Step, Step, Step . . .

What is the hardest challenge you can do during Covid-19?

Tyler Stacy

How many miles can someone walk in one day? How many steps can someone walk in one day? This is what I asked myself the night before I started walking. I had seen a challenge floating around the internet called “The 100,000 step challenge.” At first I just watched some videos to learn what it was. I quickly picked up on tips I had seen in the videos and made mental notes in my head. Finally, I needed to get motivation. I bragged to my parents about walking 100,000 steps—until they made a bet. The bet was that if I walked the full 100,000 steps, I would get two boxes of candy. My parents didn’t think I would even make it to 40,000. Of course I didn’t believe it and I knew that I could do it. They were so wrong.
I woke up the next morning ecstatic and full of energy. My start time was 7:30 AM and my brother did the math and I would have to walk for almost 17 hours. I thought he was off. I was wrong. One thing I didn’t mention is that this would do this all in my house. Despite the fact I was walking 50 miles, I wouldn’t go further than a mile from my house. This was a blessing and a curse. I wouldn’t have to walk up any hills which my house is surrounded by, although I would experience the ultimate boredom and monotony of walking around in circles for hours. This I could overcome easily with music and even watching videos while walking.
The first 10,000 steps were pretty easy and I felt like I could do this. I had some goals in mind such as 25,000 and 50,000 steps. Many hours passed and I called some of my family and friends. There were many points where I felt like I wasn’t making any progress and I was just literally and figuratively walking in circles. By 4 pm I finally made it to 50,000 steps, and I was exhausted and tired. Some things we take for granted like the fact we stay still when we eat. I made ramen and ate it without ever stopping. I knew this would be a problem and had mentally prepared for it. It just made sense—if you walk all day then you’re going to burn calories and you’re going to need to eat.
By 8:30 pm I had walked around 65,000 steps. I was limping and finding new ways to walk because my legs and feet were in so much pain from the constant walking. My parents were also starting to go to bed. I had been keeping track of my steps on the health app on my phone so I had a decently accurate reading of steps. As time went on the soreness and the fatigue started to develop into pain. The pain was the worst I had felt in quite awhile and this challenge was turning into the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I reached a point when I passed 85,000 steps where the pain was unbearable, yet I pushed on to prove something to myself. With Covid-19 I was bored of the normal online school life and the time I spent just sitting on the couch. Life was more repetitive than ever and I needed some challenge. Sometimes I think that this was a complete waste of my day, but then I think about what else I would be doing. I would be doing nothing interesting, nothing cool, and nothing exciting. That is what Covid-19 has brought us, a chance to do something interesting or to further pursue an interest.
When I finally reached my goal the celebration was really minimal because the pain was so great. Imagine growing pains, but ten times worse. The next three days I could barely +walk. Not just like I had some limp when I walked, I actually couldn’t go up stairs and I had to walk hunched over from the abnormal amount of back pain I got. I received my two boxes of candy and that’s when I finally felt like I won. Challenge boredom and the monotony of life. Live life to the fullest and all that, but most of all challenge yourself to meet your limits.