The day this story takes place was February 19th, 2017. My wife and I celebrate the 19th of every month, in recognition of our actual marriage on July 19, 2008. Here's the story as to why...
My wife was extremely supportive when I told her I wanted to quit my full-time job at Nike to start my own company. She was even okay with the potential of long workdays, possible weekends away and even no income from me as I got started. However, she had one requirement, the 19th of every month was her day, and we would spend that day or evening together, no matter what. I've now held that promise 103 times in a row as of last month (8 years and 7 months).
Sometime last year, we decided to make the 19th a day where we also do something new together, or something we haven't done in awhile. On February 19th, we decided to go for a run on the waterfront with our 10-year old Min-pin, Roro. Since I have about 9-inches on my wife, we found out years ago, that trying to keep a consistent pace with each other is difficult, so we stopped running together. We decided to remedy that with interval training - 60 seconds of running, followed by 60-seconds of walking. In doing this, I really couldn't get that much farther in front of her, and if I did, I'd simply turn around and walk a few yards back during our 60-seconds of walking.
I'm telling you this story because we almost didn't make it outside in the first place. Portland had a 90% chance of rain at 1:00PM that day, and we were just coming up on the noon hour when we decided to go for it. We thought, at the very least, we'd get a good hour in before it starts to pour, so we gave it a go.
Then something amazing happened. I found myself outside on a cold and wet Sunday afternoon with my wife and pup, running the waterfront with my heart pumping and I thought, "Bring on the rain!" Not only could I use a nice cooldown, but nothing was going to stop me from enjoying this amazing afternoon, and my 103rd time of making sure I spent the day with my best friend, wife and business partner of 8-years.
That was an incredible feeling, because the rain is what nearly kept us from leaving the house at all, and all of the sudden, I'm not only okay with it, I want it!
Later, I had to ask, "What else do I tell myself, that keeps me from doing what I really want to accomplish? What obstacles do I think are in my way, that really aren't, or may even be blessings in disguise?"
I write this, as I've been thinking about our local employers and members of our Worksite Wellness Network, and the struggles they go through, running their internal employee wellness programs. I want them to feel encouraged and inspired to experiment and try new things within their programs, even in the face of uncertainty or a bad past experience in workplace wellness.
It's been years since I went for a run with my wife, and I thought it'd never happen again. Then we challenged ourselves to try something different, and even with 90% chance of rain, we ended up thinking a nice drizzle wasn't so bad after all.
In your own efforts to improve employee health, you should always look for what works, what may not, or what simply needs to be tweaked. There is no failure, just failure to keep trying.
Once you know what works, you'll find a rhythm and your confidence will build. You may even start saying silly things like, "Bring on the rain!"
Need support creating, implementing or staying motivated with your worksite wellness goals? That's what the Worksite Wellness Network is for!