Archive for the ‘Thousand Mile Walk’ Category

Hit the 500 mile walking mark on my 1000 mile walking goal in a month of tragedy and triumph!!

Monday, August 1st, 2011
This was the view from my Mom's hospital room after her brain biopsy.  Miracles can and do happen.

This was the view from my Mom's hospital room after her brain biopsy. A wonderful sign that there might actually be a pot of gold for all of us out of this whole experience.

I hit the 500 mile point in my walking goal on July 3rd. The rest of July though was fraught with two significant distractions – an unplanned week long stay in NYC to be there for my Mom undergoing a brain cancer biopsy and managing a very painful digestive problem. Plus the heat and humidity in the river valley where I’m staying has made it unbearable to be outside walking after 8 AM or before 8 PM. I’m starting August having to play catch up. The good news, I am in fantastic shape from all the walking, swimming and tennis. And it’s no problem to bust out 7 or 8 miles in under two hours. I added playing tennis 50 times to the end of the year to my thousand mile walking goal.

Switching to a Vegan lifestyle has been made much easier with the fantastic support from Teri Cummings - our holistic health counselor.

Switching to a Vegan lifestyle has been made much easier with the fantastic support from Teri Cummings - our holistic health counselor.

And I am adopting a total plant based diet for the next six months. I made this rather drastic move initially to support my Mother’s recovery from brain cancer. We found out three months ago she had an inoperable brain tumor. We immediately went into high gear to help her heal from this and the tumor has not grown based on the changes she was able to make to her diet and lifestyle. I have led the alternative treatments – one of which has been a mostly plant based diet. I wasn’t as strict with it myself and until recently cheated quite often. The very good news, that while we recently discovered her tumor is an aggressive grade three type of tumor, it has not grown in three months since they discovered it. Now the plant based approach to eating is my preference too – it helped heal my digestive ailments. And just what am I going to do with all those cattle?

The Thousand Mile Walk – March Mea Culpa

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

March got away from me. It was a heavy travel month with too many two and three day lapses in the walking regimen. I ended the month 25 miles short of my 85 mile goal. I’m sure I could have counted all the walking in just the effort of travel – but it was sporadic and hard to track. I did manage to log several days of skiing at Tahoe. All the walking had me skiing better than I have in years. It felt FANTASTIC.

To get back on track, I am surpassing my own limits and now walking 5 – 6 miles a day. It feels great.

BRRRR – Taking It Back Outside

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Why is it that on cold mornings like this the shadows look so long?

Why is it that on cold mornings like this the shadows look so long?

I started walking outside again last week. The first foray out – yes I wiped out. Got a big black and blue, but nothing my shiatsu qi gong masseuse, Pat Bolger couldn’t fix. Funny as I was talking with her on the phone setting up my next session when I hit the ice patch. The phone went sailing into a far off snow bank. So, my walking was derailed for a few days but I’m back at it. I’m 9% behind schedule for February, but overall am up to 122 miles – woo hoo. I’m sticking to my neighborhood, NOT the walking paths. The road is nice and dry, and there is a fantastic hill that gets my heart rate up. Every walking path in the area has a very low coefficient of friction. And I’m still doing a two mile stint on the elliptical machine four or five times a week.

The Snow is Testing My Resolve, and I am WINNING

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

YES – with one day left to go for the month, I am at 83 miles of walking. I got into a great groove of doing 3 miles in 48 minutes on the elliptical machine. I managed to walk 20 miles this week without leaving the house. Take that Mr. Winter. February being only 28 days, I am set mentally to walk three miles every day on the elliptical machine if need be.

The Random Kindness of Strangers With The 1000 Mile Challenge

Monday, January 10th, 2011
We decided to wear quikwik socks with our water shoes for the walk where we have to cross a stream in our water shoes.   It stopped the blisters.  But it just means we walk a few miles in wet socks inside the water shoes.

Quikwik socks in the water shoes stopped the blisters. We walk a few miles in wet socks inside the water shoes but no more tape or blisters.

I walked 6 of the 7 days this week for a total of 27.8 miles.  The nordic poles  increased my speed plus the foot and shin pain are gone.  I’m sold on using the poles.   This means more days where I can walk because I’m not recovering from some minor injury.

My walking buddy and I got lost on one of our walks.   Our three mile walk ended up an aggressive hill climb of five miles.     We ended up in a pretty shady section of town.   I’m considering taking a self-defense course to learn how to use a taser.

We backed off to the routes we knew well.   On one of our standard routes – we keep seeing the same people.   Yesterday,  a couple stopped when they were driving by.  The driver said – “he (pointing to his passenger) is a personal trainer.”   (I was then expecting a pitch for his services as a personal trainer). Instead he says – “Lady, we think you are doing an f&*^%ing great job of walking.”   That was so nice to hear.  I have been working on my walking technique.  Funny as before I took the chi walking class, I never even thought about my walking technique.     Focusing on technique has made the walking far more interesting.

