Are you ever too old to get medals for walking?!

Hey folks

Well, I’m going to answer this question straightaway with a huge resounding “No”!!! You see, I’m discovering that there’s an international community of thousands of people working towards challenges through walking, running, jogging, swimming, cycling and much more, and I’d love to tell you about this.

How did you discover medals, Erika?

Back in February when I weighed 329 lbs, I couldn’t walk more than 100 metres without being puffed out. Part way into this weight loss journey, I pushed myself to do Couch to 5K and in fact completed nearly all of it whilst morbidly obese. But I wanted something to celebrate my achievement, something tangible and I discovered this beauty below. But I’ve now also discovered there are LOTS more medals out there!

What medals are there?

So, yes, there are medals for real events like running marathons, etc. However, I’m discovering virtual events where you use your phone or tracking device to progress through predetermined routes, such as walking the Inca Trail in Peru, walking Route 66, walking 160 km to Mount Everest base camp, etc. Once you’ve achieved the distance, you submit your evidence and, whoop, a shiny medal drops through your letter box. My favourite websites are My Virtual Mission (I LOVE their medals), Virtual Racing UK and Ace-Races UK. But a word of warning…they’re addictive!

How does working towards a medal help?

For me, I love a target. Something to aim for. Something I can achieve. I’m not just exercising for the sake for it and some websites/apps actually show you how far you are along the route, sending you virtual postcards, etc. Like on My Virtual Mission, I can see where I am on the map but there’s also a brilliantly supportive Facebook group. Tonight, I’ll be covering some more distance as I work towards my next medal. It’s much cheaper than going to a gym!

Which ones have you got to far and which ones are you planning?

So far, I’ve got medals for Couch to 5K, 50 miles of running in July, 100 miles of running in August, a 31 day challenge through August where I was set daily fitness challenges, the width of the English Channel (34 km which is below), the Inca Trail (42 km) and Hadrian’s Wall (165 km). I also got a medal for walking 5km along a local route that I’d been too unfit to even try. When I accomplished it, I deliriously jumped onto the app and claimed the medal straightaway!

I’m currently working towards a 290 km New Zealand-based walk and, separately, a 160 km Mount Everest one. In under 5 weeks, I’ll be running the official 2020 Virtual London Marathon that will result in a medal (hopefully!)….and so many more.

This is from My Virtual Mission – jolly heavy!

Once I have quite a collection, I’ll share lots of photos! Some medals are coming from the US so it’ll take a bit of time but who doesn’t like something shiny! I might even put a ‘wall medal holder’ on my birthday present list. Get me, I love working out!

Love Erika xx

Week 15 weigh-in: I’ve discovered more walking challenges :)

Hey folks

The scales say

So, let me first share the results of the weigh-in this morning. I’ve lost 1 lb. Yes, it’s the lowest amount so far despite working out and creating a large calorie deficit every single day. And I could feel a bit disappointed but I don’t….for a few reasons:

  • First, a pound is still movement in the right direction!
  • Second, this has been the week where my body has felt as if it’s really starting to shape up. Just little things like my thighs, my arms, my shoulders, my bottom! Progress isn’t just about that figure on the scales.
  • Third, just after the weigh-in, it turns out that I was due my period! As many women will know, there are times of the month where our body weight will fluctuate and the past week has been a bit weird on the scales….until I suddenly lost that pound yesterday morning. As someone whose periods completed stopped for years due to my BMI being 50, it’s a good thing they’ve restarted.
  • Fourth, I was actually close to losing 2 lbs and I did contemplate weighing myself again after a few hours of not drinking to lose that extra 1/4 lb but…..no!! Erika, just no!! I’m going to count that extra little bit towards next week’s weigh in.

More walking challenges?

Yes, I’ve got a new addiction! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I achieved the Couch to 5K medal and I’ve started doing other challenges like walking 500 miles between now and the end of the year. There’s a whole community out there of people working towards these virtual challenges and being sent decorative medals. Here’s one that came the other day from my recent uphill 6K walk that I’ve wanted to do for over 10 years and never thought I’d actually achieve it.

Anyway, I’ve come across My Virtual Mission which is truly international and you can sign up for virtual distance challenges, whether you want to walk, run, cycle or swim. On that website, I’m currently doing a 21 mile walk which is the equivalent of walking across the English Channel (that’s the strait between the UK and France) and then I’m going to walk 874 miles as part of the Land’s End to John O’Groats challenge (that’s the equivalent to walking the longest mainland distance in the UK). But there are lots of others like the Inca Trail, Route 66, etc. so do check it out. There’s also a wonderfully supportive group on Facebook. Yes, I could just walk lots but, for me, I love having something to aim for.

Probably just one other blog coming this week as I’ve got quite a bit on but hope you’re all well. Do let me know if you’ve completed any distance challenges or what your views on them are…..I’d love to hear

Love Erika xx

Total recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
53 lbs97 lbs:255 lbs38.8
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging