Members of Weyauwega-Fremont School District’s staff walked close to 10,000 miles during January.
They did so as part of a district-wide wellness challenge called “Race Across the U.S.A.”
Teams of five challenged each other to see how far they traveled each week. In all, 15 teams participated in the challenge.
Team members kept track of their steps and calculated the miles.
Julie Hendricks, Tom Chase, Tracy Butler, Wendy Hayes and Mary Jo Nelson made up the winning team.
Over the course of that month, they walked a total of 1,160.7 miles.
The number of miles walked by all who participated in the challenge totaled 9,751.05.
Members of the winning team wore pedometers each day.
Whether walking on a treadmill in the fitness room at the middle school or shoveling snow, they found ways to boost the number of miles they walked each day.
Hayes had a discussion with her second-grade students about what a pedometer is and about being physicall fit, a timely topic with the students participating in Jump Rope For Heart on Friday, Feb. 13.
“Team things always work better,” Hendricks said. “We did it this long, because that is how long it takes to become a habit.”
During the last week of the challenge, Chase shot for logging 100 miles.
Both he and Hendricks walked more than 109 miles each during that last week.
“Julie and the Wellness Committee have done such a great job,” said Chase, who dropped close to 35 pounds six to seven years ago and has successfully kept the weight off.
The fitness room may be used by school district employees and retirees, as well as by their spouses.
Hendricks said the district added the fitness room when it decided to self fund its insurance a number of years ago.
“Everyone who works for the district can use it,” she said. “It’s used.”
In fact, on one Friday night during the recent challenge, four out of their five members were in the room.
“Team things are always fun. You’re always accountable to each other,” Hendricks said.
The Wellness Committee meets monthly, always searching for ways to incorporate team and individual challenges among the district’s staff.
“We try to promote the room and usage, but people can do other things, too,” Hayes said.
Some people run outside, while others swim.
For “Race Across the U.S.A.,” they calculated mileage for various activities.
Hendricks said that after the first week of the challenge, their team was behind by less than a mile.
“Tom and I are extremely competitive,” she said.
The team which came in second place walked a total of 925.7 miles.
As a staff, those who participated walked from Augusta in Maine to Los Angeles a total of three times, ending up near Lenwood in California.