Fat man walking

I’ve replaced treadmill walking with daily humping schlepping rucking with all my weight and all my gear

People poo-poo walking as exercise, teasing all of us with our pedometers and Fitbits and our obsession with steps. New Yorkers, San Franciscans, and the French, mostly keep themselves fit for life by walking outside and negotiating hills and stairs on a daily basis. And they’re skinny.

When your body mass index (BMI) is over 30 and about a third of your body weight is fat (not bones, cartilage, connective tissue, or muscle), then simply the act of moving oneself around and about using only your own two feet is a serious workout.  For the morbidly obese, walking is, indeed, working out.

Carrying my PAC Designs Ultimate OS
Carrying my PAC Designs Ultimate OS

With my extra hundred or so pounds plus the extra 20-50 lbs I am constantly carrying on my back in packs, duffles, courier and messenger bags, and reusable shopping bags, every time I leave my apartment, it’s a workout–even if I am just going to the shops to shop for groceries. Or just popping out to work at the café! 

When I am walking in the heat and the sun and I am pushing 2.5-3mph in a spirited walk instead of a Chris Abraham mosey, my heart rate is always at or above 100bpm and will get up to 120bpm when I hit stairs and hills or I am running late for a class at Cyclebar on Columbia Pike!

I have taken to getting out of my apartment every morning and remote working at local cafes. With a messenger bag filled with enough gear for the day added to my overweight self–over one-hundred pounds overweight–walking everywhere is my best friend and the quickest and most effective way of making my body healthy, functionally-fit, capable, and it’s basically like humping a ruck everywhere I go, a ruck that can effectively be the equivalent of 155-lbs over my lean body weight. (70 kilos, 11 stone). 

Nothing has turned out being better for me than treating my extra one-hundred extra pounds on a walk a couple-few times-a-day as if it were a dog. Walking everywhere when you’re 100-pounds (45 kilos) overweight is a chore. It’s rucking, it’s farmer’s carry, it’s basically fireman’s carrying a Flighweight boxer (108–112 lbs) every time you get off the couch. I add to that, on a daily basis, another forty-pounts of computers, external batteries, battery docs, charging cables, giant bags, paper journals, and the lot. 

I feel so much fitter, healthier, and even a little twinkle-toes as a direct result of getting rid of my 2001 BMW530i sedan and my 1995 K1100LT touring bike. I have even been avoiding riding my 2010 Surly Steamroller

When I leave my wee flat in the morning, I schlep for the day. Today, I am carrying everything in my brown PAC Designs Ultimate OS. What am I carrying? My Lenovo ThinkPad X220 with an X220 Slice Batter 19+ on there (fits like a dock), a 9-cell battery, a charger, my leather journal, pens, chargers, external batteries, hats, sunglasses, etc, etc.

PAC Designs Ultimate OS
PAC Designs Ultimate OS

While I got all of my steps while walking on my treadmill desk I did a lot of elbow-leaning and never did I ever need to take steps, walk up hills, descend slopes, jump curbs, or negotiate stairs or gravel or any other offroad environments. By walking at an even 2mph for a lot of the day while working on my all-in-one desktop machine isn’t giving my body any real-life functional training. Also, no exposure to the sun, to the wind, to the rain, or to other wonderful people. By imprisoning myself on a treadmill desk, with a goodly portion of my bodyweight resting on my elbows as I work, I really miss out. So, every morning, I set myself up for an entire day of working remotely at Idido Coffee and Social House in either the morning or the afternoon, and then at Penrose Square Starbucks after Idido closes at 7pm (6pm on Sunday) or if I feel like I am overstaying my welcome.  While the entire team at Idido treat me like a King, I must add that the Starbucks folks treat me like a prince.  And, if I feel ambitious and inspired, I’ll walk the 2 miles all the way over to Northside Social in the Virginia Square of North Arlington. 

At the end of the day, I am going to reserve my treadmill desk for rainy days and inclement weather and for really off hours like after Starbucks closes at 10PM (9PM Sunday) or if I don’t have the wherewithall to schlep over to Northside Social to take advantage of the late hours on Friday and Saturday (midnight!).

After doing all of this walking over the last month (all during my afib and then after I was cardioverted and ever since) I feel absolutely spry. I know that being outside and around people and on my feet and up and down stairs and up and down hills and carrying my office on my back and dealing with my extreme bodyweight, has effected and affected my heart, my mind, my body, my mental health, and even my relationship with the sun and I can’t dismiss that it’s probably healthy of me to get out of that old residential building as well. 

And I know my body craves all of these things. Who knew that I didn’t need the accellerate into a jog or a run to real benefit from the advantages of being a physical thing out in the world.  Thank you so much for taking this journey with me!

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One thought on “I’ve replaced treadmill walking with daily humping schlepping rucking with all my weight and all my gear

  1. Zandria

    I’m so glad you’re feeling strong enough for long walks. Keep it up! And if you like doing so now, you’ll like it even more so when the temps cool down a bit (I know I prefer fall/winter/spring walking myself, as opposed to summer!).

     
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