Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Finishing the 400 Mile Fitness Challenge

Back at the end of January, I signed up for the 400 Mile Fitness Challenge, then hosted by the Books, Fitness, and Other Stuff blog. The challenge was to reach 400 miles by the end of this year, either by walking, running, or bike-riding. I've been walking, and I was excited to reach that 400 mile goal this morning. :)

I had only been blogging a month when I decided to sign up for this challenge, and I had doubts about whether I would ever have any success with this blog, or be able to maintain it. The challenge was the first thing that really helped me to start meeting other bloggers, including the very kind and supportive Lynn Marie at Life through Bifocals, and it was also the first time I started to feel a connection to the blogosphere.

As the year went on, I realized that my little runner moving along the exercise ticker represented more than just my exercising goals. She had also come to represent my blog and my writing journey as well.

The blog was in its infancy at the same time she started on the ticker. Now that she's at the finish line, I can't help but look back on how the blog has changed during the journey to 400 miles.

The post that announced my participation in the challenge was my 16th post. This is post number 129. Back in January, I had maybe 5 or 10 followers, most of whom were friends and family. Now, I have 301. Back then, I had never heard of a blogfest or a blog hop, and I had no clue what on earth a blog award was all about. Now, I've been fortunate enough to both give and receive awards, and I've participated in so many fun blogfests and hops, where I've met some amazing blogging friends from all over the world. I've published two articles, been honored to write a guest post for another site, started a second blog, and even overcome my fear of sharing my work publicly.

It's been a good year, and it's safe to say that it all started with this blog. I am going to keep my 400 mile exercise ticker, as it will always be a reminder to me of what you can accomplish when you commit yourself to a goal. And, that you never know what else will come your way while you're on your journey. 

As the ticker has been such a great motivator for me, I've decided to start a new one for my biggest goal, completing my novel Polar Night. I know that 60,000-80,000 words is considered an average word count for a novel, so I'm starting a ticker to track my progress towards 80,000 words. I'm hoping this will be as motivating for me as the exercise ticker was, and I also hope it will be inspiring to track my progress publicly. 

The word count ticker is only at 12,892 words now, and 80,000 looks a long way off. But, I'm confident that I'll get there. And, I'm anxious to find out what new and unexpected joys I'll have as I travel along on the journey.

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? ~ Vincent van Gogh


  1. Congratulations on meeting your goal! That is a lot of miles. Good luck with reaching your word count goal. :)

  2. Well done, Julie! Very inspirational. Hmm, maybe I should use one of those "tickers" - I've got a lot of/too many goals and projects going on. :)

  3. Well Done Julie! I'm so proud of you and yes, it shows you can reach for the stars and make it. I'm so glad you are going to continue to work on goals and to have a ticker to mark those goals. Great job! I sure hope you did something fun to reward yourself?

  4. @Janel, thank you!! And thanks for the good luck wishes, I appreciate them! :)

    @Madeline, thanks!! I highly recommend the tickers, I didn't expect to like using one but I found out I loved it LOL. Thanks so much!

    @Lynn Marie, thank you!! I so appreciate your support. I didn't think about rewarding myself but that is a good point, I need to get on that LOL.

  5. Congratulations on reaching your 400th mile, and your 300th follower. Not sure which is more impressive, but both are worth celebrating.

  6. Wow, congratulations!

    You know after reading that I had to stop and figure my walking average for the year (which I've never really done before). I think I walk close to 700 miles a year! Holy cow. I could've walked to Las Vegas by now. lol.

    And, yep, novels are written one step at a time.

  7. @Susan, thank you!! I am thrilled about both, thanks so much.

    @LG, thanks! LOL, it's funny, but I figured out where I could get to from here in 400 miles. I could get to Gettysburg, St. Louis, Huntsville Alabama, or Milwaukee. I decided I'd pick Milwaukee as I like cheering for the Packers. So I've walked to Milwaukee! :)

  8. I'n very impressed that you reached your 400th mile, and 301 followers in such a short time is quite an acomplishment! You clearly give your all to everything you do, and your sincerity really shines through! Good luck with Polar Night! I have no doubt you will reach your biggest goal yet! Julie

  9. Woot~! I'm so impressed. I wouldn't be able to walk 400 miles in a year, I'm so lazy. -_-'

  10. Wow. I bow to your 400 miles. That's quite an accomplishment.

    It is amazing how things grow if we keep at it and are determined.

    I believe great things are ahead for all of us if we just hang in there and keep going.

  11. Congratulations! It's amazing how a blog hop can help one meet so many others and form such a community. The ticker is a good idea. Now to figure out how to do one for editing (# of pages?). That's the big issue holding me back right now.

  12. @Julie, thank you!! I really appreciate your comments, thanks so much. I am trying to give this my all as I've always held myself back in the past, thanks for the good luck wishes!

    @Jenny, thanks!! I'm usually lazy too so this was a miracle for me LOL.

    @Mary, thanks! I think great things are ahead for all of us too, I sure hope so. That's why I'm so grateful to have found the blogosphere, there's so much support when you have doubts or feel like giving up.

    @Shannon, thanks! I know, the blog hops have definitely been the reason I have been able to keep this blog going, they are such a great way to meet other bloggers. Good luck with the editing, I can't imagine how much trouble I'll have with that once I get that far. I will probably end up in a padded room! :D

  13. I think it's a great idea. A ticker to help you remember to write. And, of course, you'll get there.

  14. Hi Julie .. I think that's amazing - well done .. and 400 miles is no mean distance!! The timely ticker tape is such a good idea ..

    Good luck with completing the Polar Night .. notching up your word count makes sense too ..

    Certainly Van Gogh tried things - not sure his life was happy for it - ours is now though ..

    Enjoy the weekend .. adding to the walking miles, and clocking up a few more words .. cheers Hilary

  15. @Angela, thank you, I hope so! :)

    @Hilary, thanks!! Yeah, it's a little strange as Van Gogh was such a troubled person, but I just love the quote. Thanks so much, I hope you enjoy the weekend too! :)

  16. @BIP, oh, thank you, that's very kind of you to say!

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  18. Good luck with your future novels. I have written the rough draft of a novel, that I edit on slowly, but I need to speed things up if I ever want to get it published one day.

  19. @J, thank you! And good luck with finishing yours, you will get there I'm sure. :)


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