20k Challenge


On September 1, 2018 I started a 20k One Year Step Challenge. My goal was to get a minimum of 20,000 steps every day for a year with no break. The year included some unexpected challenges too. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer ten days after I started. We lost one of our parents. Those were unexpected. We also taught our youngest how to drive and celebrated her high school graduation. I crossed the finish line on August 31, 2019. Here’s a day by day update of this Challenge.

Day 365 – Saturday, August 31

IMG_4479.jpgWhen I reach 20,000 steps, a cartoon bird flies across my Fitbit screen as little fireworks explode. Not sure who thought a flying bird was the best way to celebrate a goal reached, but at 12:16p on Day 365 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge that little bird signaled the end of two goals. Thank you for caring enough to read these posts. I’m grateful for those who have offered encouragement and humbled by those of you who were motivated to set your own goal. Don’t give up! #strongheartgratefulheart

Day 364 – Friday, August 30 – 26,085 steps

IMG_4545.jpgThere is at least one person who will grateful when this 20k One Year Step Challenge comes to an end. She is the most inspiring person I know! She’s also a wee bit tired of me taking her picture all the time. 

Day 363 – Thursday, August 29 – 23,105 steps

IMG_4522.jpgDay 363 included dinner outside as the sun was slowly sinking in the West.

Day 362 – Wednesday, August 28 – 26,695 steps

IMG_4464Sunrise on Day 362 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. Shockingly, no one else was on the beach to capture this incredible moment. Eventually, the sky turned blue and I finished with 26,695 steps. 

Day 361 – Tuesday, August 27 – 21,618 steps

IMG_4452.jpgNow, thats more like it. (see yesterday’s post for context) And…not a single CheezIt required. Day 361 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge started with this and ended with 21,618 steps. 

Day 360 – Monday, August 26 – 24,302 steps

Beach birds are fun to watch. Although, this one had me pondering why choose walking when you can fly? Day 360 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge included the desire to throw a Cheezit in the air for some entertainment. A certain spouse doesn’t share my bird fascination and would not have been happy with what would followed.

Day 359 – Sunday, August 25 – 26,104 steps

IMG_4401.jpgNorthern Lights Bakery is one of our favorite places to get coffee. Sadly, it’s six hours from home. Thankfully, on Day 359 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge, we were also six hours from home. What a coincidence. 

Day 358 – Saturday, August 24 – 22,103 steps

IMG_5644.JPGSix hours on Day 358 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge were spent in a car. That makes reaching 20,000 steps a little more challenging. But, not impossible. 

Day 357 – Friday, August 23 – 21,291 steps

40Day 357 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge was also one year to the date when Ava discovered a lump. She didn’t tell me for another four days. That’s when she could make an appointment to get it checked out. She didn’t want me worried. What followed were several scans, four biopsies, one surgery, and 21 radiation treatments. In between all of that were a bunch of doctors appointments and lots of waiting. It’s been a year since that adventure began and she’s doing great. It’s almost been a year since a much smaller adventure began and another link was added to that chain with 21,291 steps. 

Day 356 – Thursday, August 22 – 21,567 steps

IMG_4369.jpgI’ll never forget the first time I was allowed to go in a radio studio. It was magical. Decades later, I still feel the same way. But, what makes it even more special are the people who work in these studios to connect with listeners. And, I work with two very special people each morning. Tracey Tiernan and I have been part of the morning team here for 13 years. More than anyone else I’ve ever worked with, Tracey has a unique ability and skill to make listeners feel like she’s talking JUST TO THEM. And, that’s because she is!! No one I’ve every worked with loves our listeners more than Tracey. Steve Miller joined the morning team a year ago and his fresh perspective and sense of humor are wonderful! This is where I started Day 356 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. I finished with 21,567 steps. 

Day 355 – Wednesday, August 21 – 20,182 steps

IMG_4365.jpgHow do I get 20,000 steps in one day? By taking these up our longish driveway one at a time. Finished Day 355 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge with 20,182 steps. If you think I’m kidding about the trashcans…it was worth 360 steps. You do the math. 

Day 354 – Tuesday, August 20 – 21,020 steps

IMG_4358.jpgOne of the fun features of my Fitbit Inspire HR is the sleep tracker. They’ve tested this to see how accurate it is compared to a Sleep Lab. The Fitbit isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty accurate. This was how Day 354 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge started. Each morning I can check how much time I spent in the different sleep stages compared to men my age. You can see I was awake only 11% of the night. This is less than the typical range for men my age. That’s really good. I had a good night of REM. This is the stage where dreams happen. I was on the upper end of the range for men my age. That’s also good. Light sleep is better than being awake, but better to be on the lower end of that range. Check. How about the Deep Sleep stage? This is where all the good stuff happens and I crushed it! Yep, if sleep were an Olympic sport I would have won the gold medal last night. Except…when I woke up from this award winning night of sleep…I felt worse than I usually do. Go figure. Finished with 21,020 steps and hopes of returning to a crappy night of sleep. At least I’ll feel better when I wake up. 

Day 353 – Monday, August 19 – 21,030 steps

IMG_4341.jpgMy grandlittles, Judah and Joey, GET summer. Spent part of Day 353 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge enjoying life with no agenda. 

Day 352 – Sunday, August 18 – 23,315 steps

IMG_4277.jpgDo you know how long I had to stand there waiting for the wind to blow just the right way? It felt a little awkward with heavily armed security watching my every move. Or, in this case…non-move. Finally, the breeze cooperated and I was free to continue my quest. 

Day 351 – Saturday, August 17 – 22,965 steps

IMG_4245.jpgIt’s kind of creepy when they just stare at you. I wonder if they’ll ever realize they are bigger, faster, and stronger than me. Until then, all I have to do is yell “Boo” and watch them scamper away. 

Day 350 – Friday, August 16 – 28,701 steps

IMG_4243.jpgWe ended Day 350 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge with carryout then a long walk. 

Day 349 – Thursday, August 15 – 22,548 steps

IMG_4234.jpgThis is our digital TV antenna. We cut the cord a couple years ago and now only get local stations using this antenna. Sometimes I have to walk around with it to find where it gets the best reception. Day 349 ended with the antenna in a closet so I could watch the Ravens pre-season game. 

Day 348 – Wednesday, August 14 – 23,450 steps

IMG_4223.jpgWhat is it about me and our upcoming beach trip that I’m fixated on that little cloud? 

Day 347 – Tuesday, August 13 – 29,013 steps

IMG_4215.jpgDay 347 started with something fun. Our daughter Grace and her husband Brandon were in New York celebrating their 6th anniversary and were featured on The Today Show. Briefly. 

Day 346 – Monday, August 12 – 21,370 steps

IMG_4200.jpgThis might be the final sunrise picture of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. I couldn’t resist. 

Day 345 – Sunday, August 11 – 24,567 steps

IMG_4192.jpgHere’s Ava getting ready for a late afternoon walk with me on Day 345 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. We went a little over 3 miles which helped me finish with 24,567 steps for the day. An hour after we got home she went back out for a 4 mile run while I sat on the patio. I’m such a slacker. #strongheartgratefulheart

Day 344 – Saturday, August 10 – 24,380 steps

IMG_4182.jpgThe best part of Day 344 wasn’t the 24,380 steps I finished with, but that our decluttering project took a big leap forward. 

Day 343 – Friday, August 9 – 27,255 steps

IMG_4163.jpgFound him…or them…hiding in the center field bleachers at Camden Yards. Day 343 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge wrapped up with a beautiful night for a ball game…and 27,255 steps.

Day 342 – Thursday, August 8 – 22,067 steps

IMG_4097.jpgDay 342 included a Thursday Date Night with Ava. We talked, we ate, we talked. I love this woman. 

Day 341 – Wednesday, August 7 – 25,873 steps

IMG_4092.jpgOops. That moment when you venture outside after TWO storms dump inches of rain on your neighborhood and discover this. Finished Day 341 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge with 25,873 steps. Day 342 may have a lot more since I’m probably walking to work. 

Day 340 – Tuesday, August 6 – 25,016 steps

IMG_4079.jpgThis happened while Emma was in Nicaragua. She even had it in a case. I guess they just have harder surfaces there. Spent part of Day 340 helping her get a new one…with a BIGGER case. 

Day 339 – Monday, August 5 – 22,583 steps

IMG_4053.jpgToday also included a GrandLittle Afternoon. Ava watched Connor and Riley while I had Judah and Joey. Not sure how Ava kept hers happy, but I used balloons for mine. Coulda gone on for hours! 

Day 338 – Sunday, August 4 – 20,224 steps

IMG_4049And…she’s home. Day 338 was also the day Emma returned home from an almost two-week missions trip to Nicaragua. She had a great time and we loved hearing her stories. 

Day 337 – Saturday, August 3 – 23,550 steps


Day 337 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge was filled with lots of small tasks I needed to get done. Felt good at the end of the day to check some stuff off the to-do list. In the middle of “getting-things-done” I also noticed this. I didn’t take time to smell any dang flowers, but I did take time to put my camera in Portrait Mode for the win! 

Day 336 – Friday, August 2 – 27,115 steps

IMG_4007I love Friday nights with Ava. Our current go-to date night activity is a long walk after dinner.I almost never “need” the steps, but I need the time with her. 

Day 335 – Thursday, August 1 – 31,115 steps

IMG_3999.jpgDay 335 started with a new family member. This is Rhyan Angelina. Isaac and Sarah are her parents. Isaac is my nephew. It’ll be awhile before Rhyan takes her first step, but when she does it’ll be a lot more fun and memorable than any of the 31,115 I got today.

Day 334 – Wednesday, July 31 – 22,605 steps

IMG_3993.jpgDo you know how many steps are lost each day because of traffic backups? It’s the public health crisis no ones talking about. Finished Day 334 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge with 2,000 fewer steps that I could have had.

Day 333 – Tuesday, July 30 – 21,122 steps

IMG_3991.jpgWhen we were still hauling all six kids around in our 12-passenger aircraft carrier, Ava longed for the day she could own her dream car. As our children slowly graduated to their own vehicles Ava found her car and bought it. A few years later, while standing in line at the grocery store, I found the same car and bought it too. On Day 333 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge both of these purchases made me smile.

Day 332 – Monday, July 29 – 20,714 steps

IMG_3984.jpgBest meal I’ve made all summer on Day 332 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. Nothing special, but the burger, hand-made fries and corn all hit the spot. It was a perfect summer meal on a day that screamed summer. Finished with 20,714 steps and some extra weight on this aging frame. 

Day 331 – Sunday, July 28 – 26,558 steps

IMG_3979.jpgOur daughter, Emma, is in Nicaragua on a mission trip. I talked to her on Day 331 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. She’s having a great time and is falling in love with the kids the team is meeting. We miss her!

Day 330 – Saturday, July 27 – 20,711 steps

IMG_3953.jpgOne week after the anniversary of the most famous single step in my lifetime, I got to see, in person, what the world saw on a fuzzy TV screen 50 years ago.

Day 329 – Friday, July 26 – 21,918 steps

IMG_3932.jpgSpent the evening with friends on their Sunset Deck. Great evening and beautiful view. Already had most of my steps when we got there so I could sit and enjoy. Yep…sometimes I actually prefer NOT walking.

Day 328 – Thursday, July 25 – 24,322 steps

IMG_3908.jpgGot a bunch of my steps today walking through this neighborhood. Solo, or with Ava, I’ve done a lot of miles here.

Day 327 – Wednesday, July 24 – 24,202 steps

IMG_3880.jpgGot to spend a few days in Myrtle Beach with Ava’s dad. I’ve had a front row seat over three decades watching that relationship evolve to where it is today. Pretty special stuff. 

Day 326 – Tuesday, July 23 – 33,305 steps

IMG_3864.jpgNot all mornings are equally memorable. 

Day 325 – Monday, July 22 – 29,207 steps

IMG_3856Today started with our youngest at the airport. She’s heading for a missions trip in Nicaragua. The day ended with 29,207 steps on the Fitbit. 

