What better place than the sports section of one’s local Wal- Mart to contemplate mortality (or the lack thereof)? The upbeat dietician - who told me I hid my excess weight well - but incontestably needed to reduce - encouraged me to purchase a pedometer (quite literally a step counter) to track my daily activity.

Sternly, she stated, “You should be taking at least ten thousand steps a day.” That, and my diet which involved journaling all food consumed on a daily basis, including the time and place of said meal would (tap, tap [she emphatically pointed to the ominous weight graph]) bring me back to my appropriate No one promised ten thousand steps in one day was easy weight.

Step Lively.

Surveying the rather basic selection of pedometers, I chose the twelve dollar gadget recommended by the dietician. As I left the store, I dutifully attached the pedometer to my waist as indicated and raced out of the store, conscious of the increasing steps I was inevitably registering in the process. Upon returning home I eyed the pedometer in triumph. Hmmmm. Only four hundred steps? Two parking lots, one elevator, the walk down the hall to my apartment—and only four hundred steps.

Undeterred, I took a brisk walk around the dining room table and checked the pedometer again. 432. Irritated, I thought quickly—I’ll throw in a thirty minute walk on the treadmill and forego my usual drive to the supermarket. No one promised ten thousand steps in one day was easy. I suppose that was the point.

Three quarters through the day, I consulted my pedometer again - 922. As lousy as I am in math, it wasn’t hard to comprehend that - at my pace, I’d have to amble for the next few days to reach ten thousand steps. Slightly disheartened, I took a twenty minute brisk walk on the treadmill, followed by a quick dash to the supermarket. Pedometer: 9,666. Aha!

Step Lively.

It took a few days for me to finally figure out how to wheedle my pedometer into giving me the numbers I needed. I found myself purposefully whisking garbage off to the incinerator, parking at the furthest end of the lot, then race walking to my destination. Kids, pets, anyone need fresh air? Join me. I’m Ms. Speed-o-meter—one thousand more steps to my goal.

Suddenly every step mattered, every minute move was registered. The daily drudge finally counted for something. Look! Don’t you see 8,116 in all its digital glory? I’m losing and gaining all at once. How inspiring! Get off your lazy-boy and join me!

Wait.Bird’s eye view, please.

Backtrack to day one of life. Spiritual pedometer set on 00000. Forward march! Day, months, years pass. The numbers, the elusive numbers, sometimes only G‑d knows are there - registering, increasing. Our spiritual pedometer - our eternal, G‑dly soul may work quietly but indeed - it is powerful and wanting.

So, where to start? How about a daily three-step program? Simple - but all inclusive. The point? Exercising your spiritual muscles.

Step one: G‑d.

Suddenly every step mattered, every minute move was registered

Step two: The Torah.

Step three: The Jewish People.

The awareness of G‑d, the creator of our magnificent universe, is an essential place to begin. Without a belief in something greater than ourselves, then the world can be seen as merely chaotic. By knowing that we were created for a purpose and given the tools to fulfill that purpose, gives meaning and reason for our very existence and our daily lives.

Next, learning our Torah, the blueprint or compass for living. Given to our nation over three thousand years ago, the Torah still remains as timely and authentic in its wisdom. It is the Torah that teaches us how to practically implement what we were created to do. It is the Torah that gives us a glimpse into the Divine so that we can use it as our map for bringing the Divine into this world.

Last, but arguably foremost, reaching out towards each other: The Jewish Nation.It is taught that a soul can inhabit a body for some seventy or eighty years for the single purpose of helping another Jew. Throughout history, we’ve only survived – and even thrived because of our unity. Indeed, strength in unity is no tired cliché. Feeling Aimless? Lethargic? That spiritual pedometer within you is quietly waiting. Daily steps towards G‑d, the Torah, and your fellow Jew all rack up the numbers. ...

So how about putting one foot in front of the other?

Together with me— Step Lively.

As I said, what better place than the sports section of one’s local Wal Mart to contemplate mortality (or the lack thereof)?