Counting our steps

We bought pedometers for everyone in our family a few days ago. I’m not generally into exercise gimmickry. I have been shocked, however, by how much the simple act of counting your steps can transform how you spend your day. I’ve also been shocked by how many steps our daughter takes in the course of a normal day. The kid is about as active as a hummingbird (with an equal enthusiasm for sugar).

We started off with the goal most people have of walking 10,000 steps a day. We quickly realized that all three of us were going to hit that goal with little effort. So then we bumped it up to 20,000. Then it turned into a competition to see who could get the most steps in. Suffice it to say, we’ve all been extraordinarily active this week.

Elise seems to love her pedometer more than anyone. She shows it off to everyone she sees. And a ton of people have whipped out their own pedometers to compare steps with her.

She was so accustomed to being the stepping champion of our household that comparing steps with her riding instructor completely devastated her. At 9 am, her riding instructor had already amassed over 4,000 steps just from mucking out stalls. Elise wanted to go to work on barn chores to level the playing field.

“You should have seen me before we had the new fencing installed,” she said. “I walked over 15 miles a day retrieving horses from the woods!” I imagine that would have been less fun without a pedometer.

Our neighbor sent me a text message at 10 pm last night with a picture of her pedometer. “Show Elise that I beat her 22,000 steps.”

A couple on our street who recently moved here from New Jersey pulled out their pedometers to show Elise. She probably has them pushing up their daily goal now too.

The only member of our household who does not like the competition is our rough-coat Jack Russell terrier, Sherlock. As you can see, he found a patch of shade while we were out walking in the intense Florida sun (yes, it is still hot and steamy here in October) and put the brakes on. We had to pick him up and carry him home because he was not budging. It reminded me of that line from Amadeus. What’s wrong with this hike? Too many steps!

It’s good for the soul to get outside.

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