It’s no secret that setting fitness goals is easy, but committing to them is not as easy. So what’s the secret to helping you follow through? A community that cheers you on and holds you accountable.
Dawn Hanson, 71 South Wacker’s KINETIC™ Fitness and Wellness Manager, took a group of 32 customers on an 8-week journey of training for — and participating in — the Chicago Spartan Race in mid-November. As a Sports Conditioning Specialist, she’s focused on encouraging people to step outside their comfort zones to achieve what they think is unattainable. Dawn explains, “The people who signed up were not my usual, die-hard Type A regulars. Everyone had different personal motivations for why they were committing to the race, and followed through beyond all expectations.”
Dawn and the KINETIC team established a curated training program for all 71 S Wacker customers. Participants attended 3 hour-long sessions each week, lead by 3 different KINETIC trainers, to prepare for the 3-mile-20-obstacle race without knowing exactly what to expect. This made the preparation more exhilarating — and difficult — since they had to manage the ambiguity of not knowing the obstacles they would face in addition to the rigors of the training itself.
Training sessions ran the gamut from learning how to climb rope to running up and down stairs with sandbags attached to people’s ankles, oftentimes using the building itself as a terrain. Dawn reflects, “I liked to remind participants, ‘work harder today in class and the race will be easy for you.’” Christian, one of the trainees, explains, “I never expected to run a Spartan Race. The challenge was daunting. The enthusiasm of the KINETIC team, however, was contagious.”
With participants from a variety of companies at 71 S Wacker, community-building was a natural byproduct. People who normally work out alone suddenly had a team supporting them. At the race itself, the 71 S Wacker Ops staff came to cheer the Spartans on, providing even more collective support. Kenny, another 71S Wacker Spartan participant, enthuses, “It was a great opportunity to meet some amazing people with similar passions and different backgrounds. I really enjoyed the camaraderie from beginning to end!”
By not revealing the course map until a few days prior, the principle behind the Spartan Race is to prepare people for overcoming life’s unpredictable obstacles by building their resiliency. Dawn believes this sort of challenge is meant to build both physical and mental strength. Jim, a long-time building customer shares, “I developed confidence that I would be able to handle the physical and endurance challenges of the Spartan race.”
It was a cold November Saturday in Chicago on race day, and Spartan provided the 71 S Wacker crew with a private sky box at Wrigley Field to keep participants warm, a perfect way to celebrate the team’s long, rigorous and rewarding journey.
The success of this program has left participants feeling motivated for the next race and prepared to stick together with their newfound team. The 71 South Wacker KINETIC™ fitness instructors witnessed the profound impacts of the Spartan experience, and have visions to continue the tradition for years to come and expand it across The Chicago Collection in hopes to encourage customers to fulfill their fitness resolutions, and simultaneously build community as a result.