It’s 10 steps from my office to the closest bathroom; 99 steps to the furthest bathroom. Roughly 3,341 steps from my front door to my office, and most frequently 35 from my kitchen to washing machine. Yes, I have a Fitbit.
In the mid 1980s my cousins and I paraded across the kitchen floor, wearing our grandparents’ pedometer, a machine roughly the size and design of a post office timestamp. A loud click poorly documented every other step or so. Fast forward some twenty years and I’m outside my classroom with a yardstick measuring a colleague’s footsteps. Her average gait is 25 inches compared to my 22.5. We’re both wearing bulky pedometers that eat the same batteries as hearing-aides. But 4,217 steps later we can see most of the San Fernando Valley nestled under a hazy marine layer. Below Fryman Canyon our jobs as high school English teachers, cell phones, and cars wait while we talk about our families, what we’re reading, our childhood— anything we don’t have to fact check.