Exersite members as a community also work toward a common distance goal. Currently we are summing our miles/kilometers to bicycle, run, walk and swim Historic Route 66, from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California -- about 2,400 miles/3,871 kilometers. Eventually we'll take on larger goals, like circling the equator and heading for the moon!
It worked for me. Try it. It might work for you!
A few years ago, I knew I had to make some changes in my life. I couldn't quit smoking, felt stressed from my job all the time, had more aches and pains, couldn't sleep well, seemed to have a cold all the time, and my weight just kept creeping up. I was usually tired and irritable, and had trouble enjoying my family and the nice things that a good job and hard work are supposed to bring. I knew from past experience that regular physical activity -- for me it is swimming -- would do wonders. Swims at the Y on an irregular basis would get me started, but something always prevented my making a habit of it. I was too busy at work, or had to travel, or had family responsibilities, or, truth to be told, I just didn't feel like it.
Then one day after one of my occasional swims, I noticed a sign-up sheet for something called the English Channel project. All you had to to was pay your registration fee and record your distance after each swim. Upon reaching a total of 21 miles, you'd get a T-Shirt announcing, "I swam the English Channel at the Y."
Well, that project really grabbed my attention, and I found myself at the Y, first thing in the morning, 4 or 5 times a week. At first it was all I could do to swim a quarter mile with lots of rests, but I kept adding a few more laps each time, and then began eliminating the rests, and by the time I'd earned my T-Shirt, I was swimming a mile at each workout.
Something important, life-changing and almost mystical happened to me on my way through that Channel project -- I found a new identity as a Swimmer. Once the goal was set, it drew me ever onward, and as the miles accumulated, so did my new self-image strengthen. And about the time I finished the project, the benefits really started to kick in. I felt so much better! This reinforced my image as Swimmer even more.
It was only natural to set a new goal -- 100 miles -- and by the time that distance was achieved, my Swimmer identity was fully developed, and this has made all the difference. Because, you see, a Swimmer must swim. Not swimming is not an option.
Please don't think for a minute that it is always easy to jump in that pool, or that I am some kind of super athlete. In fact, I have a funny-looking stroke, and lots of men and women, even older than I, swim faster and farther. But eight years and 1,250+ miles later (I've kept track of the distance in a database that inspired Exersite), stress and irritability are greatly reduced, as are the aches and pains, and I have not had a bad cold in years. I am much more energetic and relaxed. Quitting smoking took a bit longer, but I'm convinced that exercise made it possible. And while I am still not as slim as I would like, a Swimmer's big chest and broad shoulders go a long way toward making the waistline look smaller!
Let Exersite help you
- Set an achievable, concrete distance goal that you will achieve over time, like swimming 10 miles or walking to a particular town or biking across the state.
- Enter your exercise records in Exersite on a regular basis. Don't stop, keep going!
- As you review your records, concentrate on your developing identity as a Bicycler, Runner, Walker or Swimmer.
- Read success stories, like those found in Exersite community.
- Savor your accomplishments as you reach goals, and then set new ones.
- Send your own success stories to firstname.lastname@example.org!
For specific instructions about using Exersite, Click here.
OK, I admit it. I'm also a Nerd! Exersite was created with the Redhat Linux operating system using the MySQL database and PHP scripting. HTML code was written "by hand" using the text editor Emacs, and tested locally with the Apache server.