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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

To Step or Not To Step?

My company instituted a wellness program last year. One of the events was an 8-week long Step Challenge. We were formed into teams and given pedometers. Steps from the pedometer counted as did "converted" steps from activities like swimming, biking, racquetball, golf, house cleaning, yard work etc.

As you can imagine, during the height of my half-Ironman training, my team was winning as was I. I did have taper and post-race recovery occur during the challenge, so I stopped posting huge weekly totals.

Every week, we would get an update on who won that week and who was in the overall lead from a team and individual basis. Going into that last week, my team and I were still in the overall lead on both. I won the individual competition for the last week and my team was higher than the nearby team, so I expected us to win. I wasn't there the day they announced the results about 6 weeks later. It turns out that somehow, both my team and myself placed 3rd. I got beat by a lady who did a lot of house cleaning and yard work and a young kid who played racquetball and golf.

Now, in the big scheme of things, who cares? It wasn't like the prize was some huge deal. My choice of activity isn't the be all end all. I guess my competitive nature got the best of me though and I had a sour taste in my mouth about the competition.

Almost a year later, they are having the second Step Challenge competition. Should I enter? It starts June 4, so will encompass most of my big Ironman training although the taper and recovery weeks will be in there too. I am leaning towards not entering. I'm afraid I will get too competitive and seriously, who cares and who has the time for tracking that information? Not me! Part of me wants to win though. Is that wrong?


Blogger IM Able said...

I don't know...seems as if the thrust of the challenge is to get those who are otherwise inactive or unaware of their own level of fitness more engaged in daily wellness. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but you a mighty fit lady, no? (wink!) Perhaps this year encourage someone who may be less plugged in to join a team and cheer them from the "sidelines," so to speak. Could be a way to not bugger up an already full plate and be a part of the program.

Just a suggestion, though. Glad to hear the IM bank is filling up!!

9:59 AM

Blogger JenC said...

I joined last year, not for the motivation or to win, but to help motivate other people. It worked rather well, because I became a target for those in the competition. I don't think they would have posted as big of numbers otherwise. My team appreciated me too. I am only mad about last year, because the results seemed rigged. I hate when things are unfair. Still, IMAble is right. I don't need to add this to an already full schedule.

10:20 AM

Blogger E-Speed said...

I don't think joining will hurt anything. And if you don't have time of logging all your numbers during the competition then just log those you do have time for.

I think showing people that you can be a good worker and also be extremely fit is a great statement.

10:45 AM

Blogger TriSaraTops said...

I would totally be the same way. :)

I like Espeed's idea!

11:51 AM

Blogger DaisyDuc said...

I suppose I don't see how it can hurt. I can only imagine how much bigger your numbers will be this year in your ironman training!

It is hard not to want to win, but even if ya don't you will have to be near the top and probably will help to push others a little further.

I cannot imagine housework competing. Perhaps that is why my house is a mess!!!

4:38 PM

Blogger TriShannon said...

I would be totally competetive nad want to win also!

I say go for it for the reason of motivating and pushing others.

9:41 PM

Anonymous barbara said...

Do it! We just had one at our club. What I didn't expect to happen, but did, was really cool. Our 9-year old begged me to get her a pedometer.

Then she got totally competitive about it. Then she talked a friend into getting one, and they started competing on steps.

Next thing I knew, there were all these kids who really stepped up their activity level...all because of a 10k step program going on at work (while I was training for Boston Marathon and didn't need to do it either, like you).

We ended at 8 weeks but now at 10 weeks my daughter still tracks her steps every single day. It's been great and it's pretty cool to realize I set a good example for her.

10:04 PM

Blogger Mallie said...

What they all said. It certainly can't hurt. And you gotta beat the woman who counted her housework. I mean my house is a sty so I can ride my need to take HER DOWN!

I'm kidding about that last bit after the ellipse, of course!

8:16 AM

Blogger Papa Louie said...

I did our step thingy last year and had fun leading our team to victory. This year I opted out so that others can have a chance to win and maybe motivate others to participate.

9:51 AM

Blogger SkiRough said...

I kind of think pedometers are a load of crap. Unless you calibrate it PERFECTLY, it is going to be off anyways! I've never had a successful one. We use them to measure our 5k for JillRabbit, and I always ALWAYS get the distance incorrect! Then again, maybe I am just an idiot! :)

2:38 PM


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