I’m Still Walking

So, yeah, I’m thinking this as I walk from the administration building across roughly half of the campus to the warehouse, pick up an electrostatic spray gun and walk to the new athletic center. I give it to Greg and he gives me the second one, the one he used yesterday and kept in the custodial closet until today, to exchange for the fresh one, newly filled and fully charged. Then I walk back to the warehouse.

The electrostatic gun is used for disinfecting the weight room, every day. It’s heavy, expensive, and sprays a fine mist over everything. In our COVID reality, with our COVID mentality, the spray gun is essential to assure people the campus is safe for students, teachers, visitors, and staff alike – when they return. It is still Christmas break; the students start moving back in on January 22.

I’m still walking.

Keep writing. Keep walking. That’s what I wrote over a year ago, and I am still doing it. Pounding those keys and putting one foot in front of the other in an endless quest for immortality, and to stay alive; the latter quest can only end one way, some day, no matter how many miles I log.

Winter returns tonight and the winds have picked up in anticipation. Tiny pellets of hail bounce off of everything. The air is chill, damp; it feels like sweat and clings to my skin for hours when I’m indoors, unless I remove my coat and sweater and dry them and myself out.

On my return trip to the warehouse, I make my 10,000th step. My exercise watch buzzes with congratulation. I’ve reach my milestone for the day, the benchmark set by health professional and fitness experts worldwide for keeping a heart healthy or making it healthier. 10,000 steps for the third day in a row.

I don’t feel better. I don’t feel as bad as I did last year, when I did it four days in a row. But, I walked those 10,000 steps at one time, last year, in one masochistic trip from my apartment building to Lamar’s Donuts and back to my apartment building, with most times a stop at Lamar’s or QuikTrip, on the way back for a huge apple fritter or an over-sweetened caramel cappuccino.

It takes me roughly ten minutes to walk 1000 steps, so 10,000 took an hour and a half and I returned home, tired but successful, with my sweet tooth sated, and paid the price in under a week with sore feet, lopsided shoe heels, and the threat of shin splints.

Now, I walk ten minutes or so, every hour or so. That’s how long it takes to walk through an academic building, starting with the top floor, or to the warehouse and back with gloves or face masks for a custodian, or to swap spray guns with Greg at the MAC. Ten minutes, 1000 steps, and with the final trek from the bus stop to my apartment at the end of the day, I am done.

But, I don’t feel any different. And I don’t feel any netter.

That has always been a problem, the problem.

Bad health crept up on my. I was walking to and from work every day, when heart failure hit me. Twenty minutes there and back, even in the winter, to save money and spend the fifty dollars a month bus fare on something else. I thought the walk was healthy, good for my lungs and my heart, and it should have been.

I think, believe, the walking is good for my heart, and my overall health. and, it should be. It’s supposed to be. Medical professionals and fitness experts agree.

But, I don’t feel anything new. I don’t feel healthier. I feel disciplined, emotionally mature, conscientious, and responsible. But, I don’t feel different.

Until I do, I’m walking on faith.

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