We’re halfway there and still going strong.

In June, I set off – along with a number of other women who work out at Curves – to walk around the world in 80 days of summer. The owner of our Curves facility figured out how many steps it would take to do this, and set that as our collective goal. She put a world map up on the wall, and charts our progress with little colored strips of paper, and notes that list the total number of steps we’ve taken so far.

Although we got off to a slow start – no pun intended – we’ve more than made up for the early deficit, and are pretty much on track to finish our quest on time. In the meantime, we’re having a lot of fun. So far, we’ve made it from Minneapolis to somewhere in China, and will be reaching the Pacific Ocean before too long. We are not adjusting for climbing mountains or walking on water, of course.  We’re just taking a straight path across the map. And we’re all getting healthier in the process.

I’m reminded of an African saying that goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” And that’s exactly what we’re doing. I have to admit that I’m much more motivated to keep going and to add as many steps as I can to each day, knowing that others are depending on me to do my fair share. At the same time, I don’t feel the pressure of knowing I have to accomplish something entirely on my own in order to succeed. There are a lot of us working together on this common goal, and success will be all the sweeter when we reach it together. Not only that, but it’s a thrill to see whenever a new total goes up on the map, and to know we’re all contributing to it.

There are many things in life, of course, that we have to do solo. And we can feel a greater degree of satisfaction and sense of achievement when we accomplish something on our own rather than having to share the glory or the wealth with others. Yet there’s strength – and safety – in numbers, as well as a sense of camaraderie and support that doesn’t exist when we’re alone in our endeavors. A popular adage gives the word “team” as an acronym for “Together Everyone Achieves More.” I think there’s a lot of truth to this.

So I’ll keep on walking. And I’ll continue setting my own personal goals along the way, while contributing to the goals of the group. I’ll report back in when we finish our 80-day journey, or when we arrive back in Minneapolis, whichever comes first. And even if we don’t quite make the entire trip around the world in 80 days, I’m sure those of us taking part will continue walking – and counting – until we get back to our starting point. When that happens, I’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, as well as pride, in myself and in our team.

After that, we can figure out where we want to go next.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on August 4, 2016.
©Betty Liedtke, 2016

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