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Step Together


When I was going to school in the good old CBS in Tralee, we learned quite a few songs and I still remember the fervour with which we sang this particular song:

Step together boldly thread ,firm each foot erect each head etc. It was a kind of school anthem and when we were finished singing it, we were ready to go into battle. We sang it when we were on away football matches together with that other great rallying song”Rosc Catha na Mumhan” . I would love to have seen this rousing air selected as our National Anthem .It was and still is a great rallying song.

In 1964 we had the Tokyo Olympics and they were selling a pedometer named manpo kei which was a very interesting gadget and has influenced us all since that time because of its meaning which is as follows . Man means 10000 while po means steps and kei means metre and loh and behold the 10000 steps came into being.

Nowadays we have apps on our phones that will record our daily step count and check our heartbeat . They chart our daily ,weekly and monthly progress and rate us against last week steps and last year steps etc.

You see people going out for morning ,midday and evening walks to achieve their daily target of 10000 steps . It is wonderful to see such an interest in fitness.

And then you have the various watches and they can tell you what you had for your breakfast and they have people driven to distraction waiting to hear that magical bing on their watch telling them that ,yes you guessed it , they have walked 10000 steps .Hip Hip

I remember in Dublin in 1966 when poor auld admiral Nelson was still in the air there was great fun running up the 168 steps to peep out the little window on top.

Paris is a great city for the steps . I remember on one post Bastille Day climbing the 284 steps of the Arc de Triumph in sweltering hot clammy conditions and being urged on to see the grand view of the 12 avenues of Paris . To this day I curse myself for climbing it in such sweltering conditions, but the view was definitely worth it. I would not chance it now.

And where would you be without climbing the Eiffel Tower with its 1665 steps. I think I ,like so many more got to the second floor and we had enough.

Yes, steps play an important part in our lives and it is ultra-important that we all continue to exercise on a regular basis but how much is the question.Harvard medical school say that regular walking reduces the risk of stroke .Medics also say that there is no added advantage in doing over 7500 steps a day as against 10000 steps a day.

Most say you should break up your exercise and do some of it during daylight hour to boost your Vitamin D intake. Personally, I prefer to do most of my walking in the morning time and I feel well for the day after my 10000 steps of brisk walking.

I think the jury is still out on whether it is better to walk alone or in groups. Some people love the strolling companion and admire every root and branch as you pass along. I like a mixture of both as sometimes the discussion can be more important than the walking,

There are quite a lot of formalised walking and hill climbing groups who meet regularly and do structured organised walks and climbs bringing their picnics.There is a great social aspect attached to these

Suffice it to say that they are all doing good and its whatever takes your fancy that you do

and if you are relaxed and happy at it so be it. These boots were made for walking. Get walking boots.

Mick O Callaghan April 2021





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