Pedometers – A step too far

They say that life is what you make it. As if that’s going to make you feel better. I say that only me, myself, I, can screw things up for myself, especially if things are going pretty swimmingly. The sun is shining in a beautiful cerulean sky, the birds are twittering to the rhythm of my favourite melody and I’ve even broken into a smile. So now’s the perfect time to think up a scheme that will ruin all that.

I will go out and purchase a pedometer. I won’t let it rule my life, no way. All I want to do is see if I’m anywhere close to walking the 10,000 steps a day recommended by health professionals.

But first I have to investigate what kind of pedometer to buy. The internet offers a choice of dozens. There is the basic one which counts the number of steps you do. Gee whiz, what else is there in pedometer heaven?

Well, there is one that counts the number of calories you expend and then stores the total for two weeks. There is one which takes your pulse and another which you can hang around your neck. There is one which can be in your handbag but must remain horizontal. Too hard to organise.

So off I go to the sports store to listen to advice from the expert. Well, you know the definition of expert, don’t you? X is an unknown quantity and “spurt” is a drip. I try a few on and find that I can’t even slip some of them on around the top of my waistband. Those that I can slip on fall off as soon as I take a few steps.

I conclude that I can’t understand the instructions, translated by a Chinese expert into English, of the very fancy pedometer that records everything. So I opt for the basic clip-on model that only counts steps. As long as it does the job, that’s fine by me.

First day. A roaring success!

Except for some minor adjustments. The pedometer wasn’t registering correctly so I had to do a test walk and then perform a minor adjustment to the sensor. Too easy!

Then I had to change my gait because the pedometer relies on the number of jerky movements that a body does while walking. Apparently, I don’t jerk sufficiently to register a step. I am one of the world’s unfortunate gliders. Blame the smooth glide on my past dancing career.

So then I develop a bounce which registers 5 on the Richter scale apparently. I am now a member of the Ministry of Silly Walks.

It’s amazing, though, how one has the desire to walk more just to get a better score. Which is the purpose of the whole endeavour, isn’t it? And there are times when you get out of bed and forget to clip on the pedometer and then you have to recall how many steps you took to get to the bathroom, the kitchen, the bedroom etc. and then you have to shake the blasted pedometer so that it registers those steps before beginning the official count for the day. Not that I’m becoming obsessed about it.

After about a week of this pathological behaviour, I have eased up somewhat on the shaking of the implement. I have also stopped wearing it occasionally when I’m going out for a drive in the car. That would be cheating.

If I’m having a quiet day of siesta at home, I don’t even put it on. Who wants to be reminded that one is basically a sedentary person who should walk around a lot more?

I knew that anyway or I wouldn’t have purchased the damn pedometer in the first place.

In case anyone is interested, (and who wouldn’t be?) on a fairly inactive day, I can muster 2000 steps which is a very bad score. On a day when I consciously walk, or rather bounce around in between sitting assignments, I can total over 4,000.

And when I go for a long walk I reach the magic 10000. That’s when you will see me do a big jumping Hallelujah act just like in the Rocky movie. Without the million steps to the top first, of course.


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