The First of One Million Steps

Posted in Blog, Body, Front Page | 4 comments

The First of One Million Steps

Ah! My favorite time of year! Michigan really comes alive in late spring/early summer. What better way to enjoy it than by throwing on a pair a sneaks and hitting the trails?

The outdoors brings a balance to life that is unequal to any drug, any escape, or any therapy. Mile upon mile of clean air await us, if we just take the time to spoil ourselves and take advantage of it.

I say spoil as if we’re wasting time. But anyone who invests in themselves in this way (better word!) realizes not just the physical benefits of tighter buns and firmer thighs but also:

  • clarity of thought,
  • better sleep, and
  • a more optimistic outlook on life.

For the last four years, I have tracked my steps between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Last year I set a walking goal of 800,000 steps and flew past it, to over 960,000 steps.

Last year was a very different year. A stellar year, in a lot of ways.

I was so dedicated to working out, eating sensibly, and walking. This year, though, I have struggled.

If I was riding the wave last year, I’m taking in water this year.

I don’t know what the deal is, but I am struggling big time with loss. First I thought it was the bitterly cold and snow-packed winter we experienced. Yet, the heaviness hasn’t left me, even with the change of seasons. It’s been difficult for me to focus on health and wellness. The less I took care of myself, the less energy I had. To even think of walking or getting back into shape seemed like a hill too high to climb.

I thought about taking a step back, taking it a little easier on myself. What would be wrong with setting a goal of 760,000 steps, like I did two years ago? Or 500,000 steps, like I did the first year?

But then I thought, I’m going for it…one million steps. I know what being out, breathing in the fresh air step by step, does for me. It may be just what I need to kick this temporary depression and swing back into a well-balanced life.

Why do I do this every year? There’s, of course, the physical and mental benefits that I described earlier. I also find that I learn more about myself and my God through the process. Lastly, I do this in memory of my parents.

My dad’s birthday always seemed to fall on Memorial Day weekend, and my mom’s always fell around Labor Day. So the family was always together on these two days, if at no other time in the summer. With my mom’s emphysema and my dad’s unsteadiness related to Parkinson’s, they were home bound for their final years. On each visit, I tried to describe recent scenes or happenings or conversations so vividly that they could re-live them with me. Did it mean something to them? I think it did. I know what it meant to me.

Now that both Mom and Dad have passed on, these walks serve to honor their memories, to take care of myself in a way that would have made them proud, and to both appreciate and convey the beauty, the happenings, the life lessons around me.

Will you join me? What will your step goal be?

Enjoy your day. Enjoy this blog.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/fatboyke/2984569992/”>fatboyke (Luc)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

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4 Comments

  1. Wow. This is very cool, Anna. I’m going to consider joining you . . . how do you count your steps? I have a pedometer, somewhere.

    • Find that pedometer, Beth! I would love to have you join me. I’m using a Polar Loop to track my steps (similar to a Fitbit but easier to attain). It’s a little pricier than your typical pedometer, but it also tracks my sleep, how long I’ve gone sitting (i.e., working on my computer) with no activity, etc. I can sync everything to my computer and interact with other Polar users. So far, I like it, but I’ll keep you posted.

  2. Thank you, my friend, for this. It was so encouraging. Lord bless your home. Kittye Sharron (soon to be published) The Longest Letter: Incredible Hope

    • Wonderful, Kittye: Hope you join me on this 14-week journey!

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