Day 324 – Sunday, July 21 – 31,260 steps

IMG_3849.jpgI wasn’t the only one enjoying a nice walk on Day 324 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. 

Day 323 – Saturday, July 20 -20,769 steps


On July 20, 1969 a young couple in Linthicum, MD awakened their young son, late at night, to come downstairs and watch TV. This boy, along with millions of others, is still inspired by what he saw. On Day 323 I reached 20,769 steps and then took my Fitbit off in honor of this special anniversary. #onesmallstep

Day 322 – Friday, July 19 – 30,683 steps

IMG_3822.jpgAccording to the media, we should all be inside with the shades drawn, huddled around air conditioners, eating canned goods from our emergency stockpile until this heatwave crisis passes. Naahhh.  Perfect day to cut the grass. 

Day 321 – Thursday, July 18 – 26,119 steps

IMG_3804.jpgIt felt like 104 outside, but inside it felt like Christmas. Day 321 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge was also Christmas in July at the radio station. The lobby was festively decorated and filled with abundant Christmas treats. It was also a reminder that I haven’t started my shopping yet. 

Day 320 – Wednesday, July 17 – 23,997 steps

IMG_3799.jpgI know…another sunrise picture. But, we have such a great view from the station it’s hard for me to ignore. Tried to figure out a way to eliminate the two light poles. I’m sure there’s an app for that. But, that’s my other challenge…being a 20th century person living in a 21st century world. Oh well. 

Day 319 – Tuesday, July 16 – 23,921 steps

IMG_3790.jpgDay 319 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge included Ava finding her next pair of glasses. Every pair she tried looked great. That’s what she does…make everything around her better. She finally picked a pair (not the ones in the picture) and I finished the day with 23,921 steps. 

Day 318 –  Monday, July 15 – 20,405 steps

IMG_3758The heat index was 93 and climbing. One of the benefits of driving an older car (with AC that no longer works) is the opportunity to build heat endurance. That means I have NO problem walking outside when it’s hot. 

Day 317 – Sunday, July 14 – 22,456 steps

IMG_3747.jpgNot a single step happened while we were enjoying a sunny summer afternoon on the patio. But, I did finish with 22,456 steps on Day 317 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge proving I didn’t spend the entire day chillin’ in the heat.

Day 316 – Saturday, July 13 – 24,397 steps

IMG_3715.jpgOne moment from Day 316 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. This is Riley…one of our grand-littles. They spent a couple hours at the house today. Love watching her personality develop and I wonder what’s going through her mind. 

Day 315 – Friday, July 12 – 33,104 steps

IMG_3708.jpgBy 7p on Day 315 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge I already had more than 27,000 steps. I also had the opportunity to combine two things I love…a perfect summer evening and Ava. Off we went to walk and talk. I finished the day with 33,104 on my Fitbit. 

Day 314 – Thursday, July 11 – 24,026 steps

IMG_3690 2.jpgI’m decluttering. It’s amazing how much stuff we can accumulate. Some people enjoy the decluttering process. I don’t. I’m actually thinking it would be far more efficient when I buy stuff to take it right to the dump. Don’t even bring it home. That way I wouldn’t have to clean it, fix it, or move it around so I can fit in even more stuff. Yep…right from the store to the dump. I think I’m on to something. 

Day 313 – Wednesday, July 10 – 30,015 steps

IMG_3693.jpgToday, I wished my dad a happy birthday. He’s a man of strong character, integrity and wonderful humor. He’s also setting a great example of how to age well. He would hate it if I mentioned how old he is, but let’s just say I know others, decades younger, who would not have walked a couple miles in the heat and humidity as four generations of our family did last week on July 4th. It was fun watching Dad interact with everyone as we strolled along the Brandywine Creek in Wilmington. 

Day 312 – Tuesday, July 9 – 24,198 steps

IMG_3683.jpgThis is happened early today. I noticed the sunrise shortly after the 6a news. I had one song before our next break to run outside…position myself so the perimeter fence and telephone wires weren’t in the picture…find an angle so the skyline was in the frame…take the picture…and get back in the studio in time, but not out of breath. Yeah…I got a few of my 24,198 steps getting this shot. 

Day 311 – Monday, July 8 – 23,901 steps

IMG_3679.jpgAva and I were getting ready to leave for a walk when the mail arrived. That prompted three phone calls. The paperwork at the end of a life is gets complicated and Ava has been handling all of it with strength and wisdom since her mom died three weeks ago. We did get the walk in and I finished Day 311 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge with 23,901 steps. 

Day 310 – Sunday, July 7 – 21,460 steps

IMG_3648.jpgIn May 1961, President Kennedy said we were going to land on the Moon before the end of the decade. At the time, only one American astronaut had been in space and for ONLY 15 minutes. We had no idea HOW to get to the moon and back home safely when JFK said, “Let’s Go!” On Day 310 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge I saw this little guy, who lives in our basement window well, attempting his own MoonShot. 

Day 309 – Saturday, July 6 – 22,406 steps

IMG_3647A brief moment in Day 309 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. We had the family over for a memorable cookout. Desiree captured this picture of our son, Noah, and their daughter, Everleigh. It was better than anything I took. 

Day 308 – Friday, July 5 – 27,653 steps

IMG_3605.jpgThis was a “gettin’ stuff done day”. It included an oil change, cutting the grass, grocery shopping, clothes washing, and paying bills. All that (including a long walk) added up to 27,653 steps. 

Day 307 – Thursday, July 4 – 20,689 steps

IMG_3559.jpgSpent July 4th with the family at my sister’s in Wilmington, DE. We ate then took a walk. Not sure Riley and Joey are feeling the 20k One Year Step Challenge love. Oh well. 

Day 306 – Wednesday, July 3 – 24,767 steps

IMG_3518.jpgAva and I enjoyed a nice walk as Day 306 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge was winding down.

Me: “I still need a picture”

Ava: (says nothing and walks away)

Me: “Everybody loves pictures of you…”

Ava: (walks faster)

Me: (takes picture)

Ava: “Did you just do something creepy?”

Me: “Define creepy…”

I know one person who will be really glad when this Challenge is over.

Day 305 – Tuesday, July 2 – 28,102 steps

IMG_3515.jpgWhen I was in fourth grade we did a Social Studies unit on Switzerland. Ever since I’ve wanted to visit. Our son, Andrew is there now. He keeps taunting me with pictures and videos. Day 305 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge ended with 28,102 steps and a renewed desire to get on a plane.

Day 304 – Monday, July 1 – 21,320 steps

IMG_3511Recent conversation my daughter, Grace, had with her 3-year old Judah:

Grace: Did you have fun with PapaD yesterday? (I’m PapaD)

Judah: Yeah, I did.

G: Did he come over and play?

J: No, he’s not a player guy.

G: Oh…what kind of guy is he?

J: He’s not a player guy…he’s a maker guy.

G: Oh yeah? What does he make?

J: PapaD makes spaghetti. And it’s not your spaghetti, it’s his spaghetti. And he makes the best spaghetti in the whole world!

Day 304 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge and I was Maker Guy. 

Day 303 – Sunday, June 30 – 20,936 steps

304.jpgBack in February I posted a picture of leafless trees and wrote about the beauty of winter. That was authentic. Actually, it was me understanding there was NOTHING I could do to make it summer in winter so I might as well find beauty in the moment. And, I did. Same trees…only now the day before the BEST MONTH OF THE YEAR. I love how green everything is in Maryland during the summer. 

Day 302 – Saturday, June 29 – 20,890 steps

303.jpegI stopped by the Air and Space Museum on Day 302 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. This little white bag was part of one of the most famous walks in human history. It contained some items Neil Armstrong brought back from the moon and was found seven years ago in his bedroom closet after he died. I have some old shoes in my closet.

Day 301 – Friday, June 28 – 28,102 steps

IMG_3442.jpgToday was winding down when it occurred to me, ”I don’t have a picture yet!!” Ava and I were on a walk when, moments later, she commented on how pretty the clouds were. Don’t know what I’d do without her. 

Day 300 – Thursday, June 27 – 26,335 steps

IMG_3438.jpgPeople are so kind to ask how Ava is doing. I always thank them and say she’s doing great. Yesterday we got confirmation of that. Day 300 of this 20k One Year included the first six-month check up. And…she looks good in teal. 

Day 299 – Wednesday, June 26 – 23,202 steps

IMG_3432I was one of the few NOT complaining about the weather. This is was the stuff of my mid-winter dreams! Finished Day 299 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge with a smile and 23,202 steps.

Day 298 – Tuesday, June 25 – 21,076 steps

IMG_3425.jpgToday is Ava’s birthday. It makes me smile thinking how my world changed one day when I was four years old and I didn’t have a clue. I wouldn’t find out for another 18 years. I love this woman more than words can express. 

Day 297 – Monday, June 24 – 22,344 steps

IMG_3417.jpgJudah is three so his backyard probably feels like 100 acres. I had fun watching this grand-little explore his world. 

Day 296 – Sunday, June 23 – 21,093 steps

297.jpgI walked by the elementary school up the street on Day 296 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. This will be a quiet playground for the next couple months. That made me smile because I remember how much I loved the summer break when I was a kid.

Day 295 – Saturday, June 22 – 25,230 steps

296It’s been awhile since we had a full day of sunshine, warm temps, and low humidity so we took full advantage. Enjoyed the weather and DC with a lot of walking.

Day 294 – Friday, June 21 – 22,441 steps

IMG_3385.jpgToday included a special lunch for a co-worker. Joe has been at the radio station almost 32 years. He’s loved by all of his and we honored his many years of service. He’s not going anywhere, but we just wanted to say, “Thanks”. That’s the kind of special place where I work. 

Day 293 – Thursday, June 20 – 21,212 steps

294She flew on her own for the first time…to Orlando. That’s not an easy airport to navigate. It’s big and busy. I talked her through what to do when she got off the plane. She wasn’t thrilled about the tram between terminals. Anyhow…she lands…figures it all out…and sends me a text…”I’m a pro”. Yep…just like her mom. 

Day 292 – Wednesday, June 19 – 21,800 steps

293.jpgWe gathered as a family to say goodbye to Ava’s mom. Just three weeks ago she was well enough to spend Memorial Day with a large group of her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. She kept talking about what a great day it was. Day 292 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge ended with 21,800 steps and a smile of that last day together with Mom-mom. 

Day 291 – Tuesday, June 18 – 20,679 steps

292.jpgIt’s been a hard year for my wife. In the past 12-months she’s battled cancer, lost her step-father, and then helped her mom navigate the difficult final months of her life. But, Ava has handled it all with strength, compassion and, yes, even joy. Oh…and she also trained for and completed an ultra-marathon (78 miles in 24 hours) in the midst of everything. Day 291 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge included dinner out with this superstar and ended with 20,679 steps.

Day 290 – Monday, June 17 – 21,285 steps

291Death sucks…even for a 3-year old with a pet caterpillar. But, death can also be a great revealer of character…for those facing the end and for those who walk with them till that final breath. Day 290 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge was a revealing day. 

Day 289 – Sunday, June 16 – 20,320 steps

290.jpgToday was also Father’s Day. I love this picture of me and my dad. He made me smile then and he still makes me smile today. I had a great childhood thanks to this man. 

Day 288 – Saturday, June 15 – 21,661 steps

IMG_3304.jpgI hate salt water taffy, so I decided to bring home a different souvenir from the beach..a summer cold. Thankfully, I had enough energy to finish Day 288 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge with 21,661 steps. Next time I’m getting the taffy. 

Day 287 – Friday, June 14

IMG_3290 2.jpgDay 286 – Thursday, June 13

IMG_3160.jpgDay 285 – Wednesday, June 12


Day 284 – Tuesday, June 11

IMG_3288.jpgDay 283 – Monday, June 10

IMG_3217.jpgDay 282 – Sunday, June 9

IMG_3195.jpgDay 281 – Saturday, June 8

IMG_3171.jpgDay 280 – Friday, June 7

IMG_3160.jpgDay 279 – Thursday, June 6

IMG_3112.jpgDay 278 – Wednesday, June 5

IMG_3064.jpgDay 277 – Tuesday, June 4

IMG_2993.jpgDay 276 – Monday, June 3


Day 275 – Sunday, June 2


Day 274 – Saturday, June 1 


Day 273 – Friday, May 31 – 23,587 steps

274.jpgSo proud of our little girl (who’s not so little anymore) It’s been an amazing year for her. She handled her mom’s cancer with grace and strength…she was a starter on her TWO volleyball teams…she got her license and her first job…went on her first (but not last) missions trip…and now she’s a graduate. Day 274 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge will never be remembered for the 23,587 steps I got, but will always be remembered as Emma’s Day. 

