Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Let's Practice Counting

I count.


Which is to say, I’m always counting something. Steps, for example. I’ve worn a step-counter for so long my little girl thinks it’s like a pacemaker, or a prosthetic device. She is convinced that I will die if I leave the house and it is not clipped to my waistband.

When I’m pumping gas, I count the rhythmic sounds the pump makes. I calculate the beats per litre. At my Petro-Can, the pump beats at approximately 4/bpl.

I used to play drums in the military. I can still tap my fingers at 120 beats per minute. That is the standard pace for marching. That is the pace of a heartbeat in wartime. When I run, my pace is 180 footfalls per minute. That is the pace of someone running toward a finish line, not away from gunfire.

I count the kilometers I ride, the miles I run, the lengths I swim, the pushups I press out, the ball crunches.

I count calories. Calories in. Calories out. I try to make the former a lesser number than the latter. I fail constantly. That is why, despite my best efforts, I weigh 128 lb and my bodyfat is still over 20%.

My novel has a word count. It is 53,684. I think I need 10,000 more words to make it work. I don’t try to count them as I write because that would be far too confusing.

Yesterday I did 120 pushups. The day before that I was supposed to ride 100 kilometers, but I stopped at 94.6. There was hail...too much to count.

Today I swam 100 lengths of the pool. I did three loads of laundry and bought three magazines.

Despite all my counting, I know that the things that I count don’t make me “count”.

We talk about the miles we log, but we truly count when we cross a finish line holding the hand of someone we love. We count when we write the words that make a reader laugh, or cry, or throw down the story down in disgust. We count when we inspire someone else to write words that count, or take steps that count.

I count. You should count too.



(according to the Mac, this is 382 words)


  1. I always count on you to make me smile. You are the count. You love to count. Ah Ah Ah.


  2. Smile... xoxox


  3. Kari,

    You better not count the calories in that dessert I'm bring to the writing group tomorrow.