I walked 10,000 steps and now I’m stranded 10,000 steps from home
The “normal” ship has sailed and it didn’t have
I wasn’t on board.
Our habits keep us from boarding that ship. We have the bad habit of having bad habits. Bad habits keep us standing on the dock and are hard to give up because nobody likes a quitter.
It’s the Minnesota way to conquer bad habits by replacing them with good habits. I tend to my good behaviors. That’s why I walked in our first snow on October 28. It was too early as the first snow always is, but it required no shoveling. That was good. Why did I need to walk in the white stuff? First, you can’t write about snow without calling it the white stuff. I believe that’s a state law. I walked in the falling snow because I don’t like treadmills. A treadmill is an ancient torture device first found in the dungeons of the Middle Ages. Walking on a treadmill is the modern-day equivalent of another torture device—a job. Let me tell you the story of a poor boy born without a single digital device or treadmill to his name. That poor boy was me.
Hi, my name is Al and I am a Fitbitaholic. That’s right, I wear a Fitbit, a fitness tracker. Don’t judge, lest ye be judged. Do I scurry because I have a squirrel’s brain? Possibly. I also walk to tally another day and because I have no cows to fetch. I walk to keep from going on a strict diet where I’d eat meals the size of a playing card and I walk to support my weightlifting efforts, in which I attempt to lift the largest container of ice cream available.
Everything is nearly copacetic. I have other good behaviors. For breakfast, I have a bowl of oatmeal (in a favorite bowl) with blueberries floating in it and a dollop of honey. I mail something each day, a letter or card carrying a positive message. That small act gives me great pleasure. I prefer writing them with one of the four ink pens my wife gave me separately at monumental anniversaries. The truth is, I employ only three of those pens as the price of refills for one has exceeded my pain point.
I didn’t have a Fitbit until I’d reached the point where when I dropped something to the floor, I waited until I dropped a second thing before picking it up.
My baseline goal is 10,000 steps per day, seven days a week. My neighbor Crandall tried going to a gym, but working out wasn’t working out for him. He was enjoying a bowl of maple nut ice cream for lunch and planning on having another bowl for dessert when he first contemplated buying a Fitbit. He reasoned he could walk for free once he’d purchased a Fitbit as he already had shoes. He’d become his own personal trainer. He set his goal at 100,000 steps per day because he knew he’d never reach 10,000 steps, and with 100,000 steps, he had a reasonable excuse why he couldn’t achieve an unachievable goal. Crandall attends a lot of athletic events and applauds everything, hoping the claps count as steps. His Fitbit works, but he’s malfunctioning.
I can’t lie to the Fitbit. It knows how many steps I’ve made. It’s the dentist asking a patient if he’s been flossing regularly. It’s a rhetorical question. The dentist knows. Here’s a public service announcement. Floss. It’s not that painful unless you’re doing it with barbed wire and not that hard unless you’re doing it with your toes.
I don’t have a smartwatch. Mine is the cheapest Fitbit. I think it’s called the Forced March and carried a $30 price tag, but I got it for $29.99 because I knew a guy. My Fitbit proves I can lose a race with myself. I walk until there’s nothing left of my shoes but sweat.
I remain hopeful because I’ve never seen a chalk outline showing a silhouette of a Fitbit on a deceased person’s wrist.
I have a kind, caring and sensitive Fitbit, my third one. I’ve worn out two. I shouldn’t be proud of that, but I’m afraid I am and hope to wear out many more.
©️Al Batt 2023
1. Name the jockey who won the Kentucky Derby in consecutive years riding Gato Del Sol in 1982 and Sunny’s Halo in 1983.
2. What auto race, founded in 1906, was initially contested over 276 miles through the mountains of Sicily near Palermo, Italy?
3. What 2023 film, directed by George Clooney and based on the book by Daniel James Brown, is the story of the University of Washington rowing team that won the gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics?
4. What New Orleans Saints offensive lineman threw New York Jets safety Damien Robinson’s helmet during an on-field altercation in November 2001?
5. What member of the Baltimore Orioles was suspended 10 days for a positive steroid test less than three weeks after recording his 3,000th career hit in 2005?
6. Name the Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers who appeared in a 1979 Coca-Cola commercial called “Hey
7. What French Formula One driver was killed in a gruesome crash during a qualifying session at the 1973 United States Grand Prix?
1. Eddie Delahoussaye.
2. Targa Florio.
3. “The Boys in the Boat.”
4. Kyle Turley.
5. Rafael Palmeiro.
6. “Mean” Joe Greene.
7. Francois Cevert.
© 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.
Congratulations to the Hawkeye football team, winning their third Big Ten West Division title following a 15-13 slugfest victory over Illinois Saturday at Kinnick stadium. A beat up, battered and bruised offense since week three, the Hawkeyes found some late energy when running back Kaleb Johnson broke through right guard, behind the block of Rusty Feth and bolted 30 yards for the go ahead touchdown with 4:40 remaining. The extra point try was blocked leaving Iowa with a two point lead. From there the Hawkeye defense took control, turning the Illini over on downs followed by another big run by Johnson of 12 yards for a first down that allowed Iowa to run out the clock for their ninth win of the season.
LeShon Williams and Johnson each rushed for over 50 yards. Quarterback Deacon Hill completed 19-29 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown throw to tight end Addison Ostrenga, his second score in two weeks.
Defensive end Joe Evans had a sack in the end zone in the first quarter resulting in a safety, Iowa's third two-pointer of the year. Evans now has a team best five and a half sacks.
The Hawkeyes have won nine games ten times in Coach Kirk Ferentz 25 years. The victory is Ferentz' 195th of his career, moving him past Michigan's Bo Schembechler for third place all time as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
Iowa's final regular season game is Black Friday at Nebraska in the annual Hero's game match-up. Kick-off is at 11:00 a.m. Nebraska lost an overtime game to Wisconsin Saturday night.
Currently, Maury, there’s an ad for “Pella” windows frequently appearing on TV which makes me think of you! It shows a boy about your age fungo hitting. (You know what fungo hitting is..... Grandpa refers to this in Memory #4 which, coincidentally, appeared in an earlier issue of The Golden View). After hitting a couple balls it shows him hitting one that, accidentally, shatters the window of a house, understandably startling a woman occupant! This scene, suddenly also, triggered a special memory of my dad (your great-grandpa). Before telling you what happened, Maury, you should know that your great-grandpa was a carpenter.
One day, when Grandpa was about your age, maybe a bit younger, a bunch of us were playing softball in a neighbor’s back yard. Everything was fine until one of my friends hit a ball that broke a window in a neighbor’s house! It happened to be the home of an elderly woman who lived alone. I can still remember her coming outside, very irate, yelling at us and how disturbed she was! I’m not certain, but I think her name was Mrs. Miller. Anyway, about that time, I remember telling her not to worry, bragging that my dad knows how to fix broken windows! I told her I’d tell him and he’ll “make you a new window!”
When I told my dad what I said to Mrs. Miller I really didn’t appreciate his “noble reaction and great understanding” until I was much older. It was then I realized, Maury, that even though I wasn’t the “guilty” kid, my dad had not only installed a new window in his first available spare time, but did so at no cost to Mrs. Miller. Also, he made good on the promise of a young son bragging about how “his dad can fix it!!”
Hope you enjoyed this,Maury. Much love, Grandpa.