• Jaala Shaw

A Journey of 4.6 Million Steps

How do you walk from Washington DC to the equator?


One step at a time.


Let me explain.


Late in 2019, GORUCK asked its community to commit to doing 10,000 steps per day in 2020. In an attempt to get people moving more, to get them outside rucking and out from behind their screens, the challenge was laid down:



It turns out that in 2020, I logged 4.672 million steps, averaging 12,800 per day, which is approximately 2,336 miles. And those are just the steps that were counted by my phone, which I didn’t have with me all the time.

To put that into perspective, the distance from Washington DC to the equator is about 2,600 miles.


The view from Bear Peak in Boulder, Colorado. This was my second longest run of 2020 at 48,833 steps, 22.5 miles, and approximately 7,000 vertical feet gained over the course of summiting the 5 tallest peaks in Boulder, aka the "Skyline Traverse."

When I said yes to the challenge,10,000 steps per day seemed very doable. I didn’t think about the end result (walking to the equator), just about doing the thing everyday. So that is what I did.


Here is what I learned along the way:


Doing something consistently makes it a habit, then the habit becomes automatic.


Here is the kicker: This goes for EVERYTHING. If you consistently practice habits that are detrimental to your well-being, they become automatic and you become less healthy over time. On the other hand, integrating good habits consistently will be beneficial to your well-being and you will become healthier after a while.



Standing by the Potomac River in Georgetown, Washington, DC. My longest run of the year was through a deserted capitol city in April. Though I ran 30 total miles, my phone only stayed on for 53,594 steps, or 27.2 miles that day.

In summary, the key to achieving your goals is as follows:


Are you ready for this?


CONSISTENCY.


That is all.


Oh, that is it?


Yes.


Specifically:


  • Break it down into its easiest part

  • Do that part everyday

  • Be consistent to a fault

  • Follow your system

  • Make it a habit

  • Automate it


Voila!


Fall in love with the everyday task, and you will most likely end up at the equator.


But how do I start?


With one step.


By one step, I mean a doable goal that is possible to break down. If you think your everyday task is easy, then that is probably where you should start. Once that daily task becomes automatic, add complexity and make it more difficult.


Are you still having trouble starting?


Convince yourself that doing anything is better than doing nothing. Believe me, it is. It may take longer to get where you want to go, but with consistency you’ll get there. The only guarantee is that if you do nothing, you’ll get nowhere.




Here is my doable "everyday" goal in 2021: push-ups.


At first, I am doing 15 per day, then I’m applying the rule of compound interest and doubling that on occasion (the fastest doubling of an investment ever!!). 15/day in January and February, 30/day in March and April, 60/day in May and June, 120/day in July, August, and September, then in October, I’ll do 70 push-ups in 2 minutes, wink wink. If you lost me there, well, look here.


By being consistent, making it a habit, and automating the task, I’ll reach the ultimate goal.


What are you planning to do consistently in 2021?


If you are on the push-ups train, stayed tuned for a new 12-week program I'm rolling out soon: Push-up Power.


Ready, set, go!