I freely concede that I am a creature of habit. I don’t mind doing new things, but I ultimately like to settle into a routine. When we moved recently, part of the process was establishing a new routine.
In our German Village place, I got up at 5 or so, wrote my blog entry, and then took a walk around Schiller Park. When we moved downtown, the Schiller Park part of the routine had to change. Fortunately, our new place includes a small workout facility, so it was pretty easy to substitute a treadmill walk and some weight work for the stroll around Schiller. The treadmills feature a standard 30-minute walk, with a five-minute “cool down” period, which amounts to about the same time period consumed by my Schiller walk, and the ability to do some exercises with free weights is an added bonus. I miss the German Village scenery and I don’t get as much fresh air as I used to, but I like using the machines, setting goals and getting data about my workouts, counting the calories that the machine says I’ve burned, and seeing my fellow workout room users in the morning.
For those of us who are creatures of habit, creating the new routine is a way of getting acclimated to new surroundings and locations. I’m happy with my new routine.
If you walk around your town, you’ve probably noticed this already. I’m talking about the number of people who are going from Point A to Point B, carrying a coffee cup or water bottle. I’d say at least half, and maybe more, of the people out and about these days are fully liquified and ready to immediately hydrate or caffeinate.
It’s kind of strange when you think about it. It’s as if these folks can’t bear to be away from the liquid of their choice for any length of time, so they carry it with them — even if they aren’t actually drinking from the cup, or mug, or jug as they walk along. And I’m not talking about people who have just emerged from the nearest Starbucks with a pumpkin latte and are heading back to the office, either. I’m talking about people who seem to carry their containers at all times. One of my fellow walkers from German Village to downtown Columbus always carries a cup of coffee with him on his stroll to work, and he never takes so much as a sip. Of course not! If you try to take a drink when you’re walking you’re risking a spill, and coffee stains are hard to remove from clothing. That begs the question: if you’re not going to actually drink the liquid you’re lugging around, why carry it with you in the first place?
As somebody who prefers to walk unburdened by water bottles and coffee cups, I conclude that there are two potential explanations for this. One is that the water-bearers have become emotionally attached to their liquid containers and their contents, and that constantly carrying them around provides some kind of comfort. The other is that this is all part of some new exercise regimen. Somewhere, some fitness guru has decreed that the muscles surrounding the crook of the arm are under-exercised, and that the best way to deal with the issue is to carry around small containers and maintain the arm perpetually bent at the elbow, with the lower arm and the upper arm forming a 90-degree angle, for extended periods of time. Only by doing so will the biceps and triceps, working with the ulna, radius, brachioradialis, tendons, extensors, and flexors, get the full workout that they really need.
Call it Coffee Cup Conditioning, or the Water Jug Workout.