Can I be candid for a moment? I reached Day 100 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge on Sunday. That’s 100 straight days of getting at least 20,000 steps. Here’s the candid part…I was feeling a little smug about myself as I pondered this milestone.
It was early Sunday morning. I was sitting in our kitchen with my first cup of coffee reading the New York Times on my iPad. That’s when this headline grabbed my attention.
“…Running Streaks Take Dedication”
Curious, I started reading. By the time I finished my smugness had disappeared. I learned about Scott Partenheimer, in New Jersey, who has run at least a mile every day for five years. That includes the day his son was born and he only got 30 minutes of sleep and it was 100 degrees outside. Still, Scott ran his mile.
I also read about Jon Sutherland, in California, who has run at least one mile every day for almost 50 years! He’s just two years away from the all-time running streak record.
As impressive as both of these streaks are, the most impressive is Robert Kraft. He lives in Miami and started his streak on January 1, 1975. Since that day he has run eight miles every single day. That’s through eight hurricanes, a case of food poisoning, the flu, a concussion, Man’O War stings, and other annoying issues too numerous to list.
He starts his run every day at 530p and usually has a group of people who join him. Over 2,600 runners from 87 different countries have done eight miles with Robert.
I finished the article and thought of something I’m certain I have in common with Scott, Jon, and Robert. And, it’s not commitment. That comparison can’t even begin for another five years. No, the thing we have in common is fundamental to maintaining this kind of consistency over a long period of time.
I got my first Fitbit on January 1, 2013. It changed my life. It set me on a path where I finally feel like I’m winning at fitness. While I may be getting 20,000 steps a day now, I didn’t start there. Over the past six years I’ve gradually increased to where I am today.
Before I got that Fitbit, I had done other things for “exercise”. For a long time I cycled, but after we moved, 20 years ago, the logistics of riding my bike got difficult, so I stopped.
My fitness declined so, after a few years, I tried running. It took awhile to build the endurance, but eventually I ran a bunch of 5k’s and half-marathons. I even ran one marathon. But, that was an accident. Seriously. You can read that story HERE.
I stuck with running for a few years and it got me back in shape, but I started losing interest. That’s when I got the Fitbit. It didn’t take long to transition from running to walking.
And, that brings me to the thing I have in common with Scott, Jon, and Robert. It’s not the streak. It’s not the commitment. It’s obviously not the form of exercise.
It’s the enjoyment of what we’re doing.
Fitness is important. The benefits are huge, but if you don’t enjoy the journey you’re not going to stay with it. I love walking. I love pushing my step goals to the extreme. I love the challenge of building a long streak because I can see myself doing this for decades. That’s a great feeling!
If you want to win at fitness you must find something you enjoy doing. For some that’s walking, for others it’s running, and for a select few it’s something extreme like Crossfit. And, the possibilities don’t end there.
Keep trying things till you find one you enjoy enough to stick with. I will always recommend walking and step goals. It’s easy to start with lots of different ways to make it challenging and fun moving forward. I recently posted an article listing nine ways walking has changed my life. You can read that HERE.
Find the thing you enjoy and don’t give up until you do! If you want to give walking and step goals a try this blog can help you eventually win at fitness. If you click the FOLLOW button (below if you’re reading on your phone…to the right and above if you’re on a computer) you’ll get an email twice a week when the latest article posts.
Next week I’ll be writing about step goals you can set in 2019 and in January I’ll tell you about a five part plan to help you win at fitness.
I have a long way to go before I get anywhere close to Scott, Jon, and Robert’s streaks. But, at least I’m on the way. I started Week 15 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge with Day 100 and ended with Day 106. Here are the final totals.