Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 in Health, Humour, Fun and Games | 44 comments

Head off the Holidays with Kim’s Solstice Step Up Challenge!

Ok people, you know how it goes.  The holiday season approaches. You start getting busy. You go off your workout plan (if you even had a workout plan) and holiday food abounds. You promise yourself you’ll be good but ..

Next thing you know, you’re eating everything in sight.


Pumkin pie .. cranberry bread.. stuffing … Christmas cookies.. candy canes .. ham … eggnog .. wine .. beer … hot rum toddies – you name it, you ate it.  And before you know it…


It’s January and you feel like this.

So let’s skip that and try something new!

Head off the holiday blubber build up with Kim’s Solstice Step Up Challenge (“Solstice” so we can encompass everyone’s winter holiday of choice)

Here’s how it works:

1)      You set exercise goal that you want to meet between now and January 1, 2013.

2)      You pledge actual cash dollars for not meeting that goal.

3)      You choose where you are going to donate your pledge.

4)      You state it all out loud, right here in the comments.

Here are the details:

Your Goal:

It doesn’t matter what kind of workout you do ..

Must be stated in measurable terms of effort, not results.  In other words, give me kilometers, miles, minutes, flights of stairs, trips around the block, times you’ll do your workout video, etc.

Should not be stated in pounds lost or gained. We aren’t playing that game.

Can be any kind of good aerobic work: running, kickboxing, workout tapes, walking, swimming, stair climbing, biking, dancing— or just a combination aerobic exercise.

Has to work for YOU.  Should be achievable with some effort. Not too easy. Not out of reach.


As long as it’s something you can count.
Your Pledge:

Choose a baseline dollar amount you will donate to a cause of your choice whether or not you meet your goal. No reason they shouldn’t get something anyway, right?

Then choose an additional amount you will pay for not meeting your goal. It can be a single all-or-none amount or can depend on how much you miss your goal by.

Just don’t try to do too much at once
Your recipient

Any thing, person, organization you want to give to is fine. Totally up to you.

Feel free to goad others to support your cause.

Saying it outloud

Yes, you have to say it out loud! That’s what makes goals, goals!

So let’s hear it – who’s in??

Family, I’m looking at you. I know there are at least 2 treadmills among you. And a gym membership. Let’s get those machines humming. And no, I don’t care if you are 84 years old or have just had knee surgery, this is a good thing! Fun for the whole family!

CM-ers (and other writers), you know who you are. Before we get to Christmas dinner and it’s too late, are you in? No,  cleaning your garage doesn’t count nor does having the whole thing “worked out in your head.”

Science people, you know darn well we’re all supposed to be exercising. You’ve been harping on it forever. Now let’s see it happen!

Isn’t peer pressure a great thing!

And besides folks, there’s no downside.  There are some awesome causes out there that would be thrilled to see you totally fall off the wagon and send a nice pile o’ money their way. So either way, it’s a win!

Anyone?   Ok fine, I’ll go first.

Goal:  50km on the treadmill, running, jogging, sweating buckets, gasping for air by January 1.

Pledge:  $20 + $2 for every km I don’t complete.

Recipient: I will select a science project to sponsor at  (feel free to lobby me if you have a pet project over there)

There, I said it.  Next?


Run with me!


  1. Oh, seriously? This is not fair. I can’t NOT set a goal or Nora will have my head!!!

    Okay. Goal: I’m going to log twenty miles (yes, it’s in miles… I don’t know how to change the setting) on my writing-treadmill by January 1. That’s only slow-walking exercise, but it’s better than sitting. Plus, it’s writing time.

    Pledge: $20 plus $3 for every mile I’m short by.

    Recipient: the Hospital for Sick Children.

  2. Okay, me, too.
    Walking/jogging. Outdoors, mainly.
    50 kilometres before January 1.
    $20 plus $2 for every kilometre I am short.
    Recipient: Hmm, umm, my garage workshop fund? Yeah, I can hear Erin T. now. Make that Sick Kids, too.

  3. Oh man…pressure…okay, I promise to walk around the block everyday until jan 1. $20.00 to local SPCA and $2.00 everytime I do not walk around the block.

