Jason Rezaian spent 544 days in solitary confinement inside an Iranian prison. He has some advice on how to survive social isolation:
1. Don’t spend all your time online.
You thought you spent a lot of time on the Internet before? That was nothing. And if you’re active on social media, as many of us are, it’s going to be hard to step off that merry-go-round.
2. Read books
After I was released from solitary confinement after 49 days, I was allowed some small privileges. The one that I quickly realized was the most indispensable was access to books. Reading was a wonderful mental escape from my grim surroundings. It also connected me to the outside world.
No matter how small your living space is, though, you probably have enough room to walk. If possible, take the stairs. That’s what I’m doing. All three flights of them, many times a day.
And with that, I'm going to get my 250 steps for the hour.
My 207-day streak of 10,000 steps per day ended, as I suspected it would, at midnight GMT tonight.
Traveling from Chicago to London takes 6 hours out of the day, and it's hard to get enough steps before 7am to get to 10k by 6pm when most of that time is on an airplane.
Anyway, I'm in the Ancestral Homeland, about to finish the book that inspired the opera I'm performing in next week.
And then there's the other opera that requires I sing rapidly in Russian, without rushing. I brought the score for that one so I don't lose out on missing Monday's rehearsal.
More later. I actually have to get in sync with GMT so I can function on Monday. Wish me luck.
So, 25 million (recorded) steps in 1,840 days. And I'm currently on a streak—which will likely end today because of my long flight tomorrow—of 207 consecutive days of 10,000 steps or more.
It's the first day of November 2019, the month in which the 1982 classic film Blade Runner takes place. Los Angeles has a bit of haze today from wildfires in the area, but I'm glad to report that it isn't the environmental disaster portrayed in the movie. No flying cars, no replicants, and no phone booths either.
In other news:
Yesterday was my fifth anniversary using Fitbit products. Since 24 October 2014, I've walked 24,814,427 steps over 21,129.14 km and climbed 32,002 floors. In those 1,828 days I've hit 5,000 steps 1,825 times and 10,000 steps 1,631 times (and 193 days in a row as of yesterday).
So, barring injury, I should hit 25 million steps in about 11 days. Cool.
This is how I spent an hour of my holiday today:
It's beautiful out: 21°C, mostly sunny, with a gentle breeze. But I walked that far in less than an hour, so I'm now back at my hotel to shower. Still, this is exactly how I needed to spend today.
A couple of streaks ended today.
First, the good one: after 221 days, I finally got to fly somewhere. That's the longest I've gone without traveling by air since 1980, or possibly earlier.
Second, the bad one: after 82 days, I finally missed 10,000 steps, owing to the above-mentioned flying. That's the longest stretch of 10k-plus days I've had since getting a Fitbit. (I would have made it, too, if it weren't for those meddling time zones.)
Finally, there is a crushing disappointment that I will share tomorrow morning. Well, maybe not crushing, but certainly disappointing. And temporary, it seems, but coinciding exactly with my trip here. So, boo.
Thursday, I hit a new PR for total steps over 7 days. Yesterday I said if I got 22,149 steps I'd hit 175,000 for the week, averaging 25,000 per day.
Sadly, I only got 18,327 yesterday. So I did hit a new PR for 7-day total, 171,122, but I fell almost 4,000 steps short of 175,000. Boo. My 7-day average was just 24,446.
Right now I'm waiting for my co-worker to sync up his steps from our Workweek Hustle step challenge. As of 10pm he had 104,720, and as of midnight I had 105,523. That's a lot of steps for a workweek. I'll be OK if he beats me in the challenge, but only just OK.
In the 7 days through yesterday, I walked 169,083 steps, a new personal record (PR). That averages out to 24,154 per day.
On the one hand, I can set a new PR of 25,000 per day, or 175,000 for 7 days, by walking 22,149 steps today.
On the other hand, or if the shoe is on the other foot so to speak, my feet do not like this idea. Nor do my calves, quads, hams, or glutes.
On the third hand, if I don't hit that PR today, I won't have another shot at it without either walking 25k consistently for a week, or doing another pair of stupidly long walks within a 7-day period. Now, it's entirely possible I'll hit 50k in one day sometime this summer. But after all the walking I've done this week, I'm not that excited by the prospect.
So: any steps I get above 16,289 for today will set a 7-day PR, which is great. But I'm not going to take that in stride.
Also, yesterday bumped up into my top-5 days. Pretty soon they're all going to be over 35,000 steps:
My top-5 single-day step records are now:
My dentist is all the way up in Hubbard Woods, which turns out to be a 21.3 km walk from my house. I know that because I walked it this morning. In fairness, I did it in two roughly-equal parts with a stop in downtown Evanston for lunch.
But my total time for the walk, 3:12:36, over what was almost exactly a half-marathon, implies a legal finishing time for the Chicago Marathon (6:30 allowed for the 42.2 km course).
I'm in a step challenge with a co-worker who got 11,000 ahead of me yesterday. Let's see how he does with the 28,000 I've gotten so far today.
And, as predicted, I have already blown away my 7-day personal step record with 159,083 so far this afternoon.