It was with great alarm that I read about the Gaustad family “Shuffle to Buffalo” project. Mother Goose and her son Paul Goose have been forcing young children to walk from Portland, Oregon to Buffalo, New York. Call me an old softie, but I think it’s totally barbaric to make seven-year-olds march 2,600 miles across the country. When I read that the first graders were being bullied into swimming across the Great Lakes, I seriously considered calling social services. (Lake Erie is notoriously filthy and is certainly no place for youngsters who do not wish to contract hepatitis.)
Good thing first graders can’t read.
But wait! On closer inspection, rather than a forced march, the “Shuffle to Buffalo” turned out to be a program designed to encourage physical activity in children. The first and second graders in Mother Goose’s P.E. class wore pedometers, and over the course of several weeks they measured enough steps to symbolically “walk” from Portland to Buffalo.
I am a fervent devotee of the sedentary lifestyle. Why should I move about when my computer and my viola are sitting right here? No, walking around isn’t for me. However, I am inspired by the Geese and their altruistic attempts to save youngsters from a fate such as mine. My heart is warmed by the story of youngsters joining together to accomplish a long term goal that encourages fitness, requires math, and promotes the City of Buffalo to a bunch of hippie children in Portland. Perhaps I can learn something myself from the “Shuffle to Buffalo”.
Maybe it’s not too late for me!
In honor of the Gaustad’s program, I have decided to begin my own project to “walk” from Buffalo to Portland. I happen to know a lot of people in Portland (including my younger sister), and I travel there frequently, so the trip has some emotional significance to me. It may take some time, but I figure with a little devotion, and a lot of hard work, I will be slimmed down and in Portland in no time flat. I believe it was Confucius who said, “A journey of 2,600 miles to Portland, Oregon begins with a single step”.
This afternoon I clipped on my pedometer and began my life changing “journey” to Portland! For posterity, I have decided to keep a detailed journal of my trip.
1:00-2:30pm: Clipped on pedometer. Looked at internet for one and a half hours. I think I tricked the pedometer into recording a few steps by shifting occasionally in my chair. (23 steps recorded)
2:30pm: Walked from couch to bathroom. Round trip, the journey was a surprising 50 steps. I’m practically in Portland already! (73 steps recorded)
2:30-3:00pm: Watched DVRed episode of “Cheers” (Seriously, guys. “Cheers” was really funny. If you have a DVR, just program it to record “Cheers” all the time. I promise you won’t be sorry.) I have no idea why, but the pedometer recorded 36 steps while I was watching television. Getting to Portland is going to be a breeze. (109 steps recorded)
3:00pm: It’s time for a healthy snack! The trip from the couch to the refrigerator is 41 steps round trip. (151 steps recorded)
3:15 pm: Decide that I need a beverage to wash down my snack. Back to the kitchen! (193 steps recorded)
Red wine: It’s the healthy thing to do.
3:15-4:30pm: Look at internet while making periodic trips to kitchen to replenish fluids. (315 steps recorded)
4:30-6:30pm: Take 2 hour power nap. Pedometer fell off during nap, so sadly, only 4 steps were recorded during nap. (319 steps recorded)
6:30pm: Call it a day! No one does anything productive after 6:30pm, right?
I’m not sure about the math involved with getting to Portland on foot. I figure, even at this accelerated pace, it will probably take me a few weeks to accumulate the steps necessary, but I am totally devoted to this project. Look out, Portland! Here I come!