10,000 Steps

Walking Mesquite Flats in Death Valley

We’ve been getting our steps in as of late. Striving to reach 10,000 steps each day. The weather has slowly been getting nicer, if only in fits and starts, gradually making this goal easier to attain. On Thursday, we walked in the park and yesterday, we did the long neighborhood walk. I first heard that 10,000 steps was a thing, while listening to Wisconsin Public Radio’s call-in doctor show, On Your Health, with Zorba Paster. He is still broadcasting, but his show no longer airs here in Saint Louis. He was a big fan of walking 10K steps a day. Later at work, Boeing initiated its Boeing on the Move fitness program. Over ten weeks, with the aid of a company supplied pedometer, employees would log their steps daily. The first year’s goal was 10,000 steps a day. In subsequent years this goal began to creep up, eventually hitting 14K steps. It was with these changes I came to realize that the 10,000 step figure was rather arbitrary. Only recently though did I learn its origin story. It turns out that in the sixties, a Japanese electronics manufacturer decided to make a pedometer and as a marketing strategy they called it the “10,000 Steps Meter”, because the Japanese character for 10,000 (一万) looks somewhat like a running man. The rest is history.

On Thursday, we drove to the edge of the park and then walked into it, across the golf course, around the art museum and then down to the base of the World’s Fair Pavilion. Once we had made it that far, we had exited the western half of the park that currently is shut to vehicle traffic. There were significantly more people there too. This is a phenomenon that we’ve noticed in the national parks, there are more people about, the closer you get to the parking lot. There were also three cop cars parked, I guess to enforce social distancing. We had to do some social distance dancing to get around Post Dispatch Lake and over to the Grand Basin, where the no-car quarantine zone reappeared. The highlight of that walk were two Canada geese, who were set upon by a big black dog. It came at them at a full tilt boogie and the pair only just got airborne in the nick of time. It was a sight to see, but it happened too quickly to photograph, the geese were still squawking about the confrontation long after we moved out of ear shot.  

Yesterday, was cold and rainy, so we just walked in the neighborhood. Once we got going though, we managed to stretch out our walk to the magic 10K. The poor weather limited the number of people about, such that even though I had my face mask on, I never had to pull it up over my face. Anne wore hers all the time though, because it helped to keep her face warmer. Today, looks like a nice day for another walk, or maybe even a bike ride. We’ll see, once it warms up. There was frost on the windshield this morning.

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