10,000 Steps Per…Huh?

By J. Christy McKibben

Aah…fitness trackers…don’t you love them? I’m not great about paying attention, or keeping track of the progress on mine. In fact, most days I forget to wear it at all. But, when I do think about it, I grab it and put it on. I must admit, there have been days when I’ve wondered why I even bother. Especially on this day…

My Moment of Reckoning

One evening, several months ago, my mother and I were watching some action-packed television show. Suddenly I remembered that I’d actually worn my fitness tracker. I’d forgotten about it that morning, but I remembered to put it on sometime in the afternoon. During an annoyingly loud commercial (visually and sound-wise), I asked my mom, “Is it 10,000 steps per day a person is supposed to complete to lose weight?” She answered, “I think so.”

Now I became really excited and crazy curious about the number of steps I’d taken that day. I had to be within a couple of hundred steps of that magical number—10,000. Oh yeah. I got this. No problem. I had visions of losing weight. Maybe I could lose 5 or 10 pounds overnight. Really. I could do that…right???

Okay. This is it. This is my moment of truth. I’ll be so proud. My mother will be so proud. 10,000 steps? What a joke! I’ll walk 20,000 tomorrow. So, I glanced down at my fitness tracker. And with large, anticipatory eyes, I read aloud what I saw…

“95 steps.”

It Must Be Broken

95 STEPS?! What the…?! My face dropped. I sat there just staring at my fitness tracker. Mouth wide open. Where did it all go wrong? This was happening as my loving, supportive mother erupted uncontrollably in laughter.

Once my mother gained a tiny bit of composure, she asked me if I was joking. Shamefaced, I admitted that, no, this was no joke. Coming up with a thin excuse, I did remind her that I hadn’t put the fitness tracker on until the afternoon. Plus, I was at home and hadn’t been doing too much all day (obviously).

Walking is Too Much Work

So, after all of the hilarity, my mom and I joked a bit about juggling the fitness tracker. Maybe I could add some steps that way. Oooh, we could throw it back and forth to each other. You know. For an upper body workout. Back to watching our show. A few minutes later, my mom began giggling. Which led to a boisterous—extremely classy—horse laugh. She couldn’t stop thinking about my embarrassing pronouncement.

Once she could catch her breath, my mom told me the entire scenario had been especially funny because I’d appeared to be so cocky about the 10,000 steps. I’d asked her about them as though I thought I was close to that number. As pathetic as it sounds, I truly thought I was close (or even over 10,000 steps).

So we didn’t really get the gist of our television show. Too much laughing. Later my mom said, “Well you’ve walked back and forth to the bathroom a couple of times.” I said, “Yeah, that’s where the majority of my 95 daily steps came from!”

Throughout that evening, I tried to do all kinds of moves with the fitness tracker. Trying to find ways I could “cheat.” (I suppose it would be just too much work to get up and take a few steps). I tried a galloping move, while seated on the loveseat. That worked. I gained a whole 16 steps. By the time I went to bed, and took off the fitness tracker, I had taken 226 steps. Yes, I would need to “step it up” the next day! (I realize that was incredibly corny, but I just couldn’t help myself).

Before You Judge Me Too Harshly…

So, the next day I looked at all of the options on my fitness tracker. Miles, steps, stairs, calories burned, and the time. That’s when I discovered my problem (or at least one of them J). The clock wasn’t showing the correct time. Lightbulb! The tracker was resetting at midnight sometime during each evening, so the statistics were all messed up. That’s why I only had 95 steps at 9:00 at night the previous evening! I did a sync with my tracker and phone, which corrected the time immediately. Now, whenever I wear it, I’m sure to check the tracker’s clock. Oh, and I can’t tell a lie. I have to admit that even with the messed up time, there is no way that I was anywhere near 10,000 steps that day. (Probably a few more than 226 though).

J. Christy McKibben

Image 1 via Pixabay by RyanMcGuire
Image 2 via Pixabay by Peggy_Marco


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