Anyone want to start a 2022 health challenge?

Have you heard of virtual running/fitness challenges? The basic structure is you sign up for a challenge, set a completion goal, and track the distance you do (or convert other activities to distance, and on completion you get a medal.

I did a couple of Warhorse 100 mile challenges (Journey and Ranger) in 2020, one for each horse. Warhorse donates part of each entry to a different charitable organization for each challenge.

Then I kept seeing ads for Hadrian’s Wall on FB early in 2021. It was 90 miles and I thought it would be motivation to go and ride through the cold, tail end of winter and into the unpleasant mud/ice/rain/snow cycle of early spring. I signed up.

And discovered the Conqueror virtual fitness challenges (Hadrian’s Wall was one of theirs). They have an app where you can add your distances, check out Google street views of the route you are doing (I found a lot of Roman ruins along the wall), and for every 20% completed they plant a tree in partnership with an organization that plants trees in places around the world (I think Haiti post hurricane was one) or pays for plastic to be removed from the environment (another partner organization). There are “postcards” with information about the area and history sent at specific points along the route. There are challenges for routes all over the world and at many different distances.

After I completed Hadrian’s Wall I went on to do two more. I signed up for Warhorse challenges again in the fall (older horse knocked his out in 33 days, while younger horse had some health challenges and is still working on his). Even it’s only a mile or two at a time the distance adds up. My winter challenge is another Conqueror – 500 miles around Scotland’s North Coast - intended to keep me going all winter. I am behind (as far as % distance vs % time completed) but I expected that as my winter distances will be shorter and we’ll make it up in the spring as rides get longer.

You can structure your virtual challenge however you like. Some people count every step, others only intentional exercise, others only a specific type of exercise (walk this one, cycle that one, row yet another, etc). I only count riding, or hand walking trails for mine because the point is to get me out doing something with the horses. :wink: There have definitely been days where the idea of adding to my challenge distance have gotten my bum in the saddle when I might not otherwise have ridden!


For me, it’s going to take a while. Step one will be to regain strength and lung function. In the last2years I have lost 40 lbs. And not in a good way. Most of it is muscle and the rest seems to be (sorry, TMI) the junk I cough up from my lungs. When the weather gets warmer I will start walking outside and take it from there even if I have to drag on oxygen cylinder along with me.

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Am I too late to join the party?

I need to drop 20 lbs, OK really 40 or 50, but I like an attainable goal. Between COVID & foot surgery #5, I’ve gotten waayyy to heavy. Besides the usual health stuff, I have a horse to show and I’d like to not be so darn fat in the pictures. Oh and I have to get myself in shape to hike around warships again. The other very practical reason is I foresee foot surgery #6 in a few years and I am too out of shape to deal with crutches & NWB stuff.

I did eat a salad last week. :laughing: Then I made brownies with the kiddo over the weekend.


I have fallen quite far off the wagon - came home to where I grew up on Jan 1 as my stepfather was dying. He managed to last two more weeks and caring for him at home and watching him suffer has not been easy. I started off well but the last few days especially have taken advantage of all the sweets and treats people have been dropping off at the house. Funeral was today so fresh start tomorrow and time to get back on track.

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Sorry you lost him, glad you could be there at the end to give him comfort.

So sorry. I understand. My mother (who lived with me for the last several years of her life) passed away at the beginning of October. I allowed myself to be derailed by all the food people brought over, which spiraled into an “Oh-it’s-the-holidays” attitude throughout November and December that I, apparently, still have not squashed. And so here I am.

Again, my condolences, @BigMama1.

((( @BigMama1 ))) Virtual hugs and my sympathy.

I didn’t reach my ride goal due to the very cold days we had last week. Only three and one was 15 minutes bareback before the horses’ chiropractor appointment.

I did complete all three DRT workouts, and survived another week with zero potato chips. No pop at work - I did exercise the loop hole and had a burger combo with pop on my day off. That’s an intentional loop hole. As I don’t eat out very often I find it helps me stay on track at work. The occasional fries helps with the zero potato chips goal too.

I didn’t paint anything, but I did get the prep drawing done for a small watercolour.

We had a near record dump of snow today which will make a great base for riding out, but it’s supposed to deep freeze again later this week. With that in mind, for week three I’m going to try for five rides, 3 DRT workouts, and continue the zero potato chips and no pop at work goals. And start that painting!

Hugs, Big Mama. I lost my Dad 3 years ago (wow) next week. It sucks…but it’s better.

I get a gold star; I actually went to the gym today. This is what happens when I don’t go to the barn. Fingers crossed I can walk tomorrow. The broken-on-purpose foot* still gets little cranky sometimes. I haven’t pushed it a lot.

I do better when I don’t go to the barn. Plenty of exercise when I’m there, but I usually ended hitting a drive-thru on the way back…and sometimes on the way down. I love McD’s sausage biscuits.

*It was in April. It’s fine, I just need to ignore it.

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Thanks everyone. I only gained 1 pound in the three weeks I was there for the death and the funeral, so I’m taking that as a win. Back home now and hoping to get in a good routine of healthier eating, more frequent riding, and gentle exercise that I increase slowly enough to not aggravate all my previous injuries and back issues lol


Sorry for your loss :heart:

I’m still doing my yoga/stretches. Can’t say I’m eating much better, though. Baby steps lol

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I’m late checking in this week. I’m dealing with an employee who is just not getting it when it comes to the job. I can’t stand there and direct them all the time. I have gone through all the teaching methods I know and after months there is still no recognition of things that need doing, much less any effort to complete the tasks that are “done”. A non-unionized company would have fired them three times over by now, but… Ugh! I hate the stress of preparing write ups and getting the employee and union rep in a meeting and having to do it on my day off is just…

I realized that probably ought to have gone in the vent thread in OT. :crazy_face:

Anyway, between that and the extreme cold days I didn’t reach my ride goal. I managed to avoid potato chips and pop, but I’m feeling the craving for chips. Stress isn’t helping that. I did do all three DRT workouts so go me!

