The 3500 Steps

I bought a pedometer yesterday. It is a very clever device – it tells you how many steps you’ve taken, how many kilometres you’ve roamed, how many calories you’ve burned and how many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man.

People have told me pedometers are highly inaccurate, but I say pfft to that. I care not for precision instruments. I just wanted to try and beat the number of steps that I did the day before. Exercise is no fun unless there’s some sort of petty challenge involved.

So clipped the contraption to my skirt and strolled out of the Sportsman’s Warehouse thinking I was Ms Sportypants. I adopted a jaunty John Travolta Stayin’ Alive kind of stride that I figured would definitely register on the pedometer. Oh yes. I felt so cool and so healthy and so convinced that by the time we departed in six weeks, I would be morphed into the foxiest thing Scotland has ever seen.

Then POW! Right outside the Canberra Centre in a crowded lunchtime, the heel of my left shoe snapped off. My ankled wobbled wildly and I said, “Ooof!”.

I staggered across the tiles in ungraceful fashion, handbag swinging as I swore. The next hour was spent sulking and stomping around the shops in search of a replacement for shoes I bought barely three months ago. It’s hard enough trying to find dainty summer footwear for a size 10 hoof as it is, let alone when the Christmas sales are over and the winter stock is coming in.

After five different salespeople in four different stores rolled their eyes at my predicament, a young gentleman finally shoved my feet into a pair of size 9 mules and declared it a perfect fit. Such a Cinderella moment.

But as soon as I clopped my way back to the office, I realised these boots weren’t made for walking. So I switched back to the broken shoes and went back to the shoe store and whined until they gave me a refund. I was still shoeless, but all that mucking about added up to 3500 steps. Woohoo!

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40 thoughts on “The 3500 Steps

  1. I empathize with your difficulty in finding shoes. Hope you find a better pair.

    But, as you said, 3500 steps – good job. “3500 Steps” sounds like a Hitchcock movie… in which the hero and heroine are handcuffed together and frantically trying to beat their exercise record of the day before… or something.

  2. Alice! I was *this* close to naming this post The 3500 Steps. I love that movie! The 39 Steps, that is.

    Hmm, am going to have to change the entry title.

    The 3500 Steps is a network of one-shoed spies!

  3. Either that, or one of the most intricate get-off-the-sauce courses known to man. I’ll bet it’d be put together by the Federal Government, too.

    But you can’t apply for it unless you’ve filled out form QRD-F11a. Which is only available in the Charleville office. On Tuesdays.

    Ahem. Walking. Much steppage = Rock! Broken shoes = Perry Como.

  4. Oooh, yesss! That was a good, enjoyable film πŸ™‚

    And yeah, who needs submicron precision when it comes to exercise? We’re all different (except, perhaps, identical twins), so there ain’t nothing wrong in accepting approximation in such matters, I reckon. Even so, I can’t help but wonder how far 3500 steps is, and I think it’s about a mile, roughly.

    That’s naff of that shoe to break like that, though. You’ll have to punish it – but how does one punish a shoe?

    Have fun with your pedometer!

  5. mwahhaa lukey.

    simon – you have to put in how much you weigh and how big your stride is and it calculates it from there. so yes, a lot of room for inaccuracy, but what the hell! am up to 3.397km for today (walked to work, went to the shops at lunch to get a sandwich. hehe)

  6. PS: I was going to say, ‘Have fun with your pedo’, but that could easily have been misconstrued as something most tasteless, offensive and inappropriate. Seems there’s just a single letter ‘a’ between a device for counting steps, and an instrument for measuring how badly Pete Townsend needs to be locked up.

  7. well the weight bit is to calculate the calories burned, i think. but really, i don’t give a shit about calories burned, i really don’t see how that could be accurate. i hate those chicks at the gym who are like, “OH MY GOD, like, I burned like 200 calories on the stairmaster, now i can like, eat an apple”

  8. hehehe! Yeah, it’s pretty silly when people become their own calorie accountants. Even though there’s a sound scientific basis (physics) for that stuff about how lifting a certain weight up a certain distance burns a certain amount of calories, our human bodies and human activities just ain’t so neat, tidy and simple. Even just calculating how many calories one’s burned up burns up a bit more πŸ˜› Best we can do is to make rough approximations with relatively large quantities, which just happens to fit nicely with the vagueness of pedometers πŸ˜€

    Then again, those who are really insistent on getting it really precise could always permanently seal themselves inside giant calorimetric chambers (I just made that term up, but I’m thinking of things called ‘calorimeters’ from chemistry), along with a decent set of scientific equipment, chemistry and physics books, and a complete, self-contained life-support system. Then the rest of us can just leave them to it and forget about them πŸ™‚

  9. What about the cobblers? Maybe they could’ve done a job on your old shoes. It’s amazing what can be accomplished with glue and tiny nails these days.

  10. Don’t worry Miss S, I’ll send you some of my shoes. My feet’re bigger than yours. But then, your shoes are better than mine, so pfft.

  11. Surely you punish a shoe by threatening to turn it into a home from geriatric fundamentalists who can’t control their sprog output?

