the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

by Andrea Elizabeth

Yes, but this is to motivate non-starters. It doesn’t get you to the end. 2000 steps gets you a mile, times 1000 equals 2,000,000. If you’re talking 2,000,000 steps, one single step doesn’t seem to matter very much. Granted the first and the last are the most important because of what they symbolize, but the single steps in the middle are lost in the multitude. The insignificance of a single middle step can make a person take really long breaks because what does a few more minutes matter? I would only have progressed a couple hundred steps. 1/10 of one mile, 1/10,000 of 1000 miles. If one is impressed with statistics, as all democratic people are, then who cares about such a small contribution?

If your goal is 2,000,000 steps, then you better have more motivation than the accomplishment of one step. A step at this ratio is so insignificant than one only takes it in faith. Faith that it will matter when perceptibly it doesn’t. And it doesn’t unless it’s accompanied a million fold; unless it’s a habit. It’s a similar problem with land fill accumulation and pollution. Unless the majority of people change their habits, there wont be a perceivable difference if one person goes green.

One person can start a movement, but the exponents wont be there if he isn’t also extraordinarily gifted in many other areas such as advertising and is very motivated to change the world as well as develop personal good habits. I’m not promoting giving up, however. What I am promoting is finding motivation elsewhere besides counting steps. Step counters are narcissistic. The reason for taking insignificant steps is to prove will-power. There is some merit to that as it is a healthy endeavor, but the purpose of walking is intentionally a journey needful for other reasons. I guess I’m tired of all the motivational amputee and ptsd stories I’m getting on my facebook feed. Yes, I walk to therapeutically overcome too, but I can only do it if I’m in a beautiful setting where there is a desirable point B, with many landscaping perks along the way. If I’m stuck in the city, I will walk to escape having to talk to people or sit still in a gray environment. Walking through grayness is more tolerable than sitting in it.

About a few miles into a nature walk or kayak trip, when the second wind kicks in, and you get in a rhythm, the individual steps and peddles or paddles can become downright enjoyable. I suppose it’s endorphins, but it’s also the drumbeat of the wild. Instead of steeeeep, steeeeep, steeeeep, it becomes STEP STEP STEP! (provided the incline is not too steep) And montras start going through your head instead or ruminations on anxieties. Montras like Lord Have Mer Cy, Lord Have Mer Cy. Or GLO ry to GOD! Or some repetitious lyric to a secular song that is strangely un-annoying in this context. This rhythmic moving for miles and miles is very addictive. And one only has to count to four.

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