200 Days of 10,000 Steps

200 days in a row of 10,000 steps or more.

2,744,918 steps total (~1,239 miles)

Motivation is weird

You can hear all the motivational quotes, speeches, tricks, and more and still not be motivated. Then something will happen that inspires you to press on and that becomes the motivation.

Well, that's what happened back in October. I've been overweight since high school and even then I wasn't in the best shape of my life. Being a 3-sport athlete then definitely helped but most of my adult life I have been different levels of overweight. Over the past couple years it was definitely taking a turn for worse. I knew I needed to lose weight but school, work, time, and other commitments always took priority. Plus, I just love to eat.

In October, I went to visit Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with my doctoral supervisor. The school is his alma mater so we walked around campus and he showed me around and shared memories with me. It was a sweet time there but I’ll never forget the feeling I just had walking around the campus.

Short of breath. Sweating. Ashamed.

Just from simple walks around a school campus. Additionally, the ETS/SBL conferences that I attend every year were a month away. Similar feelings of shame accompany those from just walking around the conference in previous years and just being tired, short of breath, and an unnecessary high heart rate due from the simple fact of getting around from place to place. Something clicked for me on that October day that changed my daily routine for months to come.

When I got home I made a goal for myself that when the conferences rolled around I would be in basic shape to be able to walk around and not be short of breath. So, the next morning I woke up, did an elliptical exercise, walked the dog, and tried to be active during the work day. After a couple days of this and checking my Apple Watch I realized I was pretty close to 10k steps on those days. Looking back at previous days I was anywhere from 2,000 to 4,500 steps. So, I made another goal:

10,000 steps everyday.

Since October 20, 2016 I’ve hit this 10,000 daily step goal. Some days its harder than others such as rainy days, snow, travel days, and don’t forget Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. When ETS/SBL came I felt more confidant, had dropped a little bit of weight, but more significantly, I could take a walk without immediately being short of breath.

The journey has taken many different twists and turns (I’ll write about the weight loss aspect another time) but having the daily goal of 10k steps has given me motivation to live better, eat better, and just be more disciplined in all aspects of life. At this point, I really don’t want to break the streak because there is a lot of work in those 200 days. Gamifaction , at least for me, definitely is a motivating factor now.

By now, I basically know what I need to do throughout the day to hit the goal. Its actually surprisingly easy but it does take several changes in your schedule. I’ve always been afraid of “losing time” when it comes to working out but human nature is weird. Somehow, even with less “time” I’m still able to get the same amount or more done. I’m actually more focused during work and study since I’ve started this new routine. Plus, 1,500 steps takes about 12-15 minutes for me. So taking a two 15 minute breaks during the day accounts for 3,000 steps.

This streak has taught me that I can be disciplined in other areas as well. Its given me motivation in my reading, writing, work, and study. Just as an athlete works out and runs in training to be ready for their sporting even this daily goal of walking has trained me to be more disciplined and focused in many other aspects of my life.

Normal Day

  • Take our dog out and go for a 15 minute walk first thing in the morning (1,500 steps)
  • 30-minute workout on weekdays (2,000-4,000 steps generally accumulated)
  • 2 15-20 minute breaks during the day of just walking and thinking (1,500-2,000)
  • Take our dog out in the even and go on a 15 minute walk (1,500 steps)
  • Above are all the “extra” activities I’ve implemented then the rest of my normal day-to-day activities account for 2,000-4,000 steps throughout the day.

In order to track steps I use the Apple Watch with the Pedometer++ App by David Smith .