Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chipotle Office Challenge. Get Moving!

There's a reason why I've been getting up in the morning, lacing up my cute running shoes and breathing in the fresh Maine air at 6am.

Chips and salsa. 

I admit it's not the only reason, but it's still pretty motivating to dream of the chips as my left leg cramps rounding the second corner of my run and I know that I could be in bed snuggled up to a fluffy comforter for another hour. It's comforting to know that, one day, I too can enjoy the vegan options at Chipotle, if I just make it over the hill that is now making me sound like I've never actually run in my life.

Well hello morning sky… so we meet again.

How did this all start?

I work at a company with about 10,000 employees. While I would I love to have a fitness program in place where everyone is running laps in the lobby or where you have to complete 20 push ups before getting into the coffee line, the truth is, it's never going to happen. 

Departments will go out walking together, the health center will put out initiatives, we have a track a team..but in general if you want to get involved with your direct peers, you've got to do it on your own.

Another reason is that I noticed that my exercise patterns during the week were faltering. I would go out for runs and bike rides on the weekends, but making time for anything Monday-Friday was falling to the bottom of my priority list. 

I needed somebody to hold me accountable or offer encouragement.

And that's how the Chipotle Challenge began. It's a super official program that me and three other office mates crafted via inter-office e-mail and PowerPoint graph function. Our "check-off" sheet even has an official space in the advertising area, tucked in a corner, so random colleagues don't actually see it. 

Luckily, I work in a department that is enamored with guacamole so the selling of my initial idea wasn't too hard. Plus, the Chipotle in South Portland, Maine at lunch time is so packed you need a special occasion to actually go and make it worth while.

We plan on extending the days and workout sessions, but this is my initial blueprint. 

The Chipotle Challenge

Objective: To get moving on weekdays

What you need to do:
1.       Define what counts as an “Exercise” session for you. Is it 30 mins, walking running, yoga, Pilates, biking, weight lifting? All of the above. As long as you know what it is and will stick to it, then that’s cool.
2.       Track which days you workout
3.       Weekends do not count.
4.       Paid Time Off/Company Holidays do count.

Here are the rules:
1.       Only one session per day counts (i.e. – Biking 60 minutes and running 20 minutes on the same day only counts for one session, we’re going for consistency, not speed)
2.       After everyone completes their 8 sessions we make a Chipotle Lunch date for chips and salsa and salads/burritos.

We set-up the plan so that everyone could define what they wanted to consider exercise and put a 30 minute time minimum on the session. We have a weight-lifter, a runner, a yoga person, and a walker (that just found out about our happening program and wants to join).

Why am I telling you this?

Because it's easy to make excuses and try to skip out on the health goals. Because the people around you actually want to help you succeed. Because office competition can be friendly and enjoyable. Because regardless of company size, you can make a program that works for you. AND because chips and salsa will go down in history as one of the best foods of all time. (If chips and salsa are not your thing, then pick something that is -- and seriously contemplate why you're hating on the best snack food ever.)

Good luck with your office health goals. Today is the first day we get to have lunch, so I'm going to enjoy my time out of the office and catch up with the people that I see every day, but rarely get to really talk to. 


1 comment:

  1. I almost went shopping yesterday at lunch, and decided to run the east end trail instead... this post is a great idea to motivate co workers to get active as well. I totally agree a special occasion is needed to hit up Chipotle, the success is great, but the line is ENORMOUS.