The 100 Mile Challenge

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Cobb: Ha! Paden doesn’t seem to care about anything, except he does. You just can never tell what it’s going to be.

You might not recognize the line above but it is from the movie Silverado.  (I’ve told you that all my pop culture references are seriously dated)  Why in the world would I start with a line from a movie to talk about fitness?  Well, that’s just how I am.  This was one of the first things that popped into my head as I thought about whether to write about this.  Because it tends to be true of me as well.  I never know when something is going to grab at me and not let go and this is the story of one such thing.

Our fitness center at work runs several challenges over the year in an attempt to keep us all healthy so we’ll use fewer sick days.  I’ve participated from time to time.  Normally, it is a team challenge when someone I know forms a group and asks me to join.  We just recently completed one (and didn’t do well because two of the people got sick and couldn’t do much exercise).  But, for the most part, I’m just not a joiner.

But, I’m in the fitness center one day and I see a poster describing the 100 mile challenge.  Basically, you self-report miles obtained during designated exercise periods.  Get 100 miles by the end of August and you get your picture on a wall.  Coming back to the start of this post, I have no idea why this appeals to me but something in me really wanted to do this and I’ve signed up and I’m already about a third of the way there.

Now, I suppose I could simply accept that I want to do this without looking for the deeper meaning but then that wouldn’t be much of a post would it?  So I’ve tossed a few ideas around and it may be all of these, or none of these or some combination of them.

First, it is doable.  I have workout sessions with a trainer two days a week and I always have a little warm up time before we start.  I can easily get to half a mile on both days so that’s already a mile.  When I’m not plagued by meetings, I try to get over there every day and if I’ve got 30-35 minutes, I can get another 2 to 2.5 miles each day.  Even if I don’t get over there every day, it shouldn’t be too hard to get 5 miles a week which would make the 100 mile target easily reachable by the end of August.

Secondly, why shouldn’t a get a little credit for what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years.  I’ve specifically made a choice to change my lifestyle so I do a work out session and then just have a protein bar for lunch so I don’t go out to lunch except on rare occasions.   I’ve told you before that I never eat lunch at a lunch meeting.  It gets noticed and I get comments but I stick with it.  I haven’t kept all the weight off but I’ve kept most of it off.  Keeping up with a lifestyle change is not easy.  I have to go outside to get to the fitness center so I’ve walked through rain and snow and cold and wind when it would have been easier to have just stayed at my desk.  I’ve pushed myself at times when my legs didn’t feel like working to keep going and hit a goal.  I don’t give myself a lot of credit for things but this is something I should so why shouldn’t I want a little recognition.

Third, it isn’t a true competition.  I have a love/hate relationship with competition.  I’m very competitive and, when I play, I play to win.  But I also don’t ever want to become the evil side of competition.  The trash talking, chest pumping, I’m better than you, win at any cost kind of person.  (I do a great parity of a trash talker when I need to – it’s a guy thing).  Just to give you a little more random insight into me, I play SongPop on Facebook (kind of like name that tune) and I win a lot more than I lose and I want to win.  But, during a week, I have thrown a game or two when I’m really beating someone just so they won’t feel so bad.  To be fair, I only do this when I’m far enough ahead that they can’t catch up.  Oh, and none of these people are people I even know.  Yes, I want to win but I don’t need to run it up.  In this case, there is no race to get to 100 so everyone can do it at their own pace.  Finish the challenge and you are a winner.  For something like this, that feels much more appropriate.

I haven’t even told anyone I’m doing it and I’ll actually probably be a little embarrassed if they really do take a picture and post it somewhere. I’m not trying to be Mr Fitness Guy and I don’t preach to others about a more active lifestyle.  I’m doing this for me.  Because I want to.  Because, for some reason, getting to 100 miles is important to me.  Maybe it is just a delayed reward for all I’ve done but I am going to do this.

Like the quote says, you never know what I’m going to care about but watch out when I do.

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