What started as a challenge on June 2 turned into new friendships, fitness success, and life changing experiences.
With over 400 participants and 100 teams registered, over 30% stuck it out and were successful. Throughout a busy season with vacations and summer temptations, this group persevered and made time to be healthy, together. All successful teams were invited to The Summer of FUNction BBQ at the President’s Residence to celebrate with President Young and Coach Marti. This event was a night to remember and left all 75 of us inspired and proud to work at the UW. Check out the pictures here.
Teams were challenged to exercise at least 30 times together, keep track with an exercise log, share inspiration in their office, host healthy potluck lunches, share health recipes, try at least two new activities together, and take pictures along the way.
Some teams trained for a 5K, 10K, or even half marathon distances, some found every possible stairwell on campus, some kayaked or paddle boarded, and some even hiked mountains together for the first time.
Below are a few of the success stories that represent the true meaning of why we created this opportunity for faculty and staff:
From a member of Team with a Bling:
Here is a medley of small victories that I can attribute to the fitness challenge:
- Greater camaraderie and respect for each other amongst my teammates as we rotated session leads weekly.
- A shared sense of commitment and accomplishment for completing the challenge.
- My diabetic morning fasting numbers are now trending 20-30 points lower, which is 20-30 points away from normal.
- I’ve lost 20 lbs. in the last three months, 20% of my goal.
- Many things old are new again: I can now wear more of my favorite clothes!
- The impetus to continue a more active lifestyle with the tools I have learned and the desire to share the tools with my family and friends.
- Fitness sessions at home using exercises and handouts from my team have improved listening skills for our whole family, an unexpected benefit.
From a member of the HFS Gladiators team:
It’s been about 45 min into this hike half way up I tell myself to keep going. This is my first hike in years and Yes, I want this! To get out into nature and I am happy to have great people (Conference Gladiators that know what they are doing) hiking with me but there is good and bad to everything. I see a lot of switchbacks and they are not slowing down. They are in shape and I think, I thought, I know I am not ready. My pace slows and it became a great place for a water break. I don’t think these dots should be a part of my vision! And I don’t think this pant is helping, In through your nose out through your mouth. Ok I’m fine, let’s get started again. Spoke too soon… five minutes later I take break number two. Then I start listening to the breathing advise. Slowly but surely we make it to the top. It was worth every step. Thankful for my team. Go Gladiators!
From a member of the 10 at 10 from Harborview team:
I felt like our team walks at 10 a.m. were great team building. It was nice to walk, talk, and catch-up with my colleagues at a scheduled time. We tend to get so busy with our work and meetings that at times don’t follow-up with each other. It was also nice to see everyone participate and volunteer to lead an item from the checklist that interested them (we had one staff member who was very enthusiastic and would gather everyone at 10 a.m. for our walks, we had another staff member who is into potlucks – she took the lead and scheduled all three potlucks, we had another person who took the lead on scheduling and coordinating kayaking, we had three staff members who put our fitness board together and started posting recipes).
From a team member of SCI – Fitness Geeks:
After four years on campus, I finally built up the nerve to add cycling to my commute— I used to walk to a bus stop near my house and then ride the bus to campus. Every morning since June, however, I’ve been riding my bus 2.25 miles to a Metro Park & Ride in Kirkland, loading my bike onto the bus, getting off at the Montlake Freeway Station, and then riding my bike the rest of the way to work (~ .75 miles). In the afternoon, I reverse the route. I’ve had so much fun riding that I can’t imagine walking anymore— let alone driving my car to the Park & Ride (which I rarely did anyway). This has been especially great because, as a new mom, it’s really hard for me to find time to go to the gym or even work out at home. It’s sneaky exercise!
From a member of the FAB 4 team:
I signed up for this to support the University’s efforts and to get to know you all better. It turned out I exercised more, became aware of my diet, lost a few pounds, and have truly enjoyed the time we spent together walking, exploring, and chatting.
The Whole U created a Summer of FUNction Facebook page to help participants through the 12 weeks. Over 120 participants joined the closed group and the posts, quotes, and pictures were the perfect motivation to keep everyone going.
Now we’ve turned this group page into our Being Active page. This group is for anyone within UW that wants to supports other in their exercise quest or for those looking for extra motivation. The group is open to any UW faculty or staff. Join us.
Whether you were part of Summer of FUNction or not, let’s keep up our momentum and stay healthy!