My company recently launched a “steps” contest, whereby participants formed teams of four and log their steps on a daily basis for 15 days, with the winner being the team with the most steps. When the contest was announced, after a momentary bout of who’s ever going to be on a team with ME? I pushed past that, became a “team leader” and joined up with the three other vegans in the office (naturally) as the Healthy Herbivores. Anyone who came into contact with me over September 15th through the 30th noticed my pedometer clipped to my clothing and got an earful on how I was determined to win the $100 first prize. This was momentous because I was unabashedly participating in a work event after being hesitant since I’d started there to let myself feel like a part of the company.
So I started walking and walking and logging steps, and some interesting things happened. I delighted my husband by offering to walk our dog more than usual. When the company-issued crappy free pedometer broke on a Friday night, I promptly purchased one of my own the following morning. I walked to and from work and got to experience some gorgeous late September weather. I yet again fell in love with the Brooklyn Bridge. I had some fascinating people and dog-watching moments. I walked down to the East River piers near my home and found myself at the start of the most gorgeous fireworks display I’ve ever seen. I dropped in on my dad impromptu on a Monday night with our dog and watched him sit down the floor with her and get some wet kisses. I also watched our dog’s mood also significantly improve with her increased exercise. I stood up at intermission during the musical Memphis and marched in place so I could “get my steps in”. I’ve never been an athletic person so the experience of being on a team was utterly novel. We cajoled each other into stepping it up and became pretty determined to knock out the team tracking in first place, Kicking Asphalt.
I also experienced a first, very iconic New York City moment while I was very determinedly walking home in the rain on the last day of the contest. As I approached the intersection of Broadway and Canal Street, a car hit the puddle in front of me and DRENCHED me. I think the equivalent of two buckets soaked me from my forehead to my feet. And since I gasped in a chilled shock, I got a mouthful of street water. And…I kept walking. Damn, I was one focused stepper. I walked 16-plus miles that day and had a sore left foot plaguing me for the rest of the weekend.
Over the time period I logged just under 265,000 steps, or 117.6 miles, which was the lowest on my team. And out of 33 teams we came in second place, just 30,000 or so steps behind Kicking Asphalt.
I’ve had a request from a close friend to initiate a steps contest among our social circle, which I’ve promised to do.
But first I need to kick up my feet a little.