At the end of this month, I will complete my second year of walking 10k steps each day.
My record is nearly perfect, although I admit I’ve fallen a few steps short three or four times (and always compensated for it the following day).
I think all of these imperfect days were in 2009. In 2010, the compulsiveness of the behavior has increased.
Most days, it’s quite easy to do. Some days are more challenging.
Which brings me to my point — a profound, existential, obvious awareness: the smaller the space, the longer the walk.
Last night, I had quite a bit of work to do and finished late. I had two thousand steps to go. Ordinarily, I would have walked down the street, or around the campus, or around the block — and it would have been a piece of cake.
But it was raining hard, so I walked around the couch many, many times. Sure, there was TV — but it seemed to be a long ways. And it seemed to take a long time.
Tonight, I walked in the mall while listening to a book. There was a smattering of Christmas shopping in progress, which does offer some entertainment. There are people to greet. There’s the holiday merchandise to notice. But it’s still a confined space that’s not all that interesting — and it makes for a fairly long walk.
When I’m outside, the 10 thousand steps fly by in no time at all.
The smaller the space, the longer the walk.
One could argue that 10k steps is 10k steps — no matter where — and that it’s the same amount of walking. One could argue that it’s only my perception that is different.
But perception is all I’ve got — so I’m sticking to my story: the smaller the space, the longer the walk.
I’m pretty sure this could be applied to all areas of life, but who’s got time for that? Who knows, it might even be in the Tao Te Ching (although Lao-tzu certainly would have said it better).
Tonight, while walking, a gentleman remarked to me that it was cold outside.
“It’s getting down to 27 tonight,” he said. “That’s cold!”
I agreed. I was wearing a sports coat that was perfectly warm earlier in the day. But the sun had set and it was no longer sufficient.
“I’m gonna freeze walking to my car,” I said.
This prompted me to look at the weather forecast on my phone for Fairbanks, Alaska — which is where my dear daughter, Sarah, now lives.
It was 22 below, and predicted to be 34 below later in the evening.
Reality has more to do with how we see things than with the things themselves.