It has been a good year

by Volker Weber

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October 21, 2014 was the last day that I did not walk 10,000 steps a day. Every single day after that date, I walked at least 10,000 steps, come rain, come snow. The longest walk ever was on April 10, 2015 with 45,156 steps. Today marks a big day: I have now completed a full year on this program. And I have walked more than 6,200 km in those 365 days. That's the distance from New York to Darmstadt. No, you can't walk that, silly. There is an ocean in between.

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The walking distance from Darmstadt to Santiago de Compostela is about 1,900 km, so it's three times that. Speaking of three, three hours walking per day, for a full year.

There are actually two days missing on the record, when the software acted up.

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There was a reason I started on this program. I was in a crisis last September/October. I had lost a patch of skin under my right foot due to a large blister, and I was no longer able to walk the 18,000 steps I had worked myself up to. Then my UP24 band broke. And I travelled a lot, three times to London within a month. So there was a real and present danger that I might break out of my exercise regime.

What can you do? I promised myself to not break the chain. Do the 10k every single day. Try to do 100 km a week. I did those 100 km every single week until three weeks ago, when my doctor told me to slow down a bit because of a (temporary) medical condition. Still doing the 10k, but not the 100 km. As compensation, I started using the bike more.

146 days ago I started wearing an Apple Watch. And not counting that first day, I have now a "longest move streak" of 145 days at 600 cals a day. Now that I know all distances in steps I am going to stop tracking steps on the iPhone and instead focus on closing all three rings on the Apple Watch. 220 days to go to complete a full year.

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Everybody has to find their own way to success. If I'd have to name my winning factors, they would be:

There is another big number. I walked 3 million steps until I got on this program. Now I walked another 7 million. That makes it 10 million since I got up.

When I got up, I could hardly walk at all without pain. But humans are walkers. The bicycle was invented only 200 years ago, we haven't used cars for more than a hundred. That's nothing, in evolution. You may not have walked much. But you have the genes to do it. Start walking. Your body knows which muscles to grow.

If I can do it, you can do it.

Comments

Congratulations! What an accomplishment and personal victory ... and inspiring many people along the way! Thanks again, Volker!

Stefan Heinz, 2015-10-21

I bet your dog made you buy the Apple Watch with subtle dog mind control (which they all have!). Mine is currently beaming thoughts at me to go for a walk, despite the rain. (Well done!). Damm I need to go get my waterproof. I feel the urge to go for a walk in the rain.

Chris Lindley, 2015-10-21

Congratulations, beside what it does to you, all the people around you who love and care for you will have now more time to do that.

Wolfram Votteler, 2015-10-21

Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

Thomas Lang, 2015-10-21

Wow. Congrats Volker! Impressed by your discipline and will power.

Martin Pürschel, 2015-10-21

Huge kudos to you Volker. Fantastic achievement.

Lewis Turek, 2015-10-21

Well the basilisk can run on water. Big feet may help. Still a long way across the pond.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45yabrnryXk

While you achieved something amazing, have you ever asked yourself, what else could be improved? About two years ago I realized, that in general I am less flexible and fast in my movements. My sense of balance was beginning to degenerate, too. To stop that process, I needed something which does more, than just fitness. Today I am not only much fitter, but also more flexible and my sense of balance has improved again. While I can not make the meniscus problem go away, the added mucles help a lot to keep it at bay.

christian tillmanns, 2015-10-21

Christian, I face challenges as they appear. So far I am pretty happy with my progress.

Thank you all for the kind words. I want to stress this again: everybody can do this. I started virtually from zero. How do you eat an elephant? In small bites.

Volker Weber, 2015-10-21

Congratulations, Volker. I barely manage not breaking the chain, often by going out for a run late in the evening. It would be interesting to see how many times I made it to 600kcal only after 23:00. It's similar to the last scene of the "goals" tv ad for the apple watch.

I'm no longer looking at steps at all, because calories works just fine. I keep the calories chain but I miss the steps chain very often. My most-calories day was ~7.5 hours cycling but only ~2k steps. And I had no energy left for the remaining 8k steps ;-)

Benjamin Bock, 2015-10-21

Smooth ride, Benjamin.

It's hard to break a habit. When you pushed for 10k for a year, you can't really lapse. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2015-10-21

Tolle Leistung, Volker! Ich freue mich für Dich.

Sabine Weber , 2015-10-21

Congratulations!

I have recently started a similar walking effort (I got the idea from some crazy German blog that I read!) - only 1 month in but I am enjoying it immensely. I notice so much of the small place where I live and I also get to listen to great music while doing it. I am averaging 10000 steps per day - 5 days a week.

I just wanted to mention. I spent 10 years travelling from the UK south coast to London everyday. 90km each way. Adding up all those miles I, and if it were possible, I would be already 1/3rd on my way back from the moon!

Best wishes for the future.

Ian Bradbury, 2015-10-21

Congratulations. Really nice to read. And re-inspiring for myself as an ex-ultramarathoner. No, I didn't restart running, but I am back walking and hiking. On my way to 3200km and 4.5m steps. And my son got me into swimming - while he is in the water training with his club, I thought I could do the same.

And congratulations for your trainer.

Federico Hernandez, 2015-10-21

1) Herzlichen Glückwunsch. :-)

2) Stimme all dem zu.

3) mein polar loop (seit Ostern) hat mir jeden Tag 2h 11min Gehen verordnet. Schaffe ich nicht immer, aber auch wenn ich nur die Hälfte schaffe, ist das bereits wesentlich besser als ein Viertel. Steter Tropfen hölt den Stein.

Philipp Sury , 2015-10-22

Ja, gibt es tatsächlich. Zum Beispiel Fitbark, DogsSense, Tagg, PetFit, Voyce, Whistle Activity Monitor. Kommt für diesen Hund aber nicht in Frage.

Weil ich mal wissen wollte, wo sie hinläuft, habe ich ihr mal eine TomTom Sports um den Hals gehängt, die mir dann den GPS-Track geliefert hat.

Volker Weber, 2015-10-22

Congrats Volker!

Lars Berntrop-Bos, 2015-10-22

Hut ab, tolle Leistung. Erinnert mich daran auch mal wieder etwas mehr Sport zu machen, kam in letzter Zeit viel zu kurz!

Ralph Hammann, 2015-10-22

I like reading these updates. They make me happy.

Eric Hancock, 2015-10-23

What Eric said.

Mariano Kamp, 2015-10-23

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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