“I’ve always been very, very active. I’ve always loved it,” said Viars, an avid athlete her entire life.
She was a competitive gymnast, played softball and worked in gyms during high school and college to earn spending money.
During Christmas 2011, Viars started keeping count of the miles she walks. As of Sunday, she clocked 935 days straight. In December, she will have walked each day for three years straight.
“I started keeping count. I wondered if I could do this every day for a year,” said Viars, wife of Ted Viars. They have three sons, 17-year-old Teddy and 15-year-old Max who both attend North Cobb High School and 11-year-old Brock, who attends Awtrey Middle School.
Viars posted her counts on Facebook. “It started as a joke but if I ever didn’t post then people would say, ‘Did you not walk today.’ (Walking) became a huge accountability thing. Now I’ve been doing it so long, I get a lot of really, great, positive comments about it,” she said.
Viars stays motivated because of the count.
“I did it through the snow this year. I had to wear boots so I wouldn’t fall. I’ve done it through a rolled ankle. I did it through a stomach virus. I haven’t missed it for anything.
“The count keeps me going because I know I’m accountable to other people. People are watching,” Viars said.
Though Viars participates in runs for causes, she prefers walking. “(Walking) is something anyone can do. It doesn’t take a lot of special skills. It’s not complex but people are amazed at what it does,” said Viars, who owns a marketing and advertising company. She also serves on Kennesaw Downtown Development Authority.
Viars has worn out seven pairs of walking shoes in two years and recommends making the investment. “You don’t have to have cute fitness clothes. You need good shoes,” she said.
Walking is part of healthy living for Viars.
“If you walk fast enough and long enough, you can get the same benefits of running without the impact to joints, your knees, your back. It helps me keep my weight in check but it does as much for me mentally, spiritually as it does for me physically,” she said.
Viars hopes her efforts will inspire others. “If you don’t take care of your health the rest of your life you’re living in a compromise. I hate for people to wait until a doctor tells them they need to do something. You’ve got what you need right in front of you. You’ve got feet,” she said.