At Sweatcoin, our mission is to help people move more. Our users have achieved many milestones over our three-year journey, however, one milestone has remained elusive — a 100,000 step day. That was until May 6th, 2018, when one of our users — Phatt One, became the first Sweatcoiner to break the 100,000 steps threshold. We sat down with Phatt One to find out — how the hell does someone walk 100,000 steps in a day!
Sweatcoin: Tell us about how you got started with Sweatcoin — how were you doing when you started using the app?
Phatt One: I started using Sweatcoin about twelve months ago. I was out for dinner with my partner and her cousin, who was trying to earn a FitBit on Sweatcoin. Anyway, her cousin made me download the app on my phone so that she could get a user referral bonus. I was actually using a walking stick at the time- I had been for a few years so didn’t think I’d have much use for it.
I didn’t even remember it or think about it until about a month later. My partner and I went to Greece on holiday, and at the end of my first day, I was feeling really confident that I could walk without my stick a little. And the heat had freed me up a bit, so I felt better about it. And that led to a conversation over dinner about how many steps we were doing? So we compared our phone pedometers — and I remembered the app! I was averaging about 2,000 steps a day, nothing special. While we were away though, I’d managed to push that up to 5,000.
Sweatcoin: That’s quite a jump!
Phatt One: Yeah! But after the holiday and back to the typical cold and wet British weather, I was back on the stick again. Even with the stick, though, I tried to push myself. It got to the point where I got to 10,000, then 15,000, then 20,000 steps. It was painful to be honest — but I could feel the benefits of being more and more mobile. People didn’t believe that I was actually doing it, because my mobility hasn’t been great over the years. So I pushed it until our next holiday, where I was averaged around 25,000 a day.
Then I got a phone call from Oleg, Sweatcoin’s Co-Founder. I’d written into Sweatcoin’s support to thank them and tell them how well it was working for me — a little bit of greed goes a long way to motivate you! Oleg started following me on the app, and I managed to hit 50,000 steps in summer — not on a daily basis, but every so often. Since Oleg was following me, logic dictated that he was following the people who walked the most — so I checked who he was following, and started following any user that was averaging over 12,000 steps per day.
It was shockingly few people — especially considering the fact that I was hobbling around the streets like an idiot and was averaging nearly 20,000. But I added them to my leaderboard and thought, ‘I’m going to beat every single one of them. I don’t know them — they could be anyone, but I’m going to get my daily average above theirs.’ And pretty soon, I managed to. It was coming to winter, but I was significantly happier with my movement — still on a stick, but going out every day, in the rain, sleet, or snow — it didn’t matter.
Sweatcoin: Did you want to try to get off the stick?
Phatt One: Yes — in November, for some reason I thought, “why not try it without the stick?”. I found a route near my house and managed 5,000 steps before collapsing. Fortunately, I had a spare stick with me. I carried on like that for a couple of weeks, and then I got some walking poles and started using those. And then, after a while, I wasn’t even using them. And come Christmas, I wasn’t using a stick at all — I’d managed to walk myself fit.
Everybody was seeing the results — I hit 60,000, 70,000, 80,000 steps. After Christmas, I wanted to push myself even higher, but since I’d already gone past the people I set as my initial benchmarks, I decided to aim for personal bests instead. The funny this was at this point someone from the Sweatcoin team actually messaged me and said, ‘You’re very active, what do you do for a living?’ I had to laugh — I design AV systems for schools, colleges, universities — all in front of the computer. And I was trying to break step count records!
Sweatcoin: Did you have support?
Phatt One: Well, around the 80,000 step mark, I joined an unofficial Discord server for Sweatcoin users. I thought my story might help other people, and vice versa. I was feeling better, looking better, moving better, not using a stick — no longer an embarrassment to anybody. A couple of people have said that I’m a robot and that I must be cheating, but what’s the point in that? So anyway, people in the Discord group started trying to beat me. I noticed one guy — a runner, was hitting 10,000 on the nose every hour one day. That was a healthy pace — I thought for sure he would beat me, but he stopped after six hours at 60,000 steps.
Sweatcoin: So how did you end up doing 100,000 steps in ONE day?
Phatt One: Well, I’d been thinking for a while I’d like to get to 100,000, just to prove to myself that I could. My previous best was 91,000 — but I made the mistake of stopping for a brew with someone, so that didn’t turn out too well!
