Step challenges are excuses to go bird hunting

At my day job, there’s a big push to get people to live healthier lives. They’ve switched from a step challenge to one that keeps track of the amount of time you’re active. I wish they’d go back to the step challenge. It’s a good excuse to go hunting.

At my day job, we have a fitness challenge that’s designed to encourage people to be more active. It’s a great idea, but I miss the old step challenge that tracked the number of steps you took each day. Now it’s based on the amount of time you’re active. I liked the step challenge, but some people took it to a whole new level.

It had an app for our phones that could keep track of how many steps we take in a day. I admit I became a bit obsessed about how many steps I got in a day, and I got frustrated if I didn’t get 10,000. But the app also showed us the leader board, and it told us how many steps the top 10 people were taking each week. One of the leaders had 600,000 steps one week. I did a few calculations to figure out how far that person had walked, and if she takes long strides, she’d have walked 30 miles a day during that week. Pardon me for being a little bit skeptical of that.

But then I thought about a hunt I took with my kids and my Lab a few years ago. I was tracking steps with my phone then, too, and on that hunt, I kept my phone on me and 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 got so many steps in a day. Instead of keeping track of her own steps, I think she strapped her FitBit or her phone on her dog, then went out for a pheasant hunt.

Maybe I’ll try that if they bring back the step challenge.

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