Walking the Walk

Make your feet your friend. — J.M. Barrie

In September, I did just that, thanks to No Fizz America‘s Walk the Walk competition.

Walk the Walk was as a competition amongst 20-something social media types, most from Charlotte, to see who could log the most steps in September. Coordinated by Bobby DeMuro, the goals were to 1) promote just how easy, fun and worthwhile it is to add fitness to your day, and 2) to raise funds for No Fizz America, one of my fave non-profits. But when I joined, I added a third goal: to win!

Early on, Bobby pegged me as the odds-on favorite, so all the other contestants were loaded for bear. While Bobby was confident in my step abilities, and I did eventually win with over 500,000 steps, my competitors gave me a run for the money! Early on, three folks really raised the bar: Brian Gott, Rich Tucker and Kim Hughes, who led the competition most of the time.

To make a long story short, I was both humbled and inspired by my fellow contestants. We playfully tweeted trash talk while also encouraging each other to get those steps in. My compeititive spirit got the best of me, and by midnight on September 30, I was exhausted, but I had a ball!

I won with 501,436 steps, but just barely won; Brian, Rich and Kim were just mere steps behind me. But  here’s how I REALLY won:

  • Broke through a two-month plateau, finally getting into the 140s and ending the month six lbs. lighter.
  • Made some fun new friends, several of whom I will stay in touch with and hopefully see again.
  • Challenged myself and far exceeded what I thought I could accomplish.
  • Put those bad grade school memories of team sports behind me and enjoyed comraderie, challenges and celebrations with some great folks.
  • Toned my legs and finally seeing some positive movement in the derierre area!

For the record, we all became experts in getting extra steps. I got most of my heavy stepping on the treadmill, but sneaked in a lot of steps throughout the day, too. Here are just a few ways you can incorporate a little more movement into your day:

  • Walk every aisle in the grocery store or home improvement store, whether you need anything on  them or not.
  • On bathroom breaks, walk to the furthest stall, and afterwards, walk the hall up and back.
  • Take the stairs every chance you get, up and down.
  • Park the furthest away from your destination instead of spending time circling for the closest spot.
  • Unload your car one grocery bag at a time.
  • Quit using drive-thru lanes, period.
  • Instead of using email, walk to deliver a message to a co-worker.

In closing, I challenge every one to put on a pedometer and see how many steps you get each day. Experts recommend 10,000 steps a day, and unless you’re already active, you may be surprised how few you really get. The pedometer is not only very revealing, it also really motivates you to get more steps in.

Finally, I want to thank the many folks who donated to No Fizz America in my name. (I haven’t  received a full listing from Bobby yet, so if you donated and I missed you, please let me know.)

  • April Blake
  • Jackie Boland
  • Amanda Brennan
  • Mandy C. Buchanan
  • Nicole Fulmer
  • Rosie Jones
  • Karen Kustafik
  • Jack Porter
  • Lora Prill
  • Rob Sarvis


  1. Mary Pat, you rocked #WalktheWalk!! I love Twitter for challenges like this that push us while at the same time helping us build great friendships. It was great meeting you IRL at the final #WalktheWalk Tweetup. Best of luck to continuing to live a healthy lifestyle… I’m confident you will continue to be very successful!

    Rich Tucker

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