Day 273 – Thursday, May 30 – 24,157 steps

273.jpgOur youngest graduates from high school tomorrow. Ava and I decided before we had any children that we would home school. And, we did that exclusively for the first four years. Then we decided we wanted the Classical approach to education for our six kids which is hard to do in a pure homeschool setting. So, Ava and a friend started a two-day-a-week Classical school for home school families. Ava was the administrator of Granite Classical Tutorials for 15 years. At its peak there were over 170 children and a paid staff. And, so…what began 25 years ago as a little four year old boy excitedly waited for his Grandmom and his “first day of school” will end in less than 24 hours. Words can’t even begin to describe the gratitude in my heart. 

Day 272 – Wednesday, May 29 -22,222 steps

272.jpgThe final task before graduation…delivering her Senior Thesis. She did great! Day 272 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge included 22,222 steps and one very memorable hour! #strongheartgratefulheart

Day 271 – Tuesday, May 28 – 21,773 steps

271.jpgSalmon on the grill! I’m so grateful that one of the BEST foods ever is also one of the EASIEST to make. It actually takes more skill to mess it up. Thankfully, I’m not very skilled. 

Day 270 – Monday, May 27 – 21,801 steps

270 copy.jpgSaw a few of these as I walked through the neighborhood.  Finished with 21,801 steps and renewed gratitude for the men and women who died for our freedom.

Day 269 – Sunday, May 26 – 25,716 steps

269Fun at the ER thanks to an unhappy gallbladder. Looks like Ava and her gallbladder will have to part ways at some point in the foreseeable future. Finished with 25,716 steps…almost all of which were already on my Fitbit when I took this picture. 

Day 268 – Saturday, May 25 – 21,122 steps

IMG_2832.jpgI’m not a big fan of lawn ornaments, but this one grabs my attention every time I walk past it. I did again on Day 268 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge and this time I stopped and took a picture trying not to look creepy as I did. 

Day 267 – Friday, May 24 – 28,041 steps

267.jpgAnd she’s back. Emma tonight returned from her Senior Class Missions Trip to Puerto Rico. Lots of stories. Lots of pictures. Lots of hugs. 

Day 266 – Thursday, May 23 – 23,616 steps

266.jpgWe’ve had a lot of cardinals in our backyard lately. Because of the rain, everything is so green which makes the cardinals even more stunning. I decided this was the day I would take the perfect cardinal picture. Day 266 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge ended with 23,616 steps and a sense of real accomplishment. I’ll be over here waiting for National Geographic to call. 

Day 265 – Wednesday, May 22 – 20,684 steps

270.jpgA little closer than usual today. A dental appointment and a haircut on the same day tend to limit walking opportunities. 

Day 264 – Tuesday, May 21 – 21,974 steps

IMG_2735.jpgMuch of today was spent wearing these shoes. I’m not a suit guy, but I had a meeting in DC that required a clothing upgrade. That made my 21,974 steps a little more challenging than usual.

Day 263 – Monday, May 20 – 22,565 steps

IMG_2711.jpgToday’s lesson: How to keep a three year old busy. One. Flower. At a time. 

Day 262 – Sunday, May 19 – 25,647 steps

262Epic. But, that’s Ava. The full story coming soon in a blog post. I finished with about 100k fewer. 

Day 261 – Saturday, May 18 – 26,261 steps

IMG_2662.jpgI’m guessing she doesn’t want me to take her picture. Day 261 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge started with a VERY EARLY drop off of our daughter Emma as she leaves for a one week Senior Class Mission Trip to Puerto Rico. It ended with 26,461 steps on my Fitbit Inspire HR. 

Day 260 – Friday, May 17 – 29,090 steps

IMG_2661Getting stuff together for a yard sale helped me get 29,090 steps on Day 260 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. It was neither fun nor did it produce a memory that will last. Some days are like that. They just make those that are fun and memorable even more special. 

Day 259 – Thursday, May 16 – 25,340 steps

259 .jpgBeautiful. Dangerous. Take your pick. Have you ever brushed up against a rose bush while cutting the lawn? Some of my 25,340 steps today were spent making sure there was plenty of room between me and this.

Day 258 – Wednesday, May 15 – 29,326 steps

258.jpgI had almost 24,000 steps when Ava got home from work and asked, “Hey…wanna go out for a two-mile walk?” Um. Sure. Day 258 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge wrapped up with 29,353 on my Fitbit Inspire HR

Day 257 – Tuesday, May 14 – 21,236 steps

257.jpgToday was also our oldest daughter’s birthday. She is a shining light wherever she goes. She makes the world better. I finished the day with 21,206 steps and a grateful heart for the blessing of Sarah Grace. 

Day 256 – Monday, May 13 – 21,933 steps

256.jpgSomebody got an ouchie. She’s handling it like a champ. Day 256 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge included time with a couple grandlittles and 21,933 steps. 

Day 255 – Sunday, May 12 – 24,244 steps

IMG_2583.jpgOn Day 255 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge I was reminded of Day 1. She was only 24 years old. She will say she wasn’t the perfect mom. She will tell you she has regrets. But, on Day 11,063 of a much more important challenge, I will tell you she is amazing. I finished the day with 24,224 steps. Ava finished the day with a full heart from the six who call her Mom.

Day 254 – Saturday, May 11 – 26,568 steps

254.jpegOne of my radio-job perks is the occasional unique view…like backstage before a concert. Even got to see the set list so I knew when my favorite song was going to be played. I made sure I reached my goal before the concert…and then added a few more. 

Day 253 – Friday, May 10 – 26,486 steps

253I didn’t get to see Emma leave for school today. Thankfully, Ava took pictures because it was Emma’s last day of classes. Wow. Sigh. 

Day 252 – Thursday, May 9 – 21,391 steps

252When you check the advance forecast for your upcoming beach vacation and see THIS. Today was cloudy, but I didn’t care. The sun will come out tomorrow…or at least when it counts. 

Day 251 – Wednesday, May 8 – 24,391 steps

251.jpegI love salmon. I love the way it tastes. I love how easy it is to make. I even love the way it looks before it cooks. Not too many foods I can say that about. Some of my 24,391 steps…some of which came as I was pacing about the kitchen while my salmon was in the oven. 

Day 250 – Tuesday, May 7 – 24,692 steps

IMG_2520.jpgToday included a special treat…meeting actor Jim Caviezel. He was the guest speaker at a banquet I attended for Metro Maryland Youth for Christ. Made sure I got most of my steps before I got there…cuz it was a lot of sitting. 

Day 249 – Monday, May 6 – 28,698 steps

249Little kids give you lots of step opportunities. That’s why I finished with 28,698 on my Fitbit. It’s also why I enjoyed the brief break when the grandlittles were eating. 

Day 248 – Sunday, May 5 – 21,188 steps

248.jpegRule #1-make certain your Fitbit is charged before heading out on a 35 minute walk. Sigh. Those were 3500 steps that don’t count. Had to grind it out the rest of the day while my daughter, Emma, was grinding out her final BIG school project. 

Day 247 – Saturday, May 4 – 22,257 steps

247Today is our son, Andrew’s, birthday. Five years ago he had one of the coolest summer jobs ever as part of the Baltimore Orioles Grounds Crew. He got a perspective of baseball I could only dream of…like sitting in the bullpen area during a game (that’s him on the right) Since that magical summer, Andrew has lived in Australia working for Youth With a Mission. Miss having him around! 

Day 246 – Friday, May 3 – 22,562 steps

246.jpgDo you ever wonder where they’re going? Where they’re coming from? If they’ve already handed out the peanuts? Anyone looking down while I’m looking up? Today included 22,562 steps and a few questions.

Day 245 – Thursday, May 2 – 28,410 steps

246.jpegCut grass. Eat pizza. Only one added steps to my total of 28,410, but the other was way more fun. 

Day 244 – Wednesday, May 1 – 22,700 steps

244.jpgWhen I started this 20k One Year Step Challenge my son, Christopher, said it wouldn’t last. He didn’t mean the daily step goal, but the daily Facebook post. He knows me well. This posting thing is HARD. A new picture and caption every day. Every. Single. Day. That’s why on Day 244 (well after I hit 20,000 steps) I was staring out the kitchen window wondering what I could take a picture of. That’s when I saw this weed. 

Day 243 – Tuesday, April 30 – 22,027 steps

243.jpeg“I need a picture. Make a funny face,” I say to Ava. “No, you make a funny face,” she replies. Day 243 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge ended with 22,027 steps and a standoff.

Day 242 – Monday, April 29 – 25,469 steps

242.jpgProbably the most boring picture you’ll see today. But, nothing on Day 242 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge beat the moment when there were no leaks and hot water was restored. Took a lot longer than if I had paid a plumber, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to walk around Home Depot as many times as I did. 

Day 241 – Sunday, April 28 – 27,922 steps

241.jpgToday was quiet until I noticed our hot water heater leaking. Lots of my steps involved replacing it, and it’s still not finished. Today’s picture has nothing to do with that, but is the answer to yesterday’s mystery. 

Day 240 – Saturday, April 27 – 27,732 steps

240.jpgMost of my steps today happened in DC. Once a month (or so) I like to spend the morning exploring one of the most iconic cities in the world. I listen to podcasts, try to find things I’ve never seen, and think about life without an agenda. I also try and find a fun picture. Any idea what well-known building this is? The answer tomorrow. 

Day 239 – Friday, April 26 – 21,895 steps

239.jpgToday had some drama. Thunderstorm Watches and Warnings…Tornado Watches and Warnings…lots of rain and not a whole lot of outdoor steps. Still finished with 21,895 on my Fitbit Inspire HR.

Day 238 – Thursday, April 25 – 27, 718 steps

IMG_2391.jpgCan you see the layer of pollen on Ava’s car. Thankfully, I endured allergy shots many years ago so I was able to cut the grass today without any impact. Finished Day 238 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge with 27,718 steps and 0 sneezes.

Day 237 – Wednesday, April 24 – 24,316 steps

237.jpegOn my way home to finish the fence I started yesterday I saw a Rolls Royce on the Baltimore Beltway. It reminded me of another fancy car Ava and I saw when we were vacationing in Florida a few years ago. While we were sitting outside a Starbucks, drinking coffee and admiring this car parked across the street, two men at separate tables behind us started talking. One was the car’s owner. The other guy kept asking questions about it. I wondered if he would have the guts to ask the question everybody within earshot really wanted to know. He did. “So, how much would a car like this sell for?” Clever way of asking how much did the owner pay for it. I finished Day 237 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge with 24,316 steps and wondered if the driver of the Rolls I saw earlier would answer that question. The guy in Florida did. 800k. #strongheartgratefulheart

Day 236 – Tuesday, April 23 – 23,936 steps

236.jpegToday included a couple meetings and this little project. Guess which activity contributed to the 24,936 steps I finished with? 

Day 235 – Monday, April 22 – 26,191 steps

235.jpgJapanese Maple…rolling spring and autumn into one sweet little package. Day 235 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge included 26,191 steps and enjoying the afternoon sun illuminating this tree in our front yard.

Day 234 – Sunday, April 21 – 28,958 steps

IMG_2368.jpgThat moment he discovers the deftly hid egg and realizes his life will never be the same. Day 234 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge included a fun afternoon celebrating Easter with four generations of family. 

Day 233 – Saturday, April 20 – 33,581 steps

IMG_2289.jpgThis has nothing to do with my 20k One Year Step Challenge, but everything to do with life. Our son with his daughter. Sweet moment. 

