Grimes stepped off the elevator and heard....nothing at first. As he got used to the silence he started to notice the faint sizzle of the hallway lights, and then off in the distance, a faint clicking. Not once or twice, or with any coherent pattern. Just click click click click click click. The clicking was of course coming from his office.
Click click click click click click click.
Grimes did not want to go back to his office.
He rubbed his eyes. They were dry. It seemed like they were always dry, or tired...actually all of him felt tired. All of him felt tired, all of the time, except when he tried to sleep. Then he would find him self staring at the tv from his bed.
Click click click click click click click.
Grimes trudged his way to the office door. Moving seemed foreign to his legs. It was almost as if his legs new something the rest of him didn't. Like maybe he really shouldn't go back to the office.
Click click click click click click click click click.
His stomach started doing back flips in time with the clicking. As he drew closer to the office, he could hear wheezing coming from behind the door.
Click click " wheeze" click click click "groan" click
There was a loud pop and squeak as he pulled the door open.
Half a dozen people collectively groaned and stopped typing.
Grimes froze. These weren't people. Their skin was translucent and gray. Their hair thin and flimsy. Their faces sunk in around the eyes, showing dark shadows and deep leathery wrinkles. No, these weren't people.
These were zombies.
The group groaned again and turned back to their typing.
“Phew.” Grimes thought, “That could have been a lot worse.”
When we picture zombies, we tend to think of undead creatures roaming in hordes and devouring brains. There is supposed to be some sort of viral out break that can be passed through blood and saliva....or bites. And they tend to have rotting flesh and gaping wounds that don't heal. While the idea is terrifying, and not entirely impossible (a cousin strain of mad cow disease or rabies could do the trick). The reality is, that form of zombie and its apocalypse are a plot point used for a good scream and virtual shotgun blasts.
So you might not need to learn how to wield a shovel as a melee weapon, but you should know, there is an actual zombie apocalypse. It isn't coming like some far off winter we keep waiting for. It's already here, it's well passed patient zero, and chances are, you have been infected.
We are going to call it the zombie zone out.
The zombie zone out is created by a mix of immobility, repetitive task, and low motivation. In small doses the zombie zone out can be enjoyable, if not helpful for reducing stress. I for one am a huge fan of binging on sit-com reruns on my way to bed. Since I've seen the episode many times over, I don't really pay attention to it. But it's enough of a stimulus to keep me from thinking about things that went wrong today or that long to do list up in my office.
The zombie zone out can also be useful for fast forwarding through small boring parts of your day. Like the commute to and from work. You've made the same drive, same turns, same lane merges, and same traffic light stops so many times, that you no longer pay attention to them. Which leads to a slight feeling of not knowing how you made it home already.
The problems with the zombie zone out come from tying together back to back to back moments of it in the same day. You wake up on Monday morning and zombie zone out on the drive to work. Once there you are extremely bored of typing the same things and having the same arguments with your coworkers and dealing with the same petty annoyances that really shouldn't matter. So you zombie zone out through the work day. Then you are glad to be free, and really just need to get home and relax, so you zombie zone out on the drive home from work. Once you are home, you feel lethargic. The day sapped you of any energy and making it all the way to the couch seems like wishful thinking. Through some miraculous power of will, you manage to crawl to the couch, flip on the tv, and zombie zone out.... until you fall asleep in a puddle of drool, and wake up an hour later. Only to go to bed and be wide awake.
That string of zombie zone outs becomes increasingly difficult to break as more and more link together. By the 2nd straight day, sometimes known as Tuesday, you add waiting for the weekend to the zombie zone out horde. When you make it to the weekend, you start off by sleeping in because you have to make up for the horrible sleep you had all week. You have options for things to do over the weekend, but really that past week just threw you for a loop so relaxing at home and doing as little as possible sounds like the best bet.
If this process grows unchecked for too long, you will become an actual zombie. Because you aren't living anymore. Your heart may still be beating, and you may still be breathing, but your body isn't moving, your brain isn't working, and your conscious thought is non existent. You have zero desire to do anything, let alone workout or eat properly, and you are too bored to be depressed.
All is not lost. I have a weapon you can battle the zombie zone outs with. It will create separation in your home to work zombie cycle, increase your awareness thought out the day, power creative thinking, and stimulate your body.
It's called walking.
It's free, it requires no equipment, and it's the base for all other movements you ask of your body. It doesn't have to be a long hike, or done at a furious pace. But it does need to be done everyday. Especially if it's your only shot at real movement during the day. 30-45 minutes can be enough to battle the zombie zone outs. If you can't seem to find 30-45 straight minutes of time, you can break it up through out the day. 10 minutes before going to work. 15 minutes on your lunch. 10 minutes after work before getting in the car. 10 minutes before heading to the couch once you get home.
It's never too late to start walking more. Try it now and start feeling results in energy, motivation, and sleep, in a matter of days. If you enjoy the walking or are already walking and would like a little more intensity in your zombie battle, stop by the gym and lets see how you are with that shovel....or perhaps a sledge hammer.