10,000 Steps Before I Get Home

Lunchtime. 5,303 steps so far which is lower than I would like it to be. It means I have to get in another 4000 steps before the end of work. I always walk from the bus stop – it’s another 1100 steps, so I need 9,000.

My heart is good, I want to say. Yes, my heart is great. My heart is acting great; it’s acting like a great heart would. But its performance is being created by a collection of drugs, which is further aided by exercise – in this case, the 10,000 steps a day (at least five days a week). So, my heart is not great. A great heart wouldn’t, doesn’t, need pills to function properly.

No matter what mental tricks I try, I am reminded of this reality a “few” times a day, every time I start another walking session, every time I take my pills, check my blood pressure or my stress level, every time I read a nutritional label to see how much sodium a product has, every time I exert myself just a little too much, walking too fast or climbing a flight of stairs or an incline, and my chest begins to hurt, oh so faintly. Every time I pass my favorite Chinese place (sodium bomb), or just stop thinking about anything else. Like millions of people worldwide, I have a heart condition, and if managed carefully, properly, I can expect…

I walk 1000 steps every ten minutes or so.

I take a break from my work, every hour or so and get another thousand in, so I can get them down before I get off work. So, I can get hem done before I get home and not have to think about them again until tomorrow.

I have my annual checkup in April and I’m keeping a tight grip on myself until then, to get the best report. I don’t want a defibrillator or a pacemaker. I don’t want surgery.

I wish I enjoyed exercising and fitness – at all. I wish I thought of it all as a necessary but fun part of a healthy lifestyle and something to look forward to every day.  But I am walking to stay alive. That thought takes the spring out of it; it feels dire and pressing, like I’m, just a few thousand steps ahead of the Sandman.

3:23 pm. 9466 steps. A minor triumph. Stop at the pharmacy, then home for a big plate of homemade fried rice.

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