Day 232 – Friday, April 19 – 23,109 steps

IMG_2262.jpgIt rained most of the afternoon so I did some reading. And, yes, I also kept this 20k One Year Step Challenge going. I ended Day 232 with 23,109 steps and evidence that I really don’t walk all day.

Day 231 – Thursday, April 18 – 32,908 steps

231.jpgMowing the lawn then walking with Ava added helped me surpass my goal today.

Day 230 – Wednesday, April 17 – 23,095 steps

230.jpgLots of steps just waiting for me in the yard. But, I didn’t feel like it on Day 230 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. Got 23,095 without needing any mower help. Get it? Any MOWER (more) help. Yep…he’s here all week folks. 

Day 229 – Tuesday, April 16 – 24,267 steps

229.jpgThat moment when your daughter realizes why your iPhone is pointed her way. Day 229 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge ended with this epic shot and 24,267 steps. #strongheartgratefulheart

Day 228 – Monday, April 15 – 23,714 steps

228.jpegSpaghetti is merely a delivery system for cheese. My biggest accomplishment of the day was making this young man’s tummy happy with a bowl full of delivery system. 

Day 227 – Sunday, April 14 – 25,068 steps

227.jpgHow stinking impressive is this??!! Yeah…you should be impressed. Day 227 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge and I finished with…well…not that number. That’s Ava’s Fitbit. She ran 20 miles today. My total was merely 25,068 steps. 

Day 226 – Saturday, April 13 – 22,391 steps

227.jpgI love foggy mornings. This is how Day 226 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge started. I enjoyed a long walk and took lots of pictures. This was my favorite. 

Day 225 – Friday, April 12 – 23,353 steps

IMG_2186.jpgRain v. Pollen. Guess which won Day 225 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge? 

Day 224 – Thursday, April 11 – 20,876 steps

224.jpegI’m not a member of the Spring Fan Club. I’m probably the only person who isn’t. Spring (in Maryland) tends to be a Big Tease. It’s usually cloudy, wet, windy, and still chilly. But, this year’s version might be changing my mind. A good chunk of sun, some warm days, and THIS in my backyard. 

Day 223 – Wednesday, April 10 – 20,821 steps

223.jpgBack in Maryland for Day 223 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge, but not back to work. Got to enjoy one more free morning. Liberty Reservoir just after sunrise…almost as nice as the beach. Almost. 

Day 222 – Tuesday, April 9 – 25,478 steps

IMG_2150.jpgToday included a really early morning walk. I love this time of day. 

Day 221 – Monday, April 8 – 23,112 steps

221.jpgMini spring break at the beach, but the 20k One Year Step Challenge remains unbroken. Day 221 included 23,112 steps. 

Day 220 – Sunday, April 7 – 26,479 steps

220.jpgNot sure what this is, but the aroma was unreal…in a good way! I stopped to soak it in…and take a picture. That’s the beauty of walking for fitness. It’s a full sensory experience. 

Day 219 – Saturday, April 6 – 31,209 steps

IMG_2114.jpgSaw this today while I was out. Perfect. 

Day 218 – Friday, April 5 – 22,165 steps

IMG_2106Not a single step was involved in this little accomplishment, but it sure felt better than the 22,165 on my Fitbit at the end of the day.


Day 217 – Thursday, April 4 – 30,627 steps

217.jpegIt was Opening Day…I parked far, far away

Not so much did I pay…and made my steps really OK

Day 216 – Wednesday, April 3

216.jpgToday was National Walking Day…and so I did. 

Day 215 – Tuesday, April 2 – 21,514 steps

IMG_2054.jpgWhen our son was a little boy he developed a bad habit of sticking his tongue out at us when he was upset. We told him no, he couldn’t do that, so he resorted to a modified version. Today, was Aaron’s birthday. He’s in the Navy these days. We face time often and not once has he stuck his tongue out. I guess we did something right as parents. 

Day 214 – Monday, April 1 – 22,976 steps

214.jpgDirt is probably the best toy ever! And keeping up with toddlers may be the best exercise ever! Day 214 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge ended with 22,976 steps…many chasing these two grandlittles around. 

Day 213 – Sunday, March 31 – 22,091 steps

213.jpgNot sure too much tops peeling potatoes in the Kitchen Satisfaction Scale. A nice sharp peeler zipping those skins off…swoosh…swoosh…swoosh. Not sure too much else tops peeling potatoes in the Kitchen Making a Mess Scale either. Day 213 included this and 22,091 steps. 

Day 212 – Saturday, March 30 -28,127 steps

IMG_2029Spent today watching Emma play volleyball. It was an all-day tournament that her team won! Lots of sitting, but also lots of time between games to get up and move. 

Day 211 – Friday, March 29 – 22,090 steps

IMG_2011.jpgBefore we got married, a friend suggested we always make time for a weekly date night. So glad we followed that advice. We celebrate 35 years this weekend and this is still the best part of the week. Day 211 of this 20k One Year Challenge included 22,090 steps and a couple hours together after work. 

Day 210 – Thursday, March 28 – 23,942 steps

210After a two-night stay, Car was as good as new. Hmmm…make that as good as can be expected with 234,000 miles. I walked the two miles from home to the mechanic which helped me finish with 23,942 steps on Day 210 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. 

Day 209 – Wednesday, March 27 – 21,225 steps

IMG_2004.jpgSpent part of this afternoon picking up small and medium branches in the yard that did not survive our long, cold, harsh Maryland winter. 

Day 208 – Tuesday, March 26 – 23,823 steps

208Today included a fun phone call with my auto mechanic. My 2008 Honda Civic with 234,000 miles needs a little work. Actually…a LOT of work. Sigh. At least I enjoyed the two-mile walk home after dropping the it off. 

Day 207 – Monday, March 25 – 22,645 steps

IMG_1975.jpgWhen Joey’s mom was a toddler pacifiers only had little rubber handles. I can’t imagine what they will look like a generation from now. Spent part of Day 207 with a couple of the grandlittles. Finished with 22,645 steps and the realization that our daughter won’t spend nearly as many hours of her life looking for dropped binkies as her mom and I did. 

Day 206 – Sunday, March 24 – 23,822 steps

IMG_1966.jpgThis. It means I don’t have imagine spring is here anymore. It really is! Day 206 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge also included 23,822 steps. They were more fun because I saw This. 

Day 205 – Saturday, March 23 – 24,217 steps

IMG_1942Moments after I took this a young man asked if I would take a picture of him with this in the background. He’s from California and it’s his first time here. He’s so excited. Day 205 of this 20k One Year Steps Challenge ended with 24,217 steps and the opportunity to view a city I love through fresh eyes. 

Day 204 – Friday, March 22 – 21,834 steps

IMG_1906.jpgFundraiser ended early this afternoon. I went home looking forward to a nice long nap, but couldn’t fall asleep. Since I still needed a massive amount of steps to reach 20k I figured I could at least walk. So I did…around and around the kitchen. Yep…just another day (204) in the glamorous life of the 20k One Year Step Challenge. 

Day 203 – Thursday, March 21 – 22,733 steps

203.jpgDay 203 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge was also Day 3 of Spring Fundraiser. I won’t miss the long days when this is over, but I will miss the catered meals. 

Day 202 – Wednesday, March 20 – 21,756 steps

202Another long day at the station for our Spring Fundraiser. I took a walk during a mid-day break and enjoyed this view of our city. Yep, the station is on a hill and this is what we get to see every day. Pretty sweet, huh? 

Day 201 – Tuesday, March 19 – 23,221 steps

201.jpgToday was also Day 1 of our Spring Fundraiser. Long day. Tired feet. 

Day 200 – Monday, March 18 – 22,867 steps

200.jpgMonday Monsters with Mimi. Day 200 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge included this gem and 22,867 steps on my Fitbit. 

Day 199 – Sunday, March 17 – 22,730 steps

199.jpgToday was St. Patrick’s Day. I made green beans. Get it? GREEN beans. Yep. And, potatoes were in the pot on the left. Thing is…I didn’t make any the connection between my dinner plans and the holiday until two-seconds before I took this picture. Sometimes, I’m so clueless. 

Day 198 – Saturday, March 16 – 23,289 steps

198.jpgI can’t turn away. I think every sunrise and sunset is worth looking at. That’s why you’ll notice an inordinate amount of posted pictures of each. This one I noticed this morning as I was casually walking by an east facing window. Must. Get. Camera. Day 198 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge started with this show stopper and ended with 23,289 steps. 

Day 197 – Friday, March 15 – 25,969 steps

197.jpgSometimes it’s good to just pause. Today included this respite in the middle of the day. I finished with 25,969 on the Fitbit, but enjoyed using the Sitbit as well. 

Day 196 – Thursday, March 14 – 24,119 steps

196.jpgDay 196 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge was winding down. I had my steps (24,119), but not my picture. So this. I think the world is better with wall to wall Ava. She doesn’t agree so I get what I can when she’s not looking. 

Day 195 – Wednesday, March 13 – 23.521 steps

195.jpgWhen your indoor plants want to be outdoor plants. Day 195 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge was that kind of day. Springlike temperatures made getting 23,521 steps a little easier. #strongheartgratefulheart

Day 194 – Tuesday, March 12 – 20,701 steps

194.jpgIt’s 6:48pm. This time last week it was still dark. My body took a couple days to adjust. My heart was ready weeks ago. 

Day 193 – Monday, March 11 – 22,313 steps

193One of the great joys of life is watching my children take care of their children. Today  included this moment…our daughter Grace and her son Judah. Finished with 22,313 steps and a heart full of joy.

Day 192 – Sunday, March 10 – 23,930 steps

192I saw this on a long walk around the neighborhood. A lonely baseball field waiting for kids to come out of hibernation. 

Day 191 – Saturday, March 9 – 26,028 steps

191Today was the last day of this 20k One Year Step Challenge where an after dinner walk in daylight  only happens if I eat early. I finished with 26,028 steps and some clocks that still need to be hand changed. 

Day 190 – Friday, March 8 – 22,163 steps

190..jpgAnd, that’s a wrap! Day 190 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge featured the FINAL snow of winter. And what a piddly little storm it was. Done! Cue the spring flowers. 

Day 189 – Thursday, March 7 – 22,322 steps

189.jpgDay 2 at work with Dad and someone is struggling with the 2:45a wake up. Thankfully, Dad has a nice comfy chair in his office. Finished Day 189 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge with 22,322 steps and a daughter who’s grateful there won’t be a Day 3.

Day 188 – Wednesday, March 6 – 22,375 steps

188.jpgMy daughter, Emma, spent the day with me at work. She’s got some skills!

Day 187 – Tuesday, March 5 – 20,101 steps

187Excellent long-term prognosis doesn’t mean “no more doctors”. Day 187 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge ended with a fun post-appointment dinner date and 20,101 steps. 

Day 186 – Monday, March 4 – 21,084 steps

186a.jpgNew trick. Cup Balancing. Day 186 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge included a few fun hours with the grandlittles. 

Day 185 – Sunday, March 3 – 24,060 steps

185.jpgHow today ended…a warm sunset kiss with Ava. Nah…not really. It’s from last year’s OBX vacation. I didn’t think you really wanted to see another picture of gray skies with snow falling so I give you this instead. Made me warm just looking at it.  

Day 184 – Saturday, March 2 – 27,943 steps

184.jpgIt’s not easy to see. That’s probably why I never noticed it before. In fact, I didn’t even know it was there until a friend told me about it recently. This is where he stood. This is what he saw. This is what he said. “I have a dream…” Spent part of today exploring one of my favorite cities. All the miles I’ve walked here and there are still new things to discover. 

Day 183 – Friday, March 1 – 20,776 steps

183.jpgMidway today I reached the halfway point of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. That’s 20,000 steps every day for a year with no breaks. Six months down…six to go. 

Day 182 – Thursday, February 28 – 21,958 steps

182.jpgThere goes Ava…escaping winter. She’s headed to Myrtle Beach to run a half marathon this weekend. She’ll get more steps than me when she does. But, today I finished with 21,958 on my Fitbit…one of the few times lately where my number is higher than hers. 

