Cherwell Software™ recently launched a 30-day, global staff exercise program entitled, ‘Ninja Warriors’. 77 staff members competed as part of 12 teams. To win the competition, a team needed to exercise for more minutes than any other team during the 30 day competition period.
Below is Bryan Wilson’s experience. By the way, Bryan was a member of team RingWraiths, which clocked a grand total of 27,451 minutes of exercise. Way to go! Bryan is an accountant with Cherwell Software, and thanks to this competition, he’s now also a true biking enthusiast.
“Before this competition started, I would have asked myself: how many times can I hit the snooze button on my alarm, get ready, and still drive into work on time? During the competition, I had one motivation and that was weight loss. How was I going to achieve this? By cycling to and from work as many days as possible. I set a benchmark to cycle 1,000 miles before October. It was going to be a long process, but I knew one day at a time, I’d at least chip away at it and maybe break the competitive spirit of my colleagues as they watched as I cycled into work…again.
During the competition, I managed to cycle a total of 354 miles in 30 days, and I learned the importance of closely watching each day’s weather forecast. Heart pumping rides in lightning, wind soaking rain journeys, and a personal highlight, which was competing in my first biking event, logging a 45 mile trip that included 3,400 feet of elevation. Not only was this becoming more fun each day, but I began to take notice that the weight scale was tipping in my favor. This was becoming life changing and not just a fun competition. At the end of the competition, I had lost 20 pounds of weight. OK, so I actually started my weight loss a few weeks earlier, but once starting the competition, my clothes were fitting better, and I was learning the skill needed to bike into work safely and effectively.
Now, as a bike commuter, you have to have a secret to your success. Getting out of my 15 miles-per- gallon truck and beginning to see the dollars stack up as I was saving upwards of $3 a day in fuel was an obvious motivator. Seeing my bank account grow each week made me want to bike more! The true secret to my success though was my dog. I can bike to and from work each day, which equates to one hour of exercise. This was no problem, but there was a competition to win, and one hour a day of exercise was not going to cut it. Luckily, having an Australian shepherd mixed with a blue heeler dog made for an instant, every day workout buddy. He even would join me on my weekend mountain bike rides, and I learned that I could have fun while wearing him out at the same time!
This was not the only positive though that I took away from this competition. We had 77 participants and a competition that in the end, came down to 50 minutes separating the teams in first and second place. I grew closer to each of my teammates and even received a weekly prize from our team leader. I learned really quickly that competition was coming from all participants, and their minutes were stacking up from kayaking, hiking, and even hula hooping activities. I set out to be the top performer on my team, and by the end of the competition, I was not even close but not because of lack of effort. Instead, it was because we came away with a desire to compete with one another, to push each other to do their best, and as a team, to win the competition. As we increased our totals each week, nothing could stop us. We motivated each other day after day and made sure to talk a little bit of ‘trash’ to our competition. There was fierce competition down to the end, but the best takeaway of all was the water cooler talk with employees.
I think I’ll end this by saying one of my favorite statements to my competitors along the way, “Rest up tonight, and don’t forget to rest tomorrow too.”