Rep. Megan Kiska wasn’t about to wear her heels to work at the Statehouse on Wednesday — walking was on her agenda.
Clad in black cowboy boots instead, Kiska walked brisk laps around the Idaho Statehouse at noon with two fifth graders at her side, shaking off the chill of 40-degrees and a breeze.
“How many steps do we have?” asked Sara, a fifth grader at Meridian’s Ponderosa Elementary School.
Checking her fitness tracker, Kiska counted them off: 836, 838, 839
“I have almost 7,000,” Maisy, another fifth grader, chimed in.
“Hey, you’re more than me today!” the representative replied. “Have you been going up and down the Capitol steps?”
More than 50 legislators, the state attorney general and lieutenant governor are participating in the Blue Cross of Idaho’s sixth annual Steps for Schools Walking Challenge this year. Over the month of February, the lawmakers and state leaders are asked to walk an average of 10,000 steps a day. If they hit that goal — 290,000 steps by the end of February — the Blue Cross Foundation will donate $500 to a school of their choice.
Rep. Mike Kingsley, R-Lewiston, plans to donate his funds to Lewiston’s Whitman Elementary. He’s a former Whitman Cub.
Kingsley says he’s on track to reach his February goal. He’s noticed other legislators also walking on their lunch breaks to get their steps in.
The steps are easy to forget about, Kingsley said. On more than one occasion, he’s looked at his step counter after a long-day to see that he’s only reached 7,000 so far. He’s engineered a route to solve that problem:
“I’ve got a place where I can get 3,000 steps from where I’m staying, down to a stop sign, and back,” Kingsley said.
Participating in Wednesday’s walk with kids also racked up 10,000 bonus steps toward each legislators goal.
“It’s really great to get a little extra money for the kids,” Kingsley said.