When taking any type of journey, the first steps are always the hardest to take. It doesn't make a difference if your journey is a physical one, a financial one or a spiritual one. The path to change begins with a single step.
I took my first steps on a new journey today.
Several weeks ago, I made a promise to myself and to Little Lamb over at Little Lamb wants to be Debt Free that I would help her celebrate her Freedom From Debt by taking a walk of a paltry 3 kilometres. Other folks committed to helping her celebrate by jogging, running, biking, skipping, climbing flights of stairs, or swimming laps. I truly feel that my celebratory task pales in comparison to what others are doing for this Debt Free Dash, but it is what I know I can accomplish yet is definitely outside of my normal amount of physical activity.
I like to think of myself as an opportunist, and today I was fortunate enough through some rather strange circumstances to see an opportunity for me to get some walking in. Cub managed to lock the doors on the car while I was dropping him off at daycare. Then I realised that I grabbed the wrong keys to put in my pocket - the car keys were still in the ignition!
I'd like to say that I walked home, got the spare set of keys, and walked back to retrieve my car, but I can't. I got a ride home from another parent. While at home, I thought I would check, out of curiosity, what the walking distance was from my apartment building to the care provider house was. Enter Google Maps. It has a great feature that I use all the time for driving directions, giving a reasonably accurate distance calculation. Not only does it give you directions for driving, but it will also give you directions and distance for walking or biking. Squee!
The total walking distance from my place to hers is exactly 1 kilometre.
I already had some track suit type apparel on (because I didn't feel like putting on a suit just yet), so I grabbed the spare keys and headed down the stairs and into the crisp, fresh air. I had a song going in my head to help with my pace, and just started walking. I began thinking about all the episodes of The Biggest Loser that I've watched in recent memory. For some reason, Bob Harper's voice popped into my head. I heard him saying, "Remember to engage your core." So I did. Then I thought about all those times he had those very large people running on a treadmill, in bursts of 30 seconds to a minute. OK, so if a 400 pound man can run for 30 seconds, so can I. I started to jog. Not that I timed it or anything, but I'm fairly certain I jogged for about 2 minutes before I needed to stop and walk again.
I want to set the record straight here. I'm not going to win any fancy awards for my physical activity today. Nor am I going to lose the 40 pounds by age 40 that I once dreamed about doing. (That milestone birthday is only about 23 days away or so.) What I am going to do is to start taking steps again, toward a healthier, slimmer me. Yes, I could stand to lose 40 - 50 pounds of excess weight. But if I never lose all that excess, then I'm ok with who I am regardless. I only want to incorporate better choices into my daily life, including better eating choices and doing some physical activity.
I walked a single lone kilometre today. I even jogged a little, tiny bit of the way. My hope is that as the weather turns nicer, I will continue to want to walk toward a healthier me, either alone, or with my family as company.
Baby steps aren't just for the Dave Ramsey financial plan. :)