“Every weeknight, I fall into my bed at around 9:30 feeling like I’ve done a day of breaking rocks, and I sink into the deep and honest sleep of the righteous toiler.”
When I was 18, I walked with my family from St. Bee’s Head in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire, along the magnificent Coast to Coast path laid out by Alfred Wainwright. I was a fairly fit youngster, as coming from the northwest of England, I had easy hiking access to the fells and hills of the north of England and Wales.
By 2017, twenty years of sedentary desk work in banking had taken their toll. Apart from periods where I briefly made use of a dormant gym membership, my fitness level took a hammering, with blood pressure and weight issues shadowing the runaway flight of years that accompanied the familiarity of a longstanding job.
Jump to November 2019, and on a Sunday evening I have just about recovered from the last week at school. Every weeknight, I fall into my bed at around 9:30 feeling like I’ve done a day of breaking rocks, and I sink into the deep and honest sleep of the righteous toiler.
"To celebrate my turning fifty next year I will be repeating that Coast to Coast walk, safe in the knowledge that the bulk of my training will be provided by the simple fulfilment of my teaching role."
This made me wonder about what data I could find on the difference between my old and new lives, which led me to look at the step count recorded by my mobile phone:
As can be seen, in 2017 I was lucky to manage 2,000 steps a day, whilst on a typical school week in 2019 I’m creeping up towards 10,000 steps a day, 90% of which are spent trying to find a working photocopier, and this is working wonders for my fitness.
To celebrate my turning fifty next year I will be repeating that Coast to Coast walk, safe in the knowledge that the bulk of my training will be provided by the simple fulfilment of my teaching role.
Now I just need to reduce my weight for the walk; I commute to school past the Scylla and Charybdis of McDonalds and Greggs, and school dinners are surprisingly good, with the friendly catering staff usually throwing in a generous dollop of “teacher’s extras”, which can be very hard to resist.
Schools need more people like Mark.
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