Day 80: 456 miles and maintenance mode

Another month has come and gone, and it’s already May! Yesterday was Day 80 of my daily walk, and I’ve so far ambled for 456 miles around and around my neighborhood. The seventh week of self-quarantine is almost over, and this bizarre reality is quickly becoming the “new normal.”

Since the beginning of the self-quarantine, I’ve been experiencing a strange phenomenon of having 2 to 3 vivid dreams, generally of a very combative, life or death, or dramatic sort. So every morning I wake up exhausted from the night’s dramas, and it’s almost like I haven’t even rested. I know dreams are a way of your mind sorting your stresses, but it’s a little disconcerting that it’s able to come up with so many dramatic movies night after night!

I’ve been having difficulty getting up early in the morning, sleeping in until past 10, and while I think a good part of the issue has to do with the fact that I’m exhausted from dreaming all night, and another part because I get bothered by my kitten who wants to play at 3am in the morning, I think one of the biggest reasons is that my lifestyle is getting so unbalanced from so many weeks in self-quarantine. I tend to stay up later because I’m getting up later, and the later I stay up, the later I wake up, creating a vicious cycle.

So this week, I’m trying to go to bed earlier (with questionable success), and trying to get up earlier in the morning, even if I don’t manage to take my walks in the mornings. It’s also been raining a lot for the past few weeks, which is strange, and it really doesn’t help your mood or motivation when it’s gray and dreary all day.

Walking, Walking, Walking…

I’m honestly pretty proud of myself for getting to 80 days. Aside from the one day I missed in the beginning of this journey when I was sick and had a fever, I haven’t skipped a single day! Though some days I was only able to walk 2 miles because of the weather, and other days I’ve walked 10 miles, I’ve consistently gone out and done the deed.

Without my Quest to walk, I don’t doubt that my mental and physical health would have been in much more dire states than they are now.

I reached my Quest Goal of 10 miles a day on Day 62, 3 weeks ago. As I’m getting more settled into my new quarantine routines (yes, it’s taken me almost 2 months to get “settled into” my new life), I’ve decided that I’ll take a 4 mile route most of the week, and maybe sprinkle in a 6 or 8 mile loop when I have more time. The time commitment of walking 6~10 miles a day is just too much for the day to day, so my goal is to get my 4 mile walk to 1 hour (currently it takes around 1 hour 15 min ~ 1 hour 30 min).

I’m no where close, but slowly working towards it! And in the end, I’ll get a added bonus of only having to spend one hour walking but getting a good level of exercise out of it!

Once I get to Day 100, I’m considering putting in day(s) of rest so I don’t feel so stressed when it rains or I’m too busy to get a walk in. (I have a very black-or-white mentality when it comes to these things, and it stresses me out to no end when I can’t achieve something I’ve set out to do.)

Something I’m noticing a lot these days are PPE waste strewn on the grounds. I see a lot of gloves, definitely, but also a lot of used masks. Something I would’ve never seen on streets of a US suburb just few weeks ago!

I guess at least people are using masks! But really… It’s so gross. No one wants to touch these. They are by definition filled with germs! Please just take extra 10 steps and throw them away properly… ?

Hiroko Nishimura
AWS Community Hero. Special Education teacher turned IT Engineer turned Technical Writer. Author "AWS for Non-Engineers" (Manning Publications). Technical Instructor "Introduction to AWS for Non-Engineers" (LinkedIn Learning).

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