Kyle Seth Gray

Kyle Seth Gray's blog. Usually writing about tech, personal experience, but now leaning more towards health and fitness.

A list of Apple Watch Special Achievements

Turkey Trot 2016

Turkey Trot

This was the first Apple Watch badge - it was awarded on Thanksgiving Day, in the US, in 2016 for completing a running, walking, or wheelchair workout of at least 5 kilometers/3.11 miles. .

New Years 2017

Ring in the New Year

This badge was awarded for completing all three rings for an entire week within the first month of 2017. This was the first badge available worldwide, and included a lot more stickers.

Earth Day 2017

Earth Day Badge

This badge was earned by doing an outdoor workout of at least 30 minutes or more on Earth Day. While it was somewhat strict in which workouts counted, the 2018 badge eliminated any need for a specific workout, as long as it was 30 minutes or more.

This was the 3rd yearly badge.

Mothers Day 2017

Mothers Day Badge

In a continuation of Every Mother Counts Partnership [kinda?], this was a badge awarded for walking a mile more in celebration of motherhood. This was only available in the US.

National Parks

Yosemite

Inspired by the hike from Old Faithful to Mallard Lake in Yellowstone, this badge was awarded for a walk, run, or wheelchair workout of 3.5 miles on July 15th. It was also the first big PR push for one of the badges, and was put out alongside a Press Release highlighting Apple's donations to The National Park Foundation. Despite being a celebration of the US National Parks, it was available worldwide.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day USA USA

In celebration of Veterans Day, this badge was awarded for doing a workout of 11 minutes or more. In the US only.

Turkey Trot 2 Electric Boogaloo

I'm blue

A repeat of the original badge, this was the second Turkey Trot award for doing a 5k (or 4.98897 kilometers to account for someone with miles to not do the last .01 miles and end up being really sad.) on Thanksgiving. This badge was still US only however.

New Years 2018

2018!

Another yearly badge has become the New Years challenge, challenging Apple Watch Users to complete all 3 rings for 7 days during the month of January. This one did have some SQL issues though ;)

Heart Month 2018

beating heart

This was a fun, new unique badge that coincided with Heart Month - a month dedicated to a health heart, heart disease awareness and research, and more in America. This was available worldwide, and encouraged Apple Watch users to meet their exercise goal 7 days in a row starting on February 7th and ending on the 14th, 2018.

This also started the trend of the badges having fun animations.

International Women's Day

double the work

A new badge celebrating international women's day encouraged Apple Watch users to double their move goal on March 8th, 2018.

This was available worldwide.

Earth Day 2018

Earth 2

A repeat of the 2017 badge, this encouraged Apple Watch users to get outside and do a workout of 30 minutes or more to earn an achievement. Unlike the previous badge, however, this badge would be earned for any workout totaling 30 minutes.

This was available worldwide.

China Fitness Day

Red 2018 badge

One of the first internationally specific badges that wasn't US only, this badge was earned on August 8th, 2018 by doing a workout of 30 minutes or more to Apple Watch users in China.

National Parks 2018

Redwoods

Surprisingly not a repeat of the previous years, this National Parks badge happens on the 50 year anniversary of Redwood National Park in California, and also featured a donation campaign by Apple. This badge is achievable on September 1st, by doing a run, walk, or wheelchair workout of 50 minutes or more.

Veterans Day 2018

Veterans Day round 2 USA USA

An exact repeat of the previous years Veterans Day badge, including the model, method of earning, and limitation to the US. Sadly, unlike others, this one isn't an animated badge.
You earn this special award by working out for 11 minutes or more on Veterans Day, November 11th, 2018.

Two Years With Apple Watch

A year ago, I wrote this:

I thought that with me owning my Apple Watch for 1 year now, I would add up some totals regarding how much I've done.

I thought I would follow the same format as that post, and provide more stats:

  • Since I got my Apple Watch, I've walked 9,608,040 steps.
  • I've walked/ran a distance of 4526 Miles.
  • I cycled 1998 miles
  • I burned a total of 438,746 Active Calories. (That's 662 1687 glazed Dunkin Donuts)
  • Ruined 8 pairs of headphones, including two EarPods and two pairs of Jaybirds.
  • Took out 2 iPhone 6's, I'm on my 3rd right now. First one got dropped on a mountain, second one got ruined by sweat.
  • Still rocking the same Apple Watch I got on day 1.

