Disclaimer: this article is not sponsored. I paid for the virtual challenges myself and I wanted to share my experience with you. All opinions posted on My Passion Projects are my own.
In 2021 I’m walking the (equivalent of) the lengt of the United Kingdom. I’m walking the 1744.2 kilometers it takes to walk from Lands End to John O’Groats. But I’m doing it by – mostly – walking around my own town in the Netherlands. How? With the help of the virtual challenges from The Conqueror Events. Which have inspired me to get off the couch and start moving. Sometimes we can use a little help when trying to change our lifestyles for the better and it can be a challenge in and of itself to find out what works for you. So let me tell you about these virtual challenges so you can decide whether or not you want to try them for yourself.
Virtual challenges from The Conqueror Events
And when I say ‘get off the couch’ I literally mean that. 2020 Has turned me into a couch potato. I’m not proud to tell you I averaged just 1,5 km a day in the last year. Then on Black Friday, I stumbled across an ad for The Conqueror Events which are virtual challenges of popular routes and trails like Camino de Santiago, Ring Road, Mt. Everest, Hadrian’s Wall, the Appalachian Trail and Route 66. I started with the Mt. Fuji challenge to do 74 km, which I completed in December. You connect the challenge to The Conqueror app and either enter your kilometers/miles (whichever one you prefer) either manually or by linking your tracking device like a Fitbit or your phone (Apple Health for example). Upon completing the challenge, they will send you a gorgeous medal in the mail.
Some much needed motivation
I didn’t expect it to motivate me as much as it did. It’s safe to say that these challenges are addictive in the best kind of way. Since completing the Mt. Fuji challenge, I started LEJOG (the length of the UK) to walk, Ring Road (Iceland) to cycle on my stationary bike and the English Channel to swim when the pools reopen. In 2021 I will do my own triathlon. Well, sorta… In total, I’m hoping to do 3110,7 kilometres this year (1744,2 from LEJOG + 1332,5 from Ring Road + 34 from the English Channel).
I loved seeing my progress every day and looking at where I was on the digital map with street view. You also get digital postcards whenever you hit a landmark on your route and they will plant a tree for every 20% you complete. So in total, every completed challenge will plant five actual trees. Which I think is amazing and extra motivating! Of course, I’d be lying if the beautiful medals weren’t also a big motivation. They are calling to the collector in me. But seeing my progress in the app has really worked for me.
The benefits of walking
Next to the obvious benefits of walking for your physical health, like losing or maintaining weight and decreasing your risk for various diseases, it also improves your mood. Because of these challenges, I have discovered that I love walking. Because it brings me joy and keeps me active, but mostly because it brings me relaxation and peace of mind. This year has been a bit challenging for my mental health and walking has helped me a great deal when it comes to clearing my mind and unwinding, even if it’s just for a little bit. In fact, I love walking so much that I’m going to start hiking this year. More on that in the future. Stay tuned.
Progress so far with my virtual challenges
This month, so far (it’s the 21st of January today), I have done 177 kilometers of walking and cycling on my stationary bike. While that still might not be a lot to some, I am very proud of that progress and I am already starting to see differences in all aspects of my life: I make healthier choices, my body is starting to look different, I am more motivated in all areas of my life like house chores and work and I’m feeling better about myself.
So, in conclusion, if you’re looking for something to motivate you to become more active, maybe a virtual challenge like these will also help you. The challenges start at €28,95 and you can get a multiple challenge bundle to get a little discount. They also have a really awesome and active Facebook group, which is one of the most supportive groups I’ve ever been in.