More cold this week is making riding a bit iffy. I went out Tuesday all set to do something with both horses, turned around after longeing younger horse, and decided there was too much dust in the air for my heavey older horse. When it’s this cold there is no moisture in the air, or footing. I did get him out for a hack on Wednesday, mid day. He was happy to trot and volunteered a canter through the nearly knee deep snow in the back field. :heart_eyes: Soo much fun!!

While I didn’t paint, I did draw a horse and ink it with a brush marker.

So I ate a head of lettuce this week! And I went to the gym. Do I get a gold star? :laughing:

I’ve found over the years that a high protein/high vegetable diet usually does the trick losing weight. I just hate vegetables.

I played around with a quiche type recipe for breakfast/portable food. Could work for barn days. Like anything else, I just have to remember to do it. There’s the rub.

My to-do list for the weekend as usual is huge. I need clean tack tonight & put name tags on it, vacuum (there’s a novel idea!), put away a load of laundry (another novel idea) and do a revision to a plexiglass dashboard for the work cart.

Saturday will be spent freezing my butt off at the barn. Hmmm. How many layers?

Also on the list is to finish the dead body* that’s sitting in one of my wing chairs and finish shingling a doll house. There’s also some design work I need to do. The usual relaxing weekend.

*This is actually part of my job. I’m working on a poor man’s Rescue Randy.

I hit the gym this afternoon and the bad foot is cranky. Not swollen, but not happy. This isn’t the one that was broken, it’s the one that was rebuilt & has been sprained a gazillion times. It’s frustrating & annoying. grrrr.


Weekly check-in!

How did you all do last week?

I saw something in one of my FB groups that redefined how to look at when we “fail” to meet our goals. We’re on a journey to better health, and like everything else in our lives it’s not always going to be a direct route. Sometimes we’ll get detoured, but we’re still going and we can get back on track again.

My riding last week got detoured by weather, by mental health struggle, and by a lame horse with a fat leg (which didn’t help with the mental bit). I kept up with my DRT workouts (all three done), avoided potato chips, and had no pop at work (one can at home on my day off). And I did some painting!

My lame horse’s leg was normal yesterday and I hand walked him for 1.4 km outside in the sun. I also hand walked the other horse, including a slog through some pretty deep snow. I did manage to ride him on Saturday, but didn’t have time before work on Sunday.

For this week I’m making a goal of riding/working younger horse four times, and older horse four times. Weather, work, and lameness permitting. Continue with the chips and pop at work ban, three DRT workouts, and try to cut back on sweets. I’m feeding chip craving with sweets and it’s getting out of hand. :crazy_face:

My work in progress:


Beautiful! And congrats on your health-related achievements!

I’m still just doing yoga and stretching often. Trying to make better dietary choices, but I could definitely do better.

My next goal is to start riding again regularly. I just can’t be bothered after barn chores and I’m tired of the cold, but I’m going to try to get started this weekend.

many hugs to you.

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Weekly check in - still struggling to get on track with eating, but doing better with exercise, even though I’m not managing 2 rides a week now. For the (very big) birthday I just had, I decided to treat myself to a package of one on one training sessions on the Pilates reformer. I think it’s going to really help me recover from my back injury as well as improving my riding.

Trying not to beat myself up about the eating but I know if I want things to change I have to do things differently. Small steps are better than no steps, right?


I started a walking fitness regime two years ago. I average 7-8 miles a day. Sometimes I can get 10 miles in. It has made absolutely no difference in my weight which is frustrating. I limit my caloric intake and try to only eat protein and limit carbs. I am definitely fitter, but I have major body dysmorphia issues. My Apple Watch is like my mother as it keeps track of my daily movement and exercise and reminds me if I am deficient. This is my caloric burn for January.

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I got detoured this week. :frowning:

I started a morning yoga program just before Christmas and managed to keep up with it until this past week. I missed two days. I have reasons, but I also didn’t do any DRT workouts and I didn’t reach my ride goal.

I needed an unexpected chiropractic adjustment and had to go check on my older horse (heaves flare) a couple of mornings before work, and… and…

It’s just a detour. I can pick it up this week. It’s just a detour. So three DRT and five rides. And the chip and pop thing.

On the plus side I didn’t have any potato chips or pop!


How are you all doing? I’m struggling a bit - things fell apart at work and I’m working extra. The stress is getting to me as well. I’m feeling really run down and tired.

On the plus side I allowed one bag of chips after week 6 and I’m holding on my no pop goal. My DRT workouts aren’t as regular as I’d like but I’m still doing some workouts – the ones that help with specific back pain.

Younger horse got his saddle adjustment last Thursday and I’ve ridden twice since! Older horse is still recovering from his bruised splint bone.

Let’s get back on track! You can do it!

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I’m still doing leg workouts and aiming to walk 5,000 steps a day, but my autoimmune disease is killing my butt. I’m starting Humira soon so hopefully I can get back on the health train.

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