A Worthy Step Challenge

Posted on: 23 Mar 2017

Good Evening Realbuzzers 😊
It's the Walk Your AS Off Challenge and Team AS BUZZERS I want to publicise this evening. AS Buzzers have some members who have AS and many of these are members of my local NASS group (Woking and Weybridge Branch) as well as our physiotherapists but very importantly, we also have lots of lovely Realbuzzers on the team 😊 
This a campaign that many of you have participated in before and have very kindly agreed to take part in again this year so apologies in advance for repeating a lot of info from last year, but this is something that Sir Bolty and I are passionate about. If you've taken part before, please can you make sure that you can still sign into your WYASO step recording page without any problems. Also feel free to post your targets and achievements on social media as this really helps spread awareness about AS.
Don't be fooled by the 'Walk' part of the challenge title - running, cycling, swimming, gym work, in fact almost anything you can think of converts into a step equivalent value 😊
Now in its sixth year, the WYASO challenge was started by Jennifer Dye Visscher, a lovely and very community-minded American lady, to raise awareness of Ankylosing Spondylitis, Axial Spondyloarthritis (AS) and associated diseases.  In Jennifer's's own words, "Walk Your A.S. Off is a community organization that holds "vitural" walk events. Virtual simply means we walk where we live and work without the need to attend any events. We walk not only for our health but to raise awareness of AS and the family of related diseases. We track our daily steps and set large collective goals. Our walks bring people & teams together from all over the globe, showing that a small group of people can take great strides to change the world." Find out more at http://walkyourasoff.com/
Sir Bolty (Gerry) and myself are co-captains of team AS BUZZERS. We both have AS and that's why we're so passionate about this campaign 😊 AS is a painful incurable autoimmune type of arthritis that mainly affects the spine but also affects other joints and can also affect the eyes, heart and lungs. The disease can lead to the spine becoming fully fused, so exercise is a crucial part of any treatment and that's why Sir Bolty and I never sit still 😊 Despite the incidence of AS being higher than that of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), it's still a disease that few have heard of. It's unusual that the symptoms usually start in the teenage years or early twenties. The typical time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis even in this day and age is still 7 to 10 years and spreading awareness of the condition is crucial to helping this to change. 
The WYASO challenge continues to grow with teams participating all over the world. The collective goal is to walk (or run/cycle/swim/gym) enough steps to reach Mars. Make no mistake, that's a lot of steps and will take many years but it really does help to spread awareness of this debilitating and painful condition. The challenge is free, fun and can get quite competitive! All we have to do is count every step that we take during the challenge, which this year runs from May 1st to May 31st. That is unless you're up for the Million Step Challenge 😀 With all the training and marathons you're all doing, can you log a million steps between April 1st and May 31st? That's roughly 16,400 steps a day - tall order but 6 of the team have already signed up to take it on 😀 
As a team, we're always looking for new members. Remember that friends, family and even your dogs can take part too - it can get extra-competitive when you get the family involved! Every single step really does count in this annual event, so if you want to join our fantastic team and try and help us to lift the virtual trophy again (we aced it in 2016 😊) for achieving the highest step count this year, then grab your Garmin, pedometer, Fitbit or download a step-counting app to your smartphone and get ready to start counting on April or May 1st! You can join the team at http://walkyourasoff.com/teams/as-buzzers/  We also have a team Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1411918675782509/) where you can get all the up to date information and take part in the banter 😊 
Step conversion chart examples can be found through these links  - 
Thank you so much for reading and Sir Bolty and I are really hoping you'll join the team, even if you only log your training and event miles  - we're going to be awesome again this year 😀

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