Throughout the month of May 2021, InterWorks and members of the Stillwater, OK, public were challenged to create teams of two-five amblers to compete in a daily steps challenge. Affectionately titled the Walk This May challenge, the competition encouraged participants to band together and accumulate steps that would be posted on a leaderboard each evening. Three teams of trekkers from InterWorks joined the contest and quickly developed an internal competition – replete with lighthearted trash-talking – to determine who could actually walk the walk.
Each day, InterWorkers could be seen solo or in groups walking laps around the parking lot, Bluetooth earbuds broadcasting conference calls or training videos, hoping their heavy breathing did not out them if asked to contribute to the virtual discussions. Other people chose to hike to and from the office each day.
I could be seen walking my mile-plus commute up to four times per day … five if I accidentally forgot my office keys. Staci Bejcek and her daughter set a goal to circle the parking lot as many times as they could. Much to her daughter’s chagrin, they averaged over three miles together each day! Some even resorted to walking up and down their driveway, at times reading a novel (work-related, I am sure), clearing thousands of daily steps while never leaving the site of their homes.
Ain’t No Step Count High Enough
But the person who earned the respect of pedestrians everywhere was Ms. Tracy O’Connell. Not only did she reach the maximum number of steps each day, but she came in 1st among the 338 participants from Stillwater. Tracy managed to walk 10 miles each day, reaching the 20,000 daily step maximum even while on her family vacation to Michigan!
Now that the competition is over, we asked our champion Tracy what she thought about her experience. Here’s what she had to say: “I am mostly a couch potato. Reading a book with a drink (coffee, tea, wine, etc.) in hand and a pet on my lap is how I would spend all my waking hours, if given the choice. At least until my competitive spirit is roused. Walk this May lights that fire in me (under me?). I made the mistake of starting the month with the maximum number of steps allowed each day and just couldn’t let that streak go. Several days were particularly challenging due to a road trip of almost 3,000 miles. Now that it is over, I am trying to keep myself accountable for 10k steps per day, but I might need another challenge to keep it going long term.”
Finally, our intern John Moss put together an interactive visualization of the contest using Tableau that allows you to follow our high-stepping wayfarers all throughout the month. Check it out below!