Updated:
November 21, 2022

Penny Spear Walks her way to Wellness, and Steps into a Healthier life

before and after photos of Penny Spear
Culture
Wellness

Penny Spear, business operations specialist for EquipmentShare in Kansas City, knew something had to change. She was overweight, not feeling well and her confidence was at an all-time low. But where do you begin when the very thought of starting at all overwhelms you? 

“I started gaining weight in my 30s, and I’d been overweight for two decades,” Penny said. “I had been overweight for so long, I didn’t know what to do. I spent so much time wishing away this problem, and clearly that wasn’t working. And then my boss gifted me with a smart watch, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it changed my life.”

Penny Spear before beginning her wellness journey

Penny has been with EquipmentShare since 2018, and in 2020 she started hearing her co-workers talking about the Wellable app. This wellness incentive provided by EquipmentShare allows employees to earn points toward PTO or Amazon credit. Penny likes to shop, so that grabbed her attention.

“I had this smart watch and I downloaded the Wellable app onto it, but then I wasn’t sure what to do,” Penny said. “My friends said just go get steps and that will get you points. So that’s what I did.”

Penny was recovering from ACL surgery and had some herniated discs in her back. She had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, was pre-diabetic and had the general aches and pains that come with carrying extra weight. She set her first goal at 3,000 steps per day. At the time, it felt like climbing a mountain. Penny didn’t have a treadmill or a gym membership, and the only time she had to exercise was before sunrise, so she started out walking in her house. She’d clock laps around the living room early in the morning, and when the weather warmed up, she did laps in her driveway.

“The first few times I hit 3,000 steps, I thought to myself, I can do more! I can push myself harder,” Penny said. “So I upped my goal to 6,000 steps. And I was able to meet that goal. So I read that the average steps per day should be 10,000, so I ultimately set that as my goal. I had no idea that getting these steps in was leading me on a journey that would change my life. I had a million excuses to not get started, but I’m so glad I did.”

Penny now finds herself getting up early to walk before work every single day and is now averaging 15,000 to 20,000 steps per day. She’s also lost nearly 100 pounds, lowered her cholesterol and boosted her confidence in the process.

“The way I feel when I get movement each day — you can’t get it from a drink or a pill or your spouse,” Penny said. “I love the way I feel when I get to move my body each day.”

Taking her steps each day helped Penny get motivated to see what else she could do. Her home gym now has an elliptical, treadmill, weights and resistance bands. But sometimes, Penny just likes to dance.

“I don’t follow any program, I just do what feels good. Some days, I just turn on music and move my body and it feels great,” Penny said. “I was looking at my stats in the Wellable app, and one week I was active for almost 12 hours. It takes up a lot of my time, but it’s so worth it and it’s so good for me. When my son moved out, I could make his room a sad place or I could make it a happy place, and turning it into my gym made it my happy place.”

Penny’s family has been supportive from day one. Her husband often joins her for walks in the morning and after work, and in the process he’s also lost 20 pounds. It’s their time to spend with one another while also creating healthy habits. 

“It’s the greatest thing I've ever done for myself. It affects everyone around me, my family and my coworkers.  I’m more friendly and positive, and my whole demeanor and life has changed for the better.” Penny said.
Penny during one of her daily walks

In addition to what she’s lost, Penny has gained energy, stamina and motivation. Before she started her step journey, movement was sometimes painful and difficult, and now Penny equates movement to medicine.

“Exercise for me is addictive. I like food, I work out to eat, but I make better choices now. I like cheese, but I just eat a little less cheese. I still love nachos with queso — everything in moderation.”

“The best thing that ever happened to me was this commitment to wellness. I used to say if I could get someone to pay me to lose weight, I would do it,” Penny said. “This is the next best thing. My health is great now, and you can’t keep me down. It takes a lot of dedication to make that commitment to yourself. Because if you don’t do the work, the only person you are letting down is yourself. I make sure to show up for myself now, every single day.”

To find out more about the People First culture at EquipmentShare and the commitment to employee wellness – body, mind and spirit – visit equipmentshare.com/careers/culture. 

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