That has been the case recently with my fitness program. It’s been 13 months since I dragged my lazy ass up off the couch and started running again, and I worry that it’s going to become boring, or seem like a chore.
So, I’m constantly looking for ways to motivate and challenge myself.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I participate in the Wellness Program at work, and we use the Virgin Pulse app as part of that. I like perpetually being in the top spot on the leader board for steps, but even that isn’t enough to push me at times.
This week, I’ve given myself a new goal that has really got me motivated:
200,000 steps in one week.
When I started with Virgin Pulse last April, the goal was to get 7,000 steps a day. For a guy who hadn’t gone for a run in ages, that was challenge enough.
7,000 steps a day meant I set a goal to get 50,000 steps for the week.
Pretty soon, 50,000 steps was too easy. My new FitBit demanded I strive for 10,000 steps a day, so I set a new weekly goal of 75,000 steps.
And so I progressed in my goals as I got into better shape. Keep in mind that every 2,000 steps is equivalent to about a mile of walking.
So when I started setting goals of 100,000 and 125,000 steps a week, I was cranking up the miles and pushing myself well beyond what even the FitBit wanted from me.
Once I hit 150,000 steps for the week, which is about 22,000 steps and 11 miles a day, I was pretty sure I was at my limit. Maybe one or two other coworkers were cracking 100,000 steps a week, so topping that by another 50% made me feel like I was really at the top of my game.
But I found that even this number was not enough for me.
I set my sights on 175,000 steps a week, which is 25,000 steps a day.
That’s also more than three times what the Virgin Pulse app was asking us to do, and two and a half times more than what made the fireworks go off on my FitBit’s display.
At this point, my coworkers started ribbing me. How in the world could I get so many steps in a day? How come my legs weren’t falling off? Why didn’t I get a life so I had something else to do with my time?
Yeah, some of the comments were a little harsh, but I just used them for motivation. Any time someone else made a run at the top spot on the leader board, I’d just up my total.
Pretty soon, I was at 185,00 steps for the week.
And so it became obvious that it was time to try for 200,000. I wanted the new challenge and I was also hoping it would jump start another round of weight loss, since I’d been holding steady at the same weight for a while.
As an added incentive, I told my friend Dani that she had to take me to dinner once I hit 200,000 steps. Dani has yet to agree to these terms, but don’t worry. I will keep pestering her about it, and I’m sure she’ll cave eventually.
I thought 200,000 was a lofty, unrealistic goal. After all, that’s a little less than 29,000 steps a day, or 14.5 miles.
I figured I’d have to wait until my summer vacation to have the time to accomplish it.
How I do sell myself short at times, Modern Philosophers!
When I went to bed last night, my weekly total was at 197,700. Some quick calculations led me to realize that if I collected 30,000 steps today, I’d crack the magic number.
As luck would have it, I have the day off, and I’m feeling active.
I went for a 5 mile run this morning, so I’m already at 15,000 steps and it isn’t even noon.
How have I managed this incredible surge in steps? By going for longer runs in the morning. I’m now making sure to go at least 4 miles on work days, instead of my usual 3 – 3.5 miles.
When I get home from work, I immediately go for a long walk of at least 3,000 steps. I call this my post-work, anti-stress walk. I leave all the stress from my work day outside along my walking route and don’t allow it into The House on the Hill.
That makes for a much more relaxing evening.
Then I go for another walk after dinner. The weather has been so beautiful that I want to be outside doing something healthy.
I hope Dani has put aside some money for a nice dinner. Collecting all these steps has made me very hungry! Ravenous in fact.
It’s crazy what I have been able to push myself to do. A year ago, I couldn’t even run three miles without having to stop multiples times to catch my breath.
What are you doing to motivate yourself and achieve your fitness goals?