How A Running Club Has Helped Our Office Morale
Thursday, February 28, 2019 Natalie Salem
2018 was a great year for OSEA’s team. In February, we started to throw around ideas of how to build team morale in the office and decided to start a run club starting May 1, and we trained for the Erie County Fair 5k in August. Of course, as the “mason” of the group, I wasn’t sure if this would actually happen and just be a “that was a great idea at that point in time”, like a new year’s resolution. But as the end of April came, our run club was geared up and ready to start as soon as the weather turned warmer. We started out slow with two runs a week and only three runners, but as time progressed, our runs increased to three weekly runs at the office, we increased our mileage, and we started running on the weekends alone. Eventually when others saw the healthy benefits of the runs, we started to have more co-workers join us.
As time progressed, our running and motivation to improve ourselves started to permeate into our work, giving us more energy and helping us to focus on a task and complete it with our best efforts. Our workplace conversations at lunch stemmed around what races we can compete in, when to increase mileage, and what routes we can take. This gave us an increased sense of comradery and helped us to work better as a team, thinking ideas through more open-mindedly instead of shooting them down if they didn’t seem feasible initially.
August came quickly, with the 5k race and we all felt very ready for it. This was the first 5k I had ever done, so nerves were aplenty, but we all crushed it and finished wonderfully! The most influential moment of that run was coming up to the final stretch with the finish line in sight and Joe Coniglio, who had already finished, came back and pushed me to my limits to finish the race, beat a personal record, and we crossed the finish line together as a team. Our running club lasted all the way into the colder months and even pushed Amanda and I to sign up and finish a Half Marathon with some of our co-workers coming out to support us as we crossed the finish line.
The running club helped us to de-stress and focus mentally on ourselves, our work, and what we are running for. It helped us to make personal changes in our lives, become healthier, and encourage others to push themselves to do their best.
Our running club is going to be rejuvenated again this May to compete in the Happy Half Marathon at Holiday Valley, the August Erie County Fair 5k, and in September we will have four runners competing in the Four for Forty Four Relay Team race in Chautauqua, NY. Make sure you stop out to cheer on the Badass Badgers.
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