Several members of the Connecticut Conference Staff recently completed a 9-week health challenge. The program Lean On Me: Climbing To Better Health challenged staff to get up from their desks during the work day and climb up and down several flights of stairs.
“We sit too much,” said the challenge organizer Drew Page, News & Media Editor for the Conference. “In our work, we are tethered to computers, phone conversations, and car rides. We need to get up and move from time to time to stay healthy.” Page spends his evenings and weekends running a non-profit fencing academy in Willimantic where he encourages youth and adults to choose an active lifestyle by teaching them the life-long sport of fencing.
The Lean On Me challenge asked participants to set goals for total steps climbed by naming a mountain they wished to climb over a 45-day period. The total number of stairs they climbed was determined by which mountain they choose.
Three members of the staff achieved the goal of climbing Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world at 29,029 feet. Rev. Kent Siladi led all climbers with a total of 30,825 feet which was more than 52,000 steps. Siladi posted the highest single day total climbing 1750 steps on the last day of the challenge. Yolanda Montano and Charlie Kuchenbrod surpassed the Mt. Everest height.
“I love having competitors to keep me going, and the conversation we had as we did our steps,” said Montano after the challenge was finished. “I always had in my mind a quote I always tell my kids, ‘What you do today can improve all your tomorrows’.”
The climbing challenge ended on March 23, but the staff has already begun preparations for a second health challenge which starts next week. Lean On Me: 40 Days in the Wilderness challenges them to commit to a minimum of 15 minutes doing some exercise outdoors for 40 days.