The TV commercial and website all made it seem so simple – buy these shoes, wear them for walking on a regular basis, and the pounds would drop off my body, previously underworked muscles would firm up, bad posture would be corrected, and all would be right with the world. Or, at least, that’s how I interpreted their pitch. So I bought a pair of the new (actually old) rocker-style of walking shoes. These are the only shoes I’ve ever bought, by the way, that came with an instruction booklet and DVD… I should have known that it wouldn’t be that simple.
I’m old enough to remember the negative heels that Roots originally introduced – in the early 70s? They were supposed to imitate walking barefoot in the sand, and the pair of winter boots I bought at that time were the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. But the fad died out, for some reason, and negative heels disappeared; probably lost out to the new wedgies and ever-more-spindly stilletoes to which I have never, ever succumbed. So when I first tried on these new shoes in the store, my feet were happy with the sensation, my bunion smiled, I think, and I left believing that, with just a bit of walking, I’d quickly lose the excess poundage that had been sticking to my ribs, and every other bone in my body, of late.
And, yes, these are great shoes – but only if you walk in them on flat surfaces, I discovered (the steep roads on Bequia at Christmas had me thinking I’d fall forward and begin rolling down the hill at any moment), and preferably ice-free walkways. Not easy to find cleared streets around Calgary these days during winter, and I would have had to pay to walk around the track in a gym, or would have been too tempted to spend money had I walked in a mall. Besides, mall-walking is for senior citizens! And, even though Calgary Senior Magazine considers 55-or-older to be senior… Hurumpf!! I’m not ready to buy that!
So, what to do… I already knew the shoes were having an effect on my body, although not always the best effect. And I really noticed the difference when I changed into other shoes or my boots. The rockers are definitely much more comfortable on my feet. It was just a matter of finding somewhere I could walk for the required half-an-hour or so every day, get my heart-rate up, and my lungs working, as well. I didn’t think my downstairs neighbours would appreciate me taking about 300 turns around my apartment every evening.
Then it struck me – the building where I rent a storage unit! The space was perfect for me; private, quiet, climate-controlled, long clean aisles, and a washroom (important consideration). So I asked permission of the manager, and have been walking there most days since. Head office thought it was hilarious that I wanted to exercise in their space, but they said it was okay by them. I respect the other customers by avoiding walking any aisles where they might be working at the time, but I usually have the place all to myself. Like it’s my personal gym.
The best part, though, is that the time spent there not only exercises my body, but offers me quiet time to think, and to write in my head. So much so that I need to start taking a notebook with me and write down what comes to mind while it’s still fresh, and while I still remember it… Most of this blog post was composed in my head while I walked yesterday and today.
And I love that they pipe in music from a Calgary classic-rock station that plays all the songs I grew up enjoying. You old Malvernites will remember Steel River and their hit,Ten Pound Note. Well, I think this may be the only station in the country, nay – the world, that still plays that tune, as well as The Stampeders’ Sweet City Woman. Unfortunately, yesterday I had to listen to Sugar/ Oh, honey, honey (Tommy James and the Shondells? Suse will know, but no fair googling it!) and then another bubble-gum song today that has, thankfully, already disappeared from my memory. The station redeemed itself, though, with Joni Mitchell singing Carey and Elton John with Daniel. Today it was Eric Clapton in Derek and the Domino’s version of Layla and Respect by Aritha. (Franklin, not van Herk – although I’ll bet Ms. vH could belt out a very good rendition…) But the scary part, and my point in all of this rambling about music, is that I REMEMBER ALL THE WORDS!!!! Even the bubble-gum songs… sadly. And I can usually sing to my heart’s content while I walk, unless I know that someone else is on that floor. It’s like driving alone in my car, listening to CKUA. I only have myself to bother with the noise, and it makes exercising, and driving, that much more fun. I don’t need an IPod, and I avoid attracting any suspicious looks.
Plus I’m positive that I’ve already lost a pound this week. I’m sure of it. Well, pretty sure…