    Day one with my Apple Watch Day 366 with my Apple Watch Day 730 with my Apple Watch

Last year I told myself I wanted to "up the ante" with my cycling efforts.

Last summer, after realizing I still couldn't run as much as I used to, I went out and bought a bike. It isn't a top of the line road bike: it's categorized by Sirrus as a Fitness bike. However, it got me addicted. I used it to commute all of fall semester - 14 miles round trip every day. And on weekends I would check out all the awesome trails around Utah, as well as cycle throughout Utah Valley. I've biked all the way from Provo to Salt Lake a few times, (~55 miles), and as summer is on the horizon, I'm biking every single day if possible.

The biggest thing about the Apple Watch is the encouragement it provides me to be physically active. There's a plethora of different achievements you can get, including event-based awards. You get awards for hitting your Move goal every day of the week, month, and for continuing a streak. The visualization of all your data, and being able to look back and compare previous workouts, really helps a lot in short term and long term motivation.

As it stands today, as soon as I got to the gym after work, I'll have hit a 300 day move goal streak.

The Apple Watch as a motivational device has been priceless to me. Two years ago, I wasn't out of shape by any means, but I definitely wasn't physically able to accomplish what I can now. I remember when I first got my Watch, I would run a bit here and there, but getting to a higher goal of ~800 active calories was hard, and wore my body out. Now, my move goal is 840, and I'm hitting it every. single. day.

Obviously it takes more than a shiny computer to make a change in your life, but I can definitely say that the Apple Watch has changed mine. I often wonder what 2-year-ago Kyle would think if I saw what I was doing these days: cycling 20 miles per day on the weekend, spending about an hour at the gym every morning or evening, and consistently and steadily hitting my goals.

I'm really glad I got the Apple Watch, and I love the Activity Ring based motivation system. It really works for the way I think, and It's encouraged me to keep moving, stay active, and live a more 'fit' life.

Where I got started

I wrote up a monologue post about what health means to me, and how I got started with my whole focus on it.

It's definitely a narrative more than anything, but it is me. And I feel like it does express my weird thought process in regards to being more healthy.


Look, I definitely was never ever a natural at this. If you saw pictures of me just a few years back, especially near the end of high school, I wasn’t the crazy athletic kid that took an extra PE class. And I wasn’t one to be involved in school sports either. When I first started college I dreaded the idea of anything sports related, and having to do yet another type of exercise class.

That’s the biggest thing with health. We all should take care in measuring it, maintaining it, and keeping it in high regard. But it can seem overwhelming. A task no one really wants to worry about. But, unlike a hobby such as reading, your favorite sports team, or keeping your morning routine simple, health is different – it’s a requirement. If you woke up tomorrow and didn’t eat, you’d feel terrible. And you’d really eventually die if you ate nothing but those nasty little pumpkins things that we get around halloween but during the rest of the year everyone realizes are a terrible idea.

I kickstarted my own personal journey into health about 4 years ago. It never was a single, streamlined process. It had its starts and stops, and times where I thought it was too much to handle, or that microwaveable dinners were cheap and convenient, and dammit I was going to take advantage of the sales Stouffer’s had.

Four years ago I got into running. Mainly because a friend of mine wanted to get back into their running habit, and, being a good friend, I said “Sure, I’ll show up at 6 am and we can go running.”

Running is what started it for me. After you run, you kind of naturally learn towards those 6 eggs or so that you eat afterwards. And while buying eggs you become curious about the avocados, decide to go to a place like Sprouts, and then suddenly you’re making protein smoothies with avocado, blueberries, and about five different types of ‘all natural’ boosters. And when your run and track it, you realize that the bag of chips you’re craving to dig into a good TV show with aren’t really worth it considering how dense they are.

This whole beginning post is somewhat of a self monologue to where and how I got to where I am, and I’ll do my best to more clearly define the actual health habits I have. Know, however, that it could very well be anything, from a new store you find, a type of food you learn to enjoy, to figuring out how many calories are really in that delicious scone at the bakery you frequently find yourself at… health can be something you find yourself focusing on just after one little habit. And that’s a good thing.

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