Tuesday, 10 March 2015


There's a competition on in the office at the moment. All in the name of good health.

Staff have signed up in groups of four to receive a free pedometer, and now record their steps each day and enter them into a website which tells them how far around the world they've come, and where they're placed in relation to other teams.

The first of those is good-spirited fun; having a cold shower when you reach Loch Ness, starting the long hike up Mount Everest. But the second?

The second is causing a little bit of friction.

I'm exempt from all this excitement due to the luck of having been on holiday when the sign-up sheets went around. Therefore I'm in the perfect position to look at all the participants and judge them mercilessly.

Some people started to come to work boasting of how easy they found it to do 10,000 steps. Others turned around and started to put in some extra work so they could breeze into the office and laugh about doing 20,000. Another grimly wrecked a perfectly nice trip to Melbourne by making sure she could top 30,000.

All in the name of fun.

All in the spirit of friendly competition.

There's one person who's actually sitting and rocking the step counter on the end of its string. It records it as steps. It doesn't require much effort. All in the name of fun.

I've heard of another strapping it onto her dog in the evenings. Keeping an eye on his exercise regimen, while she avoids her own. All in the spirit of friendly competition.

I already have a pedometer on my watch which has always recorded my steps. I never paid it much mind. It was just one of those things that came installed which I don't use, like the remote control.

I walked home this evening. I would rather have caught the bus. My back hurts now; my feet hurt; my legs feel like someone's bent them the wrong way.

But I clocked up 13,548 steps. Now I just need to buy a dog.

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