Are you one of those people who tracks how many steps you take in a day, aiming for 10,000? I am, but I wasn’t always. I read something about it, then discovered the health app on my phone, made the further discovery that it was already tracking my steps (sneaky, sneaky, Apple) and, bam. Became completely obsessed.

At first I was pretty easy on myself: Oh yay, I did 3,000 steps on my walk this morning! But soon, really soon, that wasn’t enough. I’m self-competitive that way and what’s worse is that I’m always ready, willing, and able to beat myself up for falling short of some goal I didn’t even have until I read that “the goal” is something other people, people smarter and healthier than me, obviously, are killing themselves to achieve.

10,000 steps a day. Still haven’t reached it.

I have gotten to 6,000, though. My morning walk to the beach (yes, I live close enough to the beach to walk there. From our condo. Everyday. There are no words to describe how happy that makes this Jersey girl’s heart.) comes in at just over 5,000 steps. In order to accrue the next thousand, on my way home I dash through a few parking lots near our place, take the three flights of stairs to our condo several times (up and down, up and down, staring at the steps summary, trying not to trip, and muttering to myself, “C’mon already! Show me the 6,000!”) and as soon as that beautiful number appears, I stumble to our front door and basically fall through it, exhausted, panting, sweat pouring into my socks and eyes, and gulp down the ice-cold glass of water my husband has left for me on the counter.

The first few times I achieved this miracle, I was so proud of myself. Look at me! Woohoo! Going the distance Rocky style!

You know that didn’t last, right?

Rocky would be able hit (no pun intended; I think) 10,000. He’d never leave the remaining, lowly 4,000 steps hanging over his head, niggling at his subconscious, sing-songing, “You are a failure. You are a failure. Na na na na na” into his brain. No way. (The remainder of this post finishes here. Thanks for clicking the link!)