The following blog was written by Corey Emmons a Striiv customer.
For your reading pleasure…
I am a retired veteran who has a full time job, a home business, and a husband who I love spending time with. Needless to say, exercise didn’t always reach the top of my priority list. I am in my 40’s and not what one would refer to as a pinnacle of fitness. I have become a yo-yo exerciser. I get super motivated, go all out until I am so sore that I can’t workout anymore the next day…or the next…or the next…that’s my excuse anyway. Then I manage to talk myself out of it and wait for the next burst of fitness energy to hit before I attempt anything again. I don’t think it is complete laziness, though sleeping past 4am does appeal to me more than getting up to workout. I get bored.
As I transitioned from a more mobile military career to a desk job I noticed that all of the hours I spent sitting at my desk were starting to affect my weight. I was on a business trip browsing the SkyMall magazine, one of my favorites, and saw Striiv the month it was being released. I thought if something this simple and fun could motivate me to move, it would definitely be worth the price. How hard could walking be? 10,000 steps a day doesn’t seem so bad.
As soon as I got home I ordered my Striiv and when I got it in the mail I was all over the house trying to complete my daily challenges. My husband thought I was nuts running up and down the stairs at night or doing laps around the house while dinner was cooking. At work I would take breaks and walk around the building. I tried in vain to complete stair challenges by using the curb in the parking lot, it never did register as stair steps but man, did it work my calves!
Eventually, I was up against deadlines and leaving my desk for walks wasn’t in the cards. My daily step count kept decreasing but I still wore my Striiv every day. Seeing how few steps I was taking motivated me to get up early to workout again. I’d get on the treadmill and blow through my challenges first thing in the morning and it felt great the rest of the day knowing that I had completed another day of fitness.
Then the boredom crept in again…crazy yo-yo! I know this about me so I try to trick myself into doing different things. At the end of 2011, I decided to set a personal goal for myself using my Striiv to help motivate me. I had been using my steps to donate clean drinking water, another amazing benefit to wearing my Striiv every day. I decided to count the parking spaces around my office building and set a goal of walking enough steps to conserve that many spaces worth of rainforest this year.
At the beginning of the year I changed my Striiv donations and counted over 150 parking spots! Let’s see… 156 spots, 18,000 steps per spot. Holy cow! 2.8 million steps! My first thought was ‘Thank goodness it’s a leap year!’
I drew out a map of the parking spots and started keeping track of my donations. I walked fairly well in January and at the end of the month had over a dozen spots ready to donate. On track for my goal but getting up early to workout was starting to wear on me already. That is when I saw a story on the news about a doctor who was researching the effects of sitting for long periods of time during your workday.
This story discussed the health risks of such a sedentary lifestyle, and it really hit home with me. I sit in front of a computer for 8-10 hours a day at work, then come home and sit with my husband. It seems that sitting is what I do most when I am not sleeping. I didn’t like that realization. The story went on about ways you can improve your health by getting up and moving throughout your day. This I already knew, but my job wasn’t cooperating with that idea.
The doctor said that even standing would help increase your calorie burn and they showed him at a desk that had been raised so he could stand while he worked. They then panned out to show the doctor walking on a treadmill under his desk. What!?! Was it possible to spend 8-10 hours a day walking instead of sitting at my desk?
The next day I went into work and pitched a standing desk to my boss. I work in a cubicle where the desk parts attach to the walls at any height so it was a no cost solution that could benefit my overall health and well being (and that I could change back if I didn’t like…yo-yo, I know). He agreed to let me try it.
The next day we raised my desk to standing height and I spent the whole day on my feet. It wasn’t that bad, my feet were more tired than usual but they hadn’t been used that many hours straight since the last time we went to Disney World. It was a Friday, so I would have a couple of days to recuperate.
That night I kept thinking about the treadmill desk I saw on that show and started looking at them online. Turns out they are quite pricey. After searching the online stores I end up finding a used treadmill on CraigsList that is made for a walking desk. What are the odds? I’m there the next morning picking it up and Monday morning my boss agrees to let me try a walking desk.
My co-workers think I am crazy! They think I am going to run and work. I try to explain that it is a walking treadmill and I go slow enough to type. I set it up, people stare and ask a lot of questions but I start it up and start walking. I have to put my Striiv on my shoe because I am walking so slow that it doesn’t register on my hip but it works perfectly on my shoe.
Monday I walked almost 4 miles while I worked. I took several breaks when I got tired but went right back to it. Tuesday I was sore but bumped it up to 6 miles and fewer rest breaks. By Friday, I was walking 6 miles easily and the only time I stopped was for bathroom breaks and when I sat down to eat.
This week my co-workers are more accepting of my treadmill desk. They come over and ask how many miles I have gone throughout the day. I am doing 10 miles a day now and it gets easier and easier. I smashed my previous ‘Best Step’ goal which sat at around 13,500 steps in one day. Yesterday I was just shy of 40,000.
I am thankful for my Striiv, and the motivation it has given me, not only to help myself, but to help others around the world in the process. I am also very thankful that I have such a supportive boss who allowed me to take a crazy news story and make it a reality in my cubicle. I no longer feel guilty when I get home and spend the evening sitting with my husband.
Needless to say, my parking spot challenge isn’t as intimidating as it was last month. In fact, I am eye-balling the parking lot next door. It’s not a challenge if it is easy, right? I have mapped my daily distances starting at the tip of Key West, Florida and I hung it on my cubicle for everyone to see. In eight days I hit the mainland, in eight weeks I hit home in Jacksonville, Florida, after that, maybe up the coast to Maine or over to California. Thanks to the motivation I get from my Striiv, I have finally found something fun and entertaining (even philanthropic) to keep me healthy and active.
Chooch (Corey Emmons)
Corey, Thank you for sharing your story!