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Verndale Steps Challenge - 2017

Verndale Steps Challenge participation Experience

From childhood I always love walking and running. Walking gives me pleasure, releases my stress, and improves my thinking. Even though I love walking, I am not regular about it, only when I feel to walk, then only I do it. Sometimes if I am stuck up on something, like need to take a critical decision, or to resolve an issue, then walking helps me to think clearly. After I became a Software engineer, Walking helped me to solve lot of developer road blocks.

Around 4 months back (Sep-2016), my friend from USA gifted me with Power beats wireless earphones, and jawbone Up fitness tracker. once I received both of them, started morning walk for couple twice a week, with 2 to 3 km distance at a time.


Verndale Steps Challenge

In December-2016, there was an announcement in office, about holding a month long, companywide steps and run challenge. The challenge is based on the number of miles walked or ran. Immediately, I was interested to participate in steps challenge, and signed up for it. This challenge is going to be tracked on Endomondo (a free fitness app). so downloaded the app, and ready for the challenge.

While signing up, my thoughts are like, anyway I am going to morning walk for twice a week. So for this challenge, will make it regular, and increase the distance up to 5 km per day, that may give chance to top in the list. So daily 5km, means end of the month it will be 150km, this will be more than enough. (Little did I know that, 150km is no where near, and I will finish the challenge with 510km.)

Challenge runs from 3rd Jan 2017 to 3rd Feb 2017. But I started regular walk from 2nd Jan (1 day before), to see whether I can actually walk for 5km in a single workout. It was ok, I was able to walk 5km with ease, and felt good about it.

Once Challenge is started, and many of my Bangalore colleagues also signed up for it, so in tea time, we used to have fun discussion about the challenge. These discussions continued for whole month.

First time 10km walk After initial days of the challenge are over, understood that 5km are not going to be enough. One day wanted to try for 10km, I know that It’s very long for a single workout. Somehow believed, I could make it. By the time I reached 7-8 km, my legs are paining like hell, thought of giving up there, but don’t know what happened, I was determined to finish that 10kms. Pushed myself for another 2kms, and was able to finish 10 km. This is one of the most memorable experience, in the whole journey. Looking back, I feel proud of myself, that I could cross that 10kms.

Later 10km became a regular distance for my workout. As the days are passing, intensity in the competition has also increased, I also needed to keep up my pace.

Lake park: I like walking beside the lake, love the morning breeze, sunrise, and everything around there. Every day I had some wonderful experience there, like meeting new people, and inspired by some of their determination. When I go for walk in other parks, I couldn’t spend so much time there, as I don’t get the same breeze, always wish to go to lake park.

Music & Podcasts: Power beats are very useful in this journey. While walking, I love to listen Music, especially Telugu (mother tongue) songs. But this time I also explored another stream which are podcasts. I know about podcasts before, but here and there I used to listen only an episode from Hansel minutes) podcast. This time, as I am walking long distances, wanted to explore podcasts fully. I listened to some of the wonderful episodes from different podcasts, and now I am following lot of good podcasts like,

I also listened to Anthem by Ayn Rand audio book.

Last day of the challenge I wanted to finish it on a high note, in morning I increased my pace, and reached maximum single workout distance of 17km, and also maximum distance per day 27.5km.

Irrespective of the result, by participating in this challenge, I am left with so many wonderful memories, and first time covered 10km, 15km, and 17km distance. In my wildest thoughts also, I would have not guessed, that I can walk for 510km in a month. It made to me to push my limits in all possible ways.

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