Tuesday, May 23, 2017

the bell tolls for thee

This trip north is entering its last leg.

Early tomorrow morning, I will be boarding an airplane to Portland then a shuttle to Salem to attend Joshua Bell's concert with the Salem Symphonic Orchestra. Then, by late Saturday evening, I will be back home in Barra de Navidad.

My erstwhile traveling companions Roy and Nancy happened to be in Bend today. So, we arranged to have lunch together. The restaurant was only four miles away. That made it an easy walk from the house.

I was even healthy with my lunch choice (a small Greek salad with a cup of tomato-basil soup -- after my breakfast of hot and sour soup, and ginger beef.

 We caught up on what had been happening in our lives since the Australia cruise -- and started planning the details of our next jaunt. This time in Denmark. In October.

When we finished, they offered to drive me to their next destination to save me some steps home. I declined. I have been rather disciplined in getting in as many steps a day as I can.

That got me to thinking. I wonder how many miles I have walked since leaving Mexico earlier this month? Thanks to the memory on my telephone and my new Gear Fit, I have the answer. And here it is. Day by day. The date in May first. The miles second.

  6 - 16.68
  7 - 10.72
  8 - 18.72
  9 - 21.82
10 - 10.66
11 - 11.61
12 - 10.68
13 -   7.82
14 -   6.22
15 - 15.63
16 -   8.35
17 - 10.60
18 - 12.41
19 - 11.23
20 - 21.39
21 -   8.24
22 - 13.83
If I had started walking to Boise from Bend on the 6th (and walked no more than I have), I would almost be there now. And there are days, when I get into my walking groove, that I feel as of I could just walk all day.

And at a 4 MPH pace, that is about 70 hours of walking spread over seventeen days.

Why am I telling you this? I encountered another scientific study in The Oregonian this morning.

Electronic devices that record exercise routines are a great source of accurate information. Anecdotal information from people who exercise are always subject to data entanglement. That is a nice term that includes forgetfulness and lying. Electronic devices report what they experience.

Some exercisers publish their results in such place as Facebook. I don't. But I appear to be in the minority. Fit people like letting people know they are -- fit, that is.

You have run into them at dinner parties. They are the people who cannot stop talking about "My Numbers" and who keep sticking their fit bits in your face to prove their point as if it were the desiccated left toe of Saint Servatus.

Digging through the data, scientists have concluded that the fitness crowd can actually influence their friends and acquaintances to exercise more. They have even quantified the effect. For each kilometer run, a friend will run 0.3 kilometers more.

But not everyone has the same influence. It appears that the people who are most encouraged to exercise more are the ones that already exercise more than the person who encourages them. They are the people who dread the steps of even their friends creeping up on them.

If that is true, I have just written a note of encouragement to those of you who have run or walked over 300 miles over the past two weeks.

If you have not, and the study is correct, I have come off sounding like a self-righteous prig. It seems as if the confessions never end.

At least, I will be sitting still for a bit during the Joshua Bell concert.

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