California Lawyers Association

CLA Members Crush Wellness Walking Challenge

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September 2022

image of someone putting on walking shoes

With names such as “Move to Strike,” “Law and Motion” and “Agony of D’Feet,” 31 teams completed the California Lawyers Association’s 2022 Wellness Walking Challenge this summer.

Each team logged at least 803 miles over six weeks—equivalent to walking from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Paris, France. 

Top teams and finishers received prizes, including T-shirts, Amazon gift cards and complimentary registration for CLA’s Annual Meeting.

We asked the high achievers to share the secrets to their success. 

David Connelly, a CPA and attorney in Los Angeles, said he began a daily walking practice prompted by last year’s CLA Walking Challenge and logged 5.1 million steps through the end of this year’s contest. 

“In short, the CLA competition has changed my life in a very positive way,” he said. 

After finishing 10th overall in the individual competition last year, Connelly said he was recruited to join The Esquire Network (TEN) Walkers. The team set a goal for each person to walk 20,000 steps per day. He helped set the tone by averaging 30,000 steps per day during the first eight days of the challenge.

Individually, Connelly finished the challenge in 6th place overall. 

Marina Fraigun, a Los Angeles employment law attorney, said her team also created a daily step goal that motivated her to complete her steps every day, often late at night.

“The interesting additional benefit is we all connected on a personal level—we talked about where we were walking and we discussed how we were feeling. We even walked together and formed real friendships.” 

Lexi Howard, a Sacramento real estate and corporate attorney, said she’s a regular walker but upped her game for the challenge. When she traveled to San Francisco for a two-day conference, she walked to nearly all the event venues. 

“The best part was that when I said to my colleagues as we moved from event to event, ‘I’m walking there; who wants to join me?’ at least two or three did every time,” she said. “I appreciated the Facebook posts in the CLA Wellness group and thought it was great that some were even organizing hikes. Many thanks to the CLA Wellness Committee and the exceptional support and communications from the great people at CLA headquarters.”

Shannon Wolfrum, a family law attorney in the East Bay, said the challenge prompted her to increase her activity and kept her moving. 

“As a side benefit, my dogs usually came with me,” she said. “Although I walk them every day, I know they were glad for the extra outdoor time and more opportunities to explore on our walks.”

Robert M. Schaughnessy, a San Diego appellate lawyer, said he enjoyed the competition and the team camaraderie.

“I’m already looking forward to next year’s challenge,” he said. 

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