Staff Blogger: Josh Hilgenberg, Journalism/Creative Writer Intern

Stary, ShirleyShirley Stary, Senior Vice President of Programming here at Lakeside, is now taking her calls on the third floor of the Fountain Inn. Why? She’s working towards completing the 1 Million Steps Challenge.

Fulfilling her daily goal of more than 11,000 steps isn’t easy. It takes little actions like walking while on a business call or brushing her teeth and marching to get the last few steps of the day.

We sat down with Shirley, and she shared her advice for the 1 Million Steps Challenge.

What’s your trick to getting in lots of steps during the day?
I have a FitBit tracker, and I’m very conscious about how many steps I take. Right now, I’m a little obsessed (in a good way) about knowing where my total for the day stands. I look at the number a lot! If I don’t have enough steps in by the end of the day, I walk around the house while doing chores. I’ve learned I can walk and fold laundry at the same time. I also march in place when using the copier at work. I may look goofy, but it helps get the steps in!

Where’s your favorite place to walk or run?
Outside with a friend when the weather is nice – our conversations makes the time go by quickly. Lately, I have been walking on the treadmill while watching a good movie or favorite TV show.

What’s your favorite healthy snack or healthy meal?
Homemade vegetable beef soup. For a low fat chocolate snack option, I love Peppermint Patties.

What’s your biggest challenge in getting steps during the day?
So much of my work is sitting at my desk or in a meeting, so I have to remember to get up and move around. I’m trying to get at least a short walk in everyday at lunch.

Do you like to walk in the morning or night?
I’m NOT a morning person, does that answer the question? (She says while laughing.)

If other people are trying the 1 Million Steps Challenge, what are a couple of tricks to getting in more steps during a busy day?
One trick I’ve been trying is to walk while on a phone conversation or conference call when I don’t have to take notes. I walk the third floor hallway of the Fountain Inn a lot if the rooms are empty – that way I don’t bother anyone in the office.

Do you have a favorite exercise song?
I don’t have a favorite work out song, but one of my favorite TV shows to walk to is “Jeopardy!” I feel healthy and smart (assuming I get the correct answers)!

Since she started the challenge on January 18, Shirley has noticed that she’s less out of breath, experiencing less aches and pains, and in general, is a more physically fit person. The thing she talks about most when it comes to the challenge, though, is the relationships it has built.

Working towards the same goal with all of her co-workers gives them common ground to get to know one another outside of simply working together. Shirley can interact and connect with others more easily than ever. Reflecting back, she says that it creates a bond within the staff. They empathize, joke around and constantly support each other.

The relationship she feels best about after starting the challenge, however, is with her husband, who’s working towards the same goal. Similarly to how it helps build relationships with co-workers, the challenge creates a shared goal between the two. It “levels the playing field” for the two of them.

She’s about a third of the way there and still going strong! Good luck, Shirley!