  4. Dang you, Kimberly Gerson, dang you a lot!!! Grr.

    Vigorous walking. Dang you. 10 k a week. $20 to March of Dimes. Not so ‘dang you’ there.
    $2 for every k I miss each week. Dang you. Guilt card is nasty. Grr.

    I’m going to have to be honest, right? Double dang you. That’s a Dang You Dang You. Grr.

    And good causes make me all happy. Challenges, not so much. Grr.

  5. Try putting a plank of scrap wood over the arms of your treadmill, maybe dampen the vibration by sliding some foam pipe insulation tubes over the arms, et voila! Tread-desk. I write on it, at 1 mph, and count my writing in miles rather than words. Almost 550 miles since I set the contraption up, inspired by A.J. Jacobs.

    Gets rid of jitters while writing and keeps me off my butt.

  6. Isn’t this fun! I’m in. 42km by January 1st. I picked 42 because it’s my favorite number and it feels like I am signing up to run a marathon, even if it is 2-3 km at a time 🙂 $20 pledge + $5 for each km I don’t run.

    The donation is for breast cancer since it was the “Run for the Cure” and my kids that got me running again and back into fitness.

  7. Great idea! Count me in, Kim.

    Goal: Three days of resistance training a week. Also, four cardio sessions a week, minimum 20 minutes, either on the treadmill, briskly enjoying the great outdoors or kicking a ball around the soccer field.

    Pledge: Twenty-five dollars, plus an additional toonie for any workout I miss.

    Recipient: The Alzheimer Society

  8. Hey, look at you guys! What a great response! Thank you everyone. Now let’s see who else we can goad into joining us!

  9. Why do you have to put pressure on your mother during the Christmas season? Okay, here’s the goal: I’ll walk 45 miles by doing my video 3-mile fast-paced walk workout 15 times before January 1st.

    Pledge: $25.00 plus $2.00 for every time I miss.

    Recipient:, a Washington DC organization which fights against human trafficking.

  10. Wow Kim, you’re sure making a lot of friends this way, aren’t you! And a few “dang you”s here and there as well. Alright, big sis, once I meet with my PT I will set a walking goal. Right now I am happy just to make it through the house. I’ll get back to you. 🙂

  11. Goal: 20 cardio workouts between now and Jan 1 – cardio workout = 45 min elliptical or 60 min spin class.
    Pledge: $30 to Sick Kids and $5 for every workout I am short.

  12. Woo! Go Nora and Mom! (Wow you guys, look what my Mom is doing .. 45 MILES!) Yes Hilary, you can wait until your PT gives the green light. Although, hopping along on crutches IS cardio …

  13. Okay, okay, okay. It’s the old male competitive thing, but I can’t be out-walked by Kim’s Mom, for goodness sake. I’ll up my goal to 80 km (that’s 50 in miles but sounds way bigger). Same terms. For the record, that’s about 16 45-minute 5 km walks, and nowhere near Nora’s 20 cardio goal. Still. So anybody else out there? I upped my goal, you gonna up yours?

  14. Now you’ve done it Bill. In addition to running 42 km, I will also spend 15 hours in the gym doing intense strength training and will donate an extra $5 for every hour I miss.

  15. Okay, Bill and Barry. I’ll see your 30 kilometres and 15 hours of strength training, and raise you five 8-Minute Ab workouts a week. Anyone else feeling brave?

  16. You people are insane. Insane. I’m just going to eat me a stack of dead rodents and be done with it. Grr. Dang it, Kim Gerson. I will have to spend tomorrow walking to meet the goal this week. Um, does vigorous dancing at the holiday party on Saturday night count?
    I thought not.
    Okay. I’m doing up my running shoes. Dang it. Has it stopped raining yet…

  17. Ruth, YES dancing counts! Go for it girl!

    In my mind, any equivalent energy expenditure is valid. I did StairMaster today instead of running. That counts. Whether you go skiing or take a belly dancing lesson or race Best Buy shoppers to get the last 150″ flat screen tv for $29.95 and personally carry it to your car, it’s all good. Just decide how much credit you think it’s worth and tally it up. There will be no audit.