Day 181 – Wednesday, February 27 – 24,198 steps

181.jpgI drive by these geese every day. They just wander along the side of a road near work. I wondered why they don’t fly someplace nice? I sure would if I had their skill set. I’d trade my Fitbit for a Flybit in a nanosecond. 

Day 180 – Tuesday, February 26 – 22,850 steps

180.jpgHow today started. The radio station sits on a hill so we have a pretty spectacular view of the sunrise. And, yes, I can’t help but hum a little Beatles song every time I see this. Thankfully, no one’s within earshot when that happens. 

Day 179 – Monday, February 25 – 21,539 steps

179.jpgToday included this. Mimi inspired Judah to try out fitness bands. Up and down the hall they went. Heart rates elevated…laughter elevated even more. Grateful for these sweet moments. 

Day 178 – Sunday, February 24 – 21,732 steps

178.jpgThis happened. Took my Fitbit off and then forgot to put it back on…for about 20 minutes. That’s kind of a dumb thing to do when you’ve said, “Watch me get 20,000 steps every day for a year”. (Which, by the way, is also kind of a dumb thing to do) Finished Day 178 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge with more than 21,732 steps. But, those are the only ones that got counted. 

Day 177 – Saturday, February 23 – 20,780 steps

178.jpgToday was also Day 1 of the Spring Training baseball season. Something magical about that…except if you are saving money by eliminating cable and the only way you can watch a couple pitches is when your son in San Diego turns his phone towards the TV because he has cable and is very excited about the game and called you to tell you that, but you weren’t watching because you are saving a little bit of money every month. He’s doing fine, by the way.

Day 176 – Friday, February 22 – 22,086 steps

176When feeding the grandlittles dinner, success is defined as some food making it into the stomach. There are times when keeping the bar low is a solid strategy. Finished Day 176 with a warm feeling of accomplishment. 

Day 175 – Thursday, February 21 – 28,297 steps

175Hard to believe that just 24 hours earlier I was bundled up shoveling snow. Not so much today. Light jacket. Long walk. 

Day 174 – Wednesday, February 20 – 21,429 steps

174While the rest of the world hunkered down…radio hunkered up. I’m grateful for others who also couldn’t take a snow day and kept providing those services we need regardless of how much snow is falling.

Day 173 – Tuesday, February 19 – 22,359 steps

173Today started with a rare thing for me. Getting up at 2:20a doesn’t have many perks, but beating traffic is one of them. Which is why slowing to a crawl on the Beltway is not built into my morning game plan. My “handling backup muscles” are way out of shape. Finished Day 173 with 22,359 steps and a new appreciation for what the rest of the word deals with every day. 

Day 172 – Monday, February 18 – 20,344 steps

172.jpgCan you tell half my face is numb? I learned something new today. Novacaine not only makes eating hard…it also makes blowing your nose hard. You should try it sometime. 

Day 171 – Sunday, February 17 – 23,154 steps

171.jpgI knew this day would eventually come. I have a cold. Not the worst I’ve ever had, but it still isn’t fun. Yeah, I reached my target, but, more importantly I am reminded of people I know who are battling through FAR bigger challenges with strength, resilience, and a smile. They inspire me.

Day 170 – Saturday, February 16 – 24,337 steps 

170.jpgStarted today in my favorite DC coffee shop…Ebenezer’s. Great coffee…even better story of how it came to be. Used to be a run down crack house a block from Union Station. But, Pastor Mark Batterson had a vision of turning it into a coffee shop with the profits going to community and international outreach projects. Enjoyed some time there then walked over to the Navy Yard. 

Day 169 – Friday, February 15 – 24,524 steps

169.jpgFor a few brief hours, today was a winter day with a mid-spring overlay. Temps above 60 at lunch time allowed for a walk without gloves or a heavy coat. Ahhh… 

Day 168 – Thursday, February 14 – 20,427 steps

168Today was also anniversary number 60! My parents were married on Valentine’s Day 1959. I have never known a warmer marriage than theirs. They inspire me! 

Day 167 – Wednesday, February 13 – 23,696 steps

167.jpgThis might be the best looking meal I’ve ever made…which I get is not saying much. Green beans, garlic bread, and salmon with capers on a bed of rice. They say salmon is happy food. It actually makes you feel good. Finished Day 167 in a good mood and with 23,696 steps. 

Day 166 – Tuesday, February 12 – 22,996 steps

166.jpgEven miserable weather has a beauty mark. Two days of sleet, snow, and freezing rain and this is what I saw as I pulled into the parking lot at work this morning. Day 166 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge ended the same way it started…frozen. 

Day 165 – Monday, February 11 – 20,249 steps

165Guess who didn’t want her picture taken? Other than this, my daughter, Emma, was enjoying a snow day, a bowl of popcorn and another episode of The Office. I miss waking up and hearing on the radio that I had a free day off. Now I’m the one making that announcement. Sigh.

Day 164 – Sunday, February 10 – 25,034 steps

164Day 164 was also the first Sunday without NFL football since I started this 20k One Year Step Challenge. No long commercial breaks which are always good for a bunch of steps. So, I had to get them the old fashioned way. I took a long walk outside. 

Day 163 – Saturday, February 9 – 20,677 steps

163This little girl turned ONE today. It was fun watching her figure out what to do with her cake.  More fun than getting all those steps, in fact. Grateful for the blessing of Josephyne Grace. 

Day 162 – Friday, February 8 – 23,339 steps

162So how exactly does this work? Are they wearing a protective suit and helmet? Is it a recess game or more of a threat for bad behavior? I’m assuming parents needs to sign some sort of waiver. I don’t remember this activity when I was in school. 

Day 161 – Thursday, February 7 – 24,268 steps

161That moment as you’re going through the some family heirlooms when you discover this…a letter my 10 year old grandfather wrote to his mother while he was at summer camp. He called her Mama. I had no idea. Ironic that my grandson calls his mother Mama. Finished Day 161 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge with 24,268 steps and a sense of connection between six generations.

Day 160 – Wednesday, February 6 – 21,521 steps

160.jpgA surprise today! Our son, Noah, stopped by with his daughter Everleigh. We don’t get to see Noah often because he is stationed in Quantico, VA with the Marines. Today was his birthday! 

Day 159 – Tuesday, February 5 – 21,366 steps

159.jpgI admire the tenacity. It’ll eventually lose, but not without a fight. 

Day 158 – Monday, February 4 – 21,276 steps

158Phil was right! Took advantage of this early spring weather with a nice walk. 

Day 157 – Sunday, February 3 – 23,047 steps

157.jpgYou can have your chicken wings…THIS is the perfect in-game snack. Made sure I hit my target before kickoff so I didn’t have to pace during the commercials. 

Day 156 – Saturday, February 2 – 21,450 steps

156.jpgTwo of my favorite things…mornings and coffee. Grateful for both. 

Day 155 – Friday, February 1 – 21,455 steps

155.jpgThe meteorological first day of spring is a month away, the days are getting longer, pitchers and catchers report in two weeks…The meteorological first day of spring is a month away, the days are getting longer, pitchers and catchers report in two weeks…The meteorological first day of spring is a month away, the days are getting longer, pitchers and catchers report in two weeks. 

Day 154 – Thursday, January 31 – 21,007 steps

154.jpgYep. Sometimes this is what it comes down to…laps around the kitchen island. 20,000 steps a day isn’t always as glamorous as it appears. 

Day 153 – Wednesday, January 30 – 23,641 steps

153.jpgAhhhhh. Much of today was spent daydreaming. Sadly, though imaginary steps don’t count so I still had to move. 

Day 152 – Tuesday, January 29 – 22,950 steps

152a.jpgI used the Dramatic Warm filter. Didn’t work. I’m still cold. Day 152 and I finished with 22,920 inside steps. (Which count the same as outside steps, btw) 

Day 151 – Monday, January 28 – 20,407 steps

152.jpegThis is my granddaughter Joey. She just started walking and still is a little unsteady. Sometimes she’s more than unsteady and does a buttplant on the floor. But, she’s having so much fun with her new found mobility. I hope she never loses that joy. 

Day 150 – Sunday, January 27 – 23,273 steps

150.jpgToday began with sad news regarding the death of a colleague. He had been diagnosed with cancer only last month. I went for a walk later and noticed this, but kept going. Then I stopped and looked again. It was a metaphor. The tree is gone and soon the stump will be as well. But, not visible is a massive root system that will remain for a long, long time. For many years Jim gave of his time to serve others. Jim is now gone, but his impact here will remain for a long, long time. 

Day 149 – Saturday, January 26 – 24,288 steps

149Today was also a BIG birthday. Christopher, our oldest, turned 30. We enjoyed the annual Orioles Fanfest together. Meanwhile, back home, Ava was getting ready for a surprise birthday party. Finished with 24,288 steps and warm memories of a very special day. 

Day 148 – Friday, January 25 – 23,406 steps

148Just one month ago this space in WalMart was occupied by Christmas stuff. Today as I walked past this same space I felt an imaginary warm breeze.

Day 147 – Thursday, January 24 – 20,172 steps

147.jpegToday was another one of those days that made this 20k One Year Step Challenge a…well…challenge. Lots of rain then cold and windy. Still I finished with 20,172 steps and what I think is a pretty cool picture. 

Day 146 – Wednesday, January 23 – 20,250 steps

146.jpgHere’s an undeniable truth. When you are getting a dental cleaning you are NOT increasing the number on your Fitbit. Day 146 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge ended with 20,250 steps. Not a single one occurred while this was happening. Both, however, were a gift from my current self to my future self. 

Day 145 – Tuesday, January 22 – 21,104 steps

145.jpgA few weeks ago Ava asked me to buy a bunch of boxes of Kleenex at the store. She said the grandkids would enjoy playing with them. Huh? So, today our daughter, Grace, stopped by with her two children Judah and Joey. My wife is brilliant. 

Day 144 – Monday, January 21 – 20,833 steps

144.jpgThe wind chill never got above 2 so I enjoyed the welcome sunshine from a place of comfort. It also meant that just about every one of my steps happened with a roof over head and a furnace blasting away. Where there’s a will (and a wind chill of 2)…you bet there’s a way.

Day 143 – Sunday, January 20 – 21,102 steps

143.jpgHere’s a step I got today. Nothing exciting about this particular step. Just one of 21,102 for the day. In fact, none of them will rise to the level of memorable. Each one was just doing it’s job. But, together they made Day 143 another link in the 20k One Year Step Challenge chain. 

Day 142 – Saturday, January 19 – 24,283 steps

142.JPGToday was a very special anniversary. Five years ago, Everleigh was born and I became a grandfather. I love the role…the title, not so much. So I decided on Papa D instead. Here I am trying to convince Everleigh why that was a brilliant choice. 

Day 141 – Friday, January 18 – 21,594 steps

141.jpegThis painting hangs in the lobby of the radio station where I work. I walk past it MANY times every day. It’s a powerful reminder of the community we serve. It also reminds me how much I love walking along the harbor. 

Day 140 – Thursday, January 17 – 20,874 steps

140.jpgWhen I was a boy my dad built a model railroad. It was a work of art. I recently found some of the buildings he made for that pretend town he created. Thought it would be fun to see how real I could make one of them look. I didn’t use Photoshop, but I did use a little flour for snow. See yesterday’s post for the final product. Day 140 and I finished with a renewed appreciation for my dad’s many talents. 

Day 139 – Wednesday, January 16 – 25,345 steps

139a.jpgWhat’s wrong with this picture? My son knew me well when he said this wouldn’t last. His doubts weren’t about me reaching the step goal every day, but he knows me well enough to know the daily posts would be hard. I still hope to prove him wrong, but he is right. The posts are the biggest challenge. So I decided to change it up for Day 139. I took this picture. What’s wrong with it? The answer will be tomorrow’s post. 

Day 138 – Tuesday, January 15 – 21,244 steps 

138.jpegIt’s getting real. Warm temps are a distant memory. Autumn splendor is dead and buried under several inches of snow. Fun holiday distractions are done. And, I started watching this again. 156 episodes. Do you know how many steps I won’t be getting because of all the sitting I’ll be doing? 624,000. Yep…it’s getting real. 

