Successful business people often talk about the crucial focus of “niche”. When we first launched EverWalk, and the very raison d’etre behind the name we chose, we envisioned a broad-sweeping concept of EVERYBODY, EVERY DAY, EVERMORE walking.
People walking to work, walking their kids to school, walking to errands, planning walking vacations, long weekend walks to picnics on mountain tops, making community walking friends. No niche marketing at all.
We’ve initiated a number of programs that support this all-encompassing vision, starting with our nationwide troupe of Ambassadors leading First Saturday walks, from Naples FL to Portland OR. Yes, Covid has slowed our First Saturday gatherings down but, month by month through 2021, those walks will revitalize.
It made sense, given that Bonnie and I both come from hard-core sports, that we were drawn to lead tougher, longer walks, which we have called our EPICS. We’ve completed four of those to date, each one 134 miles in 7 days:
2016 Los Angeles to San Diego
2017 Boston to Cape Elizabeth, ME
2018 White Rock, Canada to Seattle
2019 Philadelphia to Washington D.C.
And we have announced our next EPIC, The Ocean Walk, from Newport RI to Boston,
September 19-25, 2021. Again, we will cover 134 miles in 7 days but we are going to fold into the daily agenda an EverWalk Mile at the top of the day and another EverWalk Mile at the end of the day. We want to include locals who would love to be part of our event, especially our commitment on The Ocean Walk to curb plastic pollution of the oceans, but who would find 20 miles a day for a week simply too much.
By all means, we are impressed with our EPIC athletes, those who can pound the pavement all day long and happily get back out the next morning for another 20-miler. But Bonnie and I have learned that we need to reach those who would find 20 miles far too extreme, much less multiple days of 20-milers.
It’s not easy, as a movement, to offer and answer to a huge variety of skills and conditioning levels and background histories, but we surely are trying and, along with
our First Saturdays and EPICS and hopefully a return to Key West for our Service Walk for Habitat for Humanity, 2021 drives us to focus on The EverWalk Mile.
Many of you dedicated walkers find one mile barely worth a mention. For you, that’s a mere warm-up. But let’s consider our outrageous EverWalk marketing mantra: “We intend to inspire America to become a nation of walkers.” To consider the country as a whole, do we seriously picture the masses walking 20 miles a day? Or 10? Or 5? People are busy. People have physical limitations. People don’t have the mindset to push on for long hours.
Yet all the wonderful, even magical, aspects of walking that we at EverWalk continually espouse—the inspiration of immersing oneself in the great outdoors, the meditative positivity that comes with the cadence of one’s own steps, the open-minded conversations that evolve from strolling together—come over the course of one mile as much as they do over a longer outing.
Maybe we’re stubborn. Maybe we should zoom into our natural niche, Bonnie and mine, of being circa 70 years old both of us, and market only to seniors. Maybe we should rely on our intense athlete histories and focus on EPIC walks only. But we continue to believe walking is for everybody, all ages, all abilities, and we thus continue on our various EverWalk paths. BUT we are pushing hard through 2021 on The EverWalk Mile
The storyline goes like this: What a kick to look at your EverWalk Mile Calendar, right there on your fridge, and swell with pride as your X’s fill in the days. Sure, you may walk 4.6 miles on a Saturday and put that number in your journal. But perhaps there is more power in committing to a Mile every single day. Come rain or snow or dark of winter, you rarely let a day go by without heading out for at least ONE MILE.
This is the audacious EverWalk holy grail, that we become a nation, all of us, who without hardship, enjoy getting out and walking a mile every single day. We make a daily mile walk our collective habit. Some days that mile extends to a longer walk, but the one daily mile becomes a meaningful part of our day. We wouldn’t feel the same without it. We’re centered, we’re breathing more freely, we’re happier for having heard the birds and having felt the breeze on our faces.
Will you help us spread the word? Help us recruit your friends to download The EverWalk Mile Calendar? Help us build a national walking crusade, will you?
The EverWalk MILE. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?