Thursday, April 07, 2016

Some things don't change

In my previous post, I mentioned that it snowed here earlier this week. So, while I usually walk at lunch time, I didn't want to go out that day because it was slippery (or as those who grew up near Pittsburgh would say, it was slippy) and it was cold. But it did give me the opportunity to do something I had been meaning to do for a long time. So I went out for a short time.

I remember in my days in the Boy Scouts, one of the tings we did was measure the length of our stride. That is, we measured the length of our step. That way, if you were given directions, say, to walk a certain direction for 100 feet and then turn right, you could do that by simply counting your steps (after you figured out how many of your steps it took to make up 100 feet). So, we all took turns taking 10 steps in soft ground. We then measured the length (from heel to heel) of the 10 steps and divided by 10. This gave us a good average because each step wouldn't be exactly the same. Some people suggest taking 20 steps and I suppose that gives you a better number. But for our purposes, 10 steps was enough. I remember that my stride length was 2.5 feet. I often used that number as I'd go for hikes or need to measure things outside when I didn't have a long tape measure.

But it's been almost 50 years since that measurement was made and I've been wondering for years if it has changed. So, the snow outside gave me the chance to measure my stride again. I took the 10 steps and measured the total and divided by 10. From the title of this post, I suppose you can guess the answer - 2.5 feet! It's amazing to me that it hasn't change. I certainly walk differently than I did back then. I tend to slouch now and I don't walk as fast. I thought maybe I am a bit taller now than I was when I was 15 or 16, too. And I'm certainly heavier. I weighed about 140 - 150 pounds back then and I weight 220 pounds now. So, with all those changes, you'd think my step length would have changed. But it didn't. It's nice to know that all those directions I've followed since then and all those things I measured with my stride since then were correct.

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