Day 137 – Monday, January 14 – 21,861 steps

137.jpgIt’s a little creepy when snow reveals how many animals are traipsing through your back yard. I’m guessing this is a deer? Wonder how many steps it gets a day?

Day 136 – Sunday, January 13 – 23,349 steps

136I got to use my new piece of workout equipment. Not the most challenging day to reach 20k. 

Day 135 – Saturday, January 12 – 23,355 steps

135.jpgCardio…strength…flexibility…and a bunch of steps. That’s what my new piece of workout equipment gives me. But, not on Day 135 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. I finished with 23,355 steps and the anticipation of a very special Day 136. 

Day 134 – Friday, January 11 – 22,231 steps

134.jpgHave you ever missed something because you were trying to take a picture? This was my view from the station this morning. We’re on a hill that overlooks the skyline of Baltimore. I was so distracted trying to get the perfect picture without the poles, lights, cars, and delivery trucks that I didn’t enjoy the moment. Next time I’m taking a cup of coffee with me…not my phone. 

Day 132 – Thursday, January 10 – 22,885 steps

132.jpgMy biggest challenge today wasn’t getting the steps I needed. No, the biggest challenge happened when I used self-checkout at the grocery store and accidentally pushed the button for Spanish. I don’t know Spanish. Game On. I was doing fine till I had to navigate through the produce. After pushing 28 different buttons a store employee rescued me by changing the screen back to English. Oh well. Finished with 22,885 steps and a new appreciation for those who take the time to learn more than one language. 

Day 131 – Wednesday, January 9 – 22,179 steps

131.jpegOK…stay with me on this one. Today was visually ordinary. Sure…I could have found beauty if I wanted to because it’s always there. But, my youngest daughter, Emma, is getting tired of the bare branches with a sunrise, with a sunset, with red berries, blah blah blah, pictures. I get it. Today was also the 11-month anniversary of our granddaughter, Joey’s, birth. Still with me? That wouldn’t have happened if not for October 14, 2013. Like Today, that day started out gray after many, many days of cloudy and wet weather. But, it ended with one of the most visually stunning memories of my life. Joey’s dad and mom (our daughter Grace) had just married. After the ceremony we walked outside for pictures. Replacing the clouds was a crystal clear sunset with a single star hanging low in the sky. My daughter was as radiantly beautiful as I’ve ever seen her and I had the presence of mind to take this picture. I’m grateful for memories like this that will always make me smile. Still with me? 

Day 130 – Tuesday, January 8 – 20,280 steps

130Today was different. I attended an off-site planning session for work. It was a great day, but not so much for a 20k One Year Step Challenge. I was in the car for two hours and sitting at the meeting for close to eight. None of that was a surprise which is why I went to bed early so I could wake up early and still finish Day 130 with 20,280 steps. 

Day 129 – Monday, January 7 – 21,997 steps

129.jpgToday is the anniversary of the day we met. On January 7, 1983 we saw each other for the first time on these steps (picture taken four years ago) at 334 North Charles Street in Baltimore. I said “Hi”…she said “Hi”. But, what I thought was a little more profound…”That’s the woman I’m going to marry.” It was the best day of my life. Grateful doesn’t even begin to explain how I feel. 

Day 128 – Sunday, January 6 – 22,023 steps

128I may be a bigger fan of winter than I’ve been willing to admit. With the longer nights I get more rest. Oddly, I feel more creative this time of year. And, I can’t turn away from the silhouette of a bare tree at dawn or dusk. Day 128 of this 20k One Year Challenge started with this view and ended with 22,023 steps. 

Day 127 – Saturday, January 5 – 22,673 steps

127.jpegLots of steps cleaning out the basement today. Began with boxes of personal stuff including cards and letters. Found this one from my son, Andrew, when he was six years old. Still had the dollar inside. I’m sure it was a very special bithday. Still enjoying all the memories this stirred up. 

Day 126 – Friday, January 4 – 23,846 steps

1.7.19cMy wife began a journey she didn’t sign up for on August 23. Along the way Ava had four biopsies, one surgery, and 20 radiation treatments. You get to ring a bell when those end. That happened today. Day 126 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge will be remembered for much more than the 23,846 steps I got. 

Day 125 – Thursday, January 3 – 25,874 steps

125.jpgAnother grayish cold winter day so I decided to challenge myself. Take a walk outside and don’t return until I find beauty. Most of my steps today were indoors. It’s funny how when you look for the beauty it doesn’t take long to find it. 

Day 124 – Wednesday, January 2 – 22,905 steps

124.jpgWell…here we are. The beauty of autumn and the bling of Christmas are done. Now begins the long, gray slog of winter. But, wait. Can you see it? Can you feel it? There’s a hint of warmer days ahead in this picture. Grateful this hint of spring is keeping my ears toasty until it actually arrives. 

Day 123 – Tuesday, January 1 – 21,680 steps

123.jpgNotice the bright red tag? Clearly I didn’t. Didn’t see it before I decorated, while I was decorating, or after I decorated…for an entire month. Christmas is now fully in the rear view mirror. Got more than a few of my steps dedecorating the house. Grateful, though, special holiday that we will remember for many years to come. 

Day 122 – Monday, December 31 – 21,626 steps

122That’s a wrap.  2018…a year that included two significant events. One we saw coming…the other we did not. Emma got her license and first job. Ava got breast cancer. I also got 8,577,909 steps in 2018. This picture, by the way, was taken on October 12…two days after Ava’s successful surgery. 

Day 121 – Sunday, December 30 – 23,661 steps

121.jpgThat moment when your team finally clinches a playoff spot after what feels like forever. Yep…got a bunch of steps during the fourth quarter. Grateful for, at least, one more game. 

Day 120 – Saturday, December 29 – 22,228 steps

120Early daylight looks good on the monuments. Another advantage to getting there before most people are even awake…free and easy parking. Much gratitude for that. 

Day 119 – Friday, December 28 – 23,044 steps

118How do you get 20,000 steps in a day? You go shopping for a birthday present. You find something you think will work and you text a picture to your wife. While waiting for her response you walk around the store. Repeat (move while waiting for something) as often as necessary. (btw-she gave it a thumbs up)

Day 118 – Thursday, December 27 – 20,198 steps

119This was the highlight today. Found a gently used car for our new driver to use. Funny how Carmax makes it look like a gift. 

Day 117 – Wednesday, December 26 – 20,668 steps

117After a busy (but fun) handful of days enjoying Christmas, today was quiet. A few of my steps happened while talking with our son Aaron who is in the Navy on the West Coast. I have become Pacing Phone Guy. Grateful we are long past the days of those hideous cords which also served as anchors when you were chatting. 

Day 116 – Tuesday, December 25 – 25,112 steps

116Most of my steps came from all the moving around during our annual Christmas brunch. This year we had 30 people. We’ve been doing this for decades now, but we have a new tradition at 12:50p. We stop and sing. It marks what happened three years ago at that moment. So grateful for the blessing of Judah.  

Day 115 – Monday, December 24 – 21,638 steps

115Twas the night before Christmas

And the tree was all lit

Dave was striving

to fill his Fitbit

The stockings were hung

the food was all prepped

When Day 115 finished

20k (plus) he had stepped


Day 114 – Sunday, December 23 – 24,661 steps

114Christmas Celebration #2. We enjoyed food…gifts…and talking about what still needs to happen for the Ravens to make the playoffs. (note-that conversation got much simpler after the Steelers lost later)

Day 113 – Saturday, December 22 – 23,934 steps

113Four generations celebrating Christmas. That’s what we enjoyed this afternoon. I also spent a chunk of the morning getting our house ready for a couple gatherings we’re hosting over the next few days and got lots of steps doing that. 

Day 112 – Friday, December 21 – 21,083 steps

112.jpegI spent most of the day shopping for Christmas. Six different places. Because I expected long lines I wasn’t disappointed. Hmmm…I wonder if the same strategy works for football games. I’m expecting a win against the Chargers. 

Day 111 – Thursday, December 20 – 22,047 steps

111.jpgThat moment when your last born informs you that your job as Parental Chauffeur has officially ended. Day 111 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge will forever be known as the day Emma got her license. The world will little note, nor long remember that I also got 22,047 steps. 

Day 110 – Wednesday, December 19 – 20,232 steps

110.jpgThis man hired me almost 32 years ago. His decision changed my life forever. Yesterday some colleagues surprised him with a party for the completion of his book about the ministry started by his dad and uncle. It’s an amazing story of unflinching faith and the many lives impacted as a result. And, Tom Bisset tells it well. (You can pre-order “Risky Obedience” on Amazon) I’m grateful for Tom and his leadership for so many years.

Day 109 – Tuesday, December 18 – 21,380 steps

109Today was this grandlittle’s birthday. She turned one. Her name is Riley and we call he “Smilely Riley”. I’m grateful for her.

Day 108 – Monday, December 17 -21,731 steps

108I will always be their dad, but I won’t always be their chauffeur. That made what happened tonight poignant. This may have been the last time I get to drive any of my children to practice. 25 years of t-ball, baseball, softball, soccer, indoor soccer, basketball, and volleyball. Emma is the last. She takes her driver’s test this week. Day 108 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge and I finished with 21,731 steps. That may not be all I finished yesterday.

Day 107 – Sunday, December 16 – 22,594 steps

107Family, food, and football. We enjoyed all three today.

Day 106 – Saturday, December 15 – 22,470 steps

Mon 12.3.18dThis is Ava. She ran seven miles today in the cold rain. Since I know she would never let me take her picture after a wet run I am posting a pic from a recent Baltimore Women’s Classic 5k she did. Ava is currently getting radiation for breast cancer. One of the side effects is fatigue. She’s feeling that now. Did I mention she ran seven miles in the rain? I asked her how it went. She said it wasn’t her strongest run. Hmmm. I think I disagree. None of my steps were nearly as impressive as hers

Day 105 – Friday, December 14 – 21,034 steps

105aJust like everyday, today’s steps also included a few between the sink and our tree. It’s a thirsty bugger…drinking about 30oz a day. Grateful that I remember to do it as soon as I gat home from work. There have been years where I would forget for a couple days and the result is not pretty…or safe.

Day 104 – Thursday, December 13 -20,498 steps

104.jpgGetting lots of steps is easier this time of year…although warmer weather sure would be nice. Oh wait…that’s a different blog. #strongheartgrumblingheart

Day 103 – Wednesday, December 12 – 24,510 steps

103.jpgThis happened. Notice the faucet handle. All the way on. Notice the water flow. Barely a trickle. Shortly before this picture was taken a massive water main about a mile away ruptured. Minutes after this was taken that trickle was no more. Guess what I’m grateful for? 

Day 102 – Tuesday, December 11 – 21,799 steps

102.jpegEven after all these years, I still love what I do. So grateful for that!

Day 101 – Monday, December 10 – 21,761 steps

101Today was also Day 12,672 of something far better. Beyond grateful I get to be Ava’s husband.

Day 100 – Sunday, December 9 – 21,541 steps

100.jpgGuess how many of those steps happened between 3:45p and 4:44p? Ugh. Grateful for the entertainment, though.

Day 99 – Saturday, December 8 – 26,377 steps

99.jpgOne of the things I love about weekends is the opportunity to take early morning walks. My schedule during the week doesn’t allow for that. Bonus this morning…a thin layer of frost on everything. I love summer, but winter does have it’s unique beauty.

Day 98 – Friday, December 7 – 21,573 steps

98.jpegToday was fun. We had our Christmas Party this afternoon. It included bowling. I was going to post a picture of my impressive score, but then God did something more impressive at the end of the day. 

Day 97 – Thursday, December 6 – 20,477 steps

97.jpgWe have a little “Who Can Decorate Their Office Door The Best?” contest going at work. Not a single step involved making this door look great. That would have been a little weird since this isn’t my office. 

Day 96 – Wednesday, December 5 – 23,655 steps

96.JPGThis guy inspires me. Meet Steve Miller. He’s part of our morning team at 95.1 SHINE-FM. At the beginning of the year he set a goal to lose 141 pounds by December 31. He reached his goal six weeks early! He accomplished this by relentlessly following a plan. He hasn’t strayed once. Not even a single bite! That inspires me in this 20k One Year Step Challenge.

