Walk 1,000 miles in your shoes

On July 1, 2018 a small group of library employees embarked on an ambitious goal:  traverse (run, hike, walk, bike, swim) 1,000 miles in one year. It sounds unattainable, but broken down into small chunks, it’s only 2.74 miles per day. For the last two years, Heather Ross has participated in a group of fellow Syracuse University alums where a group leader maintained a weekly log of miles and posted the results weekly. She didn’t think she could do it, so she watched from the shadows for a year, and then in January of 2018 she jumped in with two sneaker-clad feet and started walking. In October 2018, she surpassed her 1,000th mile with the Syracuse group.

1000 miles: Weekly wrap-up image

Things were going so well that Heather decided to start a 1,000 mile group here in the University Libraries. She talked with a small group of people in the Libraries in late June and we started tracking in July 2018. We use Slack to post our mileage and every week the mileage keeper posts pretty charts that show progress and help with encouragement! Heather’s life got crazy in January and Andrew Gearhart took over as mileage keeper and cheer captain. However, he couldn’t do it alone, as there was a lot of encouragement flying on the channel between the members of the group. As of May 21, 12 of our members have walked 1,000 miles with three more in the running (no pun intended).  Cumulatively, our group has covered over 20,000 miles!

We have people of all sorts of abilities. Heather’s not a runner but loves to walk. Rachel runs 1/2 marathons. Albert walks EVERYWHERE!  To others, each step is a precious thing to be celebrated. Some weeks are good weeks and some weeks aren’t.  It’s not a race to see who gets to 1,000 miles the fastest.  It’s accountability and encouragement from and for the group. While most of us have a goal of 1,000 miles, many have their own personal goals.  It’s really about the long-term effort and in the end, we did it together.

Want to join us in our next epic trek?  Email Heather Ross (hdr10@psu.edu or @heather_ross on Slack) or Andrew Gearhart (andrew@psu.edu or @AndrewGearhart on Slack).  You can also join our Slack channel #1000-miles.

We count Monday through Sunday so our first day (for 2019-2020) will be Monday, July 1.  On Monday, July 8, you post your mileage in the Slack channel.  It helps to have a fitness tracker of some sort (Fitbit, Garmin, Apple/Android watch), but many smartphones can also be configured to work as a pedometer. Accuracy of pedometers varies significantly, but remember, it’s about the effort … not the distance!

2018-19 Group members:
Albert Rozo
Ally Laird
Andrew Gearhart
Ann Thompson
Anne Behler
Ashoo Kumar
Diane Sawyer
Ellysa Cahoy
Emily Rimland
Heather Ross
Paul Burnell
Rachel White
Sandy Confer
Sandy Morgart
Stephanie Gates
Theresa Tarves