It’s snowing. Oh my.

I decided to walk this morning despite the huge snowstorm that had occurred overnight. It was only lightly snowing when I walked outside with a bajillion layers on. I made it down the street before I turned around and realized this was a really bad idea. Today is going to be spent huddling up in doors. I kind of wish I had cocoa. And firewood to make a fire in the fireplace. Oh well, I think I will manage.

The Art of Walking

I love to walk. It relaxes me. It refreshes me. It’s good exercise. I feel better on days when I get a walk in then on days when I don’t. I’ve said all this before, but I just wanted to say it again. Yesterday I walked while it was pouring down rain mixed with snow. I was covered up, but still, I’m sure many people thought I was crazy. Regardless, it still felt good. Even though it was miserable weather, walking still refreshed me for the day.

If you want to get healthier or lose weight or whatever, I think it’s important to find something like walking to do every day. Something you enjoy doing and will do on a regular basis. Something you will keep doing no matter what life is presently throwing at you. Otherwise, you’re just going to be stuck in the cyclical abyss of ups and downs on the scale.

Will I keep running?

The answer is yes. I may not run every day now unless I am picking up another 5K, but I do plan on keeping up with running on a regular basis.  I’ll probably go back down to running a mile-and-a-half and working more on bettering my times rather than distance.

I have love/hate relationship with running.  I feel hugely accomplished after running, but while running I just want to stop.  Plus, while I haven’t had many problems to date, I do have a bad knee and since running can be bad for the joints I want to minimize the risk of re-injuring my knee.

So with that in mind, I walked this morning and it felt great.  It’s a beautiful day in Moorpark (one of the reasons I want to move back down here), and it felt great to just slow it down and enjoy it all.  I like walking.  Walking was one of the first things I started doing to lose weight, so it was like getting back to my roots.  I’ll be walking for the rest of my life; it’s part of my “lifestyle change.”  But running is creeping it’s way in.

Walking in the sand

Apparently walking in the sand is good exercise, at least according to my joints!  There a little bit sore after I decided to go traipsing around on a secluded beach.

I’m in Salinas this week, stopping by to visit my sister on my way north to Eugene.  My sister’s apartment is next to a mall and the walking space isn’t exactly desirable, so I decided to go out looking for some good walking routes.  Last time I was up here I noticed that there was a trail on the coast next to Highway 1, so I decided to try and find an entry point for that.  I sort of stumbled on one (I think) today, but it was also at Fort Ord Dunes State Park.  So naturally with the choice of a path with a foggy view and the beach I chose the beach.

I didn’t walk as long as I usually do, but I think the difficulty of the sand made up for that.  I wonder what I’ll find tomorrow.

The Sand Dune

I usually just walk around my neighborhood, but I also like to go hiking when I can.  Walking is a solitary activity for me, but hiking is a social activity.  Yeah, I know, I’m weird.

Anywas, here’s a shot of the workout I did the other day.  It’s a “sand dune” off the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH for the locals).  It’s short and sweet, but it’s pretty steep and is a pretty good workout.  Going down was definitely way easier then getting up!

Photo Credit to my friend Christine

Do what works for you

I get a lot of questions about how I’ve managed to be so successful at my weight loss plan so far, and I always answer it the same way.  I walk every day, and I eat better.  It’s such an easy formula to follow now that I often forget how hard it was to do in the beginning.  Before I got into my groove I struggled to get out and walk a mere two times a week!  And now I walk every day (or almost every day).  I still struggle making healthy eating decisions, but it’s gotten easier over time.

I settled on walking because I’m an introvert.  Now people see the word introvert and automatically associate it with someone who is shy or a loner.  And yeah, I can be shy and sometimes like to be alone, but that doesn’t define me.  I enjoy going to parties, and I can be pretty outgoing at times.  The introvert/extravert dichotomy is just how you recharge your batteries.  Introverts get refreshed by spending time alone, and extraverts get refreshed by being in crowds of people.  While I enjoy hanging out with large groups of people, I definitely need my “alone” time every now and then.  Hence why I consider myself an introvert.

Walking appeals to my introvertedness because it gives me an hour each night to myself.  It physically recharges me because I’m doing something active, and it mentally recharges me because I get an hour alone to my thoughts.  Friends and family often offer to walk with me, which I do enjoy, but if I walk with someone I’ll generally still go on a walk by myself (even if it’s shorter) just to get that mental time to myself.

I had a point when I started writing this post, and it was this: walking works for me, but it may not be your thing.  Walking will help you lose weight, but so will swimming, playing softball, running, boot camp, whatever.  The trick to this thing, as I see it, is to find something that speaks to you.  Because if it’s not an activity you’re going to enjoy you’re probably not going to keep up with it.  When you get into a groove of exercising regularly you’ll start to see results.  That’s really when the magic happens.

Dear Hot Girls Who Wear Sexy Running Outfits

Yes, I get it.  You’re in shape, you’re hot, and you look great in a short, skimpy, tight (maybe even spandex) running outfit.

But trust me, I wasn’t really staring at you like a dirty perv when you ran by me today.  I mean, come on!  You were running right at me.  Where else was I supposed to look?  The truth is, every time anybody walks/runs/whatever at me I play the awkward game of stare/not stare.  Fat girl, cute girl, old guy, dogs.  Doesn’t matter.  I am an equal “looking forward” kind of guy.

Let’s face it.  It’s awkward if I look at you.  It’s also awkward (and extremely obvious) if I pointedly look down or avoid looking at you.  It’s awkward either way.  I’ve decided to just live with the awkwardness and look straight ahead, and you just happen to be in my field of vision.  So really, it’s your fault I’m staring at you.  Just kidding.  But you could have at least returned my “hi” instead of coldly ignoring me!

And you other hot girl.  You didn’t really have to cross the street to avoid walking past me.  Again, I’m not some dirty perv who’s going to stare at your ass.  Really, my eyes don’t wander… much.  For reals, people.  I really won’t stare at you for the next five minutes or however long it takes you to get out of my sight.  Because to to tell it to you straight, when I’m walking, I’m totally lost in thought thinking about whatever crazy scenario I’ve built in my mind for that day and listening to whatever is blaring on my iPod.

If you had passed me instead you would have probably just scared the crap out of me because I had no clue you were behind me.  But then I would have gone on merrily lost in thought completely oblivious to the world around me.  That would have been better than me noticing that you went out of your way to cross the street just so you wouldn’t have to walk next me.  Just saying.

I’m a good guy.  I swear.  I know, random hot girls, you don’t know that, but I just felt like it needed to be said.  Peace!