Leadership and Teamwork- Lessons Learned from Healthy CompetitionWe’re taught from a fairly young age that regular exercise can have a substantial benefit to your overall physical and mental health. And while this is not breaking news, what is pretty impressive is how many people today devote hours of time and energy toward getting healthy. And two of our Advanced AV team members have embarked on health and fitness journeys we feel are newsworthy, as we’re feeling the benefits extending beyond the weight room and into our communities and our boardrooms.

Bryan Pass, Senior Sales Engineer and GoRuck Challenge Finisher

Some of you might have heard of “rucking,” which gets its name from the term “ruck sack,” military speak for “backpack.” “Rucking” is walking (or marching) while wearing your ruck sack, and when training or in the field, soldiers can ruck 25 plus miles a day, carrying a pack that weighs upwards of 200 pounds. I know. I’m tired just reading that.

This brings us to The GoRuck Challenge, a physical and mental team obstacle event. The event is tied to military training methods, as each team is lead by a US Special Forces soldier. Lasting anywhere from 12-13 hours and ranging 15 to 20 miles long, all participants carry a rucksack with a weight equivalency of six bricks, and each team must share the job of carrying one 20-pound weight and one American flag.

Who would be crazy enough to sign up for this? Our very own senior sales engineer Bryan Pass, who agreed to participate in the chilly February event at the insistence of his friend. Soon, several other friends had joined his “team within a team.” And this, Bryan said, was part of the reason he didn’t give up.

“The philosophy is that people are capable of much more when they work together, for each other,” he said. This is just one lesson reinforced during Bryan’s training and event completion that apply to much more than physical challenges—and there were a lot of those, including carrying telephone poles and jumping into icy water (see photo below).

While Bryan admits that the GoRuck Challenge is not for everyone, he is proud of his accomplishment and came away from the experience with some valuable insight about the role of leadership and teamwork in the workplace.

“I learned that you are only as strong as your weakest link, so if you are breezing through the pushups maybe you can carry the team weight for your partner,” Bryan said. “This type of lesson can easily be translated into the work environment. It is only through teamwork that large projects can be tackled. You can accomplish more than you realize when you are working for the good of your team.”

Jason Holbrook, Account Executive and CrossFit Competitor

Jason Holbrook, Account Executive and CrossFit Competitor

While “rucking” is one of the hottest fitness trends out there today, Cross Fit is also at the top of that work out list. Focusing on a variety of cardio, gymnastics, core training and weight lifting maneuvers, CrossFit programs aim to keep your muscles guessing and your workout intensity maxed for the duration of each 45-60 minute session. The physical fitness platform has grown in popularity so much so that its formed a sort of CrossFit culture, complete with dedicated gyms popping up all over the country, athlete sponsorships and nationally hosted competitions.

Attending three such competitions this year is Advanced AV account executive Jason Holbrook, who decided to get into shape after finding himself overweight and on various types of medication three years ago.

“Around that same time my father at the age of 68 had a stroke. I realized that I had to make a change or I was going to end up in the same condition,” Jason said.

After losing almost 50 pounds in two years through diet and general exercise, Jason decided he wanted the thrill of competing and opted for CrossFit. He’s placed in several competitions, including fifth in the Master’s Division of his latest contest filled with nationally ranked CrossFit elite.

In addition to CrossFit, Jason also spends his time sharing his love of fitness with the community—especially youth. He’s the local race director for the Healthy Kids Running Series in Reading, PA, a series of five cross-country races for children 4-13 years old.

Jason doesn’t stop there. He also runs Exeter Elite Track, a program for children in grades 1-7 within local Exeter Township School District that teaches sprinting, hurdling, long jumping, and other track and field events. The 250 enrolled participants get to hear from guest speakers about the importance of nutrition and athletics in a healthy lifestyle—subjects Jason is clearly very passionate about. We believe happy, healthy and fulfilled employees are the best employees, and we couldn’t be more pleased with Jason’s out-of-office work.

the GoRuck Challenge and CrossFit

Want More?

We’re incredibly proud of Bryan and Jason for their efforts to challenge themselves physically and apply that same positive, infectious energy here at Advanced AV.

Do you want more information about any program mentioned here? Follow the links to learn more about the GoRuck Challenge and CrossFit to see what programs are available in your area. Please remember that if you are interested in beginning an entirely new exercise or wellness program, be sure to consult your physician and read what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says here.

Photo Credit: conoro_brien via Compfight cc