A week ago I had the privilege of attending the #GetOutHere Challenge in Chicago, IL. I was one of 48 athletes from around North America (USA & Canada) invited to attend. The point of the challenge was to encourage everyone to not stop training just because the weather changes. Get outside no matter what.
How did I get selected? I participated in a social media challenge and Nike reached out to me on Twitter to let me know I was selected. To say I was excited would be an understatement. After receiving my travel itinerary from Nike, I headed to the airport at 2 am on December 11 for my first trip to Chicago!
My photos were featured on the wall in Chicago
Upon arriving in Chicago I was picked up at the airport and whisked off to the Chicago Athletic Association hotel. A gorgeous hotel right near Millennium Park and across from the famous Chicago Bean sculpture.
When got to my room I found gear laid out to help protect me from the cold and a suitcase full of new Nike gear!
Nike was so generous! I really didn’t need to even pack a bag to come here. They provided me with everything I would need for the weekend and the challenge. I felt like an elite athlete.
Next up – dinner at a secret location. We loaded up the buses and headed out to none-other than Soldier Field! Home of the Chicago Bears. We even got to walk out on the field while our names played across the mega-screen! Following some photos on the field we ate dinner from a suite overlooking the field.
Talk about a great Friday night! After dinner we went to take photos of the gorgeous city across the water and then headed to the Nike Town store for a private shopping event.
Saturday we woke up for breakfast and a two mile shake-out run to the bean. A lot of the attendees came with crews from NYC, Toronto or Chicago, but the group I’m pictured with below were from all around the US – we formed our own group for a photo session (TX, WA, CA, OH, IN).
Post-run we were treated to even more Nike gear – seriously spoiled! Thanks for the amazing early Christmas, Nike! Then we had some lunch and free time before the big final event that evening. Nike provided us all with massages, physical therapy, compression boots and snacks while we rested up for our big 3-hour evening workout!
When 3:30pm rolled around we headed out for an evening I will never forget! Nike built a workout facility on the river on a barge – affectionately named “The Icebox.” It was gorgeous. This is where our sessions would be.
We arrived on our bus, walked off and were greeted with cheering, video camera’s and fans! Yes, Chicago residents came out to watch and cheer us on. I have never felt so much like an elite athlete. I can only imagine what elite’s and pro’s feel like at their events.
After a quick pep talk and change into the new gear Nike provided to us in our lockers (yes, there was more), we were off for our workouts.
The sessions were divided into 3 main events. We started with a warm-up, then had a run session, boot-camp type session and a final metabolic challenge.
Drills for form, to warm our muscles and get us ready for what was coming.
We were divided into pace groups and headed out for a sprint workout. We ran 800m, 400m, 2x200m sprints. We repeated this for a total of two rounds.
Following the run we were divided up into three groups. We went through 3 different stations – each for 15 minutes and a total of 45 minutes. What did these entail? Battle ropes, sledge hammer slams, stair climbs with weight overhead, medicine ball slam tuck jumps (yes – they are as crazy as they sound), agility drills, squat jumps and tire flips.
We ended the workout with 45 seconds of tabata-like intervals followed by 15 seconds of rest. We did 4 rounds of 3 exercises each. Think tuck jumps, knee tucks, fast feet & drop and many more! I was surprised at how well I did, but I wish I could have pushed just a little bit harder. I really wanted to be one of the top 3 ladies picked to participate in the final challenge.
The three male and female finalists were great and in the end – there was only one winner each. The whole weekend really wasn’t about getting the trophy in the end. It was actually about teamwork, camaraderie and becoming what we now refer to each other as, #the48. Together we endured something that no one else will and it made us stronger. We got through a very tough workout together. And we left with friendships that will last for years to come. I am so thankful Nike gave me this opportunity.
After the challenge Nike had one final surprise – dinner on the roof of the old Chicago Tribune building! The view was incredible from the top and we had a chance to let go after the final and really catch up with everyone! It was just one big party in our Nike gear.
To say I feel lucky and blessed is an understatement. I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to represent Nike, the Bay Area and myself on such a great stage. Fitness should always be this fun and it always can be.
The biggest lesson to take from this is to surround yourself with people with like-minded goals. Rally together and build each other up. I cannot stress the importance of finding your own #the48 to cheer you on and push you when you think you can’t go any further. Because you know what – you really always can go even more.
What are you doing to up your training this winter? I’d love to hear about it! Share below. Hugs!