Short Walks

Lately I’ve been enjoying walking. Years ago, I used to walk everywhere. Most of my jobs in the past had me on my feet where I walked a lot.

When I was a projectionist looking after 19 auditoriums- I was spending eight hours a day going back and forth between them.

Working at Home Depot was a bit rougher on my feet since it was a concrete floor. But when it was slow, I wandered around to learn as much DIY as I could.

Chuck E Cheese also had me on my feet keeping track of customers and running food. Plus the occasional dance routine…

Then came CN. Where I would walk miles and miles outdoors every shift. This was by far the best exercise I ever received. Until I started working in the office. Then I became stagnant. That has been the past few years now.

I’ve been missing walking. So my wife is encouraging me daily to get back at it. It has started with walks around the block or parking at the far end of a mall parking lot. Now we are trying to wander through trails and enjoy nature instead of asphalt. I’m starting to enjoy meeting birds on my walks as well.

Good Kind of Sore

I woke up this morning with aches and pains. My arm muscles feel tight from hours of axe throwing and archery yesterday afternoon. My lower back is throbbing from bending over to rip out weeds and building our target. My legs have periodic cramps from the excessive walking I’ve put them through suddenly.

All of it feels good. I feel alive and ready to do some more. The sun is shining and the heat is rising. Later this afternoon I am planning on going for a hike with the family and take full advantage of the Spring Weather. I’m going to work through the aches and get my body back to where it should be.

It’s amazing how when I was a child none of these pains existed. I’d ride my bike, climb trees, walk to the store, or swim in our pool. As a teen the pains still didn’t happen. There was lots of walking, hiking, biking and running to be done.

Even a few years ago I used to walk constantly. Many of my jobs/ careers have had me on my feet and walking around. Including when I first started at the railroad. But over the past few years I’ve gotten lazy-ish. More office work and sitting at a desk now. And probably will be for another fifteen years or so. I best do something to keep me active.

When the weather is good, I enjoy being outside. I love walking when I have a destination in mind. Especially when on vacationing to places like Disneyland. We walk constantly. Same with last year in Tokyo. My body and mind cleared up during these trips.

During my days off, I need to be less sedentary and push myself. Get over the aches and pains and let my body remember how to be active. Like a photograph reminding me of my youth- my muscles will remember how to be used.

Healthy Lifestyle both Physically and Mentally

As I get older I feel that my life needs a bit more of a health upgrade. My wife is constantly pushing me to be more active. And she’s right. Look at yesterday for example:

I become stagnant and inert sometimes without realizing it. Yesterday she accomplished nearly 12,000 steps. I barely did 1700. As you can see- her goal is significantly higher than mine. Now that I’m in my early 40’s- it’s time to really start looking at my future.

I’m planning to retire by my mid 50’s. Which means besides being financially secure by then, I also want to be able to enjoy life. I don’t see myself hitting the gym, but walking more and getting off my phone to see the world are becoming more prevalent choices in order to feel healthy. So I also took a drastic approach to my cellphone addiction on Sunday.

On Sunday, as I was waiting for my son to compete in his Speed Skating competition, I noticed how everyone in the stands was on their phones- hardly interacting with one another. Naturally, I took out my phone and opened Facebook. This is when I realized I have a problem. It became clear that even though in the past I have taken a month hiatus periodically from the Social Media- I needed to do more. So I began by looking at my “Friends” list. I removed people to try and “clean house”.

By the end, I had removed nearly everyone on my list. There is now only my wife and daughters, my three friends who have passed away and two fellows whom I respect in many ways. One is a hard working artist, the other is my son’s coach. It took four days before anyone noticed that they weren’t my “Friend” anymore. The one who did notice is a close friend of mine and messaged me last night. Others may not have noticed, because if they follow my Blog- they are still seeing me posts on a daily basis because WordPress shares directly there for me.

After nearly 12 years on Facebook, it is tough to just give it up. I have kept my Facebook “alive” in order to read stories and news articles from groups that I follow. As well as to interact with those who comment on my blog posts. A couple of years ago I stopped using Twitter. The one social media I do enjoy is Instagram. I follow many of my Former Facebook Friends on their and enjoy seeing quick snapshots of their adventures.

Maybe one day I’ll regret dropping all of those Facebook contacts. I didn’t announce it to the world at the time because it really shouldn’t be a big deal. So I guess this is that announcement just to let people know. Time for me to move on. And by move, I mean walk more. Healthy living should be both physical and mental.

A new journey lies ahead. If I put my phone down- I’ll see where I’m going.

Sunday Was Made for Walking

Today I wrote on our itinerary: “Walking Tour”. Which meant we were going to walk around and explore wherever the family wanted to go. We hit up a small grocery store nearby and grabbed some sushi and fruit for a picnic lunch.

The first place we wandered towards was back to the spot near the Tokyo Tower. I really wanted to see the Zōjō-ji Temple in the daytime. It was gorgeous. The building is fantastically preserved. We walked around before heading to the park next to it for lunch.

