Danka Walks

By Taylor Gills, Graduate Nutrition Student, Sargent College

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Typically at the Sargent Choice Nutrition Center we’re focused on food.  As a group that is made up primarily of Dietitians and Nutrition students, it makes sense that we talk about cooking, eating, and enjoying food all the time.  Today though, we’re going to touch upon another component of an overall healthy lifestyle: exercise.

552 days, 3 pairs of sneakers (and a pair of winter boots), 3 pedometer batteries, and 5,225 miles later Danka Charland has surpassed her original goal of walking the distance to San Francisco and is well on her way to her ultimate goal of walking to her hometown of Borzestowo, Poland.  Danka is currently the Assistant to the Director in the Human Physiology and Applied Anatomy and Physiology Programs here at Sargent College.  On March 17, 2010 Danka strapped on her new pedometer, got a little help from her Sargent College coworkers to calibrate it correctly, and started recording every step.  She has always lead an active lifestyle and walking was already a regular part of her day to day routine. Danka started using the pedometer because she thought it would be fun.   The plan was to do it for a year or so and just see what happened, but Deb, a Sargent College coworker, put the idea of walking to San Francisco in her head.

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Never one to shy away from a challenge, Danka reached 3,179 miles (the driving distance from Boston to San Francisco) after just 344 days of recording her steps.  After this goal was reached, she decided she should walk the distance from San Francisco to her hometown in Poland, another 7,914 miles, via a route through Alaska and Russia.  About 50 miles of this route, through the Bering Strait, is technically under water, but it was land at one point right?  At day 552, she is currently a little less than half way towards achieving the total distance from Boston to Borzestowo, 11,093 miles.  Over this time, she has averaged over 9 miles each day, with some days walking less and some days walking more than that.  One day she actually did 28.2 miles, or 59,566 steps, just to challenge herself!  For a frame of reference, the Surgeon General recommends taking 10,000 steps each day to reduce your risk of long-term disease.

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What keeps her going above and beyond?  According to Danka, she is motivated mostly by the goals that she sets, but also from the health benefits of walking.  Danka feels that the pedometer itself is a motivator, helping her to challenge herself; she says, “If I set a goal and don’t achieve it, I fail to myself.”  Danka also likes to have fun with walking.  She will listen to music, learn French from tapes, go shopping, take pictures, explore new places, and she even graded papers while walking once.  According to Danka “weather is a state of mind,” so if she expects bad weather, she will get up early to beat the weather, or just go out and walk in the rain or snow and enjoy the fact that not many other people are around.  This level of self-motivation coupled with her easygoing nature is amazing to see and should be an inspiration to everyone around her.  Danka estimates that she will reach the distance to her hometown in Poland by July 15, 2013, by averaging about 9 miles per day.  Her plan to stay on target comes down to one word, a word that Danka loves, “stick-to-itiveness,” or the ability to literally stick to it, when striving to reach a goal.

39 Comments

Karen Jacobs posted on October 30, 2011 at 8:13 am

Danka,

You are an amazing woman. Congratulations!

All my best,
Karen

Vericia posted on November 17, 2011 at 11:49 am

Congrats Danka!!!! To be perfectly honest, I am not surprised at all that you have accomplished so much in such a short period of time. You have always been goal oriented and determined. I support you 100% and am very proud of what you have done thus far, and what you will continue to do-GO DANKA:)

Love,

Vericia

linda martin posted on November 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Congratulations, Danka! What a great achievement. I will be following your progress into 2013.

Best, Linda

Lo-Su posted on November 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Your are amazing, Danka. My hat goes off to you.

Lo-Su

Joan Salge Blake posted on December 9, 2011 at 10:14 am

This is fabulous!!!!

Danka Charland posted on December 15, 2011 at 10:20 am

Danka reaches Anchorage on Dec 14: 6,372 miles in 638 days.
Location: Faneuil Hall-Aquarium Station.

