It is a good thing walking is free. I was thinking this today as I forced myself once again out of the house while it was still dark outside. But, on the plus side, it was also refreshingly cool.

As I walked along in my new shoes (cost $55) I was grateful my feet didn’t hurt. When I started this in August, I was wearing the same shoes I walked around in all day. Then I went to my old real running shoes I had purchased in nineteen-aught-six or something. They were shoes I wore in OR when I last worked there. So they are about fifteen years old now. Might have been the year in the nursing home, however, making them more like ten years old. They were old.

Since my feet were still hurting, I got new shoes and they are cushioned and specially designed for walking with a shaped sole that rocks one forward without effort. They are a bit like walking on pillows and it took a day to get used to them. They never hurt my feet, but they are a bit weird.

I’m also wearing a pair of sport slacks with racy racing stripes of white down the legs of black material. I picked these because they have a pocket to hold the MP3 player. I’ve given up on fashion sense for this portion of my day. I owned the pants and the player before I started this. I’m getting books for the player from the library, so this is all free, too.

Someone else wearing "my" jacket

I’m wearing an old cotton tee shirt (white) that is a bit on the heavy side to give me a bit of warmth. It is in the 50s when I’m walking and I like the softness and the weight of this shirt. Over the shirt I have this sports jacket (cost $15 on sale and was $60 to start) which is almost like neoprene material. Both jacket and shirt are wonderful because they do not have cuffs. This means if I get overheated, I can push the sleeves up. I’ve needed this. In fact, it is why I had to buy the new jacket. All my other jackets (three of them of this type and weight, but not material) have cuffs that are too tight to push the sleeves up.

Since I walk at various times of day, I sometimes walk directly into the rising sun. This is highly annoying. Actually, it is blinding. I hate sunglasses. They never fit right, always slip, and I don’t think they do enough to shade out the sun. They are ineffective and bothersome all at the same time. I bought a visor, but I wanted one with enough padding to not pinch (cost $12). The added benefit is the thing holds my hair out of my face. So I don’t have to put in a ponytail anymore. I probably will have to go back to this hairstyle when it gets hot again, since the hair on my neck is sweltering.

So, my free exercise routine has cost me close to a hundred dollars. Luckily I had some of the accoutrements. I had a water bottle, although I did look for something I could like better. Since I couldn’t find it, I haven’t spent money on that – yet.

I had the three pounds weights already here so I was set in that department.

When it gets colder, my shirt or jacket will need to be warmer. The pants probably won’t work either. I don’t know if I have sweat pants in the house or not. I don’t usually wear them, but I might find something workable around here. I’m not sure what is going to happen regarding a jacket or coat.

I could start walking in the afternoon when it gets too cold in the morning. I don’t know if it will work or not. I can make myself do this in the morning before I’m awake enough to talk myself out of this idiocy. I’m not sure how good that would work when I’m awake and alert and full of a million excuses, up to and including “I don’t want to.”

I have lost a little bit of weight and lots of inches. But I don’t know how many inches because I didn’t measure when I started out. I look different in silhouette and that’s a good thing. My clothing still fits, I haven’t lost that much weight or inches.

And most important of all, I feel better. So whether or not my free exercise is really free or if it does cost a bit, it is worth it.