boardwalk, nature, landscape, trail, exercise

Daily 5 Miles Challenge: Day 1

I love “first days.” First day of school, first day of a new job, first day of vacation. Given this facet of my personality, it was no surprise that I was also excited about the first day of my daily 5 miles challenge.

The night before, I made sure my fitbit was charged, set my alarm for 5 a.m., and planned to get my first few miles in before I even went to work.

There was only one problem: I’m not actually a morning person. Sure, I find my most productive hours of the day before noon, so I force myself to get to work early, but it’s not natural. I don’t spring out of bed at dawn like a cartoon character, and my stomach’s aversion to coffee means I don’t get an a.m. caffeine jolt either. When my alarm went off at 5 a.m., I ignored it.

boardwalk, nature, landscape, trail, exercise

Boardwalk to East River.

So my first mile didn’t come until lunchtime. I checked out a wooden boardwalk that led to the East River, bordered on both sides by thick vegetation and bright green leaves. We have had a lot of rain recently, so the river spread beneath the boardwalk, carrying quite the current along with it. I spotted a curled up Water Moccasin, a poisonous snake I quickly passed. All in all, a beautiful start.

east river, florida, nature, river, health, exercise

View from East River.

Unfortunately, I still had four miles to go. As the sun set, I did another hour of walking, squeezing in three miles in my neighborhood as people returned home from work and the night birds whizzed through the air after insects.

Nature, landscape, florida, flower

Flower spotted walking through my local neighborhood.

I almost failed my challenge on the very first day. I still had a mile to go after dinner, when 9:30 p.m. was looking very black and cold outside. My husband was already asleep, beckoning me to join him. I almost did, the familiar questions running through my mind: What’s an extra mile going to change? Why do 2000 steps even matter?

But I did it. I was a little nervous about walking around on a Friday night with no reflectors and the possibility of inebriated drivers on the road, so I did loops around my rather small driveway until I reached my 10000th step of the day. I’m sure I looked like a huge idiot doing such tiny loops, but I was happy. Hopefully tomorrow I can do a better job getting my steps in before pitch dark falls.

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