Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Avoiding the Fat Tax

     My cousin Jimmy, who I've written about before, had an idea that would help the family stay in shape this year. Make it a competition and put some money on it!  Our family and group of friends are all pretty competitive, to say the least so this is right up our alley.  Here is how it all started. I get an email in December from Jimmy asking my thoughts on joining a group challenge. Twelve workouts each month for 2014.  If you don't workout twelve times in a month then you pay $20 into a pot.  Next month same thing.  Take this all the way through December.  At the end of the year those who didn't pay in any month get to split the pot.

     I got this.  The first thing I do is check my average number of workouts on RunKeeper for 2013. This is a piece of cake. Easy money, I say.  As usual, after a new challenge, the emails begins.  And they start growing, and growing, and growing!  It seems everyone has a lot to say on the subject, and it all adds to the fun. 

     Fast forward to late January.  There are thirteen in the group, the challenge is working great, everyone is chatting and sending encouraging messages through RunKeeper, the group is engaged and improving each day!  After all of this positivity and brotherhood tell me how I am stuck on eight with less than a week to go!  Sadly, that is after I added moving and playing soccer with my son as two of my workouts!  This is horrible. Sister in law has over thirty at this point as she is cranking out two-a-days. I am in dead last and risking paying to the pot in the first month. Let me remind you that if you have to pay any month you do not share in the year-end spoils. Luckily, my schedule opened up and I got thirteen to avoid the "fat tax".  This is an encouraging and tough group.  They are serious about their challenges.  I realize now that without this group I would not have met my goal. 

     Here's the take-away... Give yourself a reason to stay consistent. A good challenge and comraderie work for me like nothing else.  If you are stuck in a rut then give this a try.  It is a lit of fun and there is a universal hated to giving away your money.  It seems that group encouragement has a powerful effect on developing healthy habits. 

     Thanks to the dozen that kept me moving last month.  It has been fun and you helped me get out of bed for those early morning runs.

Happy running y'all!

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