Win4Youth – Follow Our Ambassadors’ Journeys
As part of the international Adecco Group, Adecco Canada participates every year in Win4Youth, a global sports initiative organized by Adecco to raise money for youth foundations around the world. After running in 2010, cycling in 2011, and performing triathlon activities in 2012, the Win4Youth 2013 program concentrates on achieving 500,000 km worth of running or walking. Participating in groups of three, all Adecco employees and clients in more than 60 countries are invited to participate in local or international events in person or virtually. For every kilometre covered, Adecco commits money to selected youth projects. In 2012 alone, Adecco, through the actions of its colleagues, has donated $360,000 USD for four different youth charities around the world. To date, Adecco has raised approximately $920,000 since the program’s inception.
This past year, two of our colleagues, Susan Brown and Suzanne Tremblay, have been writing about their experiences as Adecco Canada Win4Youth Ambassadors leading up to the main event on November 10th: a marathon in Athens, Greece. Below are their latest blog entries. To read more about their experiences, you can find their previous blog entries here.
This Time It Will Be Different
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got…”
I overheard someone saying those words the other day and I thought, Wow, isn’t that the simple truth? Over the past nine years, I’ve always followed the same training plans for my running: progressive mileage, speed drills, hill repeats, always hyper focused on my pace or speed as the crucial element. If you’ve been following these blogs, you may remember me telling you in Blog 3 that our Belgium coaches taught us this time it will be different. “You will not be concerned with your pace or speed…, you will never run for more than three hours during training…, you should not give any consideration to the distance you cover”. Yep, I am certainly NOT doing what I have always done as I prepare for Athens, and let me tell you what I’m getting…
Freedom. I used to be a slave to my Garmin in the past; constantly looking to make sure I was on pace, making adjustments throughout my runs to keep on target and always checking time against distance. I still wear my Garmin but I look with much less frequency and only at one number, my heart rate. And I could pretty much tell you what it is anyway by how I feel and probably will be right within 2 or 3 beats. I spend much more time looking around at the scenery (and Calgary’s running paths have lots worth looking at, know what I’m sayin’?) I try out new routes, enjoy my surroundings, and appreciate the company when I have it.
Confidence. So my nephew was visiting me this summer and was encouraging me on a particularly hard training session on the treadmill. I must have looked impressive because he asked me if I thought it was going to win in Athens! HAHAHA, a laugh burst out of me so hard it practically blew me off the thing! When I explained that actual professionals and people who had been to the Olympics will be running the race he said, “Well aren’t you Professional?” (he’s my favorite btw…) Anyway, I may not be professional but I do actually consider myself a ‘Runner’ now, only took 9 years!
Achievements. PB, pre running life = Peanut Butter sandwich, mmmmm. PB now = Personal Best time, Oh Ya Baby!! Over the summer I have achieved new personal best times in the 5km, the 10km, and half marathon / 21.1km, woo hoo!!!! And I’m not just talking about this season or my age grouping; I’m talking about the fastest times I’ve ever run those distances IN MY LIFE! So there is only one distance left to conquer this year; 42.2km – November 10th – 9:00am, it’s time to GIVE’R!!
Gratitude. None of this could have been possible without Adecco, the Win4Youth program, and the support of all of YOU! I am so thrilled with the achievements we have made together so far this year: smashing our 7,500km country goal (now sitting at 9,440km’s and rising!), rallying each other to join in the fun, and promoting health and fitness while truly embracing our core value of Team Spirit – all the while, ensuring W4Y initiatives can help those most vulnerable. Every time we put one foot in front of the other for the program, our steps enable disadvantaged young people to gain the confidence they need to achieve their goals and the freedom for a better life. We may never know who they are, but I am certain they are as grateful as I.
I am humbled to proudly represent you in Athen’s in a few short weeks and put these months of hard work to the test. Yes this time it will be different, it’s going to be INCREDIBLE!
A Question of Numbers
In jogging, like in life, we are surrounded by numbers.
5 km: The first distance that really counts and which, for many novice runners, marks the first milestone in their initiation to running (what a nice distance!).
5: The number of times I need to hit “snooze” before getting up in the morning.
10 km: Now we’re practically talking levitation! Yes, it’s the effect of intense joy that you feel after completing a 10 km run without stopping… It’s all go!
10: Is the average number of tasks that I delay until tomorrow. A matter of procrastination you might ask? No!!! You can’t forget that I’ve accomplished at least 200 others that day! It is also represents THE date in November – “D-Day”.
21.1 km: Yes, the famous half-marathon. I grab your attention when I use the word “marathon”, don’t I? No more laughing now. Years ago, this was my first “extreme” running goal. Not because I was going to beat any time records or anything, but rather because I was going to beat my personal best. Four half-marathons later, I don’t find them as “extreme” as I used to, but they are still just as gratifying and just as pleasant to run.
21: The number of minutes I take in the morning to get ready. Don’t doubt for a moment, the results are pretty good despite the minimal time invested. Well, that’s what my boyfriend tells me anyway.
30 km: Is the longest distance that I will have ever run before my marathon in Athens. After the first 30 kms, the remaining 12.2 will be a “walk in the park”. E.A.S.Y! At least, that’s what I keep hoping and telling myself.
30: How old I feel after a good run! Careful though, don’t forget that I’m really 45.
42.2 km: Is the number of the big day! On November 10th, I will have had the honour of running it. It represents a stage in my life.
42: The number that precedes 43 and follows 41. Ha-ha! For me, I have difficulty relating any other significance to this “marathonian” number than this famous challenge.