Over the past few months, I've heard some negativity about virtual challenges and medals, from "oh it's just a fad", "it's a con", "a waste of time", "medals for nothing"
I've been told the last one directly at a running event we attended. Yes, a running event where every finisher gets a medal?!
But let's have a think about this, are medals from virtual challenges and runs really just 7th placed trophies?
What's a 7th placed trophy?
A 7th placed trophy is what is known as a medal, or trophy, for taking part in an event. Some believe that it decreases competition and people don't have to try as hard to 'win' something.
They are very much in the camp that you shouldn't get anything unless you win.
Now there is nothing wrong with a winning mentality, it's good to have a bit of fire about you to keep you motivated to improve. Which leads us on to...
Believe it or not, setting goals is not just applicable to your performance at work or your sales job. People can set personal goals to improve their fitness, their health, finances and even life goals such as the "bucket list".
Goals give people something to aim for and help keep them on track to achieve what they would like to or want to.
Without them, people can wander aimlessly, and over time feel like they haven't achieved anything. Some don't have a problem with wandering aimlessly, and that's ok too.
We as humans are not always ready to jump into action every single day, we have off days and sometimes just feel that we don't want to do anything. And that is fine. We can do that.
But when it lasts for days or even weeks, we need that kick to get us moving again.
When others are achieving their goals, it does and can inspire others to work to achieve their own goals.
Sometimes, we just feel lost in what we are doing. And although we can get motivated to do the essentials, it's not always inspiring or exciting.
Simply seeing someone else doing what you want to be doing, can be enough for you to say "I can do that" and off you go.
Inspiration works both ways. You can be inspired by others because of what they do. And if you do something, you, in turn, inspire others. That's why we say #BeInspiredBeInspiring
Many go to running and other events because there is a social aspect to it. You get to meet up with others, have a good chat and catch up and it adds to the day. We all like social interaction.
Online groups and clubs are no different. You can catch up with fellow members, see what they've been up to, share what you've done and have a bit of chat and fun.
And for many, this is the social interaction that they want due to other things such as childcare, work commitments and more.
The biggest thing about virtual runs, or indeed any event is the sense of personal achievement when you reach your goal. It isn't any different from completing that couch25k, your first parkrun, 10km, half marathon or even marathon.
What you get from finishing these, events and virtual challenges, is more about self-pride and satisfaction. You set yourself a challenge and you did it.
We all can and do rewards ourselves differently when we reach a goal. A nice meal out, new clothes, or simply just a treat.
And why not a medal?