Out of Step

When did “getting your steps in” become a thing? I can clearly remember a time–not too long ago, actually–where I never gave a second thought to how many steps I took in a day. But at some point (which I simply can’t identify, no matter how much Googling I do) steps became the latest fitness fad. Is this one here to stay or destined to join the ranks of Tae Bo, the Thighmaster, or vibrating belts?

If you’re into steps, you know that ten thousand is the number of steps you must take. Every device or app that counts steps agrees on this hard fact and are very explicit about it in the instructions. I opened up the help page of one app I tried and it said, “Thou shalt step to ten thousand, no more, no less. Ten thousand shalt be the number of steps thou shalt walk, and the number of steps thou shalt walk shall be ten thousand. Ten thousand and one shall thou not walk. Nor either walk thou 9,999 excepting that thou then proceed to ten thousand. Twenty thousand is right out.”

For me, ten thousand itself is right out. I set my daily goal at five thousand and even that can be difficult to reach on busy days. I sit for a living, plain and simple. And sometimes I sit a lot for a living. And I try my best to get up every hour or two, and walk out of my way when I can, but it doesn’t always work out.

So sometimes I turn to the internet for help. Because the internet’s been there. The internet knows. It has all sorts of helpful tips for getting steps in like:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Park in the furthest spot away from your destination.
  • Pace constantly in the shower.
  • Plug your television into a generator attached to a treadmill.
  • Don’t fly to your next vacation destination, make a week of it and walk.
  • Learn how to sleep at night while walking on a treadmill.

Those little changes add up! I have proof from various friends and family members who routinely get in all the recommended steps a day and proceed right past ten thousand anyway. However, I believe that I have set the world record.

It was September 24, 2016. I woke up that morning knowing that today would be a day like no other. And I wasn’t wrong. It began at 7:45 and by ten o’clock that night I had broken that record: 18,000 steps.

“Eighteen thousand steps? That isn’t a record!”
“Hell, I walk that much before breakfast!”
“What are you going on about, Mr. Charlie!?”

I understand your confusion and will answer your questions. You see, this was the record for most steps in a day without leaving the house. Yep, over eight miles of walking in bursts of no more than thirty or forty feet at a time.

That was one day of housework I don’t feel like repeating again any time soon.

1 Comment for “Out of Step”


I had to laugh because I walked out of the house yesterday, and as I was getting on the train I realized “doh!” I forgot my fitbit! Like I need a fitbit to tell me how many steps I have to actually “count.”

That being said, if I take it off at the end of the night and I am at 9800 steps, I’ll walk the extra 200 to get it to 10k 😀

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