I’m not going to lie here. The origination of starting small came before I’d looked at Nerd Fitness at all. It came from something relatively mundane, really. At work we have a bit of a premium on meeting space, to the point where sometimes we end up going up or down several floors to find an available room to have a meeting in. Going downstairs isn’t so bad. Following everybody back up was another matter. After one meeting down a couple floors, I followed everybody back upstairs. I almost died from the effort.
I was so embarrassed that I went into the bathroom to sound like I was having an asthma attack, basically. I stayed there until I could breathe normally again. At this point, I was still driving to work, so I decided to walk up the stairs to my car in the garage to try to be in better shape. The first day I bit off too much, trying to go back up to the fifth floor, I had the same insane time trying to get myself back under control. I think I texted someone saying that I climbed five floors and almost died.
But I stopped taking the elevator, or sometimes I would just go up until I had three flights of stairs to climb up.
Baby steps, right?
Then it was announced that the bridge I’d drive over every morning to get to work was about to be half closed down for major repair work. For years. On top of that they were building a bunch of additional office space in the area with no extra parking. I knew that driving and parking once I got to work was about to become a nightmare. I made the decision to cut over to using the subway, driving part way to work, and riding that in for the bulk of my commute.
At first I started parking where I found space in the morning, and walking down the stairs to where you paid to hop on the train, then back up two flights to the actual train platform. I know, it’s as ridiculous to do it every day as it is to read it. Then there was the added bonus of the short walk from the station to work. I slowly started being less winded all of the time walking and slowly got better on the stairs.
Then I decided to make myself have to do more stairs, and I started to always park on the sixth floor of the garage. I walk down the escalator in the morning, mostly to make sure I catch the next train, and walk up them at night. It was progress that I could see. I was gradually getting less and less winded as time went on, and I was okay with that.
Why am I doing this to myself, you ask? I have some kind of a mental disconnect with just going to the gym for the sake of going to the gym. It is utterly miserable to me to make myself go there, do a bunch of stuff, and leave. Yes, I know, it makes me healthier, but I’m not doing anything. It’s probably the gamer in me that makes me want to feel like I am making some kind of solid advancement on a goal when I’m doing something. When I’m going from the car to the train, I’m doing the daily quest “go to work you lazy bum.” There’s a reason behind it, so to speak.
But baby steps are paying off. I am now a little over four months of doing this passive exercising. I was running very late the other night due to train malfunctions, and trying to make it home in time to DJ. I ran up two escalators between the second to fourth floors and then the fourth to the sixth. Ran. Up the escalators. With my work laptop in the backpack on my back. And when I got to my car I realized I wasn’t that winded, I was pretty okay actually.