    And I’d reckon a pedometer would be like the Antichrist Detector that I saw advertised in The Weekly World News once; it’d beep when there were kiddie-fiddlers nearby… or zip-up cardies…

  12. But could the pedometer have replaced the heel? Could the Pez dispenser haus nee spacy commonweal? Cold D vest spend knots be racy real deal? Code dismiss tend botsy tracy shrill dill? Koko damages tennis shoes after clapping to a thrill? Coherence bandages Split Enz limits flapping Bald Man Bill?

  13. Holy shit, remember me’s working. I just wanted to say that I love it when most of the comments are from the author of the post. πŸ˜‰

  14. I loved my pedometer – until one day when it snapped off my waistband (almost taking my knickers with it!) and skittered off across seven brimming checkout aisles at Safeway.

  15. oh, i love it, shauny! counting your steps. well done on 3500. i’ve just started bodypump and step classes. zany hijinks have ensued, yet it’s too embarrassing to even blog about. i’ll have to wait a week!

    heels breaking sucks ass. once, i was descending the stairs at a city mcdonalds at about 1.30 am on a sunday morning, when “SNAP” my heel broke, and i rolled/sprawled/cartwheeled down about 10 steps.

    fortunately, i was so drunk i didn’t hurt myself one bit.


  16. oh momo! you’re a classic.

    i miss bodypump SO much. i was so addicted. still am. i think i will have to pay for a month’s membership and just go back. lifting things is fun. woo!

  17. Lifting things is … fun? what tha? Lifting things is right up there with walking further than you have to and having to stand up when you’d rather sit.

    Sure it may be good for you, but excercise sucks badly and I just don’t trust anyone who says different. Nyer.

  18. *shoves her gym dependency into a nice, quiet, safe place so it doesn’t stick out like a massively infected, gangrenous thumb*

    y’know what you need, miss shauny shaunissima? a pair of the biggest, baddest cherry red docs you can find. no heel breaking there, no sirree!

    i sincerely hope you didn’t hurt yourself when you broke your heel.

    and i agree. lifting things is crazy fun. particularly when they’re excpeitonally heavy.

  19. Lifting things is fun. Oho yes! I challenge anyone to deny the thrill of lifting something. Or someone. It’s rock, I say!

    Cherry docs, too, are woo-worthy. Boots should be the footwear choice, y’know – fuck knows you’ll need ’em when you’ll be as far oop narth as you are. Stay the hell away from Grinders, though. I’ve got a pair, and though they have excellent chunky action, they’re both verging on tonguelessness thanks to crappy component quality.

    Bah. How Como.

  20. Boots are fine–almost all I wear–but nothing flatters like heels or no one would wear the damned things. But don’t buy shoes now and just have to carry them there. Wait until you get to Scotland, then see what the womenfolk there are wearing and hit the shops in Edinburgh.

    (And I believe that’s the only shoe-buying advice I’ll ever give in my life. The things people will type in these little comments boxes.)

  21. You funny.

    Hey — congrats on the Edinburgh trip, by the way. i went myself for the festival a few years ago — ended up working there for a month or two. It was fun. You’ll find that, for some reason, you can drink twice as much over there. Stay away from the deep-fried mars bars, though.

  22. ooh, i have a pair of size 10 loafer type shoes from australia which i never wore πŸ™‚ you’re welcome to have them if u decide to get off the plane at changi airport before hitting edinburgh (or perhaps i could lob them over to you at the transit lounge?).

  23. Having something like that would make me feel much better when I lose my car in the parking lot (as I do almost everytime I go to a mall)…Yes, all those times I forgot something and had to run back to get my wallet/credit card/coat/hat…all that wasted effort is truly not wasted at all! What a good feeling that would be even when I never make it back to work from lunch because I left everything in the restaurant a 1/2 hour away from work.

    Thanks for the idea, S!

  24. Precision is pretty useless unless you’re doing scientific walking experiments; it sounds like the pedometer is going to be a good way to measure what you’re capable of from day to day. I think stats like that are fun, but now you can’t exaggerate…if you say you must have walked 1000 k, everyone will just look at the little device clipped to your skirt and call you a liar. πŸ™‚

  25. Yes, but can it tell the difference between a meander and a sprint?

    And if we’re takling boots, I do not recommend Blundstones for general walking duties.

  26. Nor I. I wore them on New Year’s Eve and my feet still haven’t recovered. That could just be steel-caps, though.

    Y’know, ‘cos I’m hard, and stuff.

  27. C’mon, Shauny, we all know you’ve bought it because you’re about to move to the home city of the mighty Proclaimers and want to be able to prove that you’ve walked 500 miles.

  28. I hate, hate, HATE trying to find sexy shoes.

    All those dainty, little, heely, strappy things simply don’t look the same in size 10 extra-wides.

  29. Heh. Try being 5’11 and having size 9 feet and trying to find dainty shoes that don’t make you look like a gigantic freakishly tall heifer. πŸ™‚

    Don’t even get me started on high heels. πŸ™‚

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