As you get older, the differences between mind and body become impossible to ignore. Your mind is like that friend who is always blowing smoke up your ass and telling you what you want to hear. It talks you into all manner of stupid shit by leading you to believe that life is a twenty four hour party bus and that you’re the driver. Too Good? Meet To Be True.
Your body is that trusty old friend who will always set you straight by giving you the bad medicine lowdown. It has an intimate knowledge as to the dangerous charm your mind possesses because it has been burned many, many times. Hells yeah it’s personal, and the body is gonna let you know it. Immediately. The older you get? The more immediately.
The first half of my twenties were lived in a perpetual state of party. Of course, I didn’t see it that way. I thought I was responsible and temperate because I had a couple of jobs and I was going to school and I didn’t do heavy drugs and I rarely if ever smoked weed because it made me paranoid. And I felt amazing, no matter where I woke up or what I had done the night before.
Then I turned thirty and all that shit changed. Actually, I got married first and that settled me down by introducing me to monogamy and fitness crazes. Thirty was my introduction to the other side of doing business. I took a proactive approach to this period by diving head first into every kind of physical activity- from skiing and hiking to rock climbing and running. I taught myself to ski and I loved all the accouterments that came with it- like bourbon and ski lodges and wings and . . . bourbon. It was how adults partied, and I liked that. But running, I fell in love with running.
Running made me feel twenty all over again by allowing my body to do things that my mind was trying to talk me out of. I ran in all kinds of weather. I ran on a couple hours sleep and when my kids were babies, I ran on no sleep at all.
As a newly minted bachelor in my late thirties, I revisited my wild side while incorporating fitness into the mix. Couple years of that and I was feeling bulletproof once again. Forty reminded me that I wasn’t. And so it was that I began dabbling in the wisdom soaked notion of moderation. It’s what happens when your twenty year old mind meets up with your forty year old body and kicks the ever loving shit out of it.
Fast forward to fifty, where all those miles I once counted have suddenly transformed into steps. Yep, where I once talked miles when describing a day or a week, now it’s all about the steps. I believe that’s what they call age inflation. Or is it deflation? Both.
My fit bit has replaced that little voice in my head (one of them . . the responsible one) with hourly reminders that I best get to steppin’. My daily goal is ten thousand steps, and I scale that puppy on a daily basis. When I read that the average American takes 7,500 steps a day, I was determined to double it. Outside of that, I don’t really concern myself with average steps per day. Because they’re steps. They’re not miles. I mean, they don’t call it a “12,000 Stepper” . . . it’s called a 10K race. Nobody brags about steps when miles are so much sexier.
And that’s the point. Because the quiet is where stuff actually gets done. It’s where your motivational compass works its way into the magic of wherever it is you plan on going. Steps are simple, modest things that don’t give a fig for the spotlight because they’re too busy working. But there are no miles without the steps that make them so.
The journey of a thousand miles? Yeah, that.