VideoAmp’s VIRTUAL Summer Fitness Challenge: Going the Distance
by Jessica Suver, Health & Wellness Director at VideoAmp
Anyone who’s familiar with VideoAmp and our company culture knows two things: that we love getting a workout in and we love a good competition. Throughout the years, we’ve hosted quarterly company-wide fitness challenges and we wanted to make sure 2020 didn’t pass us by without one.
At the start of the year, we couldn’t have imagined our offices would still be closed by summer. Though we immediately started virtual workouts and yoga classes back in March, nothing could compare to the energy surrounding a VideoAmp challenge. The few things we could all do and track, regardless of where we were located, were running and walking.
I was concerned about enthusiasm in a virtual world, so I put a pulse out to employees and the excitement began to grow. But there were requests: “Can we add Biking? Rowing? Paddleboarding? Peloton?”
I obliged to all requests and a little over 1/3 of our employees signed up. In an initial questionnaire I sent out to start organizing fair teams, I asked for the weekly mileage all participants had been doing on average — with a high of 15+ miles for running or 30+ miles for biking. I had no idea how much of an underestimate this would be for our employees!
Three teams were put together, each with their own captain and it was decided that the challenge would be two months long (July 1st – August 31st), with scoring updates given in our company all hands meeting each week. All activities were given weights based on difficulty level. For example, running or walking a mile counted 1:1, biking miles counted 3:1 and swimming counted 1:3. Right away, we started to see huge scores — I’m talking 100+ miles a week scores (yes, for an individual!). The prize? Each member of the team with the most cumulative miles got to pick the sneakers of their choice.
Competition became fierce! Especially between two athletes in particular: Josh Nisenson (SVP of Engineering) and Rickcel Bantog (Senior Engineer). Rickcel, to his credit, was doing all walking/running miles. While Team Captain Jess Pritchard (VP of Account Sales) was also on a mission to dethrone Team Captain Brian Landry (Principal Data Scientist) who had won the previous two challenges.
Week after week the miles piled up, Betty Tong (Senior Finance Manager) led the women from the beginning, going marathon distances each week and hitting over 75 miles in the final few days. Yet, nothing compared to the battle for men’s first place between Rickcel and Josh. Rickcel completed 240 miles in his final WEEK and Josh completed 245! (more miles than most did throughout the entire 9-week challenge). That’s close to 35 miles a DAY. In the end, Miles Maximizer (Jess’ team) edged out Team AMP (Brian’s team) by 100 miles. Congratulations to the Miles Maximizer team for taking the top spot!
We got outside and pushed each other to walk, jog, run, bike, swim and prancercise through the past two months and found the ability to bond in ways we didn’t think possible without our office environment. Our 60 participating athletes collectively ran, walked, biked, swam, paddleboarded 13,121 miles!
Now more than ever, as our travel is restricted we must find ways to keep up our fitness in unique, paradigm challenging ways. We don’t know what the future will hold but we do know that health and wellness will always be paramount to VideoAmp’s core values.