    Ok Heather, I’m adding the 8 min ab workout .. twice a week. $2 each for missed sessions.

    Sheesh, I think I’ve created a monster here.

  18. Just saying, i read a study that suggested if you think about exercise…. Oh never mind…that never works with this crowd!

  19. At first I thought, I have way too much on my plate for this, but then my belly started looking bigger and bigger.

    Three times a week 30+ min walk/jog or basketball at the gym from now until new years.

    Pledge: $20 plus $3 for each time missed to

  20. Nora, you’re hilarious!

  21. As usual, I’m late to the party. For me: $20 and 4 x 30 min workouts a week with a toonie penalty for any missed. Nothing like the ones being posted, but 4 workouts more then I’m doing now.

  22. Gwynn! :
    more then?
    Surely that will cost you an extra workout or something.

  23. ok, ok, fine, here we go.. You guys are all making me look lame, so I need to do something. I just had knee surgery and have to do damn PT exercises twice a day. For 8 weeks. ugh, I hate these exercises. So I am throwing in $20 to the same organization Kim is. Not because she is my big sister and I have to do what she says. But I have flipped through the web site, and have wanted to do something. A dollar for each time I miss, and no more cause I know I will be missing days like Christmas day, so there’s $2 right there. In addition,I will walk 3 times/week – as far as I can, starting with to the end of the street and back, and only working my way up to around the block. I will do further when I can, and will take the dog when I can, which makes me walk faster. I am not ending til my 8 weeks is up, so I won’t know my total til then. Ugh, time to go do those damn knee exercises.

  24. By the way, my husband says since we all want to give to our charity, we should be adding money in every time we DO the exercise, instead of when we don’t!

  25. Oh, and what has Bill planned for HIS workout and pledge? 🙂 I fear if I have to give every time I DO my exercises (have done 15 miles out of the 45 and plan to do 3 more today) that I might be tempted not to do them! Either way, it’s a fun goal and for good causes AND I can now button my slacks that were too tight at Thanksgivng!!!

  26. Good question! He has been a running machine lately, but let’s see if he’ll put his money where his mouth is.
    I’m lucky I can get in to my jeans, but I don’t think knee exercises and slow hobbles around the block are going to do too much for that. better than nothing tho.

  27. Update:
    Yesterday I completed another 5km walk (3 miles for the metrically challenged) for a total of 16 toward my target of 80. One step at a time.

    Today, another 4 km. (easy day) to bring me to 20/80.

    20 days to go. 12 more 5 km power walks (5 km in 42 minutes or less.)

  28. Alright, Alright. Here goes nothing.

    So I’m going to pull the student card here and take Kim up on her offer:

    “In fact .. here we go. For every “19 and under person” who sets a REAL goal and COMPLETES it, I’ll donate another $2 to What counts as real? Well, let’s put it this way.. if the ancient grandparents, added together, do more than you, you lose. Ha!”

    I’ll let you decide if this is fair then:

    For the (less than a week that I’m still at school) I shall climb up 144 flights of stairs (it’s 4 to my apartment) Note that this is equivalent to the CN tower climb.

    I did the math. On average, going up and down the stairs I do 144 in approximately 2 weeks. Which is about a month’s worth of climbing in the remaining 4ish days I’m here.

    Also. I will swim 200 laps.

    For the remaining almost 3 weeks I’m home:

    4 x 20min core exercises/week
    3 x 45min swim/week

    For every ___ I don’t do, I’ll donate $___ to the same project as Kim at
    Flight – $0.25
    Swim Lap – $0.10
    Exercise – $1.00
    Swim – $2.50

    This challenge ends when I go back to school instead of Jan 1st. 🙂

  29. OK – I suppose I should volunteer something…

    I will lift 50,000 lbs at least 3 feet per lift – (that is 22679.619 KG)

    I will run at least 50 Km (that is 31.0686 miles)

    I will do 100 pull ups

    I will do 1000 push ups

    I will do 1000 sit ups

    If I fail I will simply pay an equal amount to the worst performer other than myself. Also, for the record all lifts involving the dog I will count as double due to squirminess. She is 55 lbs.

