Thursday, December 13, 2007

My obsession with steps

My gym, the Spectrum Club, introduced a program called Health Miles a little over a year ago. I joined last January and have been wearing a pedometer at almost every waking hour ever since. Right now, at 4:30 in the afternoon, my pedometer says that I’ve done 16,192 steps today since I got up at 4:50 am. This is a little more than usual. Most days I amass between 12,000 and 15,000 steps – that’s enough already! But today I walked over to my company’s cafeteria for lunch, and a round trip there from my office is another 4,000.
The point of the program is to get in shape while earning money and other benefits, and if one earns the maximum miles (steps and bio measurements and fitness assessments and activity logging all get transferred into miles) – 36,000 within a year -- he/she can earn $250.00 worth of gift cards, various t-shirts, a gym bag and water bottle, and 12 hours worth of private training sessions – over $1,400 worth of stuff. And, you guessed it, I’ve earned all that and am still pushing on. Right now I have over 42,000 miles logged in with over a month to go. Also, throughout the year, Health Miles sponsors several challenges giving participants the opportunity to win even more money and prizes.
So what’s the point of all this? I’ve challenged myself further and further this year – at first I was satisfied with 9,000 steps a day, then 10,000, then 12,000, and now I’m not happy unless it’s 15,000. And mostly I don’t feel the worse for wear. Yet, this morning when my alarm went off, I really could have stayed right there in bed and left the pedometer on the bathroom counter where it resides every night. Up until I joined Health Miles I was content to workout five days a week. Now, I do some form of exercise – whether it’s at the gym or a walk to the beach – every day. And that has been going on for almost a year.
So, I’m headed for another choice. When my year of Health Miles is up in January do I re-up or do I go back to a more relaxing exercise regimen? After all, I keep reminding myself, I can be a little easier on myself. I know that I won’t ever give up exercising as long as I can walk, but I don’t have to be so obsessed about it.
Another thing that’s been nagging at me is how I can get other people in my age group to become or stay fit. I’ve thought about becoming a trainer for only older people – I think the need is there – yet, taking the training course is very daunting. And where could I get hired? What gym would want to hire an old lady when there are so many beautiful young people out there already?

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