Day 95 – Tuesday, December 4 – 23,154 steps

95.jpgOn a cold and windy day you can get a lot of steps in Home Depot when you pretend not to know where the batteries are. You also dream about warmer days ahead.

Day 94 – Monday, December 3 – 21,252 steps

94.jpgWe had a sweet time tonight with our grandson, Judah, decorating the tree. (Well…the bottom third of the tree.) His little sister, Joey, had just as much fun un-decorating the tree thinking the ornaments were snacks. Grateful for this new season of Christmas through little eyes

Day 93 – Sunday, December 2 – 26,104 steps

93.jpgFogwalk. What I did today or a new band name? Take your pick.

Day 92 – Saturday, December 1 – 22,517 steps

92.jpgThe best parts of today involved no steps at all. Emma did her first city driving. We stopped at McHenry Row for a late breakfast. Later Ava and I started making our 2019 vacation plans. They all involve warm temperatures and a beach. Grateful for having fun stuff on the calendar. 

Day 91 – Friday, November 30 – 21,223 steps

91Sad news today…the death of President George HW Bush. On May 15, 1991, he brought a guest to Memorial Stadium to watch an Orioles game. On their return to the White House aboard Marine One they flew directly over our house. Grateful for that memory…even more grateful for his legacy.

Day 90 – Thursday, November 29 – 20,979 steps

90.jpgWhen the weather is cold and windy this becomes my friend. I take the long way. One dish at a time. I’m grateful for a change of perspective. You should see me when it’s time to put laundry away.

Day 89 – Wednesday, November 28 – 23,545 steps

89.jpgThis greeted me as I walked into the station. It wasn’t there yesterday. It was a good way to start my day. Grateful for those who have the gift of decoration…cuz…I sure don’t.

Day 88 – Tuesday, November 27 – 21,337 steps

88.jpgNot a fan of the cold. Not a fan of the wind. Am a fan of this flag.

Day 87 – Monday, November 26 – 20,460 steps

87.jpgGuess who loves Spaghetti Night? Guess who’s still learning his manners? Guess how many steps one can get cleaning up Spaghetti Night mess?

Day 86 – Sunday, November 25 – 22.482 steps

86My day started like this. And, it didn’t happen while I was walking. I was sitting with a cup of coffee. Many of life best moments happen when you’re firmly planted. But, I couldn’t stay there….still had a goal to reach.

Day 85 – Saturday, November 24 – 21,271 steps

85.jpgThis. A brand new grocery cart. The wheels didn’t wobble. It rode smooth and it didn’t require a workout to keep it pointed straight. It was so nice I got all my steps today pushing this little baby at the store. (the preceding contains a slight exaggeration) Grateful for new cart smell.

Day 84 – Friday, November 23 – 28,027 steps

84Today was big. Not because of steps. I got most of them doing a challenge within a challenge. A full explanation is coming with a blog post on Monday. But, today Ava got word that she does not need chemo. We’re both so grateful. That made this moment later even more poignant. Everleigh (grandlittle #1) enjoying the hair that Mimi gets to keep.

Day 83 – Thursday, November 22 – 25,970 steps

83A good day with family today. Got to see all the kids, including the two who couldn’t be in Maryland. Aaron is on the West Coast with the Navy. Andrew is in Australia with YWAM. Grateful for technology.

Day 82 – Wednesday, November 21 – 20,419 steps

IMG_0380.jpgOne of the side effects of cancer that rarely gets talked about is chronic waiting. Waiting for tests. Waiting for results. Waiting for appointments. Waiting…waiting…waiting. Grateful for hope in the midst of it all. Still met the goal even though part of today was spent…waiting.

Day 81 – Tuesday, November 20 – 22,113 steps

81.jpgI’m so grateful I remembered on Saturday to check how long a 20lb frozen turkey needs to thaw. Because that was the day it needed to go in the refrigerator. We are well on our way! My past Saturday self saved my future Thursday self a load of stress-filled (and frustrated) steps.

Day 80 – Monday, November 19 – 21,756 steps

80.jpgToo bad there is not a Crawlbit. This little one would be posting some monster numbers. That first step is coming soon. Meanwhile I put a bunch of steps on my Fitbit making sure our granddaughter Joey stayed out of harm’s way

Day 79 – Sunday, November 18 – 22,758 steps

79.jpgThat was quick. Fall arrived…was glorious…then left. There is a particular beauty in the spareness of winter’s approach. Grateful for a crisp morning today to soak that in.

Day 78 – Saturday, November 17 – 21,512 steps

78.jpgThis has been my view a lot lately. She’s getting close to being able to legally do this on her own. She’s also celebrating a birthday. So grateful for the gift of Emma!

Day 77 – Friday, November 16 – 20,595 steps

77Late fall. Early snow. Makes for a color combination we rarely see. I’m grateful for this rare thing. It’s a gift.

Day 76 – Thursday, November 15 – 20,667 steps

76Here are six of my steps today. Grateful we got the obligatory snow out of the way and we can now move on to spring. #ifonly

Day 75 – Wednesday, November 14 – 24,373 steps

75Today was the final day of our Fall Fundraiser. I thought it would be fun to grab a picture with my 95.1 SHINE-FM morning show partners. Although, It probably would have been more effective if I had let them know what I was doing.

Day 74 – Tuesday, November 13 – 24,258 steps

74This was also Day 1 of the 95.1 SHINE-FM Special Fall Fundraiser. Grateful for co-workers Caroline, Laura, and Katie taking great care of listeners today who became New Day Partners. It was a long day with lots of moving around.

Day 73 – Monday, November 12 – 22,256 steps

73I was walking through Target with my daughter, Emma, after school when my Fitbit buzzed. It was telling me I had reached 20,000 steps. I stopped. “I should take a picture to mark the occasion,” I thought. Hmmm. Straight ahead was milk. Bland and boring. To my left were flour tortillas. Flat and uninteresting. To my right…there it was…one of the best grocery store words ever. (Fact-the letter “z” makes any word more interesting. Opinion-The Chick Pea Association clearly realized they needed a brand upgrade)

Day 72 – Sunday, November 11 – 21,814 steps

72Watching the sunrise on a cold morning is invigorating. I don’t often get to do that because of my work schedule. But, I did today and loved it.

Day 71 – Saturday, November 10 – 23,382 steps

71It was my mom’s birthday. Four generations honored her with a party at my sister’s. So grateful. Hit my goal early so I could be fully present and not be thinking about the number on my Fitbit.

Day 70 – Friday, November 9 – 20,019 steps

70Sigh… It was the perfect day for a 2k One Year Step Challenge. But, no!! Someone had to add an extra zero and then say WATCH ME. Sigh… Day 70 of this 20K One Year Step Challenge and I finished.

Day 69 – Thursday, November 8 – 21,634 steps

69Four weeks after surgery and three weeks since her last appointment it’s time for Round Two. Chemo? Radiation? Hormone Therapy? It was all part of the discussion today which took several hours including the drive and waiting for the doctor. Not many steps there, but enough opportunities elsewhere.

Day 68 – Wednesday, November 7 – 21,231 steps

68Can you find the hidden steps in this picture? Now that we’ve transitioned from Fall to Fell so many opportunities to hit the goal.

Day 67 – Tuesday, November 6 – 20,561 steps

67On September 12, 1978 I started a streak. That was the first election I got to vote. Since then I haven’t missed a single one. Oh, there have been more than a few that I wanted to skip! Candidates I didn’t care about and elections where I knew my vote wouldn’t change the outcome. Didn’t matter. Many sacrificed much, including their lives, so I could wear this sticker. That means far more than how many steps I got today. Far more!

Day 66 – Monday, November 5 – 22,298 steps

66When I was growing up there was a guy on TV called the Galloping Gourmet. Not sure why. I don’t think he cooked while riding a horse. Anyhow, I’m the Pacing Gourmet. Monday is spaghetti night and I always get more than a few steps while making my specialty. Grateful my family still enjoys it.

Day 65 – Sunday, November 4 – 25,931 steps

65Nailed the goal early so I could watch the game with my family. Although it ended in a disappointing loss I am grateful for the reminder of what’s really important.

Day 64 – Saturday, November 3 – 20,295 steps

64A large branch on our backyard maple tree came down in the storm. Funny how my perspective on that changes when the goal is 20,000 steps. Grateful there were a lot of pieces that needed to be moved from here to there.

Day 63 – Friday, November 2 – 22,957 steps

63Had to get all my steps in early today because the evening was spent at my daughter’s Fall Sports Banquet. Grateful for the kind words from Coach Sarah about Emma.

Day 62 – Thursday, November 1 – 21,884 steps

62Day 3 of Isn’t Fall Beautiful Week. I know…”Seriously, another picture of leaves?!!” I couldn’t resist this one though. No filters were used. Those leaves. That sky. Stunning.

Day 61 – Wednesday, October 31 – 23,036 steps

61Day 61 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge was also Day 2 of Isn’t Fall Beautiful Week. Another picture of God’s autumn canvas. Kinda easy to reach my goal today.

Day 60 – Tuesday, October 30 – 22,474 steps

60Fall has finally arrived. The experts said it would be a little later because of all the rain. So here it is about a week behind schedule. Grateful for the delay because I’m not ready for bare trees yet.

Day 59 – Monday, October 29 – 22,993 steps

59I took a walk today with Ava. She just got back from Massachusetts where she ran the Cape Cod Half Marathon Saturday in a Nor’easter. They ran right along the ocean in driving rain with winds gusting to 60mph. Guess who was whining about today’s breeze? (hint-not her) Grateful for my Wonder Woman.

Day 58 – Sunday, October 28 – 23,776 steps

58Here we go. Does this mean Pumpkin Spice Everything will soon be in the rear view mirror?

Day 57 – Saturday, October 27 – 24,455 steps

57Sometimes you just gotta lean into it. Winds: brisk, Temps: cold, Rain: falling, Parking: plentiful. A bunch of steps enjoying one of my favorite cities yesterday morning. Grateful this is my hometown.

Day 56 – Friday, October 26 – 24,296 steps

56aThis is my grandson. He turned two today. I got some of my steps walking around the store looking for his birthday present. That wasn’t nearly as much fun as when he got them and I was standing still watching. Yep…sometimes moving less is better. Grateful for the gift of Connor.

Day 55 – Thursday, October 25 – 23,995 steps

55This is happening. Our youngest is about two months away from getting her license. Once that becomes a reality a chapter will close. We’ve spent almost 30 years driving our children here and there and back to here again. Grateful for all the conversations and memories. Grateful too (being candid here) for the additional time freedom in our future. Maybe I’ll need to make it the 30k One Year Step Challenge. Or…maybe not.

Day 54 – Wednesday, October 24 – 24,739 steps

54Meet Willy, my new meteorologist. Willy is a Wooly Bear Caterpillar. In the spring Willy will become an Isabella Tiger Moth. Sounds tough. I met Willy while on a walk to reach my goal of 20,000 steps. I’m doing that every day for a year. No breaks…including the coming cold, snowy winter days. But, then…maybe not. Apparently one of Willy’s skills is winter weather forecasting. If Willy’s orange band is narrow we are going to have a bitterly cold winter. If Willy’s orange band is broad, well then, it’s going to be a mild winter. Notice the size of Willy’s orange band. I love science!!

Day 53 – Tuesday, October 23 – 29,153 steps

53What a beautiful day today! I may be the President of the July Fan Club, but I’m also the VP of the October Fan Club. Grateful for both.

Day 52 – Monday, October 22 – 29,269 steps

52I’m a multi-tasking genius!!  I did ALL this at the same time:

  1. Cut the grass (yard maintenance)
  2. Mulched leaves (yard maintenance too)
  3. Got my steps (exercise…cardio and strength…PUSH mower baby!)
  4. Listened to a podcast (education)
  5. Appreciated the beauty of Autumn (relaxation…sort of (see #3)
  6. Made plans (mental clarity)

I’ll work on my humility tomorrow 

Day 51 – Sunday, October 21 – 24,935 steps

51Got all my steps before kickoff so I got to watch the game planted on my sofa like a throw pillow that wasn’t moving unless someone tossed it aside.

