My phone counts my daily steps, if I’m carrying it around. I had never heard of such an abomination until sometime in the early 2000s when I had my first cell phone in the pocket of my REI cargo shorts. I was running hills with my dog when I got a call from my boss.
“What are you doing?”
“Oh, I’m out at Mission Trails.”
“Mission Trails? Why? Is there a meeting?”
“No, I’m running with the dogs.”
“I bet you have no problem getting in your 10,000 steps.”
It was then I learned were “supposed” to walk 10,000 steps every day or something. Since my phone keeps counting, I researched the famed 10,000 steps a little while back. Here’s what I learned (found the article!):
“I-Min Lee, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard University T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the lead author of a new study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, began looking into the step rule because she was curious about where it came from. “It turns out the original basis for this 10,000-step guideline was really a marketing strategy,” she explains. “In 1965, a Japanese company was selling pedometers, and they gave it a name that, in Japanese, means ‘the 10,000-step meter.’”
Based on conversations she’s had with Japanese researchers, Lee believes that name was chosen for the product because the character for “10,000” looks sort of like a man walking. As far as she knows, the actual health merits of that number have never been validated by research.Atlantic
Still, my phone persists…
To me the QUALITY of the steps counts more than the quantity. My steps are now pretty lame ( ha ha ) but my feet are just part of the equation. What I SEE and HEAR? Even when I was running that was the point. I didn’t have much time between school and dark and that was one reason I ran. The others? I loved running for its own sake and liked the endorphin kick that had the power to add a lovely quality to the light. On top of all of that I loved being out in nature alone with my dogs.
A friend recently asked me why I “work out” in the afternoon and not the morning. I explained that it’s not something I want to “get over” before I “get on with my day.” It’s the reward for whatever the day has blasted through my life. It’s a lifetime habit, I tried explaining. As soon as I got home from school when I was a kid I was out the door and into the woods or hills at top speed. After teaching all day? “Here you go, Martha! Good job! Play Kate Bush, leash the dogs, load up the truck and GO!!!! You’ve earned it!”
After speaking to my boss that day, I wondered about those 10,000 steps. I finally shook my head and said, “C’mon Punky (Ariel),” and we took off up the slope where once we’d watched a doe watch us. I have no idea how many steps that was.