Conductor Taavi Esko walks 1.6 million steps in one month

Taavi Esko
Taavi Esko Source: ERR

Conductor and school music teacher Taavi Esko has made energetic use of both coroanvirus lock-down and the slowly emerging spring weather, clocking 1.6 million steps walked over a single a month, ERR's Menu portal reports.

Esko says he hasn't always been such a committed walker, but when he was sent home from his teaching post at Kuusalu High School, about 40 km east of Tallinn, he embarked on the new hobby, which was also encouraged by the school itself.

"We were on distance learning for a long time, and knew that it was going to continue so, in addition to inviting students to get active, we also tried to take care of our team, and created a challenge or step count competition," Kristi Tarik, the principal of Kuusalu High School, said.

"The competition was won by Taavi Esko, who made an incredible number of steps. We would have never believed that anyone could do that many steps in that time."

A common target for many people using smartphone apps or other tech to record their progress is 10,000 steps in a day, which equates to about 8 km (just under 5 miles) of walking. Esko's 1.6 million steps in a month of 30 days would come to over five times that figure.

Esko's younger son helped him download the required app, and his journey to over one-and-a-half million steps in a month began. In the beginning, however, his goal had not been so ambitious, he says, but the simple act of walking meant it took on a life of its own.

"When I had reached 250,000 steps, I was eager to press on to half-a-million and then when I made it to 750,000 steps, I wanted to see if I could get to a million," he said.

Much of his walking was done out of regular school time in any case, he said.

"Then I did reach a million. I always arrived home at 12 a.m. I really liked walking late in the evenings. But then I had a new goal and motivation that maybe I can reach one-and-a-half million steps. And I smashed that too."

Lock-down has also seen concert halls, theaters etc. closed.

At present, Esko says he still walks around 50,000 steps a day. Good footwear is important as well, he says.

"I have some very expensive and good-quality English walking boots. Latterly, I also started wearing trainers, which gave me 'wings'. I instantly walked 5,000 steps more," he concluded.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Andrew Whyte

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