When we first started doing amplified sound at our gigs, it took FOREVER to set up. Something would end up plugged in the wrong way or into the wrong thing, horrible squeals would emerge. Or no sound at all. The troubleshooting would begin and we’d be sweating the start time. But we got better at it. Now we can roll into a gig at 7:40, rig the PA, sound check and have time to grab a beer from the bar before an 8:00 downbeat.
When I first started making baklava, it took FOREVER. Something would go wrong: the phyllo dough would stick or tear or dry out, the cuts were uneven, I’d forget to preheat the oven, the syrup ready too soon or too late. But I got better at it. Now I can start chopping nuts at 2:00 and pop the pan in the oven by 2:20 and bring the syrup to a froth just as the timer goes off.
This is the way it should be: The better you are at something the quicker you can do it. But it’s not the case with exercise. The more fit you are, the more time you have to spend doing it for the same benefit.
I used to be worn out by a workout in the time it took me to find my shoes. Now I can’t get that smug “I worked out” feeling in less than two hours. And it’s getting worse.
I blame the fitbit I got for Christmas in part. It’s an evil little device – weirdly addictive. You clip it to your clothing and it takes over your life. It tracks every step taken, flight of stairs climbed, calorie burned. It gives you goals. Why should I care about the goals? What difference does it make if I take 9,998 steps in a day or 10,000? What difference does it make if I run upstairs without the fitbit on and don’t get credit for it? But I’ve considered asking my husband to walk the thing upstairs for me so that I’ll get the credit.
It’s a grown-up’s Tamagotchi. It even has a little flower that grows if you’re active and slowly dies if you sit.
It actually wasn’t too bad until fitbit social unleashed a monster. I now have several “fitbit friends” and I can see our rankings at any time. I have found that I have a serious competitive streak. I must win. Neither rain or sleet nor dark of night will keep me indoors if someone is gaining on me. Then, one day on a walk, we decided on a lark to keep going to Redhook Brewery. That makes a 10 mile round trip. 23,000 steps, baby. So now I have to not only win, but if I’m not ahead by at least double I start to panic. Let me tell you though, a 10 mile hike with a brewery stop in the middle takes a serious chunk out of a day, but is a highly doable thing. We’ve pledged to do it once a week. But I get to drink beer AND feel smug.
Then, my sister and dad did the 10 mile hike on MONDAY too. The bastards! They’re winning! Gah!
The better shape I’m in the longer it takes to make progress. Running is not an option. There would have to be a port-a-potty about every 90 paces. I’ll start running when something is chasing me. And it better have razor sharp claws.
Well, I need to finish up this post. It’s already after 2:00 and I still have 9471 paces to go before I sleep…
UPDATE: I fed the beast. For now. But tomorrow… oh God… it just starts over again.