Being a dumbass is good exercise

Most days I walk 10,000 steps, and this has been my habit for many years — since I stopped playing tennis in the early ’90’s.

I went through a few pedometers (the pre-smart phone Omron lasted forever), and I’m on my 3rd Fitbit (they last about 2 years).

When I was a tech facilitator in the schools, I got most of the steps walking to classrooms to work with teachers and computers.

When I delivered my own Coffee News, I could get well over 10k steps in a day.

And there are the sedentary days, when a website is broken, or when I’m on a project. Days when I go to the bathroom and the refrigerator and that’s it. Those days aren’t common, but they happen. The result is scary — 5k or less. I don’t remember ever having less than 3k.

Normal activity at home — going to the bathroom, the refrigerator, around the house, getting the mail, taking out the garbage, maybe a trip to the grocery store, and some sales activity for my business, gives me an easy 6k.

This leaves 4k to manage — easily accomplished by taking a walk, checking out something at Lowes or Walmart, or, in bad weather, spending some time on the treadmill.

Today, I got most of those steps looking for a key. Not plural, keys. Singular. Key.

Yesterday, I rented a car in Concord, drove to Asheville, and returned home to Salisbury. The car was due back in Concord at 4pm.

I got in the car at 2pm and the key wasn’t in my pocket. I spent the next hour walking — everywhere, in circles, mostly — looking for the key.

I called Avis and the manager gave me another number to call — but he advised me to keep looking. He said a lost key could be expensive.

About 3pm, I sat down at my computer and thoroughly searched the area. I had spent time there. Did I take the key out of my pocket?

A single key is not like a group of keys. It doesn’t make noise. It doesn’t feel like anything in the pocket. It doesn’t make an impression.

I got a phone call that resulted in a computer task, and I was doing something on the computer when my wife, Alicia, came into my office. She had been inspecting the yard. We had both been in the yard. Could I have dropped the key in the yard?

Could my dog, Luna, have found it and taken it into the yard? She’s the one I blame for most every problem, and I had noticed the sound of her chewing something.

Alas, Alicia stepped into my office and said, “There it is. Get up.”

I got up and it was on the floor, underneath my chair.

A single key can be a rascal — but it’s one way to get a lot of steps.

Last night, in Asheville, I told a story at The Moth Story Slam. The theme for the evening was ‘Caught.’ I told a story about something that happened when I was 10 years old, and how it has had me caught, ever since, in a conversation that I’m a dumbass. It was supposed to be funny.

Well, for about an hour this afternoon, it wasn’t that funny.

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