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Monday, June 9, 2008

Up and at'em

I've been spending an inordinate amount of time in front of my computer recently, which wouldn't be so bad if my computer were running laps around my yard. This, sadly, is not practical (and probably not possible). My productivity has been very high recently, but I worry about the effects this lifestyle is having on my health. "Balance in all things", it seems, is a mantra worth investigating here. I bought a pair of running shoes this weekend, the first pair of dedicated athletic shoes I've ever owned. It's a strange and new experience for me, and to see why, here is a general shoe-related timeline:
  • Middle School: Back in Middle School (Junior High, as it is known in other places), I rarely had appropriate footwear. Frequently, I wore old sneakers that I borrowed from my father. Once, in a low point, I ran a mile wearing hiking boots.
  • High School: I had a pair of sneakers, which I purchased from PayLess for about 20$ that lasted me through most of highschool. I also wore them on more then one occasion for field trips where my other footwear (typically sandals) were not appropriate. This included the streamstudy fieldtrip we took during biology class. Pockets in the soles of the shoes filled with water and would make squishing noises years later in tennis class.
  • College: College didn't have a gym requirement for me to take, so I didn't take one. I wore sandals through most of college (including through the winters). Later, at the dual insistance of Dana and my mom, I bought a pair of closed-toed shoes: Combat boots. These were good for hiking cross-city when Septa went on strike, but were very bad for running.
  • Grad School: Dana finally talked me into getting a pair of sneakers for summer wear, even if I was going to keep my combat boots for winter. These sneakers were comfortable and stylish, but hardly supportive or athletic in any way.
Now that I finally have a good pair of shoes for running, it's become too hot outside to do it. We're in the middle of a heat wave, 98 degrees outside, and I'm not going to go out and bake in the sun all day. I did go out this morning for a little bit, however. I ran for about a quarter of a mile before my body decided it wanted more oxygen then I was delivering through normal breathing. My legs felt good and strong, but my cardiovascular core was clearly not up to the task. Even if my muscles haven't atrophied through weeks and months of doing computer work for long hours, my endurance and stamina has.

From this point forward, I need to try to ensure I get at least some exercise incorporated into my daily routine. At school I took the stairs often because the elevator was in such lousy condition, so that got my heart rate up a little bit. Here at home, I don't even have that. In place of stair climbing I have to go out and run a lap, and I get to wear my fancy new shoes.

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