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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, January 7, 2011

10,000 Steps

If you get your news from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, you will know the CBC is on a mission. They want us all to be more fit and healthy; a very noble goal. Every day since New Year’s, CBC news on radio, TV and internet has included one or more stories about health problems that are everywhere in Canada, and what we can do about it.

One such story this week featured Terry French, the MHA for Conception Bay South in Newfoundland, and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. French is 44 years old and has begun noticing little changes to his health, like rising cholesterol and blood pressure. Consequently he has decided he needs to change his diet and walk 10,000 steps a day to get healthy.

10,000 Steps; now that is just the kind of number designed to arouse my curiosity! How far is that? How long would it take to walk it all in one go? After a couple of days of idle wondering, it was off to the treadmill to find out. More on that in a minute.

At the same time, I also began to think about our spiritual walk. In 2010 I was determined to devote equal time to my spiritual practice as to my physical exercise. How would it work to take 10,000 spiritual steps per day? What would that even mean? Can this work as a metaphor?

I thought perhaps it could equate to 10,000 breaths. Hmmm…at 12 breathes per minute, that turns out to be about 14 hours per day. It still might work as long as we looked at everything as spiritual practice, but it is sometimes hard to do that when your boss expects you to focus on the work at hand, and hurry up about it!

Well, the Buddhists do a walking meditation, in which one is mindful of every component of their walk: heal, toe, lift, heal, toe, lift and so on. It is a wonderful practice, but again, 10,000 steps would probably take all day. Of course maybe that’s the point. Maybe the problem is trying to separate our spiritual practice from everything else, when it is really all the same. Alas, dear Reader, I am a little stumped on that one and would welcome your thoughts. If you have any brainwaves on what it might meant to take 10,000 spiritual steps per day, click on the comments button and enlighten me, would you please?

Now back to the 10,000 physical steps. Everyone’s stride is different, but it turns out that 10,000 steps is roughly equal to just under 9 kilometres or 5.5 miles. It also turns out that it takes me 77 minutes to walk 10,000 steps at my normal brisk pace of exercise. one hour and 17 minutes; that is a little longer than my regular routine. Alas, if I want the greater benefit, I guess I will just have to put in the greater effort.

Now about those 10,000 spiritual steps…

Posted by Carman

1 comment:

  1. I find the concept of 10 000 steps a bit intimidating. Though I understand the concept is different for Mr. French.

    In my way I conceptualize it through tasks. A job requiring 10 000 tasks is overwhelming. To be able to put emphasis and focus on each individual step in a great task is quite mind numbing. Going back to school recently has developed new insight into this for me.

    While I was out of school I was able to prioritize each individual thing I did outside of all other demands. Going about repairing each computer individually, and dealing with each customer one on one was very pleasant and I could create a great community in and around myself this way.

    Going back to school by comparison is balancing each class and task against another, finding holes in my schedule to do those things in and ascertain which need to be done when. In the same way I think of this on a spiritual level as someone showing me that they have more work for me to do than just one task.

    I have in the short time I've had at Carleton, had a rare opportunity to look back and recognize that I wasn't doing all that I could be, and that I needed to learn to take 10 000 steps instead of just 1.

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