From Couch Potato to Competitor

Member Highlight

Name: Jeremy Sapp
Heaviest Weight: 354 lbs
Current Weight: 200 lbs
Weight Loss: 154 lbs

Three years ago, Jeremy Sapp weighed 354 lbs and was a couch potato. Today he weighs 200 lbs and ran 13.1 miles in Austin’s 3M Half Marathon in only 1 hour and 48 minutes.

The transformation started two years ago when Jeremy’s wife mentioned a wellness program the company was starting – WalkingSpree’s online pedometer program.

Jeremy recalls, “We said, ‘Let’s see how this works and what happens.’ We got our pedometers, started slowly and were very surprised at how motivating it was to see how people in the contests were doing when we uploaded with our pedometers. It was surprising to me to see how this competitive nature came out.”

They started off slowly, walking around the neighborhood in the evenings. “It was fun. It was good quality time together.”

Then Jeremy started walking around on his lunch hour. And doing more walking on the weekends, “I quickly found out how important good shoes were!”

Six months ago he decided to run the half-marathon.

“I started by jogging and picking up pace with walking. Then running a couple of miles on my long walks and just progressed to running further and further. And then I’d start running 10 to 12 miles each week either when I was on the treadmill or out on the streets.”

The result? Five thousand and five hundred people ran the marathon. The fastest runner came in at one hour and nine minutes. Jeremy finished in the top 20%, coming in at one hour and 48 minutes.

Of course, he couldn’t have done it without the support of his family and friends.

“I absolutely have a supportive wife. And we’re about to have one more in the family. My wife is going to have a baby. March 1st is our due date…. She’s getting big, like she’s supposed to. She’s walking too!”

Jeremy dreams of walking with the baby tucked snugly in the new jogging stroller his father has purchased. And he also dreams that one day the baby will cheer him on at yet another finish line.

“I think that someday I’d like to do a marathon. I haven’t set my mind on it yet but it’s something to contemplate. Actually, we were sitting around at breakfast and we were talking about how it would be cool to do the Ironman. That would be a lifetime achievement goal to someday be able to do that. Maybe someday the stars will align and I’ll be in Hawaii with my wife and child and family and doing the Ironman.

We want your success stories.

Success is measured by many factors. Whether it’s weight loss, or improving your blood pressure, managing your diabetes or simply reaching 10,000 steps for the first time, we want to hear about it.

If you feel you or someone you know should be included in a member highlight, please contact us at

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October 2009 Step Challenge

One step, two steps, three steps, 10,000 steps


Velcome my stepping friend!

Sound familiar?;)

It’s time again for the Count Stepalot Halloween Challenge! A perfect way to take more steps and have fun at the same time. And if you’re likely dipping into the Halloween goodies, a great way to burn off some calories too. To help motivate you to take more steps this Halloween, whether it’s out walking with your kids from house to house, dancing up a storm at a Halloween party or traipsing to the door handing out treats, we’re offering you this challenge.


1. Send us a photo or a video of you wearing or holding your pedometer with some sort of Halloween theme in the picture and you’re eligible to win a copy of the 10,000 steps to your Optimal Weight Book. You can be dressed up, or you can be in front of a Halloween decorated yard as long as it’s Halloween theme related. The winning photo or video will be posted on the WalkingSpree blog. You must have your pedometer showing in the photo or video or you won’t be eligible for the prize.

2. Now this year to take the challenge a bit further, we’re adding step average minimums. From October 17th until October 31st, you must have a 6000 step average to qualify. To make this fun for you, we’re adding a challenge tracker to your home page.  Those of you in the retail program will also have a virtual walk for the two week duration. The only way to complete the walk in time is to maintain the average. You’ll be able to see your path along the map route and zoom in and see landmarks if you choose too!

Last year’s winning entry was by Pete Manczyk as “Joe the Human Pedometer”. Check out some of the creative entries from  last year’s Count Stepalot Challenge.

All entries must be in by noon EST. Wednesday, Nov. 4th.

Send your entry to

Good luck and have fun!

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MoveSmart! Fall Fitness Commute

The end of summer is fast approaching, with its return to the routines of work and school. Most students are back in class, and many of us are returning to our regular work and school commutes.

This could be the time to make a change that will improve your health, help the environment and even save you money: switching to active commuting. That means getting to work or school by walking, cycling, running, or rollerblading — and reducing traffic, air pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions at the same time.

A University of North Carolina study published this summer found that people who walked or biked to work were in better health than those who drove. The study followed more than 2,300 middle-aged commuters and found that those who biked or walked even part of the way had less fat, lower insulin levels, improved body mass index and improved blood pressure than their counterparts behind the wheel.

So what are you waiting for, lace up those sneakers and start your new commute today.

Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can.

Lowell Thomas

Some tips to help launch your fall fitness commute:

  • Use different jogging, walking, or biking paths to vary your routine.
  • Walk your child to school, if it’s within walking distance, which will give you double the steps and a little time to yourself when you walk back.
  • If you use a taxi or public transportation, get out a block or one stop early and walk the rest of the way to your destination. Or walk a block or two before catching your cab, bus or trolley.
  • Replace your coffee or smoking break with a 10-minute walking break instead.
  • You should replace your walking shoes every 6 months or 3,000 miles to help prevent possible injuries to your feet, knees and back.

Encouraging you to walk more than just around the block,

The WalkingSpree Team

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