With the students gone, I have been doing some serious mileage. Since graduation, I have averaged 5 mile days, a bit of a jump from my 2-mile days when the students were on campus. I have crossed some serious thresholds: 1000 miles and 2 million seconds. I am knocking on the door of 3 million steps and should knock that out before I head out of town on a conference. The warmer weather has brought new challenges as I had to find cooler clothing and comfier sandals. I have been able to go without my overhead light due to the fabulous nature light that pours through my office windows and the improved air flow of an open window is refreshing. It is hard to imagine that I have been following this routine fairly religiously for nearly nine months. I am excited to see what the next three will bring and to continue to evaluate my physical, emotional, and work well-being as I head in to the last three months, which will draw me toward my one-year treadmill desk anniversary!
When your older brother starts pestering you for updates on your blog, you know it is time for a quick update. So here it is:
I am still using my treadmill desk for at least part of every day.
Sometimes that means less than 9 minutes; sometimes that means more than 6 hours.
My use of the treadmill desk continues to create smiles (from those that arrive to my office), confusion (from those who can only see the top part of me from the sidewalk below my office window), and productivity (from me.)
While I have been too busy to blog, I have continued to keep track of all my mileage, time, caloric burn, etc. So since my last blogging here is what I've done:
Over the course of 52 hours, I've walked 72.9 miles, and burned more than 15,000 calories.
In that same period of time I have watched 23 Little League games, attended 3 award dinners/desserts, given one public presentation, cleaned my office, met with a gazillion students, and cut my hair.
So while life has been crazy busy - my time on the treadmill desk has helped keep my keel even.
I like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Valentines just as much as anyone - but for years - probably since the arrival of the small people in my house, it has served to mark at the winter hibernation season. Maybe it is because of my kids have severe peanut allergies that I find it to be my motherly duty to devour any such item that arrives in their bucket, stocking, cracker, or box. That combined with the darkening of days and the frigid temps in the past has made the decision between taking a walk and eating a box of Whoppers to be a no brainer. For whatever reason, Easter doesn't seem to cause a similar response. The weather tends to improve and the 40 days of lent takes the edge off of the gluttony of an Easter basket on Easter morning. This year, however, has been different. The holiday stretch has brought focus, fortitude, and a stability of purpose. And while I certainly ate my share (and probably then some) of the office candy bowl, I also knew that I was doing my part ot keep it all in check. I think it was also due in large part ot my endorphin addiction. Research shows that chocolate and exercise enhance endorphin secretions. So it would follow that if one ate 106 mini-chocolates to equal X amount of endorphins in 2007-08's holiday stretch, then one exercised y amount of minutes exercising on one's treadmill desk in 2008-09, the total mini-chocolates needed to match the endorphin high of the previous year would be substantially less:
x = endorphins from 106 mini-chocolates x/106 = endorphin/mini-chocolate y = exercise minutes on a treadmill desk z = endorphins from treadmill desk exercise
x= z + q(x/106)
where q is the number of mini-chocolates needed for 2008-09
Yesterday someplace between advising a student and adverting a graduation crisis, between my tenth cup of coffee and spilling my lunch on the floor, between a staff meeting and a budget meeting - I stepped my 2,000,000th step since my journey began. It occurred without ceremony or fanfare, without balloons or fireworks, without sweat or tears. As I knocked out another 45 push-ups on my quest to 15,000 by years' end, I recognized that I have learned to feed my body, brain and heart in a way that will continue to fuel it for strength, success, and peace.
The college that I work for ran a brief blurb in the weekly newsletter. This is the accompanying picture, which I love because you can see the movement in my legs and fingers (blurry), but my head, face, and upper body look perfectly still. Life @ 1.4mph = pure bliss and total productivity.
A week ago I attended my first giant staff meeting for my new branch of the college. As an ice breaker, we answered a serious of questions - How will your co-workers know if you are stressed? How will you combat stress? How will you work toward life balance? As I stared at the questions on the page, I realized that the treadmill desk has fundamentally changed my work persona. While the answer to the first was pretty easy - I will be frustrated about mundane things - it was difficult to craft answers to the other two which didn't includetreadmill desk in the answer. How will I combat stress? - walk a few minutes on the tread. How will I strike balance in my life? - walk a few minutes on the tread. I realized that not only has my body responded physically to the demands of walking an average of 4.8 miles per day at work, but my psyche has also responded positively. Being able to put myself in a work zone is great - the increased productivity and focus washes away any stress that might otherwise build up. It can also be a johnny-on-the-spot remedy. As we finish up the second week of classes, I wonder if I will feel the same way once mid-semesters (and their associated d-slips) roll around.
Throughout this journey I have tracked just about any variable I could possible track: steps trekked, seconds walked, inches lost, average mph, average incline, and while I report some (see progress report in the right column), there are a whole slew of them I do not. I am pretty religious about updating my progress report on Monday mornings, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that today I have gained some muscle as measured via my anthropometric formula. While not the most accurate of the body fat percentage measurement tools, it is one that I can accurately at home by myself. As far as I can tell, the lean muscle numbers come from some combination of your forearm girth and your wrist diameter. With the inclusion of 40 push-ups per day since Halloween, my upper body is definitely more fit than when I started this project. Having just crossed the 3500 push-ups completed mark last night, measuring progress in the lean body weight was a nice surprise!