Wednesday, September 17, 2014

9/17/14: 1757.4 miles to 1766.6 miles: Where to put your Gold Stars

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Today's weather map for virtual hike

Virtual Hike

Dark night on a lonely road. 9/17/14 (Without flash)

Dark night on a lonely road. 9/17/14 (with flash)

I left the house at 4:55 am this morning for my daily 5.1 mile walk. Eight minutes later, I was outside the glare of the city lights and on the lonely road to the east. I was able to see just enough to walk on the shoulder of the road. It was dark enough to see Orion's belt to the East. It would be above the top right side in the picture.

It was just warm enough to walk without wearing a fleece, but cool enough to almost need it. Soon I was lost in thought about a conversation I had with my coach yesterday. Before I knew it, I'd walked 4.7 miles to the Loaf and Jug where I got my cup of coffee. I sat on the sidewalk outside while writing some thoughts in a notebook.

The next section isn't those thoughts as the thoughts in the next section came on the 0.4 mile walk home. Usually, my best ideas come after 4 miles, which explains why I walk at least 5 miles in the morning. I'm not only Road Walking. I am Walking Writer.

The Science of Gold Stars
There is a science of gold stars. The field is called "Scientific Management." I studied this field in depth a couple years ago. Then I inherited two boxes of notes from my mother's father, Tom Colby. Tom immigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1904. I edited these notes and published "Sales Team One." It's a classic real life "Rags to Riches" story.

Gold Star Discussion
I'm participating in a 30 day blogging challenge in a Facebook group. The idea is to make a blog post every day for 30 days. This morning, my time...I think it was early afternoon their time, some bloggers were asking if they could get gold stars for seven days of blogging. The initial reaction might be "there is no gold star until 30 days." That is one option, but there are others.

I like to reward myself for waypoints on the journey. The more parts there are to the journey, the more I can focus on the minimum unit of accomplishment. For instance, I used to reward myself a penny for every 15 minutes of writing. I'd also make an "x" through a number in my daily goal setting book. Each penny and each "x" was a symbolic gold star.

Why reward such small units of accomplishment? Because every long journey is a series of small steps and each step is equally important. Is it only the last step in a marathon that deserves a gold star? Won't the other steps feel neglected?

Walking Gold Stars
I'm more motivated by "gold stars" that have substance. In other words, they aren't on the computer. However, I also track actions on the computer.

Schwinn Bicycle Trailer/Push Cart
I have a map of the entire virtual hike on the front of Wilson. About every 80 miles, I get to fill in one of the circles on the map. I also get to do the same on the picture at the top of this blog. One element of a gold star is the opportunity to share with others. 

8 Day Segment Map

The long route is split into about 140 segment maps. Each segment is 80 miles long or less. Each leg is up to 10 miles. Some are as short as a mile or two. As I pass each way point on my virtual hike, I fill in the marker. After I complete all the legs, I get to fill in a circle on the big map. 

I guess you could say the markers are the bronze stars, the circles are the silver stars, and completing the entire journey is the gold star.

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