Virgin Pulse Challenges – Getting Started

Initially getting 7,000 to 10,000 steps per day was challenging. It rarely ever happened. Little did I know how the Virgin Pulse Challenges would keep me motivated. As I had mentioned in the Day One post when I was getting started things really began to ramp up when I hiked the historic railroad trail near Hoover Dam over consecutive days.

Hiking for that trail round trip was about 18,000 steps. The best part about of it was that I didn’t have to think about it . I just walked the trail, checked out the Hoover Dam and then hiked back another hour, 2 hours round trip plus another 30 minutes walking around the dam

Labor day weekend, I hiked that trail 3 days in a row since we had Monday off as a vacation day. That Monday night I viewed the the challenges section on the Virgin Pulse app. The only challenge that I was a part of was the Past 7 Day Total Steps with Friends. I was in second place, and first place was ahead by 18,000 steps.

When I looked at the rankings a few things came to mind:

  • I had walked 20,000 steps 3 days in a row
  • I was in 2nd place which was pretty cool
  • It reminded me that I’ve never been 1st place in my life!
  • I couldn’t believe 20,000 steps 3 days in a row didn’t put me in 1st place
  • My friend in 1st place was very active runner and hiker
  • There was a sense of shock that I was even close to such a strong athlete
  • How could I get to 1st place, it was still only 9:30 pm and I had till 12 am to win
  • Being new, I wasn’t sure if there were points for being in 1st place?
  • If I were behind 18,000 steps, that’s equal to 2 hours hiking the Hoover Dam trail
  • Obviously the trail wasn’t an option, next option was going to the gym.

All of those thoughts above happened within a few seconds while I was just getting ready to sit down and watch TV.

Instantly, I jumped up and drove to the gym. I was determined to get to 1st place!

I went to the gym and walked the track, and spent time on the treadmill determined to get 1st in the challenge. Looking back I walked the track until I felt like switching things up, then jumped on the treadmill. Once that got boring, I went back to the track. This continued until I was up to my goal of 18,000 steps. I’m sure it was a little over just to make sure I had enough to pass up the number one spot.

Once I made it back home and synced my steps, I realize that #1 also synced there steps and they had advanced further ahead!

The 18,000 plus steps I had added still fell short of 1st place.

It was decision time.

I could quit or figure out a way to add more steps before midnight. Currently it was 11:15 pm. The problem was my phone was almost dead so I needed to charge it. This eliminated my 1st option of going back to the gym. I was totally committed to doing that, however my fear was I wouldn’t be able to sync my steps if my phone was dead.

I had to thing fast and jumped to plan B. I quickly plugged in my phone, set the alarm 5 minutes before midnight to remind me to sync my steps. Next I moved some furniture around my house to clear a walking path and began walking like a complete lunatic around my house!

While I was walking I kept thinking, what if 1st place has more steps to sync?, what if he’s watching me and going to go for a run to add more steps before midnight!

I became obsessed. I don’t recall how many steps I added walking around my house, however I synced my steps and sure enough it put me in 1st place. I did the math of what it would take to get to 1st place and added more steps just to be safe and it worked. Had I did just enough I would have fell short!

The funny thing that happened next was that once midnight hit all the rankings updated to the new rolling 7 Day Total! I was still in first place, however the massive 7 day total of steps I had accumulated went down.


Lesson:     Once you get clearly focused on your goal and commit to it no matter what, the actions you need to take become very clear. Your mind will find solutions to get you to your goal. It then comes down to a decision, you either do it or you don’t.

Wish you the best!



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