From no running to the Palos Verdes Marathon
Simeon Petrov's Success Story
With this letter I want to express how thankful I am for what you did with this fitness program for a lot of employees at Stewart Filmscreen. I am talking specifically about the lunchtime walk that you started.
The engineering department, as a whole, usually stays at their desks. You will rarely see us outside at the tables for a snack or lunch, not to mention a walk or some other activity. That was the culture before and we just adapted to it.
In my five years with the company, I ran or walked around the block a few times and a few times I walked to the nearby fast food restaurants. Each time I felt awkward walking alone on the sidewalks. Jogging looks even worst.
A few months ago I discovered that some of my colleagues from production were jogging every day. It was difficult for me at the beginning to leave the office at 12:00pm sharp to join them. I had excuses for every day of the week (forgot my running shoes, shorts, t-shirt, I am sweaty after the run, where to change, the meeting took longer “ to name a few). Not any more.
For the last two months I missed only one run. That is more than 60 miles running total. If somebody had told me before that in two months I will cover 60 miles running I would laugh at them, but little by little it adds up.
The most difficult part is to get away from my desk. There is always, always something to be done. But we have to keep a balance, as much as we can, between work and health. It is easy to say, a little more difficult to do it.
What the benefits are for me, from this 15 minute lunch run:
I feel great after the run. My lungs get fresh air, my head gets fresh blood, my eyes are relaxed, my, excuse me, “behind" is not sore, and my mood is happier. It is a brand new day after that.
You, and most of the people that run, jog or walk know what I am talking about. A few days ago I was walking into the lunch room after the run and a colleague of mine asked me in a friendly way: “What are you laughing at? What is so funny?” There was nothing, absolutely nothing, I just had a smile on my face without even realizing it. Considering the extra stress due to the tough economic times, these days that is quite an achievement.
I feel that I am more productive, more concentrated, more creative and more patient.
I was pretty healthy before, but now I think chances are even better that I can keep the lower back and right hand wrist pain at bay. I was at a lecture at Little Company of Mary years ago regarding lower back pain and the doctor said something in the lines of: ““look folks, your spine was designed to chase food and was good at that for thousands of years. It was not meant to be stuck on a chair for years. What do you expect?...”.
I consider this program as a perk or benefit. The same way as my health, or 401K benefits.
I believe that all of the above is valid for the rest that participate, and the benefits are mutual – for us and for the company.
Thanks to the individuals within the company that initiated this program and contacted you, or the other way around. I don’t know how it started, but it is great.
Simeon Petrov 2009