It was a coincidence that started it. In January I went to the doctor for the first time in ten years. (Here and Here.) After all the tests and whatnot, we agreed I needed to lose some weight and get my cholesterol down, and I adjusted my daily diet and started working out a little every day.
In February, I ran my telephone through the washing machine. I do not recommend this. It was no great loss, it was the world dumbest dumb phone, it actually only made calls and texts, nothing else. That’s what I liked about it. It didn’t even recognize who was calling me, even when that person was in my contact list. But it had to replaced, so now I have a spiffy, shiny iPhone that does more things than a telephone really should do.
And any of you with an iPhone (or probably any other phone made in this decade) knows what comes next. I found the “Health” app. It counts every step I take during the day and the distance I travel. (It probably does a lot of other things, but I haven’t figured them out, nor am greatly interested in them.) But the Health app, I can’t stop myself from checking seven or eight times a day.
I know people who say they don’t feel right unless they get their daily step count up to 10,000. I’m lucky to get much over 4,000, although sometimes I top 5,000 or even 6,000. The day we went to the New Orleans Jazz Fest I logged more than 12,000 steps, but that was an anomaly. (Yeah, an anomaly that included an Elton John concert!) Mostly I’m right around 4,000 steps a day.
See, here’s the thing. I work at home, and we live in a pretty small house. The farthest I can walk without a turn is 13 steps. If I walk from my desk, make a turn and walk to my bedroom window, that’s 18 steps. So to get a thousand steps I would have to walk that and back 28 times. Which is easily do-able, but boring and annoys the family because I have to cross in front of the television.
Now if I worked in a big office building, or a school or warehouse or something, I’d be getting zillions of steps every day. I don’t. On the other hand, I don’t have to wire a tie to work, or even pants (although that’s only when the family is all out. During the summer months, not so much.)
So I find steps where I can get them. When I go to the grocery store, I park as far from the door as possible, work the perimeter of the store for all it’s worth, take the shopping cart to my car to unload, then take it all the way back to the front door. No “Shopping Carts Here” corral for me. Costco is great. I can get a mile and a half, two miles out of a Costco trip every time, but we don’t go there every week.
And Tori and I take the occasional walk around the block as well.
I missed a lot of steps Thursday. Spent an hour in the morning in a dentists chair. Spent most of the afternoon sleeping it out.
I’m back on it today.
I’m not losing sleep over it, but it’s there in the back of my mind. It’s an obsession.