I do not enter many contests. Either I don't think there is a chance I'll win anything, or I'm simply not interested or qualified in the subject matter. I don't really consider races to be contests because I'm mostly racing against myself, and I always get a t-shirt whether I beat myself or not.
Even so, at the beginning of the year, I entered a contest. My company had two contests, and I chose the one I thought perfect for me. The first one is called "Beat the Astronaut." In this contest one has to lose more weight than Jan Davis, who was an astronaut and is now the VP of our company. The second contest, and the one I chose to enter, is called "Outwork the Boss". In this contest one has to exercise more minutes than Randy Lycans, who is the President of our company.
There are two parts to this contest, however. The first is to, of course, beat the boss in minutes of exercise from January 9th to June 9th. The second is to be the one person with the MOST MINUTES.
I wanted to be that person.
I couldn't wait to get started. As soon as January 9th rolled around, I opened an Excel spreadsheet and started my exercise log. My first column showed the date of the activity. My second column showed how many minutes the activity lasted, and the third column gave a brief description of the activity (just in case anyone wondered what I did for 3 or 4 hours one day, they could see the miles or the race).
When the contest started, I was in the midst of my training for the Snickers Marathon Bar Marathon, which would be March 7. This was perfect. Not only would I be logging in some serious minutes with all the running, the contest would spur me on to do others kinds of exercise, like weights, Pilates, and afternoon walks with Jason and Chance, which would in turn make me a better runner.
I worked out with gusto. I ran in the mornings and went to the gym in the afternoons. As a coach for the No Boundaries program, that guaranteed more running on Monday nights and Friday mornings. Monday exercise minutes became quite impressive with a morning run, a lunch time Pilates class, and an evening of No Boundaries.
I was a little surprised at the end of January when I was in third place, but I didn't sweat it. Or actually, I did. I sweated a lot. By the end of February I was in second place. I wondered what in the world these other contestants were doing, because I knew I was working my tail off (quite literally), and I couldn't understand how a normal person (non-Olympic athlete, triathlete, etc.) could fit in any more minutes.
March brought the completion of a wonderful marathon, but after that I needed rest. I tried to fit in some sort of exercise every day, but battled back pain and plain out fatigue. This body was tired!
At the end of March I checked and checked the company website, but no updates were posted. Finally, with a tad bit of chagrin, I e-mailed the lady in charge of keeping up with the minutes to "make sure I was looking in the right place." She wrote back and said that I was, but that Randy had asked her to wait until after the company picnic to post them. He was planning to recognize all of the contestants who had currently worked out more minutes than he had.
The picnic was April 15, and I was antsy as I sat at a picnic table eating my lunch with some coworkers. Finally, he got up to make his announcement. We were to stand when our name was called, and I thought that was a great idea so I could scope out my competition. He called the name in first place. It was not mine. I looked and looked, but could not see her anywhere in the crowd. He called the name in second place. It also was not mine. A girl stood up near me and I recognized her from my Pilates class.
Then my name was called. In third place. My coworkers clapped for me and my team lead said, "Go Jane." I smiled and sat back down...confused. I knew I'd rested some in March, but HOW could I be third? Another concern was the minutes. With each name, Randy called out the minutes, and it sounded to me like I was at least 600 minutes behind the contestant in 1st place! That is 10 hours!
This morning, the current numbers were posted. I am, in fact, 1000 minutes behind the contestant in 1st place. That is over 16 hours! That means, in the last 3 months, she has worked out 16 hours more than I have. This would not be so shocking if I didn't know how much I'd worked myself. I certainly don't think I'm the queen of exercise but...I exercise a lot! I could understand someone being ahead of me, but 16 hours?
I won't give up, of course. I'll keep running, attending pilates, walking the dog, lifting weights, and anything else I can think to do. But I do not know how to make up 16 hours by June 9. I'm going to have to quit my job, become an aerobics instructor and teach 5 classes a day. I'm going to have to run a marathon every weekend. I'm going to have to start triatholon training, ride my bike to work, hire a personal trainer...
All for what...a t-shirt? I really have lost my mind.