July 24, 2023

An August Challenge: Who's with me?

I know, the last thing I need right now is a new challenge, right?

I've been nothing but overwhelmed for the better part of a year now and it's absolutely taking a toll on my mental health. I've been wanting to write a whole post about it, but (ironically) writing vulnerable posts like that really ramps up my anxiety. I never know what sort of reaction I will get and it makes me anxious that my feelings will be invalidated. It's getting harder and harder to downplay my emotions on my blog and to try to stay positive.

Right now, I'm dealing with one of the worst depressive episodes I can remember. Yes, I will talk to my psychiatrist about it (he may want to change up my meds), and I spoke with a psychologist a few days ago for recommendations for a good therapist for me. I'm dealing with a LOT right now and I just keep hoping that things will start looking up. (This is not just me being dramatic; Jerry and the kids agree that this has been the worst year ever.)

With over 3,500 posts on my blog, I'm sure I've written this exact thing at least a dozen times. And at some point, things have to get better! Right now, my favorite way to relax in the evenings is to hand sew and listen to a podcast. I don't do a lot of hand sewing, but I do find embroidery really fun (I'm using the term "embroidery" loosely--I don't do the beautiful, intricate designs. I just use embroidery floss to try to make cute little bugs or flowers or things like that.

Anyway, to the point of this post...

Since we're down to three cars now (Jerry's, Noah's, and Eli's), I haven't been going out like I used to (grocery shopping, errands, stuff like that). Because of that, my activity level has gotten much lower.

Shawn brought Joey home on Saturday, and since Joey got used to running in and out of the house (via the doggie door) while he was "on vacation" at Jeanie and Shawn's, I want to walk him more frequently.

Since I need more activity and I know Joey would love to get out as much as possible, I thought of a simple challenge for the month of August. I dusted off my FitBit Zip (yes, it's probably older than my children, haha, but I love it because it's SO simple). I figured for August, I'll try to get in 10,000 steps per day. (That is roughly the equivalent of five miles, or eight kilometers.)

To some, that may seem like nothing; but to me, it's going to a very tough number to hit. I did this challenge one time several years ago and I can remember marching around my house with my kids (who thought it was a fun game). It was hard!

I stay pretty active when I'm working on projects (just a few days ago, I spent time cleaning the garage, going up and down the ladder, hanging bikes from the ceiling, stuff like that... and it only amounted to about 3,000 steps. I couldn't believe it! I was pouring sweat and I thought for sure I'd have hit 10,000 steps.

So, for August, I think it would be a good goal to try to hit 10,000 steps a day. It would be good for me (and Joey!) physically, and hopefully it will help me mentally as well. Who knows, maybe I'll be inspired to go for a run when I need to hit my step goal.

I'm not going to make an "official" challenge (that would just add more to my plate), but I'm inviting anyone who wants to join me and try for this steps challenge! It doesn't even have to be 10,000; any number that would be a good goal for you would work. I think we should just pick our own goal and stick to it for the whole month. If we miss hitting that goal for a day, it's not a big deal--we just start fresh the next day.

The point is, I want it to be simple but something that will push me to reach a small goal each day. I think doing that may push me to work on other goals (building up my confidence, which is very low right now). So, if you're interested in joining me, please do! Maybe I'll create a Google document that everybody can keep track of their own steps (maybe weekly). Not for a contest--just for inspiration from others. We still have a week to give it some thought.

Anyway, to end on a good note, I thought I'd share this very cool memory from 2020 when the power of social media actually gave me all the good feelings! Today is my parents' 52nd wedding anniversary (awesome, right?). Well, in 2020, for their 49th anniversary, they decided to take their bikes on a ride along the "thumb" area of Michigan to celebrate (they love to ride their bikes).

My parents have "special" ergonomic bikes because it's much easier for them to get onto (my dad has some chronic health problems and my siblings and I chipped in to get these special bikes for them). Anyway, this is a picture of them on their anniversary that year:

parents on bikes

That night, they chained their bikes to the bike rack at the hotel. And in the morning, the locks were cut and the bikes were gone. My parents were understandably upset, but *I* was devastated. And infuriated. I despise thieves--it feels so violating to have someone take something from you.

My blog isn't huge (Runs for Cookies is just a minnow in an OCEAN of blogs) but I figured I'd post about it on the off chance someone might have seen their bikes. I posted this on my Facebook page:

facebook post

And you know what? Not even a few hours later, I got a Facebook message from someone who had seen a post about "found bikes" in that area, with a picture of my parents' bikes! A man had found the bikes stashed behind a dumpster or something behind a shop he owned.

I remember that I was out for a run when I got the phone call from the super nice man that found them and I just felt this amazing rush of adrenaline. I was SO excited to tell my parents that their bikes were found! It was such a happy ending.

Just for fun, here is a photo of my parents on their wedding day. My mom was only 18 and my dad was 19. Look how young! And 52 years later, they are still happily married. 

1971 wedding photo


  1. I feel like I've been so absent from commenting on your blog!! It's been a busy summer so far. Which is nice but hectic! I just got caught up. I loved reading your up north post! Looked like a great vacation! I'm so sorry to hear things have been rough for you lately :( That makes me so sad!! I really hope things turn around. This challenge sounds like a great idea to me! I might have to join you. It's so miserable in the Wisconsin humidity getting out and walking lol but I know it's good for me! And good for my dog too (although she also hates the heat haha). Thinking of you Katie! I'm always here cheering you on! Sending you all the love <3

  2. I'm in for the challenge!! And I love that story about the bikes even though I've heard it before. It never gets old. Hugs on the overwhelm.

  3. There are tons of great workout options on YouTube when you want activity and can't go anywhere! Keeps things fresh to have a huge selection.

  4. Good luck with your challenge! Be careful with ramping up to a lot of steps. I got ambitious last week and logged a lot of miles walked. I'm now icing my foot on the couch! Maybe a gradual ramp up would have been a better idea.

  5. I'd like to join the challenge, but it's also like a thousand degrees here. I have a desk job so I have to get them in before or after work, and most likely after. I do have a treadmill though. I'm leaning more towards giving it a shot. Last night I looked up old BED posts as I'm really struggling with binging right now. It's so funny to read your old blogs and how much you've changed!

  6. I need to join you, Katie. At my last dr appt, I dipped my toe into the mental waters and am so overwhelmed with all the information out there. I followed your lead and requested lots of bloodwork aa well. A step challenge would be helpful, I'm sure! Count me in!

  7. I would love to join the challenge. I need a kickstart and this just might be it.

  8. Thanks so much for your candor! You are helping so many people, some that will never or rarely comment. But you are appreciated and loved. And, I'm in! I'll do an average of 10K steps as I know I will have some travel days that won't allow many steps. Thanks again!


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive