In September I was invited to join a group on facebook of nearly all complete strangers. I was invited by one of my co-volunteers from i2P (whom I haven’t actually even met in person) and was immediately intrigued by the group name: 100 Miles in [Insert Month Here].
The concept of the group is simple: it’s a community of like minded people encouraging each other in the pursuit of health and physical activity. There is nothing complicated, in fact it is so simple that it is sort of hard to understand. People just post their mileage, whether it’s running, walking, cycling, etc. The goal, I guess, is like the title says, to get 100 miles in a specific month, but within the group there are all sorts of different goals. Some are pushing 200 miles, while some are vying for 50. There are experienced ultra runners and those training for their first 5 k’s. Heck, there are even people who don’t race at all, but the overarching attitude is that everyone encourages everyone else to strive for their particular goals.
On a run in September with friends, I was telling them about the group and one exclaimed, “That’s such a great idea! Sometimes I want to post something on facebook about a really great run but feel weird doing it”. This is the place to do it. Every post is flooded with ‘likes’ or encouraging comments. And the crazy thing is that I don’t know anything about these people except that they like running (or some other type of physical activity) and are really good at sharing their positive attitude.
The group founder is a man named Andy Zeigler from Kansas. He started the group as a way to create positive peer pressure to be healthy and get out running, but it has grown into much more than that. Andy was recently featured in the October issue of the i2P newsletter “The Ambassador” and his group has inspired people all over North America.
I love checking everyone’s posts, reading about the struggles and triumphs. Everyone in the group is focused on their own mileage, with only enthusiastic encouragement (no competition!). The positivity really demonstrates the power of positive peer pressure and the types of community that modern social media makes accessible.
If you’d like to check the group out and start your own 100 miles in [Insert Month Here] you can find the facebook group here. I promise, you will be inspired by the collective spirit of the group!