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.
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.
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.
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.