Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Regular consistent application of small steps leads to big gains

When I first started walking to walk, in mid-June, I timed myself. Going to work took 22 minutes (it's downhill) and it took 28 minutes to get home from work (it's uphill - an elevation change of 100 feet over 0.7 miles). Gradually, week by week, those times have gone down from 28 to 26 to 25 minutes. Now, I can regularly get home in about 22-23 minutes. On frosty mornings, when I don't want to hang around outside (I leave at 06:15), I can now easily get to work in 15 minutes.

Yesterday, I had made arrangements to meet my friend Elaine at my apartment after work. Without the aid of my reading glasses, I had mistakenly thought that she'd said she would be there at 4.50. In fact, she had written 4.30 in her text message. When I discovered this (after donning my glasses), I thought, "Oh heck, I don't want to be late", so I deliberately walked home a lot quicker. I also didn't stop as much to catch my breath. Imagine my surprise and delight when I checked the clock upon my arrival back home and discovered that I'd walked UPHILL in 15 minutes! I couldn't believe it. That's a 2.8 mph pace up a 2.7% grade hill.

Then, today, I decided to try walking home a little bit slower and deliberately not take any 15-30 second breaks to catch my breath. Normally, I have half a dozen spots where I might regain my composure quickly before carrying on. Today, zero stops. I still made it in 23 minutes, which I'm okay with.

Even if the progress is measured in tiny steps, 100 tiny steps in the right direction are still equal to a whole lot of larger ones. As long as I'm constantly improving, measurably, I'm happy.

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