Now off to Seward Peninsula: 127 miles and then to Chukotka, the easternmost point of Asia. Hoping to get there by New Year’s. Thank you ALL for your wonderful support on my walking journey. Could not have done it without your kindness and cheer!
Danka

Danka posted on December 30, 2011 at 1:28 am

Chukotka, Russia, welcomes Danka on Dec 29, 2011; right in time for the New Year’s celebration. She walked 6,549 miles in 653 days. Explore EuroAsia with Danka in 2012!

Maria Burgess posted on January 2, 2012 at 11:09 am

What an inspiration to us all!

Amaris Charland posted on January 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Way to go I’m proud of you! (:

Danka posted on February 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Danka’s Milestone Special:
Valentine’s Day: Feb 14, 2012: Danka walked 7000 miles in 700 days. Thank you all for cheering me on. My left leg is on the mend:-)). At the moment, I am taking it a bit easy, but the pedometer is still on.
Spring is in the air so grab a pedometer as well; it is fun.

amaris charland posted on March 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I’m so proud that I have an amazing aunt<3 <3 🙂

Danka posted on March 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I am proud to announce that today, March 17, 2012, marks two years of my pedometer walk. I have walked 732 days, 7,250 miles and am currently 3,842.28 miles away from my destination.
Spring is a great time to spend more time outdoors so I I hope everyone will find a bit more time to enjoy the fresh air.

Andrea Bernard posted on March 17, 2012 at 11:48 pm

WOW! What an inspiration you are, Danka!! Good luck with your goal. I know you’ll make it to your hometown!
Thanks for sharing your journey.
Andrea 🙂

Rina posted on March 19, 2012 at 11:35 am

Wow what a great idea. I have been using my pedometer as my motivating tool for the every day goal of passing the 10,000 steps challenge, but never thought about adding it all for a long and wonderful meaningful goal. Good Luck! Danka.

Rina

Amaris Charland posted on March 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I’m so proud that I have an amazing person like you in my life I love you

Danka Charland posted on April 18, 2012 at 9:12 am

April 18th-Danka’s update:
Danka walked 7,591.46 miles in 763 days.
Currently walking to Moscow (2,718.54 miles).
Miles total to destination (PL): 3,501.54
Estimate # of days to walk: 390. On track to destination.
Will reach Poland in the summer of 2013.
Spring is a fantastic time to walk and refresh those healthy lifestyle goals; make them fun!
Join Danka on her walks!!!

Soudeepya Chinni posted on April 25, 2012 at 10:44 am

You have just inspired me to continue walking. What endurance you’re showing there. Hats off Danka! 🙂

Danka Charland posted on July 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

As of July 5th am, Danka’s update:
Danka walked 8,518.59 miles in 841 days (10.12 mi/day; 16.20 km/day)
Currently walking to Moscow – 1,791 miles to go
Miles to destination (PL): 2,574.11
Estimate # of days to walk: 286
Will reach Poland in April of 2013

Danka Charland posted on August 1, 2012 at 8:38 am

I wanted to see if I can establish a new (per month mileage) pedometer walking record for myself. Here it is: July 31, 2012: 465.7 miles (15.022 mi/day). Anything is possible:-))
So far so good– I am planning to be in Poland in the Spring of 2013.
Danka

Danka Charland posted on August 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Over a week ago, I came up with an idea that, just to round the numbers off, I would aim for my 3rd yr walking anniversary, March 17, 2013. So I calculated my miles today and am excited to see that I can reach my final destination just a bit earlier, on March 16.26, 2013.
I have 1820.42 miles left to my destination-Poland (202.26 days).
As my route leads through Moscow, I am planning to find the city in holiday decorations-on December 19 of this year:-)) Fun Fun Fun!!!

Danka Charland posted on September 2, 2012 at 9:12 am

Sept 2nd, 2012 : the 9 0 1 st day of Danka’s walk.

Danka Charland posted on September 28, 2012 at 9:14 am

Danka’s update:
Sept 28th morning report:
———————————————————
Days walked: 926
Miles Walked: 9,711.44
Average miles per day: 10.48
Avg # of steps per mile (926 days): 2,068.86
Total miles to walk to destination: 1,381.56
Planning to reach Poland in March of 2013!

