Taking to the streets

12,000 Steps

My sneakers are becoming threadbare around the edges.  Red toe nail polish peaking between the threads.  They, like the summer, are coming to an end and I should seriously think about buying a new pair to replace them.  The child in me doesn’t want to.  Most mornings I am in town, I wear them to the coffee shop and muse over my adventures while sipping my morning brew.  I am having as much fun remembering the adventures as I am living them.

Coffee and a thought

My friends have been chiding me lately.  I wear a Fitbit band on my wrist just about everywhere I go.  My goal is to reach 12,000 steps a day.  When I am in Manhattan, I attain that number somewhere around lunch.  If I am traveling, many a night I’ve spent circling my hotel a bit like a moth around a light fixture in the night.




I can assure you that a moth’s life is dull when a light fixture is near.

I carry my phone and count steps off on an app I’ve downloaded.  This behavior is just about the same as watching a pot to see when it boils.  If the evening is hot and humid, forever seems like the right amount of time it will take.  A friend asked me, “If the steps aren’t logged onto your Fitbit, do they exist?”  The answer is “Yes”  but only in theory as the number has to be registered to signal my wrist band to vibrate when the number is reached.  I am a bit like Pavlov’s dogs as I only feel the gratification if my wrist vibrates.  The key is to walk in a town or area less dull than a parking lot.  The act of walking is more fun if my mind is occupied with visual entertainment.

You can mock me too with my Fitbit and phone app infatuation but my reasons for doing this are sound and two-fold.  The first has to do with middle-age and health.  Weight comes on more easily and life has become more harried with the simple act of walking shunned to the bottom of my To Do list.  I need to move more or at least the same as I had when I was twenty.  Well, close to the same.  Let’s face it that dancing in a club isn’t such a common activity as it once was.  Movement trumps sitting at a computer any day when it comes to my health and yet I don’t do it as often as I should.

Everyday details

The second reason is taking the time to wander in my city or the towns I visit.  If I allow myself this simple luxury, it is pure joy.  I love the beauty that surrounds me when I take the time to actually see it.  Circling parking lots is a lot less common for me as I’ve taken to exploring to reach my goal.  Main Street is a really fun place to see and varied from one town to the next.  I wholeheartedly recommend you take to the streets and if you need a silly vibration on your wrist to motivate you, the investment is well worth it.

An added note – I know I need better walking shoes.  All in good time!  Old ladies are not born but cultivated from young girls.  I am in the middle of my transformation!

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14 Responses to Taking to the streets

  1. Colleen says:

    As an exercise it is fun to see an old lady and imagine her youthful past…remove the layers and see into the lines … like a human 45 record..or perhaps album…imagine the cover.

  2. LB says:

    Hardly an old lady!
    But a woman who explores her surroundings and appreciates them, too. And old shoes are like slippers … it’s hard to give them up sometimes.
    I’ve been pondering a fitbit … or at least to determine how far I walk each day in my office.
    12,000 steps seems like a lot!

    • maesprose says:

      I first set my sights on 10,000 steps but that was too easy to accomplish. Once I started logging things, I would park further away in the parking lot. Things like that became new habits because of the band.

  3. dear Mae,
    this was a lovely post – so glad you feel motivated to keep walking. and I would be the same way with the fitbit and phone app! I loved the part where you wrote about your sneakers, the red nail polish peeking through the threads. it reminds me that since I’ve gotten a lot older, my very favorite red nail polish look is when the nails are short (fingers, toes) and the nail polish is nearly, but not quite worn off – kind of what mine looked like as a somewhat girly tomboy at the end of summer. this year I will get the regular pedis over the winter months – but I’m not letting them take off my red nail polish. I wanna see the toes of my girlhood next spring! so nice to have been led back to that memory, albeit ’round about; thank you! and happy walking!

    much love,


  4. tw says:

    I love your sneakers Mae and completely understand the urge to keep them. I also love that you’re out there, walking, and irrespective of what anyone else might think. I walk whenever I can now, even though the onc said go easy on the joints. It invigorates me and I can usually find all kinds of things to grab my attention, even if it’s a tiny caterpillar or beaten up motorcycle. I’ve no idea how many steps I do but like you, I enjoy them. Even when it’s raining!

  5. maesprose says:

    Everything within reason. I’m not supposed to carry anything with my arm but a physical therapist gave me that advice. Do what makes you happy…. and as long as you’re not hiking 20 miles – you should be OK. – That’s my unofficial advice anyway.

  6. Walking is the best exercise for everyone who can walk. Keep it up! You go girl!

  7. elroyjones says:

    Good sneakers are hard to find. I like the idea of your polished red toenails peeking out. I wore Simple for the longest time, until they stopped making the red canvas style I loved. I’d rather take a nice long walk than almost anything else. You never know what you’ll see or who you’ll meet.

  8. maesprose says:

    I looked up those Simple sneakers and I like the look of them. I’ll have to try them on. I agree with you that a long walked is nicer than just about any other type of exercise.

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