Bringing People Together: One Step at a Time

By Martha Sheridan, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

Martha Sheridan shares how she and other industry leaders around the world are connecting on social media and staying motivated and inspired by one another one step at a time with the 100 Days of Walking Challenge. 

“Put one foot in front of the other’” that’s what a “friend” commented on my first Facebook post after I joined my friend Anissa Ladd in her #100DaysofWalking challenge. It was simple: set a minimum goal (for me, it is 2.5 miles), and commit to walking at least that distance every day, for 100 days. After a few days of posting, I noticed that many of my “friends” were not only taking notice, they were interested in the concept. So, on a Sunday evening earlier this month, I contacted Anissa and mentioned that we should start a Facebook group around the challenge and see what happens. She was totally on board.

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Well, I don’t think either of us could have imagined the response. After the first day, we had sixty-five members, then it blossomed to over 100, and today we top four hundred members from across the United States and beyond It is just astounding! 

Our friends from all “walks” of life are colliding, commenting, collaborating, and supporting each other in their quest to meet the challenge. And because Anissa and I are both from the destination organization world, a lot of the group’s members are too. What is most extraordinary is our community of friends, many who have never met before, are engaging with each other, connecting, sharing photos, and providing words of encouragement. From my Rhode Island boot camp friends to my Boston and Providence colleagues, and of course my Destinations International community, the diversity of the group is truly a gift.

100 Days of Walking Facebook post

100 Days of Walking Strava post

Perhaps the most gratifying aspects of the Challenge are the notes and posts we get thanking us for starting this journey, espousing the motivation it provides and discussing the personal benefits it has had on navigating through this pandemic with a healthy, active, and yet so simple program. 

As Anissa’s original hashtag conveys, #walkingtogetherwhileapart is an incredible experience that unites us at this difficult time, through a mutual goal of staying healthy, staying connected and sharing our daily stories and scenes for all to enjoy and engage with.

You might be asking yourself, "How can I get in on this challenge." Well, it is simple. lace up your walking shoes, join the Facebook Group and get to walking!

About the Author

Martha Sheridan headshot
Martha Sheridan
President & CEO
Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
Martha leads an organization with over 1,200 member companies across New England whose mission is to generate a robust visitor economy for the region. Sheridan joined the GBCVB in 2019. Previously she was President & CEO of the Providence/Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB). In 2016 the PWCVB received a Providence Business News Business Excellence Award in the Not-for-Profit Category.