Giving Myself Permission To Chill

health, fitness, running, rest day, humor, Modern PhilosopherConsistency has been a big key in achieving my fitness goals, Modern Philosophers.

If you want to be successful at anything, you need to be able to produce at a certain level on a regular basis.

For the past three and a half weeks, I’ve set a goal of collecting 20,000 steps a day.  That’s twice more than what my Fitbit demands, and three times more than the daily goal set by my company’s Wellness Program.

But I’m not doing this for my company or for the tracker on my wrist.  I’m burning all these calories for me.

So I will set the goals, regardless of how ridiculous they might be.

I have a basic plan to get to that lofty number everyday: Wake up early to go for a long run (or a walk on the two days a week I don’t run) and try to collect 7,000 steps before leaving for work.

Once at work, I collect another 7,000 steps before clocking out for the day.  I hit this mark by walking on both my lunch and afternoon break.  I also get up from my desk and put in steps whenever I’m stuck on hold, which ends up being quite often over the course of the day.  Rather than letting my outgoing mail pile up for one drop off at the end of the day, I walk each letter to the mail bin after I generate it.

When I get home, I always go for a long walk after dinner.  The remaining steps accumulate during the short walks I take when I need a break from writing, or simply from puttering around the house.

So, yes, Modern Philosophers, 20,000 steps a day is attainable if you have a plan and the desire to execute that plan consistently.

On yesterday morning’s run, I made the executive decision that it was time for a rest day.  After 24 straight 20K days, my muscles were aching and my body needed a break.

I also think that concession was the only way to get my body to agree to finish a 3.5 mile run yesterday.

health, fitness, running, rest day, humor, Modern PhilosopherThe plan was to sleep in, not do anything athletic before work, and simply chill out today and allow myself to relax.

I can’t even describe how good it felt to sleep until 7:00.  I’m so used to getting up at 5:30 during the work week that the extra hour and a half made me feel like I had slept the day away.

No sit ups, no weights, just breakfast before heading out the door to work.  It was weird, but incredibly refreshing.

It’s routine to show up at work with at least 7,000 steps on my wrist, so it was wildly alien to look at my Fitbit and see the number at only 1,000.

My first panicked reaction was that the device was broken, but then I quickly remembered my self-imposed ban on relaxation.

I felt like a slacker, which made sense, but I quickly go over that sensation.

My muscles needed to know that I still cared about them.

My sweat glands needed a day to generate more product for my next long run.

My feet needed a chance to just be giant, size fifteen battleships, rather than constantly bearing the brunt of my march towards fitness.

To really sell myself on the idea that this was The Day Of The Big Chill, I made a very daring purchase while grocery shopping tonight.

health, fitness, running, rest day, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’ve been craving ice cream so much.  Especially that of the chocolate peanut butter variety.  I’d seen my friend post a photo of this brand on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, and I hunted it down in the freezer section tonight.

Ice cream that’s only 320 calories for the entire pint, instead of 320 calories for a spoonful?

Sign me up immediately please!

I didn’t know what to expect, Modern Philosophers, but I had some earlier as I lazily sat on the couch and watched the Yankees game.  Guess what?

It was delicious!

I assumed it would taste like flavored ice, but it was just like ice cream.  I’m so happy because now I can indulge and reward myself every once in a while without having to worry that my weight will balloon up as a result.

So I took it easy today.

Even though part of me felt guilty and lazy and wanted desperately to lace up my sneakers and go for a run.

But I fought the urge, ignored the quilt, and put my feet up on the porch railing.

I’d be watching the Yankees right now if the game wasn’t in a rain delay.  Instead, I’m listening to Nickelback, much against my will, because the band is currently in concert on the other side of the river.


health, fitness, running, rest day, humor, Modern PhilosopherBut the bottom line is that I gave myself permission to chill out, and I understand now that this doesn’t make me lazy, or mean that I’ve taken a step back in my fitness plan.

My body needs a break.

Consistent breaks are just as important as kicking major ass on a daily basis.

Tomorrow, my well rested body will be back out on the road doing its usual Saturday morning run.  I’m sure I’ll put up great numbers next week because I took a day off today to let my mind and body relax.

I’m sure some of you are curious to know how many steps I’ve collected on my rest day.  I’m a little embarrassed to share the number, but I know you won’t judge because this was a well deserved day off.

As of this writing, my Fitbit says I have collected…

17,525 steps.  Do I know how to relax or what?


About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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