Why I Keep Climbing the Hill

I’ve got a new hobby, but it’s nothing glamorous. I just pull on my headphones and my hat, boot up the Zombies, Run! app on my iPhone and walk to the top of the hill and back. I’m trying to do it every day.

I’ve never been the fittest of people, and smoking for half of my life probably didn’t help, but I used to be pretty skinny. I played a little football here and there perhaps, but mostly I stayed in shape by walking.

But there’s a problem: I don’t walk much anymore.

That’s because I work from home, and so I have no need to walk to work every day. I have a pretty good diet now, especially since going vegan, and I’ve also quit smoking and so my breathing is pretty good. But I’m still a little overweight, and now I can’t blame it on cheese.

Climbing the hill is pretty difficult, and the data from my Fitbit shows that it makes my heart rate shoot right up from a relaxed rate of around 60 bpm up to highs of 170. But it’s a little easier on the way down which makes it all doable, and there’s also a shop at the top which I can go to if I need to give myself a reason to walk in the first place.

Zombies, Run! is helping, too. It’s basically an iPhone app that’s almost an interactive audio book. As you walk (or run), it plays parts of the story to you, and you can even listen to music and it’ll turn it down when the next part of the story is ready. It’s a lot of fun.

Walking to the top of the hill and back each day only takes half an hour or so, but it’s pretty good exercise. On top of that, though, it also gives me time to just clear my mind a little bit and to think. And exercise is good for your mental health and for regulating sleep, too.

I also like the discipline of it. It’s just another way in which I’m trying to better myself, or more accurately to just be the best version of me I can be. I think walking to the top of the hill and back is a good way of working on that. And who knows? Perhaps it’ll even help me to shed my beer belly.

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