On Tuesday of this week it came down to a handful of warriors left charging down Day 100 of the SoCreate Summer Fitness Challenge 2016. It was a long fought battle of will, determination, and stamina.
This challenge was tough, really tough. For me, it proved to be one of the most difficult challenge I have attempted. Thankfully, I was able to push through and complete it. The overall consensus was that the relentless no days off pace of the challenge was grueling and the downfall of most that couldn’t continue. Making up a missed day while late in the competition can be nearly impossible, but some did in fact did do that. I am very proud of everyone inside and outside the company that stepped up to the challenge regardless of whether they completed it or not. The goal of the challenge was to get people moving and to try something new. I am even more proud of those that found the will to keep going and made it to the end.
The youngest to complete the challenge was an 8-year-old boy named AJ. When AJ’s dad heard about the SoCreate Summer Fitness Challenge, he asked his family if anyone was interested participating. AJ was all over it. To sweeten the pot, AJ’s dad setup his own rewards program promising to buy AJ a Nintendo 3DS XL if he completed the challenge. That was all the motivation AJ needed. He dominated! Even on their summer camping trips, AJ didn’t skip a beat. He crushed it every single day. That boy is a go getter and I can’t wait to see what he does with that determination in the future.
After the challenge ended Tuesday, we gave everyone a couple days’ rest before we attempted to do our push-up contest. If you recall, there was a $500 bounty to anyone on the SoCreate Team that could do more push-ups in 60 seconds than me. I knew the competition would be strong. We were also offering a $100 to anyone that doubled their push-up count in 60 seconds. Lastly, there was a $100 reward to anyone that had a significant other complete the competition. The money was on the line and today we found out who would go home with the greenbacks.
First up was our young gun, the intern, Tim who easily glided to a $250 challenge completion payout. Tim had me worried from the beginning. Besides his youthful edge, Tim is an avid weight lifter who loves a little competition. In our pre-challenge push up test, Tim put up a big number, 41 push-ups in 60 seconds. That was a legit start and I knew I had my work cut out for me. After months of sweating it out, Tim increased his push-up count by a whopping 19.6% laying down an extremely respectable 51. Way to go Tim!
Next up was Amber. She destroyed this challenge along with her significant other Ben. And, for all Ben’s hard work, Amber gets to take home an addition $100 on top of the $250 she got for completing the challenge. These two pushed each other through it enabling Amber to post amazing gains. Amber killed it in her push-up test increasing it by an amazing 41% from a pre-challenge 20 to 34 today. You rocked it Amber! Great Job.
Then there was Brian who had a crazy busy summer and still managed to find the time to stay in the challenge. Brian planned his execution like a master. He’d double up his workouts for days he new he would not have the time posting up more then 150 burpees in a day. He never wavered and did every single required rep. Brian contributes his planning efforts to him making it all the way through to a $250 completion. Brian increased his push-up test by 30 percent going from a respectable 27 to an awesome 39. Awesome work Brian!
Following Brian was Rosa our CFO, who is my wife and the mother of our 3 girls (a 2 ½ year old and 9 month old twins). From sun up to literally the end of the day, Rosa’s schedule is jam packed. Often running on almost no sleep, Rosa conquered her CFO duties to her Mama duties and still found the time to blast through this challenge. She amazed us all with a crazy 64% increase in her push-up test, more than doubling her numbers from 9 to 25. That amazing feat scored Rosa an extra $100 on top of the $250 she was awarded for completing the challenge. You are amazing Rosa!
Lastly, it was my turn. Tim put up the huge number of 51 push-ups in 60 seconds and if I couldn’t beat it, I’d be signing a $500 check in Tim’s name. More than parting with the money, I can’t stand to lose a challenge. I was determined to give it everything I had and I was packing a secret weapon. To ensure I had the edge in the competition, I opted to do double push-up burpees throughout the summer challenge. If you have never done a double push up burpee, they are crazy hard. At times I didn’t know if I’d make it all the way through doing them, but I somehow persevered. Today, the day of reckoning, I felt ready for this challenge. I started out feeling great, but I hit a wall at 30. Suddenly I found myself wondering if two days of rest after the completion of the challenge was enough. I paused for a second and then continued. It was so close. In the end, I posted an 18.9% increase squeezing out 53 push-ups barely edging out Tim by 2. What a relief! If I hadn’t had the CEO imposed advantage of going last, Tim might have gotten me.
In the end, the SoCreate Summer Fitness Challenge was a blast and a huge success. We got lots of people sweating and pushing themselves to the limit. It was really hard, but at the same time really rewarding. It has me already looking forward to next year where I hope you will join in the fun.