Meet Susan Staten

Susan Staten had never met Merak Melikian and worked in another building from the challenge’s organizers. Still, the week-long challenge ended up being the catalyst for a major life change.

“I hated walking,” Susan said, “I used to think I was getting a good step count with my daily walking, but being hooked up to Walker Tracker showed me I wasn’t. It motivated me to go farther. One week changed my whole life.”

One week changed my whole life.

The combination of teamwork and competition for a good cause led Susan to look at her steps and make small changes to her life. When the weeklong Miles4Merak challenges was over, she liked how the changes made her feel and decided to keep going.

The desire to keep going set in over time. Consistent check-ins are the way to build habits, and Walker Tracker challenges are built for that. The week turned into a month. The month set into all-conditions walking, which then led into buying a dedicated wearable activity tracker, and more. Now, a year later, her walking habit is entrenched.

Where it all started: This images is from the UCSD medical office during 2020 COVID restrictions, where Susan was invited to her challenge and began walking.

Stepping Outside Comfort Zones

At first, Susan didn’t feel like a walker, so she kept things indoors, even after the challenge ended. However, that only lasted a month.

“At first I would only walk indoors or around our building. I never thought I’d be an avid outside walker. But now I love it. The other day I was walking in the rain, and it was the coolest experience. Walking around, saying hi to your neighbors. It keeps me going.”

A year into her newfound walking lifestyle, Susan now walks 5 miles per day on weekdays and up to 9 miles on weekends. The result? Susan has lost over 100 pounds in the year since the inaugural Miles4Merak fundraiser, is taking the lead for her team for this year’s event, and is feeling better than ever. And all of this is beyond the Miles4Merak challenge exceeding its fundraising goal by $10,000!

Peace and Quiet

An interesting note is that Susan does not use any entertainment or streaming services while walking. No music, no podcasts. She’s taken a greater appreciation of natural beauty around her, the increased perception of being on foot versus in a vehicle, and the meditative state that walking can bring on.

Inclusivity and Growth

Walker Tracker’s core values are inclusivity and growth. 

We express inclusivity by ensuring that activity challenges are accessible to people of all body types, ability levels, fitness levels, and incomes. We work with any pedometer and sync with any wearable that works with iOS or Android. Our challenge parameters are set so that you’re not always competing on aggregate steps, but rather stepping to your level of comfort and rewarding regularity over extreme activity.

Growth is evident in the fitness journey of members like Susan. We also help organizations grow by improving team camaraderie, granting administrators access to data to better gauge team engagement, and delivering consistent results of healthier organization members.


We’re looking forward to seeing Susan walk with us again in this year’s Miles4Merak challenge, but this time, in a new shirt. Last year, she purchased a t-shirt to support the cause and picked the largest size, which was fit tightly. Today, it doesn’t fit.

Keep it up, Susan!


Results Speak for Themselves

Could your fundraiser, business, or event benefit from a virtual step challenge? Reach out to Walker Tracker to see how we can deliver results like Susan’s to your organization.