Milestone Numbers · 9 September 2012

Day 13: September 8, 2012

Numbers are really not that important to me, but I figure they need to be part of a health blog that is focusing on changing eating and exercise regimes.

Saturday has been my weigh-in day since we got our Wii Fit years ago. I like to know how much I weigh and I have always thought my ideal weight should be less than 155 pounds. This week, I felt I had plenty of food and figured I had stayed about constant weight-wise. In reality, I had dropped to 156.7 pounds, much closer to that ideal weight than I have been for more than a decade.

I do not really care that much about weight. What I really want from my physique is to be able to sit down and not have my belly hang over my pants. It is much less to ask than it used to be. I am getting closer. Fortunately, the weight loss is just a by-product of the whole health thing.

Besides weight, the other important number to me is a fraction. While I would like to be able to run at a good pace for an hour or more, the “number” that is important to me is not the amount of minutes I run, but rather the fraction of the hill I climb when I do run.

We have a hill near our house that is great to run. It used to be a road that has been decommissioned by blocking off each end of the hill. I like to run on it. I like it because I like hills and this one gives me a gauge of how in shape I am. Which brings me to a conversation I had with Dean (one of my running gurus I talked about earlier). I saw Dean yesterday between the JV practice I led and the Varsity football game I was going to coach at. I was just about to go on a quick run. I told him that I just needed to run even if it was for a short time and distance. My body was craving it since I had not had much chance this week. He told me that when he starts to need to run, he knows he is in shape or that his body is about to turn some corner.

Personally, I know I am not in shape. But my body may be ready to turn a corner. Last Saturday, I ran for 28 minutes to go almost 2 miles. I know I am not breaking any speed records or anything, but I am getting in better shape. At the very least, I am going the same distance in shorter amounts of time. That brings me back to the hill.

To get from the house to the bottom of the hill and back is just over a mile. (I need to put on my pedometer one day to see how far it is.) I have run the hill for a few years and it is the gauge I use determine when I am getting in decent shape. I am in shape when I can make it all the way to the top of the hill without stopping. Up until today, I had not been able to get to the top without stopping. I have had to walk part way each time. At first I walked for a bit close to the bottom, then a little higher. Last weekend, I made it about midway before taking a walking break. Maybe it was the proverbial self-fulfilling prophesy (talking to Dean about turning the corner) or just will power, but I made it to the top today. Not much farther, but I did make it. So my hill number has gone from the fractions ¼ to ½ then finally to 1 – the whole hill.

I expect that one day in the far future, I will be able to run for an hour. I also hope to get and stay below 155 pounds. For now though, I will take the numbers 155 and 1 as signs of progress.

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

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