Merrie Tabbert

Financial Accountant, Accounting and Financial Reporting

Merrie Tabbert (left) and our wellness manager Deborah Hamlin

Merrie Tabbert (left) and our wellness manager Deborah Hamlin

The timing of the UT Dallas 31 Days, 31 Miles Challenge was just perfect for me, though I did not know it at the time.

I had started using the Wellness Center at Synergy Park North in September, which coincided with me meeting with the dietitian, Deborah Hamlin, and learning how to improve my daily diet. Soon, I was patting myself on the back for all those great efforts!

On October 1, Deborah mentioned this challenge and asked if I thought I could walk one mile each day for 31 days. I distinctly remember a very, very long moment of silence, while sitting in her office. Then I heard myself take a deep breath and say, “Sure, I can do that!”

Deborah told me there was a walking path circling Synergy Park North that she planned to walk each day at noon, and she invited me to join her.

I soon made a habit of leaving my desk at 11:45 a.m. each workday, and walking quickly to the SPN building to walk the course with her. We found plenty to talk about to pass the time during our walks, and I began to look forward to leaving my desk and heading outside with a purpose. I also realized this challenge was not about the miles: It was about moving each day in some way.

Each weekend in October, I kept my promise and walked a mile route in my neighborhood. On some weekdays, when my work schedule was crazy or the weather was bad, I took advantage of the indoor walking path, which runs through and between the buildings of Administration and Engineering & Computer Science. And, to change up my routine, I mapped out my own route that ran the length of the north mall heading south from the Administration Building to the Naveen Jindal School of Management.

On the last day of October, I finished the challenge: 31 miles in 31 days! I had kept my promise to finish and I reaped benefits, such as gaining more flexibility, reducing stress, spending more time outdoors and getting to know fellow employee, Deborah Hamlin.

This month, I’ve set new fitness goals, but as I look back on October, I am so glad for the timing of that challenge. It was just perfect for me!


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