Beth Branyon used to play softball. Today, she’s directing her competitive energy in different ways. Recently, the Customer Service Representative at Elasto Proxy’s office in Simpsonville, South Carolina finished second in her age group in a road race. The Furman Flatlander 5K was “a beautiful run on a beautiful day”, Beth says, with a loop around the lake on the campus of nearby Furman University in Greenville.
Cheered on by her husband, who encouraged her to stay after the race to see how she’d done, Beth was pleased with the results of her run. “I knew there weren’t many people in front of me,” she explains, but her second-place finish was still a nice surprise. Beth had been running for only a year, since the spring of 2012. Now she’s training for another 5K race in January, a 10K in in April, and hoping to compete in a half-marathon by this time next year.
From Couch to 5K to Half-Marathon
Beth’s dedication is extraordinary – and inspiring. Her journey from softball player to competitive runner didn’t happen overnight, and involved some lifestyle changes. The Couch to 5K Running Plan that she followed eases beginners into a training program, but that’s doesn’t mean the regimen is easy. Would-be runners must find the time to exercise and the willpower to pound the pavement instead of reaching for fast food or junk food.
Training for a race also means working out when the weather is less than ideal. South Carolina isn’t always warm, and temperatures can fall to 20° F on winter nights. That’s when Beth stays indoors and runs on a treadmill instead. Here at Elasto Proxy headquarters in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada, we know something about cold-weather conditions, too. Many of us played hockey instead of softball, but we’re now running to compete – if only against ourselves.
Two Mountains and Zero Five Thirty
Last June, Elasto Proxy employees participated in Défi Deux-Montagnes (Two Mountains Challenge), a local footrace that lets participants run or walk a distance of their choice. With courses ranging from shorter 1K and 2K sprints to longer 5K and 10K runs, this fun-filled event helped Elasto Proxy to promote our goal of healthy lifestyles for employees. Although it’s not even January yet, we’re looking forward to running the Two Mountains Challenge again in the summer of 2014.
In the meantime, we’ll continue to train hard and make healthy choices. Each day, some of us go running at lunchtime. When it’s time for a snack, the refrigerator in Elasto Proxy’s Boisbriand cafeteria has oranges, plums, and bananas – all healthy alternatives to vending machine fare. The “Zero Five Thirty” initiative in Quebec makes great sense. That’s zero tobacco, five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and thirty minutes of daily exercise.
Join the Conversation
What are your goals for 2014? The New Year is still a few weeks away, but it’s never too early to think about your health, or what your company can do to promote healthy lifestyles among employees. We’ve shared some experiences that we think can help, and congratulate Beth Branyon and other Elasto Proxy employees for their achievements in 2013
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