formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Journey of a Thousand Miles...

Everyone's heard the Lao Tzu quote, right? 
I've always liked it.

I, however, tend to journey without knowing how many miles I have to travel. Or even where I'm really going. I ramble. A lot. Sometimes in circles. Sometimes uphill... both ways... in the snow.... Always, as my blog title mentions, toward clarity (though I certainly do take the long way there).

But there have been a few times in my life when I've known exactly how many miles I've had to travel. Quite literally.

When I used to do the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Events, I knew I'd be walking 60 miles in 3 days. I knew how many miles I had to walk to train for those (sometimes more than 50 per week). A little over a year ago, I walked 150 miles in a month, to raise money for a friend's cancer research foundation.

I like to know how many miles I have to go. I like finite distances. Even if they are far.

But lately, I haven't been journeying much. Not literally, anyway. And it shows, as my horrifying little foray onto the scale the other day proved. So I decided that one of my goals for 2014 was to journey more. On my own two feet.

I thought about how to do it... I considered just making it a goal to walk every day. But I wanted something a little more specific. So I thought about calculating the number of miles to a place I want to go and then walking them.

But the 3,000 miles to London seemed excessive... and wet.

Also? I'd never get there. And that just seemed unfair.

So after much thought, I decided 1,000 miles sounded like a good, round number.

It sounds like a lot when you say it in one lump sum, doesn't it? One thousand miles.


But when you split it up over 365 days, it's quite do-able. I actually have to walk fewer than three miles per day.

See? Do-able.

It even sounds kind of easy. Maybe too easy, huh?

But see, I know myself.

I'm a bit of a slacker.

And I know there will be a bunch of evenings when I'm going to get home, put my jammies on, and plant myself in front of the TV, the computer, or a book.

And for every day I skip, that increases the mileage necessary over subsequent days.

Hell, if I'm not careful, I could wind up with 500 miles to do next December.

As I say, I know myself.

The good thing is, I have a beautiful dog who needs to be walked. Now, I do take him to the park every day but I don't actually do that much walking. I kind of mosey and he runs around me. In circles (we're a lot alike, that pooch and me). So we'll have to adjust our routine a bit. And I have the gym to get to... and the trainer to listen to...

So I should be able to keep up.

(Please note that should is the operative word in that sentence.)

Now, bear in mind, I'm not journeying to any tangible place in particular. Most of these miles will be logged around my neighborhood, the park, and on the treadmill. Getting to a physical location isn't the point.

This is about something else for me. It's about feeling better. I feel better when I move (you'd think I'd do it more, eh? Go figure). It's also about the solitude. When I was training for the 3-days, I logged hundreds of miles by myself and I loved it. It gave me time to think. I was unplugged, with only my own thoughts and the world at my eyeballs and under my feet to entertain me. It gave me time to work through things bothering me. It gave me some clarity.

So, as always, I'll be rambling. But as always, I'll be rambling with some purpose. I'll be rambling toward clarity.

And after 1,000 miles? There should be some damned clarity. Don't you think?

We shall see.

To keep me accountable, I've put a mileage tracker up on my blog (top right, under my profile)... I'll update it daily... or I won't... we shall see. Feel free to ask me about it if it's not changing terribly often...

I should also mention that I'm tying this goal to another one, which involves a long-term writing project. I'll share more about that at another time.

In any case, as we all know, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

And that step is followed by a freakin' shitload of other steps.

So I'm off to lace up my sneakers.

Wish me luck!


Fred Bowman said...


You are onto something.
It's good to hear.
Now go do that shitload.

Shanna K said...

Are you using an online log to keep track of your miles? What do you use to track yourself? I'm asking because I JUST signed up to Map My Run. I won't be using it for my runs (I have my Garmin for that) but for my doggy walks! My husband is being difficult about taking the pooch for walks so I asked him to get the app as well so we could have a friendly competition in mileage. Whoever logs the most miles with her at the end of the month wins (something like choosing date night or buying the other person their favorite candy bar etc). ANYway...if you're interested, you should give it a try and we can be friends on there :)

Jennifer Matthaei Cottrell said...

Love it!!! oh, ans i love the background....get walking! :-)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

So cool, Diane!

gusgirl57 said...

Awesome! You can totally do it.Maybe pick a direction on a map and then find where you "are" and what local things are there? That could be fun. When I was in Jr.high, we had to run on the track everyday and I hated it so much. As an asthmatic in those days, they would make you participate until you had an attack and then you could sit down. Fun. I made it bearable by making this have some purpose. My boyfriend had moved to Florida so I decided that I was running to Florida. I barely made it through Illinois, but it was a good distraction from the burning in my lungs and legs. I'm hoping to get myself more active this year too. I'm going to get a pedometer to see how many miles I put on a work each day too so I can have credit for that! Good for you! I'll be watching, and be inspired by you, as I often am, I'm sure.

injaynesworld said...

I think you should put on one of those mile-counter thingies and keep it on. Every step counts then and recently I heard (on the John Tesh show so you know it's true) ;) that literally every single step we take during the day burns calories.

You're welcome. :)

Happy New Year, Diane.

hebba said...

YOU can totally do it!!!! Just make it not an option not to walk. If you don't feel like it, walk anyway. If it's raining, walk and get wet. If you are sick, stay in bed. Then walk another half mile per day until you are caught up. Easy peasy!
(1000 miles is approximately 2.5 million steps for somebody 5'6" by the way. 3 million for 5'0" and 2 million for 6'0")
I became a little obsessed with things like that last year.
When I, you know, did that journey of 2200 miles.
Easy peasy!