Fitness and Perseverance

Running is sexy. That’s what a friend of mine said as he was comparing running to walking as a fitness activity. I understand that feeling.

I used to be a runner and it always felt like I was part of an exclusive club when I did a race. I was never fast, but I always felt like I had just accomplished something big when I crossed the finish line.

Runners are the ones with stickers on the back of their cars. Runners have their own stores.  And, during the Summer Olympics, running is one of the premier events. Oh sure, race walking is also an Olympic sport, but most of just think it looks funny.

I think what my friend was trying to capture by calling running sexy is how much we admire people who do something hard that not everybody else is doing. It feels exclusive.

My wife, Ava, is a runner. My admiration, which is already through the roof, climbs every time she goes out for a long run in bad weather. She ran the Philadelphia Marathon in winds that were gusting to 50mph. That was hard!

Three weeks after breast cancer surgery, Ava ran a half marathon on Cape Cod during a nor’easter. It was cold, it was raining hard, and the winds were approaching tropical storm intensity. That was super hard!

If you’re doing The 30 Day New Year Fitness Challenge and you’re feeling like is “less than” I want to change that perspective.

The Centers for Disease Control certainly doesn’t think walking is “less than”. If you’re putting about 1,000 steps on your Fitbit every ten minutes the CDC considers that a moderate pace. And, they recommend we get between 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. If you take a 30 minute walk every day that’s 210 minutes a week. In other words, you’re nailing the CDC recommendation.

But, that probably didn’t erase the “less than” feeling, did it?

Because at the end of the day nobody is getting a finisher’s medal for taking a 30 minute walk are they? Running IS hard and for most of us, walking IS NOT. Just about anybody can do it. My one year old granddaughter is walking. She’s probably even getting more steps than me.

Here’s the thing.

I don’t think it’s the act of running we find sexy. I think when we see someone running it’s something else that makes us feel “less than”.

What we really admire is the perseverance.

The truly exclusive club is for those who set a goal and don’t give up. Almost 92% of all goals end in failure. I think that’s what we’re really feeling when we see someone running. In that moment we see someone who is doing a hard thing and HASN’T GIVEN UP.

You’re on your way to joining this exclusive club…The Elite 8%…who set a goal AND don’t give up.

Maybe that’s what we really find sexy.


If you don’t have a daily step goal, I want to challenge you to give it a try and create a fitness habit. I call it The 30 Day Fitness Challenge. This free guide will walk you through how to get started. It’s very easy.

If you don’t have a Fitbit I recommend the Fitbit Inspire HR. This is the Fitbit I use to track my 20,000 steps a day. The Inspire HR also tracks your heart rate and sleep so you get an even wider picture of your fitness progress.


(By the way…if you use the links in this article to make a purchase this blog will receive a small commission. It won’t add anything to what you pay, but letting you know is the right thing to do)

This blog is designed to help you embrace walking as a fitness activity. It’s sustainable, flexible, effective, and fun. Every week I post new articles with stories and helpful suggestions to Win at Fitness.

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