Irrational Behavior and How to Use it to Your Advantage

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP

It’s the start of a new year, and like every new year, I set goals for the year. These are different than “resolutions” as I fully intend on meeting them. Some of these goals are the same from year to year: get in better shape, spend more time with my family, work smarter (not necessarily harder), decrease expenses, increase revenue, be the change I want to see in the world, end world hunger, get a super power… This year I set a new goal. I will walk 1,000 miles before the end of the year. Instead of approaching this goal rationally, like I’m prone to do for any project, I wanted to apply the ideas in the book “Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior”, by Ori and Rom Brafum. If I behave irrationally naturally as the authors point out, I may as well behave irrationally in a way that helps achieve my objectives.

Several years ago, when I first read the Brafum’s book, I created a summary mind map to better harness my own irrational behavior.

Leveraging Irrational Forces For Your Advantage

Leveraging Irrational Forces For Your Advantage

Here is how I will use Sway to help me walk 1,000 miles this year:

1. Commitment – The Brafum’s state that people will stick with a course of action even if it is clearly not the way to go. Doing the math, walking 1,000 miles in a year will require me to walk at least 85 miles every month. If I am only able to walk 80% of the time (setback by the thousands of excuses I can generate) that means I have to walk 3.2 miles every day I manage to get off my computer. If I publicize these figures, I am likely to be more committed to it (what I’m doing here). I am less committed to updating progress, but will be doing so from time to time on my blog – It will be filed under the category “Thousand Mile Walk”.

2. Value Attribution – High tech shoes, pedometer apps on my iPhone, Nordic walking sticks, that posh walking clinic to learn how to do Chi walking (see blog post) – these all make me want to walk MORE. Admittedly, I am a gadget, gizmo, techno head. I am inspired by this personality characteristic.

3. Diagnostic Bias – People live up to how others label them. Proactively, I label myself as a Chi Walker. Chi Walking is a fascinating technique. You focus on your posture with all types of ways to align your body to get a great workout while reducing the chance of overuse injuries. I am a chi walker who is on a 1,000 mile journey.

4. Perception of Fairness –When I was a new, young bride, my husband, who was almost a foot taller than me, would walk at a leisurely pace and I had to jog just to keep up with him. It felt so unfair and demoralizing. What I learned in Chi walking is you walk based on the pace and gait that is right for you. It doesn’t matter if the pace is right for anyone else. I am short, and therefore my gait is shorter than other people. Chi walking uses a core rotational technique that helps me move faster while maintaining my shorter gait. I can keep pace comfortably when walking with my taller (actually, average height) friends. It now feels “fair”.

5. Motivation – Different pleasure centers are activated in your brain based on your source of motivation. Materialistic rewards of achieving a goal don’t cut it for me as much as the intrinsic feeling of accomplishment I get for reaching that goal. According to Barfum’s book, this is pretty much the same for all people. Pushing myself past my 3.2 mile per walk goal gets me excited. Having somewhere fun to walk to with my family or friends gets me motivated to go out and walk.

6. Value of Dissenting Opinions – My parents raised me to challenge current authority, a trait I have passed down to my children. They all feel free to openly challenge the way I walk, where I’m walking, when I’m walking, how fast I’m walking, who else is walking with us, why we’re walking, the current weather conditions, our shoes, the brand of moleskin for blisters, pedometers, how much water to bring, and who will be our support vehicle if something goes awry. This creates a tremendous amount of focus and energy around the very act of going for these daily walks.

7. Aversion to Losses – A couple years ago, my mom and I were taking a water aerobics class from this character we nicknamed “Boot Camp Bob”. In his flag baseball cap over his shaved head, he barked exercise instructions at us while John Phillip Sousa music blared from pool’s sound system. He used to shout – “Get moving you pansies so you don’t end up in the nursing home.” This inspired my walking mantra – get moving, stay young. According to Newton’s first law of motion, a body in motion stays in motion

I’m now inspired to act irrationally and achieve my 1,000 mile walking goal. How can you harness the power of irrational forces to achieve your goals?

A. What commitments drive your current behavior? How can you change your commitments?
B. What value do you place on achieving your goals? How can you increase the value for you?
C. What labels can you use on yourself that will help you achieve your goal?
D. How can you make it a “fair” game to achieve your goal?
E. What intrinsic motivators get you fired up to go for your goal?
F. Who challenges you? How can you get them to do it more so you get a fire in your belly to go for it?
G. What will you lose if you fail to reach your goal? How can you avoid experiencing that loss?

Be irrational. It might just help you go for it!