Step It Up In October

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Yes, I realize that the calendar now says November, but I want to tell you about an experience I had with my husband, his co-workers and their families.

Mike’s company launched a corporate wellness program this summer as a way to help employees save money on their insurance premiums and to promote healthier, more active lifestyles for the employees and their families.   They partnered with a Utah firm known as Orriant Wellness to establish and administer the program.

A self-portrait we took while walking in Park City.
A self-portrait we took while walking in Park City.

To remain in the insurance program with reduced rates, employees and their spouses are required to earn 25 health promotion points each quarter,  get a yearly physical exam, etc.  Depending on a person’s needs, they may be required to have a health coach, or they may choose to have a health coach.

They also have challenges.  The first wellness challenge was held in October and required participants to compete in a thirty-day step challenge.  Those who participated and met their daily step goal earned points, and those who ranked in the top three in their division garnered extra points.

Now enters the out of shape wife, yours truly, and the very competitive husband.  I was in the 6,000 steps a day tier and Mike was in the 9,000 steps a day tier.  We both met our goals, and we both ranked first in our tiers.  Mike needed 270,000 steps for the thirty-day challenge, and I needed 180,000.  He walked over 757,000 steps, and I walked over 500,000.

We really enjoyed hiking this trail around Mirror Lake in Utah.
We really enjoyed hiking this trail around Mirror Lake in Utah.

Between Mike’s competitiveness and being a former Army Ranger, that boy can walk, run or do any athletic feat required of him.  Miss Piggy over here is not athletic, but I am a bit competitive. And we all know that I like to save money, so I willingly signed up for the challenge.

The first week we were on vacation in Utah.  We hiked everyday, walked around the town and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of Park City.  I will admit that Mike pushed me.  We exceeded our step goals every day.  Thankfully Mike had packed moleskin because I had a blister from the shoes I wore on the plane.  With all the walking we were doing, the moleskin saved the day.

The was a view from the walking path in Park City. So beautiful!
This was a view from the walking path in Park City. So beautiful!

Mike had a personal goal that he wanted to meet.  I just wanted to survive the challenge and not embarrass Mike with his company.  😁

The next week Mike traveled for work, and I stayed home.  We both walked on treadmills and exceeded our step goals. I believe this is when the BenGay came out.  Mike was really pushing himself to make his personal goal.  I was averaging 16,000 steps a day.

The next week Mike was home, and I was out of the country.  I had worried that I would not get enough walking in due to the long plane trips, train rides, etc.  I still managed to average 15,000 steps a day.

A visit to Blarney Castle helped me walk 147 floors in one day.
A visit to Blarney Castle helped me walk 147 floors in one day.

Then we entered the last week.  Mike’s goal was in sight. I was in first place on the leader board in my group, but then I decided I wanted to hit at least 500,000 steps for the month…just for me.  I decided this two days before the challenge ended, and I had about 62,000 steps to go on Sunday and Monday.  Yikes!  My best step day of record had been 25,000 steps, so I really wasn’t sure I could do it.

Blarney Castle in Blarney, Ireland.
Blarney Castle in Blarney, Ireland.

With the encouragement of Mike and several episodes of Midsummer Murders, I did 30,000 steps on Sunday and 32,000 on Monday.  On Monday, I got on the treadmill at 6:19 pm and got off at 11:20 pm.  But I did it!

I don’t think I have ever participated in an athletic challenge before.  I must admit that I enjoyed it.  It felt really good to have a personal goal and to meet it.  The best part is that I am still getting on my treadmill each day.  Well, I did take off the day after the challenge ended because my feet really hurt from the last two days of walking!

The Cliffs of Moher on the west coast of Ireland provided lots of walking and stair climbing.
The Cliffs of Moher on the west coast of Ireland provided lots of walking and step climbing.

Mike and I want to include hiking in our future travels.  I now own three pairs of hiking boots, a backpack with a water bladder (sounds terrible), and all sorts of hiking gear.

For me,this challenge was about getting points; for CCM and Orriant, this challenge was about helping us to change our lifestyles.  I feel like we all met our goals!  I hope my fellow walkers enjoyed the challenge as much as I did and that they got as much out of the experience as I did.

I usually walk a lot in my office as part of my daily routine. Getting on the treadmill, walking fast and raising my heart rate has really made a difference for me.  I can keep up with others and get less winded.

My local park provides a beautiful view as well as wild life.
My local park provides a beautiful view as well as wild life.

We both received points for meeting the challenge and extra points for finishing in the top three spots for our tiers.   The real bonus is that walking has become a part of our daily routine.  Weekend days start with six miles on the track and weekdays begin by walking on the track or treadmill.  We have both lost weight, and I think I may have a muscle or two showing in my legs!  Whoohoo!  🏃 👟

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