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  • Catharine Riggs

The Curse of 10,000 Steps

In my upcoming novel WHAT SHE NEVER SAID (Thomas & Mercer - September, 2019) my protagonist, Ruth Mosby, is fixated on walking a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. She’s not in it for the health benefits, rather for a desire to stay thin compounded by a low-level obsessive-compulsive disorder. When I began the first draft of this thriller, I purchased a FitBit for research purposes and like Ruth, set a daily goal of 10,000 steps. I’m a lifelong runner and hiker so it’s been interesting to observe my response. I have no problem reaching my daily goal if I run my usual three to five miles, but I struggle to hit the minimum on the days I replace a run with my core-focused cross training workout. Rotating my routine is a key component of my regimen and has allowed me to continue to run for thirty-some years. But that’s where the compulsive side of me takes over. Like Ruth, I have to achieve those 10,000 steps. I’ve even found myself walking in circles in order to reach my goal before climbing into bed.


I’m fully aware that it’s healthier to listen to my body rather than push myself to achieve some random goal. So, I intend to stop wearing my FitBit on 9.10.19, the launch date of WHAT SHE NEVER SAID. Note that a recent NPR article suggested the health benefits of walking maxes out at 7,500 steps. You can access the article on the following link. As for me? I’m short 3,000 steps today so I’m about to head out on another run. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/05/29/727943418/do-you-really-need-10-000-steps-per-day

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