Drinking Tea with Martians – Crossing the WYASO finishing line

I can’t believe it’s over. Walk Your AS Off has come to its end. We are now all drinking tea with the Martians – yes we made it to the moon! And what fun we had getting here. But more importantly we managed to reach out to many and raise awareness for Ankylosing Spondylitis.

I’ve had such fun interacting with my new (and old) friends as we stepped together for our collective goal. I almost didn’t take part in this years WYASO, but I’m so glad I did. I managed to take 529,072 steps over the ten weeks. There have been some great moments, but  I’d like to share my own personal positive and negatives of this years WYASO with you all. Of course this is my individual opinion, and many will have different or contrary views to these.

Positives 

  • It gave us a great sense of community spirit!
  • It encouraged me to make extra journeys to try and ‘up’ my steps, helping me to exercise more.
  • Raising awareness for AS is an obvious one, but should not be forgotten from the list!
  • My total step count was bigger than my wife’s!! Clearly winning is important 😉

Negatives 

  • I’ve already moaned about my dodgy pedometer.
  • I found meeting my own goals quite draining. Maybe I pushed myself too too hard mentally.
  • As I was contributing to the campaign in more of a virtual sense,  I found it difficult to get people to listen or publish about the campaign, because I wasn’t raising money, and this wasn’t an ‘official’ charity event.
  • My personal opinion is that I believe we can make more of an impact in a shorter time. The “hit them hard and hit them fast” approach might have an equal, or greater impact. So maybe ten weeks is a little too long?

Having said all that, I’m not sure how we could improve on next years WYASO to be honest. Jenna and co. have done such a great job in developing the campaign as far as they have in just its second year. I have complete faith that they will only improve year on year.

My only suggestion would be to arrange more local walks within our teams. Meeting up with other WYASO walkers during the course of the event, and working together in more of a team effort will impact even more on the community spirit. Being able to support each other is vital for our mental health, and the continual mission of awareness.

Next year I am aiming to to become one of the 1 million steppers. What do you think, can I do it?

WYASO - Finish Line

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