Categorized | Features, Laurie's Scribbles

Why My Pedometer Is Better Than Xanax


To alleviate tension Laurie reaches for her pedometer instead of Xanax or tequila.

By Laurie Stone

God, this is a stressful time. My body’s buzzing with so much tension, I want to reach for a Xanax, two shots of tequila or both. But the other day, I found something in my desk drawer, something small and plastic and gray. Something I’d forgotten about. I clipped it onto my waist band and before long, I felt better.

Yes, I found my pedometer, one of those devices that count the number of steps you take.

The goal is to reach 10,000 a day, equivalent to five miles. That’s not easy, but the point is to do your best. I soon learned with a pedometer that everything is relative.

My fit, healthy 80-something-year-old mom is happy to get 4,000 steps in a day. Meanwhile, a colleague of my son Paul, who works in a commercial kitchen, clocks 10,000 … before noon!

After a few days of using a pedometer, here are three things I like.

A New Focus

mother, worrying, hopeful, boys, asleep, pedometerInstead of constantly checking the news, Facebook, or Twitter, I now check my pedometer. In its own way, it absorbs some of the anxiety. Or maybe that just comes from the ramped-up walking and exercise. I’m constantly peeking to see what the tally is, conscious that if I take the long way to the bedroom, through the kitchen and down the hall, I’ll add to my step total. I find this new focus strangely comforting.

Physically and Mentally Healthy

The act of walking is meditative, whether it’s outdoors or doing “house hikes” (yes, walking repetitive laps around our home like a crazy person) to try and keep things moving. Before the pedometer, I’d ignore my restless body if I was vegging out in front of the computer or flipping through the Kindle on my reading chair. Now if I feel the need to move, I get up, if nothing else, to add more steps. The obsessive part of my brain likes that.

It’s Easy

Every night I take off and reset Mr. Pedometer, and put him on my bureau. In the morning, I clip him onto my pajamas. Too early to get out the walking device? Hey, those early trips to and from the kitchen for coffee and orange juice are prime “pedometer padding” times. Why not count them? At night, there’s something satisfying about seeing I didn’t do too badly and putting the device back on the bureau.

The jury’s out on weight loss (fingers crossed) but that’s almost a side benefit. These days I’m grateful for anything that takes me away from one more “Breaking News!” story.

Yes, I needed help from the constant hold-your-breath tension of the past weeks? months? years? But who knew? To the rescue came my humble, little pedometer.

Laurie Stone writes from the woods of Easton, Conn. Her blog,”Musings, Rants &Scribbles,” shares thoughts on growing up, older and (hopefully) wiser. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.


3 Responses to “Why My Pedometer Is Better Than Xanax”

  1. Diane says:

    I’m absolutely obsessive about my pedometer now. I actually have two! And am checking them ALL THE TIME. Like you, figuring out the longest way to get to something. And cursing myself when I walk around the kitchen and realize I left my counters (on my phone) on the…counter. All those steps missed.
    Yep. Obsessive!
    Thank you for this today, Laurie! It’s so nice to obsess about something else for a while!

  2. Yep. I have to agree. Although I am a fan of legal weed.

  3. I had been thinking about getting myself one of these now that I”ve replaced my hip I want to start walking each day. You’ve convinced me to get one!


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