Yesterday I completed my fifth year of doing at least 30 continuous minutes of exercise a day. That means today’s five-mile outdoor walk was my 1828th day of exercise in a row.
As I’ve said before, this consistency is Doug Wilcoxen’s fault.
Doug and I were at the opposite ends of Wig Hall at Pomona College our freshman year. The dorm geography meant although I liked Doug, we weren’t close friends. I just knew that he was very bright and we shared a definite label of “Not a jock”.
When Doug posted on Facebook in late 2015 that he was pleased that he’d gone to the gym 300 plus times that year, my doing something similar seemed possible. It wasn’t like a football player or my cross-country obsessed roommate was bragging about their workouts. It was a real, normal person doing something another non-jock could do.
So starting January 1, 2016 I started exercising, mostly by going to the gym. I made myself exercise at least 30 minutes straight every day. I didn’t want off days because I knew I needed to get in the habit to disempower the inevitable excuses. Usually I went early, right after dropping Geoff off for work, but if an early airplane flight or a colonoscopy interfered with a morning workout, I made sure that I did something for 30 minutes later in the day.
This year COVID made daily trips to the gym problematic. Instead, early in March I started walking around the city. My first treks were just 30 minutes or so. But, soon I jumped up to 3 mile round trips, and then in summer I moved up to 5 mile circuits.
Not only were the walks keeping me active and keeping my exercise streak going, the urban hikes were showing me details of the city I had completely missed. Learning how different neighborhoods fit together, seeing the differences in housing stock, lots, and streets, and discovering both beauty and decay have been real gifts of the pandemic.
Who knew that the top of Twin Peaks is just a mile up the hill from our front door? Who knew that there is a canyon 1.1 miles from our house, that the top of Mt. Davidson is just over 2 miles from home, that our new favorite wine bar is 2.5 miles away, … or, or, or? Fun!
Of course, I am way behind in sharing what I have seen. There are just so many interesting views appearing every day that I am tardy in selecting and editing. The photos here are the first of 2021, but there are many more from 2020 waiting attention. I hope to catch up!
(Checkout the complete collection published so far at www.sfoutdoorwalks.com. That gallery lets you enlarge the pictures and learn more about the date, time, and location of the shots.)
1828 days in a row means that I have been very lucky, too. I haven’t caught a disabling illness or acquired a serious physical malady. Pretty amazing, when I think about what’s out there.
I should also stress that the daily exercise has not made me an athlete. I have aches, pains, conditions, and several extra pounds. But, I am convinced that the chronic exercise has kept me more mobile and both mentally and physically flexible.
So, thank you again, Doug.
Not only did your post spur me to commit to regular workouts, it led me to learning and loving a lot more about my City!
Happy 1828th Exercise Day! Happy New Year!