how I walked my way right past 1 million

by rebecca on April 3, 2014

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I’ve been taking nearly 10,000 steps a day for 30 years. At age 18 I began taking a walk every day. It was for my mental health. I preferred the outdoors to a lifetime dose of anti-depressant.

Occasionally I miss a day. But my average is better than 6/7 days, probably more like 13/14.

In 30 years that means I’ve walked 10,230 days and taken nearly 102,300,000 steps. Criminy. It wasn’t even a goal I set out to accomplish. I was living 1 day at a time before I knew there was such a thing. (This experiment also shows me what an enormous number 1 billion is. Sheesh)

I never could set out to take a million steps, let alone 100 million. If I, as a young girl had said, “I’m going to walk for 10,000 days in a row,” I’d have been overwhelmed. I don’t actually think I could have done it. For me, it’s best not to know the whole picture. It’s best to know what I can do today, this week and maybe (truly only maybe) this year.

If, however, the way we do one thing is the way we do all things, I have learned from my daily walks far more than putting one foot in front of another. I have learned that the only way I will ever do the big things in my life is little by little. Incrementally. Probably won’t look like much for a long, long time.

And I’m not even close to a patient person.

Perhaps I am more persistent than I realized. Or is it that I am stubborn? Shadow and light of the same quality.

I have used this one step at a time topost114

  • Put my husband through 10 years of schooling while we had little kids (who turned out to be not so little by the time he finished.)
  • Make a gorgeous quilt for my daughter.
  • Learn to pop the most unimpressive wheelie you’ve ever seen. But my son did tell me I got my wheel off the ground.
  • Write. Write a book. Write the curriculum for classes I teach. Write to help myself. Write letters. Write to solve problems. Writing has been the 10,000 daily steps for my brain.
  • Raise 2 children and become someone new in the process. That person I became: maiden-turned-mother is a whole lot more than merely someone who makes meals and helps with carpools.

Here’s my list for this year:

  • Paint several rooms in the house (so far it’s taking me 2 weeks to paint a small bathroom! I’m serious about small bites!)
  • Going through 30ish boxes that have been lurking about in my garage.
  • Redoing the pantry. (It’s always been neat thanks to my daughter. Now I just want it to be stylish. I love pantries and I remembered that this year. They are one of my happy places.)
  • Rock garden. (This one feels heavier in the sense that it is overwhelming me. Which tells me I still need to break it down into bite sized pieces. Or maybe I don’t really want to do it, but somehow think I should want to want it. I’ll let you know how it goes.)

yedder looks at me croppedI don’t know everything about where one step at a time is taking me in my life. I do know that I’m invisibly getting to my destination. The journey sure is lovely.

I was inspired to write this because of my friend, Heather’s Just Write blog series. She asks people to write about what’s going on in their lives.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen @ Motherese April 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm

One step at a time. Turtle steps. You’ve taught me so much about the power of small bites. Love this lesson.

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rebecca April 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm

I’m so glad this resonates with you! You are turtle stepping into such greatness Kristen! An inspiration to so many.

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Yvette Francino April 5, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Wow! That’s a lot of steps! Have you read the book, “Bird by Bird”? The title is based on this concept of taking it a step at a time!

BTW, I’m glad to see you have a fitbit! I have the same one (well… mine’s blue). Just got in my 10,000+ step run!

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rebecca April 8, 2014 at 6:17 pm

“Bird by Bird” is a regular source book in my house. I refer to it all the time. I’m so glad to know you have read this, Yvette. And, of course, you are the reason I own a pedometer :)

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