplated taking cell-phone video of the proceedings, but how big a jerk would I be, holding the baby in my lap, singing an aria which you could hear on the video, and capturing it all with a cell phone? I refrained. I can literally stare at her and say "goo" and other nonsense for a full hour, I mean theoretically I could do this if she could stand for it. It's just that at some point, the effort to coordinate her arms or to process all the information in the pattern on my shirt manifests as crabby exhaustion and she has to be rocked to sleep.

Shenanigans with dad.

Okay but here are some other things. Jude is very good at doing puzzles, which is a joy to behold because generally he's one of those kids who gets so full of his emotions that he needs to giddily punch people when he walks by them. But he can drop into intense concentration when it's time to assemble a jigsaw. At a family gathering last week, he was working on a puzzle and said under his breath, to no one in particular, "first I will finish this puzzle, and then I will wrestle with [the Brit]." I think this was actually the way things played out, too. Wrestling is a good way to get rid of the urge to punch, and my brother-in-law is good about wrestling his children. Later that same night, BIL had an overjoyed Jude pinned in his lap, holding Jude's legs between his knees and stretching Jude's arms up over his head, the better to tickle his exposed armpits. Then BIL scrunched Jude up into a ball and held him there, at which point Jude, in the spirit of retaliation, said "SMELL. MY. BREATH." It was the only weapon he had at that moment. Remember this. It may be useful to you in a fight.


  1. San! I was just about to write you requesting a Willa update. Send me some Punch Pizza, also. Actually, if you walked it here, that would surely help you in your 10,000 step-a-day goal. I think it's at least 4,357 steps to Rochester.

  2. Can't get over the family resemblance--Willa looks so much like all y'all. I know that's cliche, but it's really fun to see how genes get dispersed.

  3. "Wrestling is a good way to get rid of the urge to punch." So true.

    I love those kids -- love them, love them, love them!

  4. Marigoldie, I know! Willa is extra fun because she really does look like everyone, her brothers included. And all three kids have their dad's eyebrow musculature, which seems like one of those features you'd never think to notice, but it's very distinctive.

    Tricia, it's probably true for all of us. Maybe I should take up wrestling instead of 10000 stepping.