Basic Rules For Good Living #1: Move More Than A Dead Person

understandstupidI haven’t confirmed this by actually asking anybody, but I get the sense that a lot of people think I’m fierce and emotionless. These people might use labels like “scary” and “thugnificent” if you mention my name in conversation, but I want to dispel those myths right now. I would agree that, yes, my general appearance is menacing, but take a minute to look past my gruff exterior.

I feel many feelings. When a baby smiles at me, I am thrilled for a moment but then I am sad because my own baby is growing up. When I rescue a 20% off one single item Bed Bath & Beyond coupon from my neighbor’s recycle bin and it doesn’t even have any food stains, I am happy. And whole. When I check my Fitbit every few minutes for an updated daily step count, I feel devastated. Sometimes I am able to push down my bitter anger because I just breathe and remind myself that I didn’t move for the last 5 minutes so of course the number is going to stay the same.

The Fitbit came into my life by accident. I didn’t really care about any of its functionalities. It reminded me of the black pager I had in 1994. Ninth grade was a pretty good year for me.

Shortly after I got it, I read somewhere that the average person takes 6,000 steps per day. The base level for good health is supposedly 10,000 steps. I smirked when I saw those numbers. When I am extremely thirsty and no one hears my repeated requests, I go downstairs to get my own beverages. It takes me at least 3 trips to move all of the groceries from my car to the kitchen. Obviously, I’m a very active individual. I pitied the fool who could only manage 10,000 steps a day. What a stupid dummy.

I allowed two weeks to pass before I averaged out my step count data because I planned to humblebrag about my number a lot so I needed a decent sample size. Daily average: 1700. Since one of the new things I’m trying is not lying to myself, I devoted an afternoon to sitting with the truth that I move about as much as a dead person. I stared out my window a lot that day. And then I decided to live a good life. My list of Basic Rules For Good Living sprouted from that belief and I knew what the first Rule had to be: Move more than a dead person.

I wasn’t sure I could do it but January proved otherwise. My daily average has bumped up to 9,000 steps per day. It helps that I’m Groupon-ing my way to fitness. I bought two exercise class packages and I alternate between them each day.

The only problem is that exercise is stupid. I hate it. What I’ve gathered over the last month is that, basically, you move your body for no real reason. Suspicious elements of exercise: 1. Forced to look at myself in mirrors for extended periods, 2. Salty sweat stinging my delicate eyes, 3. Burning hot physical pain and/or nausea, 4. Ok for strangers to yell at me through microphone headset, 5. Lululemon prices.

2014 isn’t about lofty goals or wow value for me. I’m just trying to get used to the fundamentals of what it means to be a decent, functioning adult. I have never been that before, but if I can follow my Basic Rules, maybe I’ll know a little about Good Living. Join me if you want. Real friends suffer together.
P.S. I’ll be sharing my other Basic Rules for Good Living throughout the year. Watch me get real good at adult-ing. “Like” the Flourish in Progress Facebook page or follow along on Instagram (username: flourishinprogress).

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