A walking challenge is just an excuse to go hunting

At my day job, there’s a big push to get people to live healthier lives. The mechanism they’re using to help people get active is a walking challenge. I figure it’s an excuse to go hunting.

At my day job, we have a walking challenge that’s designed to encourage people to get up and move a few times a day, and to get off the couch and do something in our off hours. It’s a great idea, and I’m already seeing a lot of people getting up and getting moving who otherwise might not. But some people are taking it to a whole new level.

There’s an app we can download on our phones to keep track of our steps, and our phones somehow know how many steps we take in a day. I admit I’ve become a bit obsessed about how many steps I get in a day, and I get frustrated if I don’t get 10,000. But the app also shows us the leader board, and it tells us how many steps the top 10 people are taking each week. One of the leaders had 600,000 steps last week. I did a few calculations to figure out how far that person had walked, and if she takes extremely long strides, she’d have walked 30 miles a day last week. Pardon me for being a little bit skeptical of that.

Then I took my kids out pheasant hunting last weekend. I kept my phone on me, and it tracked all my steps. We walked 4.1 miles that day, and the phone said I’d taken 10,676 steps. I found all that out when we got back to the truck, and I had a chance to check my phone. After I’d done that, I took the training and GPS collar off my dog. I looked at her stats, and found that while the boys and I had walked just over four miles, Riley had gone 22 miles.

I think I figured out how the leader of our step challenge gets so many steps in a day. Instead of keeping track of her own steps, I think she straps her FitBit or her phone on her dog, then goes out for a pheasant hunt.

Maybe I’ll try that next time.