We found a shaded bench and enjoyed our lunch. Having a beer in public in Japan is completely acceptable. Who am I to not want to blend in? We bought cans of Asahi with lovely Cherry Blossoms on it since we are here to enjoy the Cherry Blossoms! During lunch we discussed what to do today. We had no big plans, so I suggested going to an arcade to play some video games.

We chose to walk the 5km with a plan on taking the train back. It seemed like a great idea at first. Using the pocket WiFi I had picked up- we all played Pokémon Go on our journey. Gotta catch ’em all! On our walk we also saw people on Mario Karts doing a tour.

After a long walk we made it to the High-tech Land Sega and enjoyed some games. Even though we can’t read Japanese- the kids figured out how to play by guessing and watching others. A good battle of Mario Kart ensued between them! We did terrible at the crane games, so we left and wandered over to the other arcade across the street.

You could smell the cigarette smoke before even walking in. It was an instant throwback to my youth. Hazy arcades filled with secondhand smoke. We didn’t last very long inside- not even long enough to play a game.

So we headed to the train to go back to the hotel. THE TRAIN WAS PACKED. But only for a couple of stops. Then it cleared out and we found some seats to relax in.

After we did a pit stop at our hotel, we headed out for our first Ramen of the trip. My wife has been kind enough to let me figure out everything on this trip. From the ticket machines at the train stations to ordering dinner at the Fukki Ramen- I’m guessing at what to do, and being pretty successful as it goes.

The Ramen was delicious and exactly what we needed to end our day. Full bellied and happy. We all had a good night sleep. Soon we will be off to find out next adventure!

It’s Good

It’s only been a couple of months in my new position at work.  A lot of people are asking me how I like it.  I usually give the same response- “It’s Good.”  Of course only two months in it’s really hard to say if I like the j…  That’s a lie.  I love the job.  

I used to spend eight hours a day staring at a computer screen five days a week.  Now I put in twelve hour days, but limit sitting at the computer to a handful of times.  Maybe four hours total throughout the day.  The hours may be longer now than they once were on the days that I am at work, but having three days off is perfect.  


Not only am I spending less time in front of a computer, but I’m out on the ground more these days.  Doing lots of walking.  It seems my wife was right- exercise is good for you.  I still don’t do the Fitbit thing, but I have been secretly watching my step count.  What used to be under a thousand steps per day (some days only being around four hundred) is now three to four times that.  I have never felt better.  My muscles are happy and my body is feeling more energized.  I think on my days off I shall start to walk my dog more often.  Plus the weather is going to get nicer.

Exercise

Hahaha.

I don’t actively go out and do crunches, sit-ups, running or weightlifting.  It’s never been my style.  Kudos to those that are adamantly hitting the gym everyday.  You have a drive and a passion to perfect your body.  I can fully respect that.

 

Always remember to rest.

 
For me, exercise is the yard work I do, it’s the gardening, home renovations, walking around my favorite stores, or conventions or Disneyland.  I love walking.  Most of the jobs I’ve had all my life have had me walking from place to place until recently.  Now I sit at a desk and stare at a computer.  What I found?  I missed walking.  Getting fresh air, seeing nature, and clearing my head.  So, I take my dog for a walk more now than I ever did in the past.  Not everyday, but when I feel the need- we head out for some time together.  He likes it.  I like it.  I don’t need anything or anyone telling me I need more exercise.  My mind and body are in sync and I go out as needed.

This past Christmas, I gave my wife a Fitbit because I knew she’d wanted one.  To my surprise, she is still focused on it and how active she is.  It has made her more aware of how many steps she takes in a day.  The Fitbit has her setting goals of how many flights of stairs she needs to get done before midnight.  When she is sitting at the table or on the couch, she no longer asks me or the children to get her something that she needs, she walks over and gets it herself.  It may have been just as easy for one of us to bring it over, but now every step counts.  My wife’s goals aren’t intended to beat the other Fitbitters she is friends with.  They may have daily challenges between each other, but it’s not a contest.  The way I see it, they are promoting a healthy lifestyle, with each other as a cheerleader coaching them every step of the way.

 

I’m always thinking about my next nap.

 
My wife thinks I should get a Fitbit to push me a bit more.  As much as I love technology and gadgets, this one doesn’t appeal to me.  Aside from my wife, the friends that I know who have a Fitbit, tend to not use it as much as they did when they first got it.  Essentially like a treadmill being used as a clothes rack after the initial first wave of good intentions.  Just gathering dust until the next resolution or need to look good because summer is approaching.

This is why I don’t go out and spend money at the gym.  Or buy expensive exercise equipment.  I know my limits.  I know my human nature.  I know I wouldn’t be happy being forced to exercise.  I am healthy according to my last visit to the doctor a few months ago.

I enjoy walking on my terms.  I just need to get some better shoes.