Want to get to 10,000 steps every day? Farm.


Back in my web programming/marketing/design days, I sat. A lot. Almost all day, in fact. The things that you would expect to happen, happened: I got fat. I got slow. I had chest pains and leg pains and problems sleeping. I was angry a lot. I was addicted to beeps and pings and bright screens—the brighter the better.

One day, while discussing my sedentary life with my wife—who was in the business with me—we settled on the idea that we wanted to know just how sedentary we were.The idea of "10,000 steps" kept coming back into the conversation. She, or I, had read somewhere that a "healthy" person gets 10,000 steps in a day. How many is 10,000 steps...really? What does that feel or look like? Were we near there? Maybe we go 5,000? Maybe 6,000 in an average day? We had no idea how many steps we took in a day and decided to find out.

We bought cheap little pedometers from the local sports shop and strapped them to our belts first thing the very next morning. We went to work. Like usual....

At the end of the day—which was a typical day (over 12 hours at a desk, no walks, bad/quick food)—we came home exhausted and crashed onto the couch. Looking at our pedometers, we were surprised to see the numbers.

My wife had taken 800 steps. I had taken even fewer.

We both felt gross.

To make a long story short, we left the web business when the opportunity arose, bounced around a bit, and we're now parents of a 1-year-old and full-time farmers.

I still wear a pedometer. I chase my son. I chase chickens. I chase sheep. I chase a donkey named Ben. I mow. I weed-whack. I move. All day. It took me a full year and a half of pushing weak muscles to move 80 pounds of excess fat to be able to put in a full day of work without pain. But now I get 10,000 steps in before lunch. I usually finish my days somewhere around 20,000.

I feel great. I sleep better. The pains are gone. I wake up with more energy. It is an entirely better way to live.

As my wife's aunt Edie used to say, "'Farm' is a verb."