It was a gorgeous day on the 6th of May. I was up early at around 3 am — I’d taken my bike lights with me so I wouldn’t get flattened by any traffic. By about 8:30 am I’d walked about 50,000 steps. I then got some homemade ice cream, and walked around the lakes in my area — I took my time. I got back home around 5:30 pm and I made the mistake of firing up the Discord server — and I had all these messages, like, ‘Come on! You can break a 100,000!’ And I’m here like, ‘I’m so tired!’ But I had enough time — so I had a shower, checked that my legs worked properly — I felt like my calves might explode, but figured I’d put on some compression socks, check my blood pressure, and make sure I was safe. And then I got going.
I walked the routes I normally walk around Bolton — at 91,000 steps my left knee, ankle, and hip all went at the same time. I had an hour left before midnight at this point — and I thought, “I’m not giving up now!”. Luckily a friend called and asked how I was getting on. And I tell him about my leg, and he talks at me for an hour to take my mind off the pain — just enough to keep my mind off my leg. As we’re chatting I reach 100,000 steps just before midnight — but not all were verified Sweatcoin steps! So I kept walking a bit more and ended up doing 102,500 steps, with 100,500 verified.
Eventually, I got home and I was absolutely knackered — so I sat myself down, poured a glass of whiskey. I very rarely drink, but I thought I’d earned it. I had one swig and fell asleep! In the morning my friends came around to see me and check I was okay. I was sore the next day — I couldn’t move, couldn’t put my feet down on the floor.
Sweatcoin: You’re still averaging 30,000 steps a day. Tell us your secret — how do you walk so much?
Phatt One: To be honest, I don’t sleep a great deal — which may not be healthy for some, but it works for me and it’s very handy for this kind of thing. The best time for me to walk is at night because there are no cars or people. I try to go out early in the morning each day — so around three or four. Lots of people say, “Why don’t you try running?”. But I don’t think I have the stamina for that — then again, I said I wasn’t a walker, either!
Sweatcoin: What do you do to motivate yourself?
Phatt One: Originally, it was about the sweatcoins. That’s a bit basic, but it did the trick. I saw how I was improving and I thought, if I can keep this amount of movement, that would be good. Then it was about seeing other people’s goals and setting mine higher. I had to message people via the app and talk to them and explain why the hell I was at the top of their leaderboards. And then after that, I couldn’t find anyone with goals like mine, so it was about trying to beat myself and my own goals.
Sweatcoin: Where’s your favorite place to walk, and why do you like it?
Phatt One: I live up north in the U.K. — so I walk mostly in the Bolton area. I like walking to Chorley and by Rivington Pike. We have a nice reservoir, it’s very peaceful. It’s lovely it gets you off the main streets, away from the motorways and towards peace and quiet. We get lovely views there.
Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Adlington
Sweatcoin: What’s your biggest struggle been recently?
Phatt One: Ha — it’s been, trainers. I’ve been through four pairs in the past three months. My current ones I’ve had for three weeks and I’ve already worn the tread down. It’s expensive, but you can’t put a price on your health.
Sweatcoin: How has your life changed since you started walking more?
Phatt One: I’ve always been lazy! I’ve never been a fitness fanatic — but I’ve found that’s changed. I even changed my diet. It wasn’t intentional — it just happened as I started walking more. The movement and improvement I’ve seen in myself twelve months on are incredible. I’m completely mobile after years on a stick. It’s nice to look back at where I’ve come from — looking at my very first days of 1,000 or 2,000 steps a day — and two weeks back I was averaging 44,000. It’s become more of an obsession than anything else, but I’m happy. I’ve lost five stone this year! I can’t knock that. I’ve achieved things a lot of people just dream of, and that’s unbelievable for me, let alone anyone else.
Sweatcoin: What’s next?
Phatt One: I can’t quit now. I’m not sure what my goals will be in the future, but I’d like to comfortably do 100,000 steps again because it wasn’t comfortable or intentional this time. I think if I’d gone with the intention to do it, I could have done it more easily. I’ve been in pain for twenty or thirty years — if I can do it, anyone can!
Think you have what it takes to beat Phatt One? Follow him on the app to see how you stack up!