This summer my aunt and uncle are sponsoring a fitness challenge through September. And I think it's a great idea because what better motivation is there than the possible humiliation of sucking at running the mile month after month thereby proving that you have not been training, or exercising in any form, at all? This will give me a butt! So far, pretty much everyone is in. Some of us are pregnant, have recently had knee surgery, or are unable to run due to old age/disability, so there is a weight loss category for non-exercisers, too.
If you want to have a similar family challenge, here's the gist of what we're doing:
From an e-mail from my uncle Ryan:
Okay, I came up with this concept while on the stairmaster at the gym on the verge of passing out when the thousands of cookies, pounds of peanut m&ms, and billions of donuts were flasing before my eyes. That's when I pictured myself 20 years and.....um....many pounds ago. I remembered that while I was at BYU I was forced to take a fitness class and was actually expected to make progress toward a goal. Can you EVEN believe that? Anyway, I remembered how it felt to not just to be in better shape, but how good it felt as I was getting there. Feeling a little stronger from week to week. And knowing I had to prove to someone else that I was making progress, I did much better than I could do on my own.
So that's where the "Ryan J. and Ann B. Race for the Cure for Obesity in 42 Year Old Men" comes in. We're (I'm dragging Ann into this because she's the brains of this organization, I'm just an idea guy) sponsoring the above mentioned "race" or fitness challenge, if you will, because I need some motivation and some people behind me pushing me. [Sara's Note: I, too, do much better when I know there's a monthly schedule that I will be held to.]
The Challenge, should you choose to accept it....
On a monthly basis we meet at the track at the stadium - chosen because it gives no one in the family home field advantage and and also because it offers evening shade and I like shade if I'm going to sweat. We will run or walk - your choice - a mile. The objective is to improve your time. The idea being that to improve your time, you (and especially me) will have to be training on the other days in order to do so. The person with the most improved time at the end of September, will receive an award of noteworthy value at an awards ceremony the weekend of October General Conference. After each monthly time trial, we will meet at our house for a healthy snack or "treat" of some kind. It will be good I promise. That way you can get ideas and recipes to take back and help you in your own quest, if you are on one.
What if I can't run or walk for distances like that?
If you have physical difficulties that prevent you from this sort of exercise, there's something for you too. If exercise won't work for you, there's a simple weight loss category, and a prize for the non-exerciser who loses the greatest percentage of their starting weight. However, if you can do the walking or running, I encourage you to participate in that category.
What if the H.S. stadium is too far from my house?
If you live too far away and don't think you can get to the stadium each month, we still welcome you to participate. This is a nationwide event. In addition, should you plan to be in SLC Conference weekend, please plan to attend the big Awards Gala and Fireworks Show. Simply track your time or weight loss and email me. If you can manage to run on the same day, that would be good just because I think it would be really cool.
* I'm likely to schedule some optional fitness related group activities in between time trials. Examples of these activities may include bowling, short hikes, walks along the JR parkway, etc.
* If you've not been exercising, be sure to start slow and mix up your exercise so you can avoid any repetitive use injuries that will take you out of the game.
* If you're doing the run/walk challenge you might want to incorporate some healthy eating choices, as it will help in the fitness quest. If you need ideas, we can do a group therapy session on the kick off night.
* Saturday June 20 - Kick off - Meet at the stadium, 7:30 PM for first time trial. No sandbagging this just to have a good final time, you better be sweating profusely or breathing so hard you can't talk when you cross the finish line. Snacks at our house and recording of times, weights, etc.
* Saturday July 18 - Second time trial, 7:30 PM, Snacks after at our house
* Saturday August 22 - Third time trial, same time same place, Snacks, ditto
* Saturday September 12 - there's a 5k in conjunction with the Greek Festival that I'm challenging you all to participate in.
* Saturday September 26 - Final time trial, snacks again.
* Sunday October 4 - Awards Gala, Fireworks Show, Concert, laser show and group hug.
So. How about it blogging friends? Are you up for a little summer fitness challenge? If so, do this with your family and your friends! And anyone who wants to participate in a summer fitness challenge but doesn't have anyone to check in with or to race against, I'd be happy to virtually work with you. We can keep the same schedule of time trials to keep each other motivated!
And I strongly suggest the Nike + iPod set up (shown in the picture above) if you're going to be keeping track of how well your training is going. It's just way easier than writing everything down. I use it. It keeps track of how far you've gone, how far you have left to go if you have set a distance, calorie, or time goal, how many calories you've burned, etc... Plus, you can upload each training session onto the free online site (the site is in the information that comes with the receiver--it's accessed through Nike.com) and keep track of your progress with graphs and everything.
And you don't need the special Nike + iPod shoes for it. They're handy because they have a spot underneath the insole for the iPod receiver/pedometer, but in my last pair of shoes I just hollowed out a little spot underneath the insole for the receiver--couldn't feel it at all. But if it IS time for some new shoes for you, I'd seriously give these some consideration. There are a TON to choose from--at least three pages at Nike.com, and you can find them locally--got mine at Kohl's. It just clicks in and you go--you never have to remove it. You can wear them all day and if you keep your iPod in your pocket and you're walking around, it'll keep track of how far you've gone that day, how many calories you've burned, etc...And my particular pair are pretty and green.
It's a great $29 invention. Plus, someone comes over your music occasionally and says something like, "You've burned 250 calories. Only 100 left to go." Keeps you going!
But, of course, pen and paper work just as well. :)