Day 50 – Saturday, October 20 – 24,837 steps

50fbSo this happened. The plan for today was to spend the morning walking around Baltimore as Ava ran her half-marathon and then drive to Frederick to watch Emma’s team play for the conference volleyball championship. The timing was going to be tight, but we thought we could do it. Then the volleyball game was moved earlier making it impossible to do both. Ava decided to not run the Baltimore Half so we could see Emma. Instead, she ran her own personal half-marathon closer to home. She ran strong without a cheering crowd, without numerous volunteer staffed water stops, and without a medal waiting for her at the finish line. Still, she earned something far greater.

Day 49 – Friday, October 19 – 30,043 steps

49I walked past this Japanese Maple in our front yard as I left to get some of my steps. The leaves are just starting to change colors. In a week or two this view will be almost neon red. Grateful for autumn beauty.

Day 48 – Thursday, October 18 – 23,763 steps

48Got a bunch of my steps at the Baltimore Running Festival Expo. Ava needed to pick up her packet for Saturday’s half-marathon. I’m grateful that I get to share life with this woman. I get to share her struggles. I also get to share her joy.

Day 47 – Wednesday, October 17 – 25,100 steps

47I live with someone who has asthma. The flu shot is extra important because protecting me also protects them. It also may protect my 20K One Year Step Challenge when everybody else is getting sick. The flu and physical activity don’t mix well. My future self will be grateful that my current self endured the hassle yesterday.

Day 46 – Tuesday, October 16 – 23,957 steps

47Ava’s steps today meant more than mine. She has a half marathon this Saturday. She registered long before she knew the journey she’d be on now. This is her leaving for her first run after breast cancer surgery just six days ago.

Day 45 – Monday, October 15 – 30,061 steps

45I’ve been grumbling a lot about the rain recently. I was feeling even more grumbly today so I gave myself an extra challenge. Find something about ALL this rain that I’m grateful for. That didn’t take long. We get our water from a well. I won’t have to worry about it running dry anytime soon.

Day 44 – Sunday, October 14 – 27,795 steps

We had two of our children and their families over for dinner tonight44. Our daughter-in-law’s parents are visiting from El Paso, TX. It was also our daughter and her husband’s fifth anniversary and the Ravens were playing the Titans. Full house. Full hearts. Full stomachs (I made the meal so Ava didn’t have to do a thing. Still recovering) I front-loaded my steps so I wouldn’t be Obnoxious Pacing Man while everybody was here.

Day 43 – Saturday, October 13 – 23,989 steps

43Too bad the internet doesn’t have a Scratch ’n Sniff feature. I love the smell of freshly cut grass. Walked past this yard as it was being mowed. (Took a stealth picture because I didn’t want to freak out the home owner.) Grateful that walking engages more than one sense.

42 – Friday, October 12 – 24,107 steps

42I saw “First Man”. It’s a movie about Neil Armstrong and his historic Apollo 11 mission. I got no steps while watching the first step. Is that not the definition of irony, or what? Grateful I got to see the real thing when it happened almost 50 years ago.

Day 41 Thursday, October 11 – 23,772 steps

41I thought I would reach my step goal serving Ava today. She could ring the bell whenever she needed something. Surely, that would add up to 20,000 steps! Except…she’s a beast. Her next half-marathon is a week away. Bell didn’t ring once. She’s doing great. I’m grateful for that! I had to find other ways to reach 20,000. I did.

Day 40 – Wednesday, October 10 – 24,589 steps

40This is Ava. We’ve been married 34 years. She’s a mother, grandmother, friend, entrepreneur, rock-star runner, and now survivor. Today she had surgery for breast cancer. All signs indicate early detection and her eventually hearing the word “cured”. This website doesn’t have enough room for me to list all the ways I’m grateful for her and this outcome. But, I am. It’s amazing how many steps you can get while waiting and praying for someone in surgery.

Day 39 – Tuesday, October 9 – 28,852 steps

39My grandson Judah has a thing for storm drains. Every one we pass he needs to stop and look inside. Every. Single. One. Grateful for his childlike curiosity. I want more of that.

Day 38 – Monday, October 8 – 28,508 steps

38The stuff you can learn on a walk. Met these two fellows…a cicada and a bee. I love cicadas. Truly. I think they’re fascinating. Anyhow, they were engaged in a furious battle. Wondered why. Did some research. The bee is actually a wasp called a Cicada Killer. He was just doing his job. After I walked away he lugged the cicada to his nest (at least that’s what the research said he would do) Grateful I learned something new.

Day 37 – Sunday, October 7 – 23,564 steps

Day 36 – Saturday, October 6 – 27,543 steps

36Got most of my steps today walking around this city. I’m grateful we love so close and I can explore history whenever I feel like it.

Day 35 – Friday, October 5 – 24,448 steps

35My steps stopped when I saw this in the grocery store. Really? Is there no Pumpkin Spice shame?! Grateful for…hmmm…let get back to you on that.

Day 34 – Thursday, October 4 – 25,048 steps

34They installed a new speed limit sign across the street. As I started my walk I saw it. I wonder if anyone else will? Grateful for good intentions.

Day 33 – Wednesday, October 3 – 25,172 steps

33Thought of this guy yesterday while walking. The picture is from a game in 2012 at Nationals Stadium. We had seats right next to the dugout so I got to watch Buck up close for nine innings. It was more interesting than the game itself. I’m grateful he led my team with integrity and class. (note-Orioles manager Buck Showalter was fired today)

Day 32 – Tuesday, October 2 – 28,825 steps

32A few of those steps happened as I walked past these pictures at work. That’s Peter and John Bisset who founded WRBS. Their faithfulness and courage continues to impact many people. I’m grateful for their legacy. (note-I’ve worked at WRBS-FM for 31 years)

Day 31 – Monday, October 1 – 29,833 steps

31These are two of my grandchildren, Judah and Joey. My plan was to take them for a long walk so I could reach my step goal. Guess who wasn’t on board with that plan? After their dad picked them up I enjoyed the beautiful early fall evening and still got way more steps than I needed. Grateful for these kids. Grateful, also, for flexibility.

Day 30 – Sunday, September 30 – 24,700 steps

Day 29 – Saturday, September 29 – 28,654 steps

29Got a lot of steps cutting the grass yesterday. There’s something very satisfying about a freshly mowed back yard. Grateful for the blessings of rain even though I grumble about the process.

Day 28 – Friday, September 28 – 25,350 steps

28There it is. The transition from a past filled with clouds and rain to a future of blue sky and sunshine. So grateful!

Day 27 – Thursday, September 27 – 25,334 steps

27That moment when you discover what you thought was a waterproof jacket isn’t. And you still have a mile to go. Grateful it was at least water resistant.

Day 26 – Wednesday, September 26 – 29,630 steps

26I got my hair cut. Clearly, no steps were added to my Fitbit while this was happening. Grateful for the chance to sit. Grateful also for Bonnie’s crazy good skills.

Day 25 – Tuesday, September 25 – 29,287 steps

25My schedule is starting to feel too busy. When my margin gets squeezed I feel anxiety. A long walk yesterday brought clarity and a plan. I was grateful and relieved.

Day 24 – Monday, September 24 – 25,582 steps

24Today was not easy. My motivation tank was on low. What I wanted to do was plant myself in this. Grateful that commitment can be stronger than emotions.

Day 23 – Sunday, September 23 – 25,683 steps

23Took a long walk yesterday morning. I love sunshine, but I was grateful for the glossy overlay that only comes with rain.

Day 22 – Saturday, September 22 – 26,379 steps

22When you’re intentional about moving more and sitting less the grocery store becomes an opportunity. Up and down. Every. Aisle. I also look for things I’ve never seen before. Like these. What the heck are Palm Hearts used for? Grateful for choices.

Day 21 – Friday, September 21 – 24,536 steps

21I am grateful for confusing directions because that helped us get extra steps trying to find the right office where Ava’s appointment was.

Day 20 – Thursday, September 20 – 23,182 steps

20My workday started with a cup of coffee from this machine. I don’t know how old it is, but it’s been at the radio station forever. I’m grateful for appliances that don’t break.

Day 19 – Wednesday, September 19 – 28,541 steps

19I love summer. Sad it’s almost over, but grateful the season that comes next is beautiful. Saw this walking into the grocery store today

Day 18 – Tuesday, September 18 – 25,021 steps

18This guy lives in the window well of our spare basement bedroom. I noticed him yesterday as I was walking through. He seems as interested in me as I was in him. I’m grateful he’s on the other side of the glass.

Day 17 – Monday, September 17 – 28,551 steps

17Meet Joey. She’s one of our five grandlittles. Her family just got back from vacation and she was tired today. Do you have any idea how many steps you can get while keeping a seven-month old from expressing cranky? Simply grateful for the opportunity.

Day 16 – Sunday, September 16 – 25,137 steps

16How often do you notice these? I did today because of all the heartache this weekend in the Carolinas. I’m grateful for the things I don’t pay attention to, but keep us safe.

Day 15 – Saturday, September 15 – 30,662 steps

On my walk yesterday I decided to be optimistic. It was rewarded by the time I finished. I’m grateful for hope. Whether it’s for sunshine or, more importantly, life itself.

Day 14 – Friday, September 14 – 23,688 steps

14.I stopped by Old Ellicott City and walked up and down Main Street. This used to be Bean Hollow, one of my favorite coffee shops. For years, this was my occasional Saturday morning hangout. I’m heartbroken that will never happen again, but grateful I enjoyed it while I had the opportunity. (note-Ellicott City, Maryland was hit with a terrible flash flood on May 27)

Day 13 – Thursday, September 13 – 23,403 steps

13I got to watch my daughter Emma play volleyball. She’s really good. OK, so I didn’t get any steps while she was playing, but I did get a few walking from the car into the gym. That counts, right? Grateful for my daughter and the opportunity to see her do something well!

Day 12 – Wednesday, September 12 – 23,210 steps

Day 11 – Tuesday, September 11 – 30,789 steps

11I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful for our beach vacation at the OBX this June. I’m really grateful for sunny memories on yet another cloudy, gray day.

Day 10 – Monday, September 10 – 30,273 steps

10The chemistry of oil and water together. It’s beautiful and profound. Grateful for both.

Day 9 – Sunday, September 9 – 24,017 steps

Grateful for commercials. You can get a lot of steps if you get up and move when they come on during a Ravens game.

Day 8 – Saturday, September 8 – 26,365 steps

Today I got a lot of wet steps. I’m grateful for the beauty of GENTLE rain. I’m also grateful for clothing that kept me dry and allowed me to enjoy the weather up close.

Day 7 – Friday, September 7 – 27,077 steps

7Got a bunch of those steps pushing this. I’m grateful that mowed weeds look similar to mowed grass.

Day 6 – Thursday, September 6 – 26,727 steps

6Do you ever think about all the stuff that happens before you turn on a light? All the people and equipment that make that possible? I don’t. Except for when I glanced up during my walk and saw this. I’m grateful that electricity is something I can take for granted. 

Day 5. – Wednesday, September 5 – 24,735 steps

5This tree with berries caught my attention. I have no idea what it is. I’m grateful that’s not a prerequisite to enjoying the beauty of nature.

Day 4 – Tuesday, September 4 – 23,320 steps

4Some of those steps happened on this street. I’m grateful for roads, like this, that connect me with the people I love. I think it’s amazing that I can go anywhere in the country from where I’m standing right here. I can visit my daughter in Sykesville, my aunt in North Carolina, my sister in Portland or my son in San Diego if I simply know which turns to take.   

Day 3 – Monday, September 3 – 28,798 steps

Day 2 – Sunday, September 2 – 27,696 steps

Day 1 – Saturday, September 1 – 25,832 steps

1I walk past this hydrant a lot. Today it caught my attention. It’s the one they would use if our house caught fire. I’m grateful it’s here. I’m even more grateful I’ve never had a reason to focus on it.