ROUTE MILES DISTANCE TOTAL: 11, 093
——————————————————-

Danka Charland posted on October 10, 2012 at 10:28 am

Danka’s update:
October 10th morning report:
———————————————————
Days walked: 938
Miles Walked: ,9844.87
Average miles per day: 10.49
Number of steps walked: 20340512
Total MILES remaining TO DESTINATION: 1,248.13
Days to reach Final Destination: 138.68
Planning to reach Poland by March of 2013–before the 3rd yr of my walking anniversary!

ROUTE MILES DISTANCE TOTAL: 11,093

Danka Charland posted on October 13, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Days walked: 942
Miles Walked: 9,916.27
Total MILES remaining TO DESTINATION: 1176.73
Days to reach Final Destination: 130.74
ROUTE MILES DISTANCE TOTAL: 11,093

Absolutely:
LOVE MY WALKS and
LOVE MY PEDOMETER!

Danka Charland posted on November 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm

About two weeks ago, as I learned that my colleague would be in Moscow, I thought it would be quite fun to check in Moscow and have a cup of coffee with her.

I will reach Moscow on Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012. Only 28 miles to go. I know I can do it!! The impossible is possible!
From then on, only 783 miles to Poland, to my destination!!

Danka Charland posted on November 13, 2012 at 1:08 am

I AM GOING TO REACH MOSCOW TODAY, Nov 13th, before 8 am EST!!!

Danka Charland posted on November 13, 2012 at 10:39 am

I made it to Moscow this morning!!!
Only 782 miles to (estimate: 1,617 382.80 more steps) to go!

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”
Chinese Proverb

Judy posted on November 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm

so did you have that cup of coffee in moscow?
admiration from your pedo friend, judy.

Danka Charland posted on November 15, 2012 at 10:12 am

Yes, i did! Early in the morning!!
Thank you for your cheer, Judy.

Doug posted on November 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Hey Danka! Terrific that are keeping your great feet-feat goal. Inspiring and instructive to us all.

Danka Charland posted on December 31, 2012 at 1:20 am

As of Dec 31, 2012, early morning, I only have to walk 184.60 miles to my destination. I am planning to get some miles in on a cold New Year’s Eve.

Danka Charland posted on January 18, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Here is Danka’s latest update:

She crossed her Finish Line on Jan 17 at 10 pm.
11,093 miles walked in 1037 days
Danka walked 10.70 miles per day during these 1037 days!

Danka Charland posted on February 10, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Today is the 1061st day of my incredibly wonderful walk. I am in the capital of Poland, WARSAW to spend some time with my nephew and his girlfriend.

Danka Charland posted on March 18, 2013 at 12:09 am

March 17, 2013
Danka’s 3rd Year Walking Anniversary
Total walked:
1096 days
246 million, 223 thousand and 66 steps
11,822.467 miles
18,915.94 kilometers
10.78 miles/per day
17.25 kilometers per day

If I assumed that 2000 steps = 1 mile, then:
I would have walked 488.718 miles more than I have walked thus far.
There are 2068 steps in my mile.

Danka Charland posted on September 22, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Danka Walks update on Sept 22, 2013:
I have walked 13,647.636 miles and maintained a daily average of 10.63 miles per day. I walked: 28402650 steps. Walking is very enjoyable, relaxing and that pedometer certainly motivates me to get up early on the working day as I look forward to logging my miles into the spreadsheet every day. WALKING IS A LOT OF FUN, especially during this beautiful Autumn season.

Danka Charland posted on October 13, 2013 at 11:22 am

Enjoying the 1307th day of my walk!!

http://blogs.bu.edu/sargentchoice/2012/11/29/setting-yourself-up-to-succeed/

Danka Charland posted on April 7, 2018 at 8:57 pm

More than 8 years of Danka Walks. Still keeping up my walk.

Danka Charland posted on April 7, 2018 at 9:02 pm

2943 days of walking‍♀️‍♀️

Danka posted on February 23, 2019 at 11:19 pm

I took it easy today, but to remind myself that spring is in the air and that my Omron Walking pedometer will be 9 years old on March 17, 2019, I just felt like revisiting this blog:

http://www.bu.edu/today/2017/fitbit-walking-challenge/
Keep on walking!
Happy pre-Spring!

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