My friend Billy recently told me he was worried about my health. It was nice of him to say it, because if I’m being honest, I was drinking a little too much out of the Big Mac sauce fountain rather than the fountain of youth.
“What you need,” he said, “is to learn how to work out. If you want, I could show you. I’d love to work out with you.”
“Great,” I said. But what I thought was entirely the opposite of great.
The next thing I knew, I was covered in sweat. My heart was pounding. My mouth was drier than the Sahara. I was exhausted. I never realized what the gym was going to do to me.
“Drew,” Billy said, “you probably should get out of the car and actually go inside the gym so we can get started.”
I joke around, but not really. Getting in shape is difficult. Really difficult.
And if you haven’t achieved your peak performance shape, competing in activities like CrossFit, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or just climbing a long staircase (that’s my personal mountain, so to speak) may be out of reach.
Not to mention running a marathon. I mean, who among us hasn’t envied that trendy hipster with a 26.2 sticker on the back of his Prius? For those of us who don’t know about that sticker, it means they ran (and finished) a 26.2-mile marathon. Getting a sticker is nice, but they probably got some blisters on their feet, too. But “I got feet sores” doesn’t make for good marketing, so I can understand why they’d leave that part out.
Running a marathon represents one of the most impressive feats of physical stamina. It takes a lot of training to be able to compete in one.
Next up, the digital marathon.
Metaverse Marathon with an IRL Flavor
The idea of a digital marathon started in January of 2022. Well, let’s call it a “hybrid” marathon instead. Physical IRL runners could compete and register in the metaverse, and at the conclusion of the marathon, the organizers awarded digital assets to participants.
So not only could you finish a marathon with some sick bragging rights, you’d also leave with a fatter digital wallet as well. That’s nothing to sneeze at. The shin splints and foot blisters almost seem worth it when factoring in the cool crypto.
This type of event exemplifies a whole new space of gaming inside the metaverse. Instead of Play-to-Earn, it’s Move-to-Earn. It’s definitely getting some traction too (pun intended). Genopets launched the concept with the first Move-to-Earn game, and the project garnered over $8 million in support.
But, to be candid, a marathon like this which features a crypto component still involves arduous training and—well, not to put too fine a point on it—actual running.
If the idea of physical movement isn’t your jam, maybe you can take a look at another project.
The Movement-Optional Marathon
In April of 2022, Decentraland broke down the marathon barrier by offering the first completely-digital metaverse marathon. The aim was inclusivity. Some people are unable to move as much as they want to, and the metaverse marathon offers them an opportunity to participate.
And if anyone is like me—someone who doesn’t have the desire to move—even we can participate. So that’s pretty awesome.If this sounds a little “out there” to you, don’t dismiss it out of hand. In fact, Degree agreed to sponsor the marathon.
Yes, it’s that Degree—the deodorant company. The company that takes pride in dealing with real sweat has also put money behind helping people to work up a digital sweat. Apparently, all they are interested in is sweat.
All joking aside, the marathon aims at inclusion, and it’s certainly accomplishing that. Logging on to Decentraland sounds a lot easier than training miles a day, and I won’t pass out while running.
Regardless of if you can’t (or won’t) train for a marathon, Degree has your sweaty back.
There’s Still Hope for my First Marathon
Can’t lie, I’m probably more excited about metaverse marathons than I am about most other projects. What an awesome shortcut.
I can already picture my colleagues as I stroll into work…
Them: “Drew, you look so energetic today. What’s gotten into you?”
Me: “Oh, yeah. Well, nothing much. Just ran a marathon last night. Ain’t no thing.”
Them: collective gasps and one person fainting “We didn’t even know you were training! That’s incredible!”
Me: winks at the camera “Hey, wasn’t trying to brag. Just living my best life.”
That marathon dream is surprisingly achievable now. No need to wake up at five in the morning to beat the summer heat for my morning run. I can still drive to an air conditioned coffee shop around noon and not even have to change my routine.
But run, I will. Run, I must—even if only digitally.
And if your avatar and mine cross paths as we run, please say hello. I’m the one with six-pack abs, the subtle smile, and absolutely no blisters on my feet.
If it’s a different kind of six-pack you’re after, check out what a metaverse bar crawl looks like.
We try to get in shape for special events in our lives, especially weddings. The good news is that with the way the metaverse is changing weddings, we don’t have to worry about how we look ever again!