By Jessica Abbey
Students are getting off the couch and teaming up to walk across Texas the week following spring break.
These students are signing up for the Walk Across Texas challenge, an eight-week program designed to help Texas become more regularly active. The challenge takes place from March 24 through May 16.
Van Davis, assistant director for fitness and nutrition education, is working to form teams of faculty and students to represent Baylor in this challenge.
An interest meeting will take place at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday and 12:20 on March 6 in 308 McLane Student Life Center. Students can sign up online at walkacrosstexas.tamu.edu as individuals or teams of up to eight.
Teams can be made up of Baylor students, faculty, staff and their family members. They can also be from out of state, or even from out of the country.
“People that are very competitive will probably want eight,” Davis said. The teams can combine their miles each week together, and the teams with the most overall miles could be eligible to win prizes.
A few years ago, a Baylor team won first place, and each team member received a $100 gift certificate to Academy. Prizes are offered every year and have included HEB giftcards in the past as well.
The miles combined for each team don’t just include walking and running. Any physical activity can be converted into miles using the calculator on the challenge’s website.
Whether it’s intramurals, weight lifting, swimming or even house cleaning, the activity can be tracked.
There will be an event to kick-off the competition at 3:30 p.m. March 20 at the Cub Trail on the third floor of the SLC.
The human resources department at Baylor will sponsor the first 20 teams by providing them with free pedometers and T-shirts. Davis said Richard Amos, the director of Compensation and Benefits, is active in helping set up the sponsorship.
“He’s been very helpful in promoting health and wellness not only with Baylor faculty, but with the community as well,” Davis said.
Deer Park sophomore Mark Figueroa said he is interested in signing up with a team.
“It will challenge me to take more steps,” Figueroa said.
He said he likes the competitive and team aspects to this challenge.
“If you’re working as a team you gain that push from one another,” Figueroa said. He plans on signing up with his four roommates and some other friends.
Davis said this competition could be a wonderful team building activity within Baylor’s academic departments, and the point of this challenge is to get people to be more active.
“God game me legs to walk, and I can take a few extra steps,” Davis said. “The things you are already doing will count for something.”
Each Monday the team captain collects the activity of the team and submits their mileage online.
Davis said this competition comes at an ideal time. She said people are motivated to workout after Christmas break for their New Year’s resolutions and right before spring break, but this challenge allows people to continue staying active after break.
“This might be a way for some to get physical activity without having to think about it,” Davis said.
Davis said individuals who are interested in signing up can email her directly at Van_Davis@baylor.edu. She said she can match those who may not have a full team together.
“Just use the workout you’re already doing and have it equate to friendly competition,” Davis said.