Yup, we’re at it again. The Get Active! program where I work is designed to help us all get off the couch and get moving by joining teams and tracking our activity—steps, minutes or both—and it works. For this eight-week challenge, we’re only tracking steps, a change that could have put me out of the running, as I don’t routinely walk or run and don’t earn many steps for my hours of circuit training, cycling or yoga, but we now have an activity converter online which allows us to convert 50+ different activities to steps. We can even convert housework and yard work. If we hit the goal of 56,000 weekly steps for four of the eight weeks, we earn a $40 Amazon gift card or can choose to give our $40 to a non-profit.
My team of 11 go-getters isn’t satisfied with hitting 56,000. We’re averaging 77,000 steps each per week, with many of us hitting 100,000+. We were already a pretty active bunch, and we’re pretty darned competitive. There are more than 12,000 teams company-wide, and 14 in our department alone. Among those 14, our team--Wicked FIT--has been in third place for the past five weeks, putting us among the top 300 teams at the company. As team captain, I function as the coach/cheerleader/nag, sending multiple emails encouraging the team to walk, go to spin class, whatever it takes to get those steps.
Cheerleading—now there’s a flashback. I tried out in high school but didn’t make the squad and turned instead to the drill team. I wonder how many steps I was accumulating back then with two hours of marching practice daily plus a football game every weekend. Bruce Springsteen would call those the Glory Days, and I was certainly a gloriously smaller size. Back then only the track team ran, no one had even thought of Spin class, and I certainly never imagined I’d have a personal trainer.
These days, we’re having fun with creative team names and logos and the trash talk among teams. The team in second place is “Zombie Quest—Stop you dead in your tracks.” That name just cracks me up. On the Wicked Fit team, we’ve each chosen evil characters to represent us. We’ve got Darth Vader, Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook and plenty of other Disney villains. Me? I’m Wicked Queen Penn from Snow White.
Of course, the benefit of all this friendly competition is that we’re all getting more active--and hopefully more fit and more healthy. One team member set 70K steps as a goal, which prompted me to go for it too. The Spinning Witches, as we call the three who regularly attend Spin class, routinely clock 90K steps a week, and they inspired me to attend one class a week. We’ve got one gal who kayaked, walked, ran and swam all in one weekend. I wisely do not try to keep up with her, nor am I going for 100K a week.
I suppose if I were even more competitive, I would shoot for 100K weekly steps for these last two weeks of the competition. Hmmm…I wonder if we’d overtake Zombie Quest if I hit 100K, and hmmm…I wonder whether my creaky knees could even get me there. There may just be a limit as to how many hours a week I can ice my knees. Making this decision may require a more thorough cost benefit analysis…or at least a glass of wine.