History of the 100 Day Challenge

This all started with a gesture of kindness. While working an event in Key West, Florida in January of 2010 I managed to throw my back out. It was so bad that I ended up in two different emergency rooms trying to get some relief.

Months went by and the pain, while lessened, never truly went away. I could walk, some, but couldn’t run at all. It was the first time in nearly 20 years of running that I had an injury that prevented me from running.

In early May of 2010 I dislocated the cuboid  joint in my foot. I didn’t realize what I had done until September of 2010. Between the back pain and the dislocated joint my running fell off to zero and my walking wasn’t much better.

I needed to do something to get motivated. I knew that by making a public declaration I would be more inclined to stick with it so I challenged myself, and the folks who follow me on Facebook [Twitter wasn’t a factor then] to move intentionally for 30 minutes for the first 100 days of 2011. In no time thousands of people all over the world were taking the challenge.

One thing I learned right away was that I couldn’t run every day. I also learned that with my travel schedule it was going to be much easier to walk than run. So, my activity of choice became walking. And much to my surprise I discovered I really liked to walk.

I walked in the cities where I was working, I walked in the woods behind my house, I hiked with a backpack, I snowshoed, and more. I was moving, intentionally, at least 30 minutes every day. And so were lots of others.

On day 101 I woke up and knew what I had to do. I went for a walk. I walked the day after that and every day for the entire year. 365 days. No fudging. No excuses. No kidding.

Like so many others, circumstances intervened and I wasn’t able to complete another year in 2012. I did, however, train for and walk the VA Beach 1/2 marathon; the first race of that distance in which I had participated for over 5 years.

It can be done. I know it can because I’ve done it twice. And I’m going to do it again. I invite you to join me.


  • Marie Johns says:

    In 2006 I found “the courage to start” running. I ran for for 5 years and enjoyed it tremendously. At 65 I decided to have a rather large callous on my foot taken care of. Long story short, that surgery resulted in finding a severely infected bone chip not related to running. It has been 5 years in treatment and I am still having problems. In the meantime, my husband of 48 years passed away last June. I lost all desire to run and even exercise. I lost my appetite, and even stopped cooking. It was just no fun anymore. So, John, I am going to use this 100 Day Challenge to try to get moving again. I cannot run, walking is even painful. I will be challenged to “move” somehow each day. Perhaps this is what I need to get the “courage to start” again. Thank you for again being the shove behind attempt. Regards to Jenny.

  • Carl says:

    Actually, the 100 Day Challenge started on DRS in 2008. A Dead Runner from Canada proposed it because her husband and his group had been doing something something similar for a few years. The next year we started recording our accomplishments on Google Drive spreadsheets just for fun and motivation. This year is spreadsheet #8.

  • Tony says:

    Hi John it’s Tony From Australia I just found out this from Facebook Today
    I go ahead join up right now I Just want to start this from Today 12/4 or Tomorrow 13/4
    This 100 walking Challenge starts any time of the year or it’s too late to join in
    I love that Shoe colour it in each day
    It’s Really good idea

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