Posts Tagged 'pedometer'


I love the digital postcards that arrive!

Greetings from Spain! Every day I step onto the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail and move closer to the Cathedral at the end. I plan to arrive sometime in February. A life goal fulfilled. Sort of.

I’m doing the whole pilgrimage through an app. The Conqueror Events. The appeal is that I get to see my progress each day on the map and I love checking things off. Without a tangible goal and a way to keep track, I would likely minimally move.

My first intentional walking came during my first year of marriage when I picked up a book called, “Aerobics for Women” (Kenneth Cooper) and decided I would take that up. Running never enthralled me, this seemed doable. When I saw there were progress charts, I was all in! Tom often joined me walking around our neighborhood and he liked plotting distances.

We left that neighborhood the next year and as well as that practice and got all caught up in the stuff of life. We enjoyed hiking on weekends away but it wasn’t an everyday thing. Later, I walked to the park with the four kids and that was about it. For 20+ years.

During the Avon walk.

As I approached my 50th birthday, I wanted to celebrate by doing something officially stretching. Like hard. Like a LONG walk. Just two years earlier, Avon started a 3 Day 60-mile walk for breast cancer, and it was coming to Chicago in 2000. I signed up.

The training was grueling. Fortunately, there was a ton of support from the organization with instructions for how  to prepare and I followed it exactly.  By the time the walk started, I had raised well over the required $1800 and my legs were ready to walk for three days. An adventurous story I’ll tell at another time!

Now that I was an experienced long-haul walker, I looked for something else to conquer. Lake Geneva (WI)  or rather Geneva Lake as the lake itself is called was my next goal. It is a local ordinance that the entire area surrounding the lake, 26 miles, can be accessed by walkers. Geneva Lake Shore Path A lovely walk but not too plentiful in “facilities” shall we say.

My first attempt was with Tom and we got to 24 ½ miles when a tornado came up. So close, but no check off yet☹ The following summer I tried again with a girlfriend and we completed the walk. But we didn’t stretch at all after finishing and just climbed in the car and drove 90 minutes home. I had to be lifted out of the car!

Without a specific goal, walking became more casual again. As much as I would like to “just do it,” it was easier to find something else easier to measure or cross off. Until pedometers came along. Step counting, just my thing!

Then my knee needed replacing.  No step counting for months. Slowly I built back up again.  One day I hit 30K steps! But then the other knee started going down. Both are titanium now so no more sidelining. Hopefully.

I’m in it to win it now (again.) But it’s getting cold. I have a treadmill, but it is so boring.

Thus, the long walk through Spain. I think I’ll do the English Chanel next. If I sit out too long, I may not get going again.  I’m working up to the Appalachian Trail. That will take awhile. BTW, I feel strong!

Are you a check-it-off kind of person too? Does it help you to keep track?

I’ve got 1.65 miles to go today. The view is exquisite!


Hope for the best,



Broken Toe Blues

Don't WalkSheesh!  I was only trying to get my 10,000 steps in.  For 10 weeks, I stuck my pedometer in my pocket each morning and didn’t miss an opportunity for a few stairs, a little jaunt to the corner, and gleefully made five separate trips to the kitchen while making tea just to keep the number rolling to the elusive 10K.  Except on Sundays…. part of my Sabbath to leave it on the nightstand.

So last week I felt unstoppable, triumphant, I could do this the rest of my life,  UNTIL I stubbed my toe, hard.  More mad at the halt to my steps than the pain, I resolved to keep going and applied my usual mantra, “I will be fine.”

Except I wasn’t…fine that is.  The pain and swelling grew rapidly and still I walked, so sure I could beat it with a few Advil.

By Thursday as the purple in the bruise deepened, I begrudgingly got an X-ray. Fracture!  “Four weeks to heal, stay off it!” was the MD report.

I felt the whoosh of the wind going out of my sail and, truthfully, I am still a bit furious.  One of my lifetime struggles is to stay consistent with exercise.  If you are a regular reader, you know about my personal trainer, cancelled this week of course since putting shoes these days requires a lot of finesse and occasional swearing.

Last night I read the enlightening statistic that it takes six months to get into shape and two weeks to lose it.  I felt like throwing a goodbye party for my fitness.

Zero steps

My zero steps pedometer

I know, I know, I really will be fine and it could be so much worse, right?  Meanwhile, I’m working on a few different re-framing packages.  My Verve isn’t broken, just my toe.

Small props = Big Help

I just turned over my beautiful sandal-wood hour-glass to write this post.  I could easily look at the clock or set a timer to gauge the hour but using this prop is a more delightful measuring of time.

In my jeans pocket is another one of my props…a pedometer.  Like most of us, I am trying to get more exercise and watching those steps tick out one-by-one is a great motivator to park the car a little farther away or take the stairs.  Of course, I would still be trying to “walk more” but this little device makes it so much more fun.

“Prop” : a person or thing that is a source of support or assistance. (Oxford Dictionary.)  I need a lot of props to get through a day.

My morning prop of Chinese tea in a colorful mug along with a ½ of whole wheat English muffin with blackberry jam initiates my hour with God. The “Secret Garden” Pandora station prop tells me it is time to write. A hand-painted crystal goblet keeps me hydrated. Draping my colorful stole around my neck informs me I am a chaplain now.

In my book, Rhythms of Renewal , I wrote…  Many rituals include props of some sort to help enhance the experience.  Some more examples are:

  • Candles: Candles are lit at the beginning of a ritual and blown out at the end.  The Jewish Sabbath meal on Friday nights begins with this ritual.  Many dinners, personal ceremonies, conversations start this way.
  • Clothing: Marking the day to evening transition by changing into comfortable clothing, stepping into stretchy clothes before a morning exercise routine, donning a fun apron to start preparing food are all examples of clothing as props.
  • Food/drink:  Sharing a toast, breaking the bread, and pouring the tea are all components of certain rituals.  Think of the role of a cake in a birthday or wedding celebration, oyster soup on Christmas Eve, ham on Easter. When food is scripted, there is usually a ritual involved!
  • Music: Many rituals include a background score.   Lacing up the shoes and choosing the playlist gets many a runner out the door.  Classical music eases bill paying, dining can be enhanced by jazz in the background, creative writing encouraged to flow with movie soundtracks, and praying more focused with Gregorian chants.

Most of  life’s tasks can be accomplished perfunctorily but why not add a pleasant prop?

I would love to hear about some of your props in the comments section.

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