One of my proudest days in 2019 was walking 100,000 steps in a day. After walking that far, I became pretty convinced that I could do anything I seriously committed myself to.
Let’s start at the beginning though, shall we. About a year prior to that day, I got my first Fitbit and began tracking my steps. The first week I averaged about 35–40 thousand steps a day, as I was a competitive teen athlete training 2–6 hours a day. Then, I began averaging 45,000 a day, and soon I was in college. My first quarter, I was medically uncleared to train and compete, so in the meantime I walked on a treadmill while I studied (a more aggressive form of stress pacing), worked out 3–4 hours a day to cope with stress and loneliness, and wandered the campus by night, to average 60–65,000 steps a day. Yikes. When I was medically eligible to train, I lowered my steps to 55,000 per day, to help balance training and school. Then, when I increased my course load, until the present, I lowered my average to 50,000.
That’s just a long way of saying that I’m really active and have stupid amounts of energy.
The Actual Story Of Walking 100,000 steps
It started at 2 in the morning, as many good adventures do. I had slept at 8pm the night before so I could promise myself at least a semi-full tank of energy, on at least 6 hours of sleep. Originally the plan was not to walk 100,000 steps: I was actually supposed to be walking about 50,000 steps as per usual, and then hopping on a train to see my sister for an afternoon or night on the town. Being summertime, I figured I’d get my workouts done nice and early before the garage heated up, and while I was still very much awake.
So from 2–3am, I paced loops around the empty lower floor of the house, while my parents snoozed upstairs, then I popped back upstairs to change into gym clothes, and then into the garage for a half hour cardio workout. Then back to walking for 30 minutes, then 30 minutes of agility and plyo work. Then walking for another hour, then 30 more minutes of skill work for my sport. Another break to walk, another pop into the garage to dance along to some dance videos because I was seriously bored.
When the sun rose, so did my parents, and as I heard them shuffle around upstairs, I began the chores of the day and prepared breakfast. Little did I know that would be my only pause until about 2pm. At 9am I got a text from my sister saying she was sick and couldn’t go out, so I decided: Today was the day I was going to hit 100k. I wad headed back to school in just four days, so it was now or never (or at least a very long time). I felt like it was the last thing I had to check off my summer bucket list, and to promise that I was strong enough to make it through senior year.
So, for the rest of the day, I went to the gym to do a circuit and lift, and then walked for the rest of the day, inside and outside. I only stopped for a quick bite (eating small meals every 2–3 hours), prepping dinner, and to shower. And the entire time, Quora kept me company as I plodded through the miles, typing answers on my phone or tablet the entire time.
By 9pm, I was only a couple thousand away from 100k, and eagerly told my parents, enjoying a glass of wine on the patio. I was so proud of myself- Not just a few years ago, I could barely walk because I was so sick, and a year ago my leg was in a cast, yet there I was, about to hit 100k in a day. I was met with a curt ”Oh, ok”, before the conversation turned back to the neighbor’s uplighting. Miffed, I stormed inside and continued my loops, now at an angrier pace. But while pacing, my brain eventually cleared out and I realized it was silly to feel upset: They’d never tried something like this, so how could they know how tough it was and how much it meant?
The Final Word
100k in a day is a trial that you do 100% for yourself. You’re the only person who can walk it for you and knows why you’re doing it. In those last thousand steps, I remembered why I got into fitness- I was tired of people saying I looked weak (because I’m petite) and me actually believing it. I enjoy the suck of working out and how powerful a tough workout makes you feel- this 100k in a day was no different than any other workout, just longer 🙂
Steps to Miles Conversion Table
(Very Long Stride)
|1,000||0.4 miles||0.5 miles||0.6 miles||0.7 miles|