Walking the Talk

Nothing says, “Cat Toy!!!” like a bit of plastic with some string attached and a shiny glint or two of metal thrown in for good measure. Thus when the nice customer service people told me yesterday that my Tread Desk had flat-lined because the safety key was missing, I knew exactly which species to blame.  Clearly, the folks who designed that tread desk live in blessed ignorance of feline curiosity.

Well, no matter. I ordered two replacement keys and resigned myself to a sedentary day. The sky was pouring buckets of rain, and I had buckets of work to do. But one day of sitting on my rosy fundament is one day too many. My C-reactive-protein score is Not Good, and a surefire way to make it worse is to lard about on my behonkis in a blissful fog of authorial busyness.

Besides, I like being outside. The sky and the trees and the birdies, the fresh air and sunshine… they are good for me. I’m always telling everybody to go outside and play. Get your kids and your elders outside. Be one with the natural world, says me. It’s the walking part I’m not too keen on, but one little heart attack will ruin my whole writing schedule, so today I sneakered-up and out the door I went.

What I noticed first was the usual misery I associate with exercise–clammy sweat, labored breathing. an aching back, and the ghastly torment of sports induced histamine response (subcutaneous itching of the feet and legs).

After grumbling along for a while, I did notice positive aspects of the experience. Because we got a deluge last night, the cool air was humid. My skin loved that. We’re at a time of year when late day sunshine is gorgeous. I was pretty happy about that. I heard the rushing water draining into the culverts and streams, and that’s lovely music. I heard a few little birdie-tweets, and I am fiercely glad to hear that any time. I introduced myself to two cats I hadn’t met before–always nice to make new friends–and said hi to the neighbor’s kids.

I got my 10,000 steps in, and I’m glad I did. But I will also be glad when that replacement safety key shows up. My characters are always running around outside, taking tea in the garden, or going for a horseback ride. When I had less of a choice about how and when I spent the time outside, seeing the positives was an effort.  Note to self: More than being outside, I want to decide when and how I spend my time there.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of your own advice? Ever had to walk the talk and changed your tune? Is there advice you no longer hand out that your younger self was happy to share? I will add three commenters to my ARC list for A Woman of True Honor. The files should be ready to send in a week or so!



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

13 comments on “Walking the Talk

  1. This question made me smile. I am always telling my daughter go for a walk…clear you head…you will feel better!

    Thirteen year old Rose the corgi and her partner in crime Greg have decide that they need a walk at 7am. Every morning. Rose aroos…and barks until her leash is on and we take Greg on a quick 15 minute walk in rain, snow and sleet!

    I see the extra steps on my Fitbit, but there are days when I would like to stay warm. Most of all, I enjoy the time spent with my dogs.
    And smile that my buddy Rose is keeping me on track !

  2. I keep saying that instead of reading in the sunrise light I will go walking in my neighborhood, but it is always so much more comfortable and cozy to sit on my porch and let the sunbeams hit my face. Sigh. I do get out and do my cardio 5 days a week, but I have such good intentions to start walking in the morning. I think when I retire this year I will make that happen, but I’ll bet I’m going to keep putting it off until then.
    Fortunately, I have not been hoist on my own advice-petard yet. But I’m sure that day is coming!

  3. I have to remind one child in particular to put the book away and go to sleep. Then I grab a book and have to force myself to not read “just one more chapter” at my bedtime. Of course, waking up rested is necessary for my day to proceed smoothly and I do appreciate a full night’s sleep for many many reasons. But how I love the quiet of a sleeping house and the freedom of being the only one awake and the joy of tea and a good book. And how surly I am when I put the book down and turn off the light.

  4. There are plenty of times my advice comes back to…errrrmm….bite me in the tookis.

    The chief bit of advice I give which is hard to follow myself is this: don’t let other people’s nasty comments bother you. It’s easy to tell someone else but to follow? It’s TOUGH! My Mom used to say “consider the source” or some variation. If someone makes a snide and sniping comment about your weight or your kids or your housekeeping or your intelligence, it can be difficult to NOT be bothered.

    I tell kids or the choir directors I work with not to be bothered when someone makes an obviously jealous comment. They are truly jealous or they must consider them competition….and that’s good…but they should ignore. It’s something I wish I had the ability to always do and, I don’t.

  5. My daughter recently reminded me that I should stop nagging her to go and see her doctor because I’m the world’s worse for seeing my own doctor.She reminded me that I’m very good at giving advice but not doing it myself.That shut me up.I have got to rethink my strategy of giving advise to my daughter.She is on to me.I hate going to doctors but I have improved lately.Also I will give advise to those who ask only.

  6. I’m about to be grounded this week for vein repair in one leg & it’s driving me nuts + hurting my backside to be limited range until that vein gets welded & heals.

  7. In answer to your first two questions – yes and yes. And in answer to your third, I find that now that I am actually old enough (75) to know something – nobody wants my “free advice” (smile).

  8. “Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.” ~Andy Rooney

    I’ve heard plenty of my own advice come back at me, usually from children. Often it’s good advice. Doesn’t mean I always want to hear it.

    My current favourite is “Eat your vegetables.” I heard it from my mother, now I’ve repeated it to my mother and had it back from my kids.

  9. Oh, all the advice I used to give my mother on the things she was doing wrong – she has been gone many years ago, but I know she is cracking up in heaven (and maybe crying a little) to see me walking her path – married with child (she raised six), and working full time.

    So, yeah, she can’t give it back to me but I remember my arrogant younger self and smile.

    Congratulations on exercising. I think about doing it strenuously.

  10. When my daughter was 12 or 13, she was going away to sleepaway camp for 3 weeks for the first time. She was pretty anxious in the days before she left, so we told her that all she had to think about was “getting on the bus”. We thought that once she was on the bus with her friends for the 3 hour drive, that excitement would take over.

    We were right, and she had a wonderful time at camp.

    But the experience gave birth to a family motto: “Just get on the bus”. Only allow yourself to stress about the first step of something you are worried about.

    My daughter is now 37; she reminds me to “just get on the bus” if I am stressing out about a surgical procedure or a biopsy or really anything else that produces large amounts of stress.

    Just worry about that first step.

    I must admit, it is MUCH easier to say that than to do it!

  11. Hubby was nearly killed by a pick-up truck and semi truck last month. After a week inside the hospital, I got to take him outside in a chair. He’s a stoic guy, but there were tears. Being outside, feeling the sun on your skin, the wind blowing, even in the middle of winter, is irreplaceable. Good for you for getting outside! And what clever kitties conspiring you to get out in nature.

  12. I have a small stepper that I can use when watching TV. No electricity required. They aren’t very expensive and would make a great back-up in case this happens again. It’s also quiet, unlike a treadmill.