Wednesday, December 3, 2014
The Walking Challenge, a year in review
Well, it has been the full year for our walking challenge, and here are the results: We FAILED.
Last Thanksgiving we went on a Black Friday hike with my mom and the kids, on a busy and popular trail. The kids were, in my opinion, ridiculously lame about it and whined and sat down and claimed to be unable to walk on. I have a crazy inner drill sergeant in my head (who yells, and I know that's not nice, but well ...) and before you could say "she's gonna blow!" there I was giving my children the full brunt of it. "You think this is bad?!!!! Alright - if you can't handle this then clearly you need to WALK 100 MILES!" Or something like that. And so we had the challenge; we would walk 100 miles before the next Thanksgiving.
Here's the post I wrote about it last year, for the fresher perspective on how it went down.
I set up an excel spreadsheet and instituted a policy of one diet breaking treat for every five miles logged (diet breaking in the sense that I let the kids have gluten after five miles - our convoluted dietary story can be another post for another time).
We were amazing at first. I was getting them out and making them walk local trails about three days a week, even through the cold winter weather. Then it started to be an issue ... how much time did we really have for this?
Then we ran out of local hikes that we hadn't done already, and that was a downer ... driving farther afield took even more time and then we couldn't do that on a weekday.
All of these are nothing but excuses. Excuses! screams my inner drill sergeant. But you know what? I'm OK with that.
We walked 50 miles together this year. Only half of the randomly selected huge scary goal I pulled out of my a$$ when my kids irritated me. We didn't count any miles I did by myself, and we didn't count miles done by bike. We did some urban walking - especially when on trips to Portland and Boston - but mostly we explored all the walking trails in our town and did some close-by hikes. And the kids got better at it. They have more stamina, and they have a reference for long walks. How long will this be? Oh, about as long as the loop around the creek. When will we get a break? When we see a nice spot for getting out our sandwiches.
We went out together again this Black Friday. The kids wanted to drive out to a cool trail we had done earlier in the year, but the website warned it might be closed for the season, so we opted for a close stand-by trail. The kids weren't thrilled to be doing "this one again!", and my daughter bailed and sat down and we finished the last half-mile or so without her and then collected her again on our way back.
But, folks, we did a 4 mile walk together without much fuss or bother. I didn't freak out - I'd come to understand what motivates the kids and when they can't be pushed any further. The kids whined but not too much. They know the drill now. And we talked about it and decided that this year we want to do another challenge - 60 miles, so just 10 more than we did last year.
That, I think we can do.