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May 11th, 2013

There are many things I learned from Roger Ebert. Several years ago, when I worked for the transcription company a local hospital used at the time, I read a profile of Ebert that talked about his work to get healthier. He'd gotten into the habit of walking 10,000 steps each day. It's a good target: you'll burn a certain number of calories no matter what by doing that, and the movement helps circulation. Like many of us who write, he of course sat a lot; he made a conscious effort to break out of that, and that eventually became a good habit. I was already a walker-of-decent-distance, but I could do more, so...

I mentioned that to the folks and one Christmas they gave me a pedometer. I set it, then started walking. Walking a lot. Walking more. One especially good walk on a bright winter day in the West HIlls, likely not too far from the house Art Alexakis sang about in "I Will Buy You A New Life," I hit 13,000 steps*. That included walking up a two-story-high outdoor staircase in those hills.

I've said it before: I'm so glad I made walking a habit. Now we're to another period of careful walking, because it's warmer and sunnier. More walking with caps, hats and/or sunblock so I, at most, get a little pinker instead of redder. (Or maybe I'll darken slightly. It's possible. I managed that last summer. I managed that carefully.) And walking's another chance to read: I'm decent at reading-while-walking. I can even do that with big-ass hardcovers, though of course paperbacks are easier. And I want to pick up my reading pace: lately I've been a little pokey. Not too long ago I took over a week to read Stephen King's Firestarter, and usually I can devour 100 to 200 pages of King a day.

So. Exercising my legs, exercising my mind. That's the goal. No, those are two goals. (See? Still sharp!)



* Not with my face.