Since I was kindly (insultingly?) gifted a Fitbit for Christmas I have spent the best part of 2016 chasing at least 10,000 steps a day. Generally speaking I achieve that by going for a walk or, drum roll and Olympic medal please, attempting something more sweaty like tennis or running.
However, occasionally life throws apathy, buttery tea cakes and rain at us and, some days, the 10,000 step goal can seem like a marathon.
I won’t bore you with the details but this Friday night I couldn’t play my usual game of after work football. I tend to find that game of football acts like the Neuralyzer from Men in Black. At first you can’t be arsed playing, you go out, it’s tough and you’re faced with the reality that you can’t really play football. Yet before you can say ‘red card’ you’re hugging people, telling them ‘good game’, feeling slightly high and the hellish memory of a week of work stress has evaporated. This week, without that blissful nerualyzing effect:
- I got stuck in traffic on the way home
- I was tired
- I was crabbit
- it was pissing with rain and…
- I had clocked up a measly 4,000 steps (what HAD I been doing all day?)
I could have quite happily ordered a pizza and got jammied up. Here is where you enter the Friday Night Danger Zone. This involves waking up on your couch at 8.30 on a Friday night covered in your own drool and sensing the vague edges of a slight hangover from the wine you drank at 6. Then strikes the horrendous realisation that you have wasted the most sacred night of the week.
Enter my new strategy: TREAT YOURSELF!
I thought, ‘No. I’m not bloody having this. I’m doing something nice. I’m brazenly going to treat myself.’
I stuck on a rain coat (9 quid Primark), Doc Martens and headed out. Post-holiday I’m actually completely skint so I couldn’t afford to go on a crazy shopping spree or an indulgent tasting menu and matching wines night out. I power walked through Glasgow, up Buchanan Street and into Lush. Instantly the colours and scents hit me. I restrained myself to only one bath bomb and one bath melt. (I’m working on managing my Lush addiction.) I walked to Spiritualist on Miller Street and had one glass of red wine and a lovely chat. Then I went home to slide into the bath and make my house smell like a spa.
AND: I felt better, more awake, happier. The rain had been refreshing, the walk had lifted my spirits and I felt the smug satisfaction of having not frittered a Friday night away beached in front of the telly. Godammit, the walk had even TRICKED me into exceeding my 10,000 steps.