NORCROSS - At 4 a.m., Shar Mallory pops out of bed, grabs her two chocolate labs, and begins her day with a five-mile walk.
At lunch, she foots it to the grocery store, the drug store or the bank. And when she gets home, Mallory walks another five miles while her kids are at soccer practice.
On the weekends, the family takes hikes into the mountains.
Mallory, a former marathoner, said she's always loved to be on her feet.
"Anything to be outside," she said. "I walk at least 15 to 18 miles a day."
That sort of motivation led Mallory to walk more than a million steps last month as part of the Metro Atlanta Walk There Challenge.
That equates to more than 500 miles in just a month of walking, Clean Air Campaign spokesman Joey Ledford said.
Mallory said she started tracking her steps just two weeks before, after wondering how many miles her regular treks entailed. She said she was surprised to learn just how far she was going.
"I love to walk," Mallory said. "It's my peace."
She spends the time alone in her thoughts or listening to science podcasts or books on tape. Mallory said she's been learning healing meditations, Spanish and French as she's gotten her exercise.
Her tendency to walk to lunch - or through lunch - has convinced other coworkers at Reed Construction Data in Norcross to get out of their seats and start to hike through trails Mallory and others created near the office. She said there are lakes, gazebos and other sights to take in near Technology Parkway and the nearby offices.
The 46-year-old said she brings a T-shirt to change into, tennis shoes to walk in and a washcloth with soap on it to rinse off after she goes.
"I wish more people would walk," she said. "Get outside of your cube."