Yeah…That Stung a Little

Is this crazy stuff? More importantly, am I crazy?

I just wrapped up Week 5 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. It was a calm week. That meant the unbroken chain of getting at least 20,000 steps every day was not in jeopardy. The weather was decent and my schedule didn’t have one of those days filled with stuff that kept me from moving. I even got to spend time on Saturday walking around Washington DC.  That was fun.

But, all week long I kept asking myself those two questions. A couple weeks ago a friend commented on a Facebook post about my challenge “this is all crazy stuff to me.” That stung a little and I’ve been wondering if it’s true.

Is it crazy what I’m doing?

My friend didn’t specify what exactly he thought was crazy so I’m left to figuring that out myself. The way I see it he could mean any one (or all) of the following three things.

I’m getting at least 20,000 steps a day.

Considering the average American gets less than 5,000 steps and 10,000 is held out as the ultimate goal, what I’m getting can seem pretty extreme. It’s actually taken me years to increase to this level.

I’ve gradually exchanged habits of sitting for habits of moving. I’m not sacrificing relationships, work, or rest to reach my goal. Instead I’ve sacrificed time I used to spend watching TV, surfing the internet, or other mindless pursuits. By the way…I still do all three of those things, just not as much.

I only need to move 3 hours and 20 minutes to reach 20,000 steps. That means I’m still sitting or laying down more than 21 hours a day. To me, that’s the crazy thing!

I’m doing this every day for a year with no break

Getting 20,000 steps isn’t hard for me. Stringing together a chain of 365 days is the challenge. And, I’m intentionally doing it because it is hard. I love being comfortable. I love easy. I love it too much, in fact. And, that’s not the way life works most of the time. I need to exercise my “hard” muscles.

So, 20,000 steps every day for a year with no break. Choosing to do something just because it’s hard? Yeah, that might a little crazy.

I’m posting daily progress reports on social media

This is so not me. It feels very awkward to say, “Look what I’m doing!”. It’s way outside my comfort zone. In fact, this may be even harder for me than stringing together the chain of 365 days.

I’ve been getting a lot of steps for a long time. I’m perfectly happy hitting my step goals and telling no one. A few years ago I had a personal goal of reaching 1,000,000 steps in a month. That’s more than 33,000 a day. Only two people ever knew I was doing that. When I reached my goal I took a screen shot of the total and quietly put the phone back in my pocket.

So why am I posting every day? I feel passionately about the benefits of moving more and sitting less. Walking has incredible physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits. If others see what I’m doing and push themselves a little more that’s worth my posting discomfort.

And, I’m OK being crazy if that happens.

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