Residents and staff members walk combined 1,400 miles during week-long walk-a-thon

Independent living resident Norma Schafer and CNA Gilda Abraham walked a combined 244,515 steps — more than 115 miles — in just one week to win Concordia Life Plan Community’s first-ever walk-a-thon. The partner team was one of 30 independent living resident and staff member teams to participate in the week-long Concordia Cup competition lasting April 25 – May 2.

Even though participants were not required to walk with their partners, many opted to hold each other accountable by sticking to a schedule. Gilda, the staff member on the first-place team, would meet up with Norma every evening after bingo to talk and walk together through the building.

While strengthening connections between residents and staff members was a great benefit of the walk-a-thon, the main goal was encouraging an active lifestyle among residents and staff members. To that end, Norma and Gilda each received a Fitbit to encourage their new habit of counting steps and making excuses to walk more, both indoors and outdoors.

Each morning, the step count totals were updated and teams were able to track their progress and compare with their fellow residents and staff members to measure their progress against the competition. Together, the 60 participants covered quite a bit of ground — more than 3 million steps or 1,400 miles!

Second-place team, Lifestyles Coordinator Megan Carter and resident Bill Groh were not far behind with a combined 212,930 steps or a little more than 100 miles in one week.

“Bill pushed me!” Carter said. “Every time he saw me sitting down or working at my desk he told me to get back on my feet and keep walking.”

She said Bill would start the day strong by getting three miles in every morning before breakfast by walking to his son’s house, reading the newspaper, and heading back to campus. Luckily, the team will have an opportunity to come back next year and clinch the victory.

“This will definitely not be our last Concordia Cup!” Carter said. “It’s a fun, easy way for all of us to get active. We’ll be back next year!”