Welcome to the 1%

by Volker Weber


Over the last six months I have transformed from a couch potato to a dog walker. Three hours a day. Everyday.

This all started with an article by fellow journalist Dr. Michael Spehr of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He used a Jawbone UP for a full year, clocked 3.5 million steps and concluded that nothing had changed. He was happy to get rid of his UP band, which felt like a handcuff after a year. I was happy to take it off him and started my own test.

Now that I have also clocked 3.5 million steps I am officially retiring the UP band. By now I am on a different strategy. Instead of clocking ever more steps on a single account, I walk 100 km a week. And I can reset each Monday morning. It does not really matter what happened last week. I have to do another 100 km. I have met that goal four weeks in a row, come rain, come sunshine. Last week was difficult since I was traveling three days, but I made it nevertheless. This week is going to be easy. I am only 12 km short of my goal.

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The changes for me have been profound. I am much stronger, my weight is down, I sleep an hour more. Walking has been great for me, and I would not have done it without the dog. Thank you for walking me. And thank you, Michael, for inspiring me.


Not having seen you for some months, the difference in your appearance recently was striking (in a good way!)

I am very impressed. Bravo!

Ben Poole, 2014-11-27

Thank you for inspiring me! I'm no where near your excercise level but I have increased my walking by 50% and lost 5kg in 6 weeks after reading one of your earlier articles on walking more. It was the final bit of motivation I needed to make a change in my own lifestyle .

Michelle O'Rorke , 2014-11-28

Thank you, Ben. Walking with you has shown me that I can be much quicker than I am now. You are tens of thousands of miles ahead of me. But I will chase you.

Michelle, thank you so much for sharing. This makes me so happy. Walk on and this will be an expensive year. I started at less than 3000 steps a day. I have only recently started paying attention to the scales. And watching the weight go down (and up!) is not motivating me. I just walk. Everything else just happens naturally. My initial goal was 6500 steps a day. Which is what 50 percent of males my age walk. And this started the whole transformation. It built new muscles which consume more energy. Go figure out the rest. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2014-11-28

congrats Volker. Keep it up.

Mariano Kamp, 2014-11-28

Thanks, Mariano. I will. But I won't cross any mountain passes. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2014-11-28

My private boss and CFO closely watches your stories about the dogs and your walks on Instagram. Guess what, we are so close to getting us a dog :)... (no kidding)

Ingo Seifert, 2014-11-28

1%er... member of Bandidos MC?!

Dieter Baum, 2014-11-28

For me it is not about crossing mountain passes as well. It just adds variety.
It's about new habits and changed priorities.
Those new habits give me more time to reflect, help me put things into perspective and put distance between me and unreasonable expectations.

So the mountains are just window dressing ;)

Anyway, your journey is quite impressive on one side, but still approachable enough, so that I am sometimes sending people links to it ;)

Mariano Kamp, 2014-11-29

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