  30. ok and I am matching Noah’s 1000 situps, but I still have til the end of Jan to complete my 8 week goals.

  31. I’m matching Noah’s 1000 push-ups 🙂

  32. Ugh. Fine, MOM.

    I will lift 40,000 lbs.

    I will not run, but I will walk the dog for a minimum of 30 minutes per night so she can see the pretty Christmas lights in the neighborhood.

    I will do 101 pull ups.

    I will do 1001 push ups.

    I will do 1001 sit ups.

    I will take pictures of Graybeard doing push ups with a 55lb squirmy dog on his back and post them on my blog for everyone’s amusement.

    When I succeed (positive thinking, people!) I will make a $50 donation to my friend Kristina’s 2nd grade classroom:

  33. You guys are getting me all fired up to do more – keep up the good work! So in addition to 42 Km of running and 15 hours of intense strength training in the gym, I will also do 300 minutes of stretching and core exercises, including at least 30 minutes of the plank, which I am sure is everyone’s favorite. $5 additional donation for every 20 minutes under the 300 minute goal

    So far — Run (17.5 km / 42 km) ; Gym ( 7.5 hrs / 15 hrs) ; Core ( 0 min / 300 min)

  34. Barry, you make me feel … old.
    I am old.
    Guess that stuff I did 30 years ago doesn’t count, eh?

    So far: 16 km out of 80.

    19 days to go.

  35. You people are awesome! I’m so happy to see all this enthusiasm and fun rivalry. It’s so great!

    I did something to my foot, so have shifted my running to the StairMaster (holycrap, my legs!) and the Elliptical, on which my complete lack of coordination shines through. Hint: NEVER try to look at your watch while on this sneaky device. It WILL try to throw you.

    And today did my first Ab and core workout. I fully expect my abs to be crying real tears tomorrow..

    Keep going’re doing great!

  36. Alrighty, well I am a little late. So I will go until school starts again for me (which is Jan, 7) So I have about 3 weeks.

    Also, I am a poor college student. So my donation will be $5 to the homeless man who is a street vender (selling newspaper – down the street from me. While most of the homeless men can be rude and curse at you if you don’t give them money every single time you pass them, this man is nice to everyone and is actually trying to do well.

    In that time I will run 30 miles (about 10 a week). For every mile short I am, I will buy the newspaper from him once (monthly).

    I will also do 400 pushups total and 3 (15 min) ab workouts a week.

  37. Yay Steph! That’s a great goal and a worthy cause. Thanks for joining up! (30 MILES?? whew!)

  38. That’s great Steph! And I like your cause, too. So far I’ve done 27 miles out of the 45 pledged. Will have to take time off for carpal tunnel surgery this week but should make my goal and maybe even more! I have to show Bill Swann that Kim’s mom can catch up with him :)!

  39. Halfway to January 1st and just over halfway to my goal!

    Running (42 km) – 26.5 km completed (63% of goal)
    Strength Training (15 hrs) – 13.5 hrs completed (90% of goal)
    Core Exercises (300 min) – 80 min completed (27% of goal)

    Time to do more core!

  40. 12 days left and 13 workouts clocked so far!

  41. 11 days left.
    So far: 40 km completed out of 80.

    4 a day would do it.

  42. Good to see you’re all here despite the End of The World scheduled for today.

    I’m well ahead on my km but not quite keeping up with my abs/core workout. My Donors Choose classroom will be getting an extra $8 for that … so far.

    I’m going to put up a new blog post on New Years Day where everyone can post their results.

  43. Oops! Missed two days. 9 days left to do 40 km. Hmm. 6 sessions of 7 km each.

  44. Hurry, you’re running out of time!


  1. Weekend Link Roundup | Terra Cognition - [...] you get started gorging on delicious holiday goodies, check out Kim Gerson’s Solstice Step Up Challenge. You pledge a…

Join the conversation .. or start one!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This