I am not fat. This is what my friends tell me. But, like most North American women, I feel fat. I have the shape of a nearly 40-year-old woman who has had a child and who has a weakness for bacon cheeseburgers and beer. I could complain about it – and I do – or I can do something about it – and I am.
About three weeks ago, a friend turned me on to the Canadian Space Agency’s Get Fit for Space program. Canadian Bob Thirsk is at the International Space Station (and will hopefully soon be joined by a second Canuck, Montrealer Julie Payette). Thirsk has to exercise for at least 90 minutes a day so his muscles don’t atrophy in zero-grav, the website explains while inviting us to get in shape by walking to the ISS.
The CSA sent me a handy-dandy Participaction pedometer and according to my readings, I’ve walked nearly 100 kilometres in the past two and a half weeks, about one-third of the way to the space station.
It’s like I’m taking a series of one-hour holidays. I don’t like having to slow down or stop while I’m walking and so I let traffic lights dictate my route. This means that a walk to the store or the library or work is different every time I go out. It gives me a fresh perspective on familiar neighbourhoods, and before I know it, I’ll have taken a trip to the ISS.
I don’t know if I’ll be Fit for Space 200 kilometres from now, but at least I’ll be Fit for the Beach.
Take a walk with me from my home in Snowdon, along the edge of Mount Royal, through the middle part of Westmount and into downtown, where I work.