Walking: an unexpected cost of online learning September 3, 2020 — by Cici Xu Permalink I used to start off my day with a leisurely 10-minute stroll to school, which would always wake me up. During tutorials, walking with my friend always brightened my mood because I would finally have a chance to gossip about entertaining stories, like how her brother earned a detention. After a long day, I would walk home by myself, enjoying the breeze and a few moments of silence. I usually ended the day having walked a solid 8,000 steps — a crucial indication that I was living a healthy life. Now, at around 11 a.m., my parents usually return from their morning run and pressure me to get up and walk around the house — a downgraded version of my morning stroll to school — but I resist: Somehow I have lost my motivation to stay fit. My growing back pain and measly 1,000 steps per day have started to concern me. I am sure, however, that I am not suffering through these problems alone. To combat the problem, I’ve started hiking every weekend near Montalvo Mountain with a friend. Having someone who to talk to makes exercising less daunting to both of us. During the week, I stroll around the neighborhood with my parents at 8 p.m., which gives me a blessed break from schoolwork and screen time. Still, I still have a long way to go to achieve my 8,000 steps every day. Of course, going for an early-morning run or a walk in the neighborhood might be an effective way to wake me up and get my day started. My dad suggested I print out a schedule for keeping track of my steps and exercise throughout the day, which would help me stay active in the long run. I tried, and found out that I can actually walk 100 steps in less than two minutes. Given that, the distance between me trying to stay fit and giving up upon myself is just a small change in mindset. At the start of the quarantine, I began marathon training with the help of my dad, a dedicated and talented long-distance runner; unfortunately, I did not go far with it because I saw that all the races were getting canceled. That said, here’s my new pledge: I will rejoin my family’s running ways. I don’t want to be left behind.