Mammal Mondays: The Pedometer Made Us Do It

I bought a new iPod nano yesterday. This one is a major improvement over my existing model, a seven or eight year-old 80 GB classic that is overkill for walking with Sherman and to work. My new iPod is also a lovely colour blue, which makes my heart happy. Because my MacBook is so very old, the new iPod is giving me grief and will not connect to my music library; I’m currently waiting for the OS software upgrade I ordered from Apple yesterday. I did manage to upload a few albums from The Electrician’s much newer laptop in the meantime.

Along with being so small and light I’m worried I’ll accidentally put it though the wash in the pocket of some pair of pants or a jacket, my new iPod has a frighteningly accurate pedometer. That’s right: my iPod can now play music and tell me how far I’ve scurried.

Sherman and I set out before the heat came down on Edmonton this morning for an extra long walk. We live close enough to the river valley that I really don’t have an excuse for getting there as rarely as I do, and I decided to rectify that and take the pup along for the walk. Waking up spontaneously at 7:58 on a holiday Monday was a kick in the teeth, but I decided I’d just turn that negative into something good for the mutt and my butt.  I admit I have a super geeky dog walking fanny pack, into which I tucked my phone, my keys, and my little pink camera, and we set out.

About five blocks out, I suddenly had to pee. I have a very finicky bladder, and when I get the signal, stopping is not optional. In what is definitely a first for me, I stopped at McDonalds for a bathroom break mid-walk, leaving poor Sherm tied to an outdoor bike rack. I didn’t notice until after I came back out that there was a yellow-jacket nest under the bricks near the bike rack, but the gods of nature and exercise were on our team and neither of us was stung, thank goodness.

Sherman and I trekked down a massive hill into the river valley, and he ignored the bicycles that nearly ran us off the sidewalk again and again without bothering to ring their bells; he did not, however, appreciate the cars and buses zinging by way faster than the posted speed. Crossing the bridge at the bottom of the hill freaked Sherm out for the first fifty metres, but then he adjusted to the strange noises and we carried on as normal.

Perfect September morning.
Perfect September morning.

After we hit the lowest part of the valley, Sherman and I headed up the hill toward downtown. I was planning to take some photos from that point, but there were unexpected dirt piles and big yellow pieces of equipment so I kept my camera in my fanny pack. We climbed (it was harder for me than for the dog) out of the valley and up onto the Legislature grounds, where I snapped some good shots to share.

It would be nicer if the construction on the dome was done, but we'll take what we can get.
It would be nicer if the construction on the dome was done, but we’ll take what we can get. 

There was a massive bike race of some variety going on near the Leg. grounds. My guess is some kind of charity ride considering how many kids–including one family in homemade viking costumes complete with cardboard shields and horns on their bike helmets–rode on by.

He was checking out a man coming up the sidewalk in a motorized wheelchair, and I couldn't get his attention back, nor did I hear the wheelchair with my headphones in. New things are exciting to Sherman.
He was checking out a man coming up the sidewalk in a motorized wheelchair, and I couldn’t get his attention back, nor did I hear the wheelchair with my headphones in. New things are exciting to Sherman.

Eventually, we cut back across the river over the High Level Bridge, which is considerably higher up than the bridge we came over on, and has been there for a good hundred years. By this point, Sherman was a confident fellow in terms of bridges, and he was simply too tired to feel antsy, and our crossing was beautifully smooth.

It was worth getting up early for this.
It was worth getting up early for this.

By the time we were crossing the bridge home, it was about 25 degrees and climbing, and both of us were feeling the exercise. Apparently, healthy feels just like exhaustion. I checked in with my iPod’s pedometer regularly during our excursion, and at the end of our very brisk walk, we’d covered exactly 7.8 kilometers. It was exactly that number because I walked two houses past ours and then doubled back so I’d have a nice round number to publish. Go me!

At home, we retired to the nice cool basement. I was content to relax on the couch with an ice cold Diet Pepsi, but Sherman felt the need to lie in front of the fan with all his warmest places exposed for cooling. Ahem.

All class, this dog.
All class, this dog. 

Here we are, all healthy and pleased with ourselves. Sherman has hardly moved all day, and I’m getting really stiff, but hopefully we can schedule walks like today’s more often. It’s good for us, right?

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