At a time when stress levels are high and working hours longer, busy professionals say running fits easily into their work life balance. Heather Geronemus runs 40 miles a week. Even while traveling often for her job as events marketing director at Ultimate Software, Geronemus sticks to her running routine.
“All you need is sneakers. It’s a nice way to explore a community. I just ran the Vegas strip last week.” said Geronemus, chair of the MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale, who also travels for marathons and uses running as common ground with people she wants to meet for business. “It is the newest way to network.”
Running can also be a productivity booster. Every weekday morning, Rebecca Laracuente-Hernandez and eight other women meet at a nearby university to run for an hour as the sun rises. “It has become like a support group. We run. We talk and then we shower and head to our jobs.” By 9 a.m., when she arrives at her office at Wells Fargo Bank, Laracuente-Hernandez says she’s ready to do her best work. “I’m relaxed, and feel I can tackle anything.”
All it may take is one runner at a workplace to change the vibe. Jim Halley, a competitive runner who works at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, says he’s that guy. “I’m not pushy about it. I just let my co-workers know if they are interested, I can help them out.” Halley says he always rallies a team for the local corporate run, encouraging colleagues to get past hesitation or the awkwardness of sweating alongside co-workers. “Once they make it across the finish line the first time, they’re hooked.”
Workplace columnist Cindy Krischer Goodman is CEO of BalanceGal, a provider of news and advice on how to balance work and life. Connect with her at email@example.com or worklifebalancingact.com.