Moments of Joy

Moment of Joy: I 'Walked' Across Italy

Reaching my 10,000 steps every day is how I'm surviving the pandemic.

By Ilene Denton July 13, 2020

Senior editor Ilene Denton's moment of joy: getting in her 10,000 steps each day.

Senior editor Ilene Denton's moment of joy: getting in her 10,000 steps each day.

Image: Staff and Shutterstock

In case you wonder where I’ve been since we all went into quarantine, I’ve been walking the length of Italy. Yes, 736 miles since the last week of December, actually, when my husband gave me my first Fitbit as a birthday present.

The cheery green Italy “badge” popped up in my in-box on June 26, followed a few days later by the tally of miles walked that week (29.7), the number of times I got 250 steps in a single hour (7 out of 9) and the average number of calories I burned each day (barely enough to compensate for the batch of chocolate chip cookies I baked and ate, and ate, and ate).

In this strange time when a dash into Publix is the highlight of my week, I’ve become a tad obsessed with reaching my daily 10,000 steps. I try to get out of the house by 7 a.m., before it gets too muggy, and I have three good routes around my neighborhood that will earn me 5,000 steps in one go-round. (Make that two good routes since I came face to face with a coyote a mile-and-a-half down the street a couple of weeks ago.)

There are lots of ways to get the other 5,000 steps. I take out the recyclables a lot. I get up and move when my Fitbit gently buzzes me at 10 minutes till the hour. If it’s raining, like it was in early June, I have been known to march up and down our stairs until my Fitbit tells me “whoo-hoo” or “nailed it.” (Those of you with Fitbits know what I mean.) And I’ve taken to joining David (my husband) and Lenny (our dog) on their after-dinner constitutionals.

If, at the very end of the day—like yesterday—I find that I need 437 steps to make my 10,000, I pull on my shoes and walk up and down the street a couple of times until my wrist starts to tingle with digital fireworks.

Have I lost any weight from all this walking? I don’t know since I’m afraid to weigh myself; see chocolate chip cookie reference in paragraph 2. Is my resting BPM better? Yes. Am I saner and more centered? Debatable. Is the Fitbit the very first thing I reach for every morning? You bet.

Gotta go. It’s buzzing me.

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