Fun With Maps: I’m 2,000 Miles Away!

I’m not actually 2,000 miles away. I’m writing this post in the same room in Los Angeles where I write every other post. But, in my nerd mind, I’m 2,000 miles away! Let me explain.

I track all the miles I complete doing all kinds of cardio, both in the real world and on gym equipment: running, biking, hiking, elliptical, swimming, and so on. I started doing this in the summer of 2013, as a challenge to help me get back in shape after a surgery kept me off my feet for 6 weeks.

My original goal was to complete 274 miles, the same as the distance between my house and Las Vegas. I reached my goal in 4 months, and during that time, wrote some of my favorite posts of all time – my Cardio to Vegas series.

Even though I reached my goal, I kept logging my miles. It became a habit that I couldn’t give up. I share my cardio miles every month as part of my Workout Progress Report. And every once in a while, even though I no longer have a specific goal, I bust out the maps and see what I’ve accomplished. The last time I did this, I had gone 1,500 miles and reached Lincoln, Nebraska.

Guess what? I just reached a big milestone.


2,000 cardio miles! That’s right – on December 12th, I logged 2 miles, and that bumped me over the 2,000 mile mark. And what was that 2-mile workout? It just so happened that I reached this milestone during Hike the Halo, my final race of 2015! How cool is that?

So… how far is 2,000 miles? Well, if I left my house in Los Angeles, and went 2,000 miles, I’d end up in…


…NAPERVILLE, ILLINOIS! Naperville (population 144,000) is a suburb of Chicago, about 25 miles west.


Naperville was settled by a dude named Joseph Naper in 1831. One of Naperville’s best-known landmarks is something that immediately caught my eye during my research, because it has a lot of stairs, and I like stairs! Say hello to Moser Tower:


Moser Tower is 160 feet tall (9 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty), and there are 253 steps to get to the top. There’s also an elevator, but it only goes part of the way up. It doesn’t go all the way, because the rest of the space in the tower is taken up by bells. Lots of bells. Moser Tower is home the Millennium Carillon – a musical instrument consisting of bells that are all rigged so they can be played using a big keyboard that you strike with your fists. A standard carillon has 23 bells, but the Millennium Carillon has 72, and is one of only 4 in the entire world that spans six octaves. The biggest bell weighs nearly 12,000 pounds!

For $3, you can climb the stairs in the summer months, and I’d do that in a heartbeat. What a perfect place to stop in my virtual trip across the country!

One more fun fact: every Triscuit sold in North America is made in Naperville. I love Triscuits.

Here’s some other maps that illustrate how far I’ve gone. If I took a more southerly route across the US, I’d end up just a few miles from the Mississippi/Alabama border.


The fun thing about this route is that it’s entirely on one road: Interstate 10, which goes from coast to coast.

There's only one exit between this stopping point and the border!

There’s only one exit between this stopping point and the border!

Just for shits and giggles, Here’s how far across Europe I’ve gone. If I started in Madrid, Spain, 2,000 miles would take me to the middle of nowhere, Sweden!


I’d specifically end up in the tiny coastal village of Kapellskår, about 55 miles northeast of Stockholm, where there doesn’t seem to be much except campgrounds and ferry docks. The ferries go to Finland and Estonia – the closest countries on the other side of the Baltic Sea.

Lastly, I wanted to see where I’d be if I had swam 2,000 miles. So I plotted a map starting in New York and heading east in the Atlantic. After 2,000 miles, I’d be…


…nowhere. Shark bait. Fish food. Oh well, it was fun checking!

I still don’t have a cardio miles goal, but I don’t really care. I love researching and writing these posts – and seeing what I’ve accomplished. Because all these maps tell the same story – and it’s that 2,000 miles is a lot of cardio!

Keep it up, David!


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