Day One of Operation: Get in Shape

I now have a treadmill. It’s in my basement, facing the big window looking out into our backyard.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how Darling Hubby found me a used one. Well, yesterday, we went to pick it up.

The trip alone was a bit of an adventure. He had to put the battery charger on the old pickup truck to get it started. It’s a 1990 Chevy Silverado Heavy Duty. We bought it new when gas was around a dollar a gallon. I love that truck. It pulled my horse trailer for many years. The horse and the trailer are gone, but we still have the truck.

We just can’t afford to drive it.

I commented to DH as we cruised down the road yesterday, “I feel like I’m on top of the world.” Compared to my Saturn Ion, where my backside is about six inches off the ground. DH just grinned. He loves that truck, too.

What we expected to be a forty-five minute trip turned into an hour. One way. Gracie Garmin, the GPS, took us a long way around to avoid 25MPH traffic through a park. But it was a nice day to take a scenic drive.

Even in a gas-guzzler.

Coming home, we cut through the park. DH insisted Gracie Garmin was insane, taking us the long way. When we were almost home, I pointed out that it still took us an hour.

The nice thing about going one way and coming home another is you get twice the scenery.

Anyhow, we now have a treadmill in our basement. It tells you how far you’ve walked and how long you’ve been walking. It tells you how many calories you’ve burnt and what your pulse is. It will incline if you want and you can stroll, walk, jog, or run depending on the speed you set.

This morning, I tried it out for the first time. I thought I should be able to handle 4MPH. At that rate, if I walked for a half hour, I’d go two miles. That’s what I was doing on the trails last summer. More or less.

Well, this machine knows nothing about more or less. You don’t stop to smell the roses or take in the sights along the way. You WALK. And pant. And sweat.

Egads, I’m out of shape!

So on DAY ONE of Operation: Get Back In Shape, I walked for 30 minutes. I warmed up at a leisurely stroll for five of those minutes and cooled down by gradually slowing the speed during the last four minutes. In between, I topped out at 3MPH. And no incline.

When I stepped off, I thought my knees had turned to mush.

I needed a nap.

I didn’t take one. Don’t plan to. What I do plan is to spend the rest of the day writing. Because besides walking, I was also running through my next scene in my head.

Tomorrow will be a yoga day. No weights (which I also did this morning) and no treadmill. I want to get in shape…not kill myself.


Ramona said…
Good for you, Annette! I have a walking partner who is not a writer, but she is a fantastic listener. She also gives me lay reader feedback that is invaluable.

But she can't walk everyday. I have a dead treadmill in my basement. I've discovered On Demand and DVD walking programs. I think the adrenaline or endorphins or whatever they are fire up my brain.

Keep going. I'll happily cheerlead you on Operation Get In Shape.
Annette said…
Thanks, Ramona. I have a hard time carving the time out of my day to take care of ME, but I really need to do it. If I can spend my walking time mentally working on plot, I don't feel like I'm taking a chunk out of my writing time.

Unless I give in and take that nap! ;-)

FYI, there's a lovely walking trail near the hotel where the Pennwriters Conference is. Not saying we'll actually have time to use it, but it's a nice idea...
Lola Sharp said…
I'm embarrassed to say my treadmill has a layer of dust and a shirt hanging off it. It's in our master bedroom...where it mocks me daily.
I really need to get back on it. I hate it, though. It's evil.

Good luck with it!
Annette said…
Lola, that's funny. Yeah, I don't imagine I'll ever "love" mine either, but if it helps me get back into my skinny jeans...or even my mid-way-between-skinny-and-fat jeans, I'll kiss its little metal feet.
Joyce Tremel said…
Your treadmill sounds a lot like mine. I used mine this a.m. too. I kind of neglected it last week. I lifted weights too, which I like much better than the treadmill.

I usually walk at 3.3 to 3.5 mph. If I increase it to 4, that's running speed for me. A slow run, but a run nonetheless. I do that when I get really bored and want to be finished sooner.
Annette said…
Joyce, I've been into weight training for over 20 years, and I like it better than walking, too. But I need the cardio. Your speed is probably more realistic for me, too. But when I hotwalk those racehorses at the track, they have me movin' pretty good!

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