Fox 6 reported on Tuesday that Connie Emmons, a 72-year-old grandmother and former teacher living in Lee County, Florida, recently became a Pokemon Go master. Her path there and her motivations for wanting to be the very best (like no one ever was) are both amazing and deeply touching.
Firstly, understand that becoming a Pokemon Go master is definitely not an easy task. The physical demands alone are considerable. For example, Emmons said during her interview with FOX that she would regularly spend entire days walking around local parks.
“I have caught all 143 catchable Pokemon in the United States and the seven new babies that had to be hatched out, but I hatched them,” Connie told the station. “I walked and walked.”
That a 73-year-old is able do get out so often and engage in such rigorous exercise is amazing enough, but just that alone is not enough to become a Pokemon Go master. Finding or hatching all of the available Pokemon in the game involves a good amount of travel, too.
“I got Tauros in Michigan. They are north of the 29th parallel,” she recounted.
Pokemon Go seems to have provided a very good fitness regimen for the aging Emmons, who says she was hooked by the game the minute she spotted her grandson playing it on his phone. After that, she says, the game brought her closer to her loved ones.
“My grandson got me started and then we became a Pokemon family.”
This leads into the second way that Pokemon Go vastly improved Emmons’ life: it allowed her to spend a lot of quality time with her grandchildren.
“We just drive around, walk around together,” she explained. “We have come across so many historical places that it takes you to. It is very interesting and a good part of this game.”
Connie Emmons’ experience with Pokemon Go really speaks to how the app is much more than just another mobile game.
Firstly, it is an excellent way to get exercise. While many games one plays on a phone just involve sitting in one place and tapping the screen, Pokemon Go gets its players to leave the house and explore the world around them. Like Emmons, Pokemon Go trainers might discover places they did not even know existed while out playing the game, and that only furthers the player’s motivation to stay active.
Second, Pokemon Go is and always was meant to be a deeply social experience. A big part of why the app is so incredibly popular among all walks of life is that it brings people together, regardless of demographic divides such as age.
Even when she is not with her family, Connie says, she likes to let people around her know when she is playing because it lets them know she is “a hip granny.” Emmons says she gets excited when she makes a catch in order to tip passers-by on the street off to the fact that she is in the game.
“I was at Wal-Mart,” Emmons recalled. “I went up to pay my bill and then young man said, ‘Are you doing Pokemon?’ and I said, ‘Yes, I’ve got to get this one in the parking lot, hurry.'”
Ever since Pokemon Go was released back in June, it has been helping players everywhere out in the same ways it has helped Connie Emmons. The game’s Holiday-themed events, including its ongoing New Year’s global event, have kept it at the forefront of pop culture.
With her accomplishment, Emmons joins the exclusive club of the world’s Pokemon Go masters. Unfortunately, that also means there is no more motivation left to keep her active. So here’s to the generation two Pokemon being added to the game soon. The world is ready for another helping of Pokemon Go!
[Featured Image by Rebecca Santana/AP Images]