Stepping Out

Today is the first day of my company's 4-week "Keeping Up With the Joneses" challenge.  We're doing it in teams of six: you had a choice to create a team, or be randomly assigned.  I chose to be randomly assigned, in the hopes of making new friends.  The goal is to get an average of 8000 steps per person, per day, and so far I am on track.

Of course, I woke up this morning to find that the team in first place had already logged over twenty miles.  Per person.  It's kind of discouraging to know you've literally lost before you've begun.  Especially since the day is winding to a close, and three of my teammates haven't logged any steps at all.  Frustrating, to say the least.  But I've decided that I just need to shift my focus onto my own personal goals (such as getting the health insurance discount for participating) and never mind the rest.

(But the Competitive Beast half of my nature is probably going to send a few, um, encouraging emails tomorrow if there's still no stepping... it's one thing to be on a team that doesn't place, but another thing entirely to be on a team that can't be arsed to even try.)


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  2. I've had this perpetual issue with Dartmouth's "team" fitness programs. On the one hand, so many teammates don't even enter their steps. On the other, some teams are logging so many I can't see any physical way they are A) not cheating and/or B) actually holding full-time jobs here.

    I mean, how do you log 20 miles in one day? It's insane. I had to give up that competitive part, like you say, and set competitive goals for myself (game-ify my life, as my former carpool partner called it).

    Dartmouth has now shifted to a much more individual-based program, but my own game-ifying worked so much better that it remains my primary motivator. I log in to the official site maybe once a month -- just enough to be sure I'll pull down the maximum rewards they offer, with the least possible investment in their cockamamie scheme.

    1. My company actually does reward the individual effort first and foremost: if you average those 8k steps for four weeks, personally, you get a discount on next year's health insurance (which is my primary motivator, closely followed by the little red bikini I have hanging up in my bathroom). As a team you can qualify to be entered in a drawing to win prizes, and if you're one of the first three teams to finish you get $100. But, uh, I have no desire whatsoever to do a near-marathon for four straight days, which is what each member of the winning team did. It's not sustainable, and it's not HEALTHY, so as far as I'm concerned they totally defeated the entire point of the challenge (if they weren't actually cheating, and let's face it- by day three I started to feel pretty strongly that it was the case, because I KNOW marathon-runners and ultra-hikers and THOSE NUMBERS ARE HIGHLY UNLIKELY even for THEM, let alone people who are theoretically also working eight hour days).

    2. Agreed, completely. Both on defeating the point, and the likelihood of cheating. I've even heard of people putting their Fitbit on their dog's collar, which is simultaneously hilarious and offensive to my sense of fair play.