By: Madeline Reynolds, SHINE Associate
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the U.S. in early March, the sudden closure of offices and other business caused many, including Max Lanyi, to completely restructure their daily routines. “When the gyms went away, I didn’t know what to do.” said Lanyi.
As a fitness enthusiast, Lanyi took his daily workouts outside, replacing his gym time with long walks, runs, and bikes. As the weeks went by, Lanyi thought about his colleagues in the SHINE program, a rotational program within Deloitte’s marketing practice, who were experiencing similar disrupted routines.
“I wanted a way for us to stay connected as a community, especially with my colleagues in other offices,” said Lanyi.
As a result, Lanyi set up a two-week long step-tracking challenge for both current SHINE associates and alumnus of the program. A total of 36 people signed up. The participants split into six teams, with the collective goal of accumulating as many steps as possible.
“My goal was to help people stay active and have something to turn to during these difficult times,” said Lanyi. “The pandemic affected people’s routines and this was something that people could have in their control.”
During the challenge, Lanyi received countless messages of positivity and gratitude from his colleagues. One associate shared that as a former runner who dropped the sport after graduating college, the challenge inspired her to pick up running again.
Other participants in the competition described the experience as a positive motivator to keep active despite the difficult circumstances. “It really incentivized me to take meetings walking and to just get up more during the day,” said a participant.
Collectively, the participants accumulated over 5,267,242 combined steps, or 2,634 miles. The team walked the equivalent of over 100 marathons and were just shy of walking the length of the U.S., which is 2,680 miles wide.
“I had no idea how much we could actually accomplish,” said Lanyi. “A lot of this came from the kindness and positivity of the SHINE community.”
In addition to the step challenge, the SHINE team has also organized several other community events to stay connected, including a weekly meditation session, a social justice book club, and various virtual game nights.