Thomas keeps fitness social with UP2™

Thomas Chen

UP2 Gunmetal Hex Lightweight Thin Strap

The social aspect of UP keeps me going. I would say 75% of the people on my team are people I have never met. I like to be motivated by people and I like motivating people as well. That's why I've stuck with UP.

It was Father's Day 2014 when Thomas Chen's wife gifted him his first UP band. “To me this product means counting my steps and making it count,” explains the 38-year-old pastor, and father of two. “If I am healthy longer—the more time I have to make a difference.”

A naturally social person, Thomas sources additional motivation from friends, family, and his church community. He's built up a bevy of friends within the App that help him stay active. “The social aspect just keeps me going. I would say 75% of the people on my team are people I have never met. I like to be motivated by people and I like motivating people as well.” He explains that dueling other UP users gives him that extra push to reach new goals, “A couple weeks ago I was on my last day of a week-long duel with a teammate who is usually steps ahead of me. I really wanted to win this duel, so I walked the dog for 40 minutes, picked up my son from school, and then took him to the mall where we walked around and around until I was ahead. Sure enough—I won the duel. It was a great feeling.”

Being fit and staying active plays a role in Thomas's relationship with his seven- and five-year-old children, “My friends would say I'm a fun Dad,” he says with a laugh. “My son who is almost eight, knows that I am conscious of getting my steps. He makes comments like ‘I get more steps than you, Daddy.'” Thomas says, and goes on to explain that his oldest is always active and playing soccer. “I've even contemplated getting him an UP just so I can see his steps and we can compare and compete.”

Being a pastor, Thomas and his wife have encouraged their children not only to pursue physical pastimes, but to also prioritize living spiritually. “It's nice that we can enjoy the blessings of being able to exercise and take care of our physical health,” he explains, “but, health and fitness isn't the most important value we have in our family. We're a family that loves the Lord and we value making an eternal impact in the lives of others.”

Thomas acknowledges that living your life with this bigger picture in mind can often be challenging. When asked how he handles setbacks, Thomas explains he finds strength in those who surround him as well as in himself. “At the end of the day, even though it may be hard, I know who I am. I know my identity, I know my security and significance and my worth—and because of that I can keep going.”

Thomas will keep going—literally. Never having found the motivation or passion for running before, he has now signed up for the Golden Gate Half Marathon, “Since signing up, I've ran nine times and went from hating running to not hating running. UP continues to motivate me. I used to not duel anyone because I knew I would lose. I actually won my last four duels!” he recalls happily. “My family is very supportive of Dad doing this run. Last week, me and several friends ran at the park after our outdoor Easter church service. My family and friends there were cheering me on.”