The first in a series of blog reports by KGW NewsChannel 8 anchor Laural Porter about her experience as part of a Portland Executive team competing in the Wild Canyon Games.
Week One: My Surprising New Bling
The email in my inbox said I might be interested in a "unique opportunity." My first reaction -- I am too busy to make phone calls from home.
But this opportunity didn't involve a way to get rich quick. It wasn't a scam. It was from a friend inviting me to take an athletic challenge.
I felt happy to be invited, but then scared to death. The other people involved look like real athletes.
I am not an athlete, I thought. Sure, I ran the Boston Marathon. That was ten years ago. I am only a casual runner now. I cycle -- on my exercise bike, while I surf the web and tweet.
I don't even own a road bike. Even the name of the event, "The NikeFuel Executive Challenge," sounded intimidating. It's four and a half months of training while gaining points on the NikeFuel Band you wear on your wrist.
The challenge involves eight teams with seven members on each team. They are professionals from various walks of life from mostly the Portland-Vancouver area, although some are out of state.
The event tracks your individual “fuel points” and your team total. It culminates with a long weekend called the "Wild Canyon Games" at the end of May.
When I looked at the website, it looked like something where I'd have to wear a Survivor bandana/"buff". Events include a triathlon relay, geocaching, a cliff jump, an obstacle course through mud, a zip line, high ropes course, and more. Yikes! And it lasts for three days.
I started thinking up excuses. I am scared. I'm too busy. I'm not available that "Survivor" weekend.
Around the dinner table, I shared with my family about the "unique opportunity" to which I'd been invited. I expected them to say how funny it was that they wanted me. They'd confrim my fears and validate my inclination to decline.
Instead, I heard my kids say things I'd said to them growing up. That sounds fun! Wow, Mom what a great opportunity! Of course, you're going to do it, right? It makes for a great life story and will make you more interesting.
It's not what I expected to hear. My second-oldest daughter said, "If you don't do it Mom, can I take your place?"
That night, I wrote an email to the friend who invited me. Yes, count me in!
The next morning, I woke up wondering what I had done.
My team includes four men and three women. Our team name is the “Usual Suspects.”
I got my NikeFuel band, spent some time with very patient Nike support people who helped me through the technicalities of getting it working and syncing with my electronic devices.
Then, my life took an interesting turn. Suddenly, I had this new constant companion telling me how much fuel I was burning. If I was moving enough. Urging me on. “Go,Laural, Go,” the band reads in LED lights.
I also had some new friends...my team mates (and, the Nike online support folks;)). And some new acquaintances...the people we will compete with, whose information I can also see online...and then I think to myself "Go, Laural, Go." Don't let the "Usual Suspects" down.
Nikefuel is a metric Nike came up with. Its website says it measures movement of all kinds of activities from your morning workout to your big night out. It measures your whole-body movement no matter your age, weight or gender.
NikeFuel, it says, tracks your life.
In the weeks ahead, I’ll let you know how my life tracks with the Nikefuel band as I train with my new team, the “Usual Suspects.”
So far, it's been fun, and surprising, and interesting. My kids, I can see, were right. It will be a great life story.
When it rains again I may look for some mud to slog through to practice for the games.
Anyone have a Survivor buff to lend me?