Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sketchercise - and my new pedometer!

Willow Pond from Heron Bridge - 21st May 2008
pencil and coloured pencils in sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

The doyennes of sketchercise are the small group of bloggers who participated in Julie Oakley's One Mile from Home challenge. I was a supporter more in spirit than reality during that challenge.

However this year getting more exercise has become a very real goal to reduce the risks of more falls/tissue tears/etc.

One of the reasons I started my Ecology Park Ponds series this year was to try and make sure I got more exercise. The walk up to the pond is something that is near enough and far enough to make it a decent walk without making it an expedition or taking up too much time. However if I do have the time it's the start of my four mile walk which also takes in the Regents Canal and both lakes at Victoria Park.

Yellow flag irises at East Lake - the "before"
pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I do however need to sort out my pencils - since the pond 'greened up' this month - see the photos in the May Ecology Park Pond Gallery on Flickr. I've been deficient in greens in my pencil case and latterly I've been visually swamped by the development of the yellow flag irises (Iris pseudacorus). I had a bash at doing a sketch of them on Thursday but it needs finishing as I hadn't got the right colours with me. This is the 'before' version!

Anyway the point of this post is to say as of Friday I have a new incentive. I've now got a pedometer!

It's called the ex3 plus and I bought it an hour after I'd been given a pedometer which I promptly lost because although it was hooked inside my trouser pocket it dropped out! This new one weighs next to nothing and hangs round my neck so there's no chance of losing it!

I'm currently 2lbs away from having lost 2 stone since January 1st - which I would have achieved some weeks ago if it hadn't been essential that I went on an official "leg rest with foot up" three week break during the back end of March and early April. I'm planning to road test the new pedometer this afternoon when we go for our Sunday afternoon walk.

What I like about the new pedometer is it gives me feedback about the number of steps, the distance I've walked and, if I program in my weight, how many calories I've burned. That's the sort of feedback I like! You may just possibly see steps counted and distance walked on future sketchercise posts!

If you are also participating in sketchercise, just mark your posts with that word as a tag/label/category and I'll find them - or just leave a comment below.


  1. Oh, what a great idea! Walk to a destination, sketch it-walk home. I love that! There is a lake nearby so I think I'll keep that in mind for the summer, it would make walking less like exercise and more like art. Also your Making a Mark blog is wonderful I love the portrait of the young girl!
    Thank you for the inspiration!


  2. What a great challenge, I thoroughly enjoyed Julie's Mile from Home series. I could find numerous subjects within a mile of home, and I certainly could lose a couple of stone or more. You are giving me the incentive - I'll have to get a pedometer.

  3. It is a great idea, my problem is always that I have to stop and take pictures or draw along the way, so I could walk all day and not really get aerobic exercise! It's a good idea to pick a destination first when you're trying to burn some calories.
    So if I ever do a walk that kind of walk I'll tag it "sketchercise"! great idea Katherine.
    ps. you're walking to help your problem and so am I, my neck and back have been hurting so much still(car crash) that now I'm just walking laps around my back yard with my hiking boots on. I can feel a difference.

  4. Almost two stone!!! Fantastic!!! Brava, brava.

    I'm walking six mornings a week but as it's with an unpaid personal trainer, I can't really stop to sketch. I would love a little gadget to hang around my neck to count the stops though. My fantastically expensive Polaris heart rate monitor is residing in the bottom of a packing case in Sydney unfortunately.

    Love your Iris sketch.

  5. Thanks folks - I'm glad to see it's inspired others - but Julie Oakley is the person you need to thank for coming up with the idea of sketchercise.

    I've got a small toblerone sitting in the fridge as my reward when I hit the 2 stone mark! It's been sitting there for about six weeks and I haven't picked it up once! It'll also be the first chocolate to have passed my lips since Christmas.

    Robyn - heart rate monitors are good - but you can't beat something which tells you how many calories you've just lost - and it's frightening how much exercise you need to do just to lose a slice of bread!

  6. It did tell me how many calories I was burning! It is a wonderful gadget. I will retrieve it on my next trip 'home'. And yes I really do wonder why I let any food pass my lips when I know how much it takes to burn it up :(

    You've been exceptionally strong so you will really have earned that chocolate. The best treat though, is the high one gets from feeling truly fit.

  7. This is another one of those uncanny coincidences that you and I fall into from time to time. I started taking 4 to 5 mile power walks three times a week last February when I was recovering from surgery and couldn't go to the gym. I've fallen in love with walking and have immersed myself in all aspects of the activity, including compiling quite a reading list about walkers and walking--- about which more later. I've got a post planned in which I discuss all of this--- sketches of my new walking shoes will be doing a star turn ;D. I'd planned to mention Julie in my list of famous walkers, so now I can mention you, too! And who knew Robyn was in on the deal, too?
    Congratulations on having lost that weight! I look forward to our parallel walks in the coming months. And, finally, your iris sketch has lots of promise. Get more greens and yellows! Your work, so different from mine, refreshes my eyes and calms me. It's odd, but there we are.

  8. Go, Katherine!! And all the rest of you. I am going to look into that pedometer.

  9. This is something I've been rather vaguely thinking about doing, I'm glad its becoming a movement! I've walked, on and off, for years around our neighbourhood dam and botanical gardens with the aim of getting fitter and blowing out cobwebs. I always feel 100% better when in a walking routine, than when not. Sketching would bring added incentive and rewards - the problem here is that carrying a bag with supplies might attract unwanted attention. And... it's winter, but if you can start in January in London, I guess I can stand it :o A pedometer is an excellent, I'm thinking a bit more about it, will let you know!

  10. I, too am a fan of the one mile from home. lOK, I'm in. I will get the pedomitor this week. Since my foot got injured I have had to work up to walking again. It's time. My destination will take me into a new house area.


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