I’ve been trying to be more consistent about getting my steps in since the pandemic showed up. I am by no means a 10,000 steps person though, every once in a while, it does happen. But, for the past year, I’ve found something to give me the motivation to get my steps in.
In January of 2021, my sister moved out of the family home and cross-country for a new job and her boyfriend. This opened up the position of main dog walker for our sweet boy Beau. Lucky me, I got the job! So, Sunday through Friday I wake up a little earlier to be able to walk him and Sunday through Wednesday I take him out before dinner for his evening business. (The other days he gets to go to the park with my dad.)
That’s when I realized that I’d be walking a lot more than I was used to. I needed something to track the miles, to see exactly how much I was actually walking. At first, I used a Fitbit to track my walks, but ended up getting a Samsung Galaxy Watch, so I switched my tracking to that. Then I found it, the best app for a nerdy bookworm like myself – Walk to Mordor. The app allows you to plug in your mileage every day and it tells you where you are on Frodo Baggins’s trek from Hobbiton to Mount Doom. The distances follow information from the books not the Peter Jackson films- so you get to meet Tom Bombadil!
As an Android/Samsung user, all my experience with the app is through the Android version. Walk to Mordor is a free app with a very simple and to the point layout. Unfortunately it isn’t available in the Google Play Store, but it can be downloaded outside the Play Store.
It opens to a homepage that has a header telling you the next checkpoint you’re approaching (e.g., Rivendell, the Argonath, etc). Under that banner, there is a hemi-circle pie graph that is shaded in green as you progress. If you click the shaded and unshaded sections of the chart, it lets you know how many miles in each. You can post statuses to your page using the activity button at the bottom.
In the top left-hand corner you’ll find the drop down for the menu – a home button, distance log, a progress page, a friend page, a settings page, an app info page, and the log out button. The distance log page lists the dates you’ve logged miles and how many miles logged each of those days. The progress page tells you all the checkpoints – for example, I have Bree completed 100%, but only 60.81% of the way to Shelob’s Lair. You can also click the names of each checkpoint to read a little excerpt from the books!
On the friends page, you can search for friends by name or email address, as well as view your friend requests and see any statuses your friends post.
There are ads on the app, but they aren’t as meddlesome as some other ad-supported apps.
When I started this journey, I really hoped that I might be able to finish the journey by 2022. But then I realized that I would need to walk almost 6 miles every day. With my current work schedule, I knew that would be a pain in the ass to try to walk that much every single day.
I wanted to get to the halfway point of the journey (966 miles) by the end of 2021. But a few weeks of serious rain with a dog who hates being wet lead to me being about 100 miles short for 2021.
Now I’m working on finishing my journey to Mordor before the end of 2022. Beau and I have been consistent in our daily walks, so I feel my odds this year are much better. I have about 958 miles left, which is just barely over the halfway point. But I’m getting a full year in 2022 since I started at the end of January 2021.
It’s a fun app and I’m having a blast competing with my friends who are also big Tolkien fans. I would recommend this app to anyone looking for a little motivation to log their miles.
It doesn’t matter if you walk or run or hike, only that you are prepared to help Frodo get to Mount Doom!
Suggestions for the Future
I am grateful to the creators for this fun little app but I do have recommendation for future updates. One thing that I would recommend is the ability to link with other fitness apps to import the data automatically. I can’t tell you how many days I’ve forgotten to log my walks, so I end up going back to add in those miles. It’s not exactly a dealbreaker for me. But the extra convenience is something that I think would boost downloads and popularity of the app.
Another suggestion I would make is to increase the fun social media shareworthy aspects. Adding maps with a line of your progress so far and the ability to share that graphic to social media would boost downloads. I have shared my progress on social media but that involves screenshots, so sharing checkpoints and maps would be awesome!
Do you track your miles?
What apps do you use? Have you used Walk to Mordor?
Would you like more fantasy/fandom-based fitness apps? If so, which?