Finding a New Routine
When Bodhi was younger we would easily cover three or four miles in an hour walking every night. We were both power walkers, and we had a rythym and pace that we both understood and enjoyed. Bodhi was clearly burning more calories than I was because in addition to keeping pace with his walking his tail was wagging like crazy the entire time.
Fast-forward to today, and Bodhi’s pace has changed dramatically. He’s more inclined to stop and sniff, mark his territory, or really anything that stopped the walk so he could catch his breath. He’s getting older and walking becomes much more of a process than before. I’ve learned to accept this, and appreciate our time together more than I did when we were younger and I didn’t fully understand what we had.
Since Bodhi isn’t walking as much, I’ve found that I’m not walking as much either. Worse, since I’m not outside pounding the pavement at 9 or 10 PM, I’m replacing that exercise time with television or reading with a drink and snack. Or sometimes just a drink. Or two. Not a good routine for a weeknight, so I’m finding a new routine. I’m getting back outside to walk, even if alone. I’m getting up earlier to row when I’m home, and walk when I’m traveling.
Of course, routines don’t just happen. They start with the first step on the first day and go from there. The trick is overcoming inertia. When I rowed and we started the spring sprint races from a dead stop we’d do three rapid, short half strokes to get the boat moving, then progress to a full length and a high stroke rate for twenty or thirty strokes. This has the desired effect of getting the boat to full speed. Once you get moving you then settle into more manageable stroke rate for the body of the race.
Routines are like that too. Quick, relatively easy burst of activity to get yourself going followed by an increase in intensity and then settle into a sustainable level of activity. That’s the kind of routine I need to be engaged in now. Now would be a great time to start.