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Oct. 28, 2021 | Thursday
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Challenging themselves to walk that extra mile
Sheri and Patrick Ruby walk near Ryerson Park in Niagara-on-the-Lake. (Richard Harley)

Dynamic duo embraced the challenge to step out all over town

 

For Sheri Ruby, every day is literally a walk in the park.

Or around the block, on the treadmill, up the stairs, or right across town.

She walks and walks and ... walks.

In June, she and husband Patrick teamed up as Notty People, a twosome who competed with dozens of other groups during the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake's Step Challenge.

While most teams had four members, Notty People was just Sheri and Patrick. But the duo accumulated a phenomenal 2,566,590 steps over the month, second only to the Bayne family at 2.8 million steps.

But individually, no one came close to "Notty-Woman" Sheri's more than 1.5 million steps -- roughly 50,000 a day.

On a normal day she says she gets in about 25,000 to 30,000 steps, but during the first week of the challenge, "there was another competitor who was getting like 50,000 a day and I was like, ‘What are you doing? How are you doing that?' "

"So, he actually motivated me to move myself, and then once I was achieving those numbers I kind of enjoyed having that challenge for the entire month."

On rainy or excessively hot days in June, she'd use the treadmill to supplement her outdoor treks. But even indoors, she'd consciously make multiple trips up and down the stairs to go that extra mile.

"If you've got a load of towels, you can just bring a couple up and go back down and get the rest. But, you know, that's just me trying to get the extra steps in and just being silly, too."

The retired Montessori teacher turned 50 during the Step Challenge, and while she said that age milestone was a challenge in itself, she happily pushed herself to greater heights.

Whether it was a ramble to the Commons or along the lakefront, she used every opportunity to accumulate steps.

In walking around the Chautauqua neighbourhood, she’d hike up and down all its narrow laneways off Circle Street.

Her enthusiasm rubbed off on Patrick, aka “Notty-Man,” who tallied just over 1 million steps.

"For me, the motivation to get out for a long walk (or hop on the treadmill on a rainy day) mostly comes from seeing how motivated Sheri was," he told The Lake Report.

"She had always walked a great deal, but she was genuinely excited leading up to the challenge to push herself even further. Which, by seeing her step total, is exactly what happened."

Of course, there were days when he really wasn't keen to go, "but Sheri would give me that nudge to join her on a walk, and by the time we were done I felt great and was glad that I went," Patrick said.

Being motivated is key to succeeding in such endeavours and "as we age it becomes increasingly important to exercise regularly."

Sheri noted the pandemic made the last year and a half tough on everyone, so the month-long challenge was a great diversion, giving participants something to focus on.

Patrick echoed those sentiments.

"The NOTL Step Challenge was a unique way to motivate us physically every day in June. We are both very much looking forward to it happening again next year."

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