True stories with a twist!

UnknownIt was a special gift I’ve enjoyed from the moment I received it. A step counter. My father always said,

“Walking is the best exercise.”  Dad walked like a man with a purpose; a man who was going somewhere important. Perhaps that’s why I never understood people who meander or stroll, frequently stopping mid-step to make a point or to finish a sentence. Can’t they speak and move their feet at the same time?


Knowing how far you’ve walked is fun knowledge. It sets you up for a contest with yourself, like playing solitaire or golfing. Golfers tell me that golf is a game between you and your scores. Walkers can make a contest of walking longer  distances all the time. The goal is 10,000 steps day. Walking a few extra steps, like up a set of stairs instead of hopping on an elevator is like getting extra credit for a school assignment. It’s something not required, but you do it anyway to win some extra points.


The physical fitness craze has caught on and become quite popular. Everywhere I go I must be careful not to be bumped by bicycles, run down by runners or rammed by roller bladers. Will I soon be threatened by being pummeled by pogo sticks? The momentum to keep moving grows.


That’s why I am always so surprised , any time I drive into a big box store like Costco, to see cars waiting patiently near the entrance for someone to come out, drive their car away, and leave a spot free for them, close to the entrance of the store. They could park farther away and have the advantage of adding steps to their day, moving their bodies, exercising while they run their errands. A great two-for-one advantage.


imagesBut even in beautiful weather these couch potatoes on wheels prefer to sit and wait for a closer parking spot. If these anti-walkers owned step counters as I do, they would understand the advantage of gaining a few extra steps to the totals of the day’s completed steps. With a step counter clipped to waistbands every step walked is an opportunity to crank up the day’s step total. It becomes not a chore but a game in which anyone can win. So I wonder, as I watch this phenomenon,


1) Are those car-sitters people who exercise early in the morning and then consider any extra physical exertion a waste of time, or a redundant activity, like eating breakfast twice, reading the newspaper again or buying two identical raincoats?

2) Or do they take pride in achieving the honor of winning the closest parking spot to the store entrance? Has the place in the parking lot become a status issue, like being seated next to the guest of honor at a dinner party?

3) Do they have small children hidden in the back seat who run wild in parking lots?

Or are they just lazy and unwilling to exert any more time or energy than necessary to the dull task of grocery shopping? Is walking an insult to their dignity?

Maybe some day a kind, generous person will present them with a step counter of their own so they can gain the satisfaction of knowing how far they’ve travelled on foot each day. It could be a real game changer, transforming a sedentary  soul into an energetic, healthy ambulatory human.

Comments on: "TO PARK OR TO WALK?" (24)

  1. My dresser is littered with broken and discarded step counters. I don’t use them any more. Good luck with yours. It truly is a tool for tracking a game you play with yourself.

  2. jakesprinter said:

    So True walking are best exercise Ronnie, I love this post 🙂

  3. I like to park close to the entrance because I usually forget where I park my car hehe 🙂 that’s a valid reason 🙂

  4. That would be my husband. It’s a challenge to see how close he can park. 🙂

  5. Ronnie … We do walk … sometimes 8/10ths of a mile at least once a day. But I have yet to find a step counter that has not frustrated the living bejabers out of me. The last one promised to do everything from making me coffee to singing me a lullaby at bedtime, Just one problem: even the salesperson at Sports Authority couldn’t program it for me. So I returned it. What step counter do you use?

    I also do not park close to the store. My decision has more to do with my desire to quickly exit the parking lot than save a few steps. 😉

  6. lisa honecker said:

    I weigh in, lazy. Like my husband’s sister and her husband, keeping my mother-in-laws handicap sticker after refusing to care for her in her downward spiral with bone cancer. I had to beg them to return it.

  7. Thanks.I always park far away. When my husband does it, I jokingly tell him he wants to keep me thin so he makes sure I walk. He laughs and says he has to keep me looking good.

  8. While I don’t count my steps or walk as much as I should, I do try to find a parking place far away from the entrance so I have to walk. At each place I regularly visit, everyone laughs because I have my designated spot far off, where I always park. I tell them that i want to walk more plus when I get really old, I will know where my car is!

  9. Hi Ronnie when I worked as a course super. I used to walk the course at least once a day. I borrowed one of these things and wore it for a week before giving it back to my SiL… I got tired when I saw how far I’d walked each day without knowing…..
    As for the parking lot… I always park as far as possible from the doors, few people want to park there, so my car is saved from all the dings from shopping carts and other peoples car doors….

    • That’s a clever way to avoid damage to your car. You didn’t have to care about the health benefits of waking when you walked as much as you did around the golf course.

      And now????

      • been behind a computer for too long developing our software, but still walk when I can… nowhere near as much as I did… lucky if I get 1000 metres in a day…. probably a reason for my bad health at the moment….

        • I’m so sorry that you’re not feeling well, Rob. I sincerely hope that you improve soon and feel great again. You always seem to maintain your jovial mood, so nobody would guess that you were under the weather.

  10. I completely agree with you. Walking is the quickest way to exercise the human body. For those eager to shed some pounds, it’s a good way to start. With all the innovations and technologies making things easier for man, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that, like machines that need to be maintained, we are at our best when ensure that we exercise.

    • To me the main drawback of walking everywhere is the amount of time it takes to get from one place to another. I once walked all the way into town, but when I got there I was too exhausted to walk back; I had to call my husband and ask him to pick me up.

  11. Wonderful post Ronnie! I love my pedometer too and wear it almost every day. So far hitting 10,000 steps is like setting foot on the moon. I have only accomplished it twice. But I get close on some days and parking far away from the store entrance is one secret. And you’re right… the little step counter on my waist makes walking a game and i love it. Thanks for confirming! 🙂

  12. Glad you’re counting your steps. I like to park far away and walk if I can, except at the supermarket. Just too much work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: