Photo Credit: Brooke Ziegler Photography
Nicole W., 29, was just looking for a little fitness motivation when she joined a friend’s Fitbit Workweek Hustle group. She got plenty of motivation—but guess what else she found? The love of her life, Anthony F.
As soon as a friend added Anthony to the challenge crew, Nicole was intrigued: Who was this guy who waltzed into her challenge group and immediately started lapping everyone? “He crushed that first week,” says Nicole, whose inner competitor couldn’t sit back and let the new guy win. “The next week I found myself really taking the long way to the bathroom and walking the building floors during lunch rather than sitting at my desk surfing the web. Every. Step. Counted.” Anthony prevailed again and when Nicole reached out with a congrats, he private messaged her and the flirty banter began. “Somehow from miles away—he was in Pennsylvania, I was in Virginia at the time—I already knew that this guy was going to be someone very special in my life,” says Nicole.
Fast forward two years, and the two of them have since gotten engaged and moved to San Diego where they’ve taken up hiking and continue to (lovingly) battle with coworkers and family members in weekly challenges. (And of course they had to get matching black Fitbit trackers—hers is the Charge HR, his is the Charge 2.) “Before Nicole, I liked hiking, but I didn’t do it very often,” says Anthony. “It was an easy interest to tell girls that you had until one of them like Nicole calls you on it and you find yourself doing 20 miles up and down mountains in one day! Now I appreciate a good trail and the beauty surrounding us when we’re out there.”
The two of them recently conquered the 20-mile Mission Trails 5-Peak Challenge together (and Nicole earned her first badge for getting 45,000 steps in one day!). Talk about fit. As if meeting the love of her life wasn’t enough of a reward, Nicole and Anthony have also lost a combined 50 pounds thanks to diet tweaks, weekend hikes, and ongoing work week challenges. “We really make time to be active,” she says. “It took a while to learn how to make it happen, but we prioritize our health together and make it part of our relationship.”
Nicole’s Advice for Others
Get Competitive One of the reasons workweek challenges were so motivating for Nicole and Anthony is that they really, truly wanted to win! So start up a challenge with friends, family members or coworkers, and get in it to win it. The two of them still duke it out to this day with weekend warrior challenges. “We enjoy the fun of trying to outstep each other,” she says. “Anthony is an avid surfer on the weekends—he swears that he should be destroying me in the weekend challenges because of all of the swimming.”
Remember That Every Step Really Does Count “I used to take 15 minutes to play on my phone during breaks in the work day, but now I get up and move instead,” says Nicole. “I even have a standing meeting notice on my calendar to walk with a fellow challenger/coworker at lunch to try and gain a lead on our steps for the week.”
Walk Somewhere You’d Normally Drive Think of all the miles you drive in an average week—why not walk some of them instead? “The majority of our weekend steps come from long hikes,” says Nicole. “But we’ve been known to leave our car at home and walk the 6 miles from our apartment to downtown San Diego during the week.” Boom—there’s an extra 12,000 extra steps!
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This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.