There was a time when I was quite the walker.
Back in my 30s, once I had admitted to myself that I was a lousy runner, I started fitness walking like an athlete in training. Nearly every morning I was out the door to meet a buddy (key to keeping up motivation) — striding at a good clip for two to three miles, the conversation flowing to keep us going.
With my nearly no-fail regimen, I shed prewedding and post-baby weight and kept stressful office life from consuming my mental health. In my 40s and 50s, I even trained for and completed two major treks to raise funds for breast cancer — including a three-day journey of 60 miles.
So why am I struggling so much just three days into my self-prescribed challenge of taking 10,000 steps a day? At 7 p.m., I’m as exhausted as if I’d just led a power yoga class, yet I’m dragging myself around the neighborhood as darkness descends — with another 3,000 steps to go.
Before I started wearing a tracker, I was sure I easily walked close to 10,000 steps, or about five miles, most days. Sure, I was prepared to work a little to meet the official target — a staircase here, a saunter around the block there. But soon came the rude awakening that I don’t take anywhere near 10,000 steps a day. Honestly, it’s not usually close to 5,000.
To be fair, I did nearly hit my goal on Day One, when I told my family, whom I was visiting in Denver, that walking had to be on the agenda. And striding with the Rocky Mountains in view at 7 a.m. accomplished all the great things I’ve known a morning stroll can do. I felt more energetic for our shopping excursion later, and cheerfully confident that I was securing my spot in the “very active adult” category.