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Halfway to California

I’ve waited for this day for a whole year.

Exactly one year ago, I set out to meet my walking goal everyday for 365 days. Our friend Steve had posted on social media about meeting this milestone and I thought if he can do it with kids and dogs and work, I should at least try.

I was doing 12k steps at the beginning. During my son's wedding events, I hit 15, 17, and 20k on subsequent days. Midway through the year I was averaging a little over 5 miles a day. My love for big cities like New York and Chicago grew enormously because the unending sidewalks and people watching made it easy to exceed my goal.

A record setting day came in Chicago in May 2017. That's over 10 miles for the uninitiated. A whopper which is going to be hard to beat, if ever.

And then it happened.

First the hips, then the feet, and finally the knees. The pain was intermittent but certain. I wanted to keep going so I knocked down my daily goal to 10k. I felt less disciplined but my body was enormously grateful.

Six months in, I missed for the first time, that too by 264 steps. I blame my colleague who kept me tied up in a web meeting late into the evening. Yes, I remind him of his misdeed frequently. By now, Tarun was totally into my obsession and he took it upon himself to check my pedometer before turning in for the night to ensure compliance.

Tarun set a 10k goal for himself too. And together we walked whenever we could: in the house, in our neighborhood, in nearby parks, in cities when we traveled on work, and in shopping malls when the weather was bad. We dragged our family and friends (like my niece below) on long walks until our wrist bands buzzed and pinged.

Subsequently I missed two more days simply because Tarun and I forgot to check.

I have averaged 12k steps daily for the year. 4.3M steps. 1,700 miles. In a nutshell, I got halfway to California with a few sightseeing detours.

I’ve done this through two defunct watches, three international trips, losing and gaining time, crippling jet lag, and in sickness and in health. I’ve done it thru six hours in the train followed by eight hours of work and through rain, snow, and shine. I know a walk around two double beds in a decent sized hotel room gives me 22 steps, a round trip in the main floor of our house gets me 88, and that 10 minutes is 1000 steps. Statistics that get me through the day.

I’m proud not because of my physical abilities (it’s walking!) but for my attention span in the digital age. And for doing this with Tarun to make us more healthy.

Doing 10k requires a trick. As soon as I am up, I get 4k steps while I respond to emails, catch up with family on WhatsApp and surf for news. With that head start, the remaining steps follow with relative ease.

Tarun and I are grateful for the inspiration that Steve provided. He set us on a quest for good health and opened up an amazing way to relax.

If you aren't getting your steps, grab a counter, and come on....let's get to California already!

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