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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nike.

Nike. WHQ. Beaverton, Oregon.

I spent 2 absolutely amazing days at the Nike WHQ this past Wednesday and Thursday!

I received a message from Nike just a few short weeks ago saying, "Be a Nike+ Human Race Ambassador!" So I applied. I thought my chances were slim. Typically they are with those "contests." About a week later I got an email that said, "Congratulations, you've been chosen to be a Nike+ Human Race Ambassador."

This is where it started.

Our day started at 8:30am on Wednesday, August 12th. We had breakfast, welcome and an introduction video. We then had our Ambassador Program Overview, where we learned all about "the tasks at hand." After that, we got to run with Olympic Runner, Jonathan Riley. We went for a short 3.1 mile run, outside where mud and chips splashed beneath our Nike-painted feet.

After our run, we were introduced to the Nike+ and Nike+ SportBand. This piece of equipment (or any Nike+ for that matter) will be essential for the 10.24.2009 Human Race. This device is fabulous. It's a trendy "watch" that basically tells you how many calories you've burned, miles you've run, pace you've traveled at and distance you've gone. It's waterproof. It's small and gracious. It's a tool to "get you ahead" of both your competitor's game, as well as your own game!

We had lunch, and then learned more about what we going to actually be doing in the next few months. We were given our brand new LunarGlide+ Shoes, along with an HD Flip Cam that was customized for the Nike+ 10K Human Race. Nike discussed with us how the 10 of us in that room were the "US Ambassadors for this event," which is the World's Largest Running Event celebrating runners and their sport. Amazing!

We then were taken to the Nike Employee Store, where I bought too much and had much too much fun!

We ended our day by going to the Grand Central Bowling in downtown Portland. We bowled, had drinks and were catered food.

That night I could not sleep. My heart was beating so fast because I was so excited. I was thrilled to be at Nike. I was thrilled to be a part o all of this. I was having so many ideas pop into my head. My energy was out of control! I slept from 11pm-2am. I woke up at 2am and could not fall back asleep. So I watched TV until 3:30am. I became more restless. So I decided to just get up. I went to the Business Area of the hotel and got on the computer. I did that until 5:30am. I still had so much energy, so I decided to run. I ran until some after 6am, when I decided I wanted to run 1.2 miles to Starbucks. I sat at Starbucks, drank my coffee and enjoyed my time. I then ran back to the hotel. It was 7:20am - my day was about to start again.

At 8:15 am on Thursday, August 13th, my second day at Nike began. We had breakfast and then began our Video Shoot in the Jerry Rice Filming Studio. (Talk about nerves!) The entire room was pitch black, except for the lights on you. Eissa would ask us questions and we had to stare at her, while answering them. I believe my heart raced so fast and my whole body was numb that I didn't come out of it for a few minutes afterwards. But nonetheless, I'm hoping I said some good things!

We were then taken to have a Gait Analysis done. I have never had one of these before. You basically run on the treadmill, while a computer records your leg/foot action/strike. I was always told that I over-pronate. Turned out, though, that I was pretty neutral. Interestingly enough, I also had the LunarGlide+ shoes on. Besides being super comfortable, I guess they also helped me to neutralize. This is a good thing for me!

After (an extremely quick) lunch, we went to the Nike+ Sports Music room. This was not scheduled - very improptu. We got to see "behind-the-scenes" of Dr. PowerSong. We saw an unedited version of LeBron James talking on video about what his "PowerSong" is. Working with Nike+ Sports Music could potentially be another aspect in working with Nike for us. I am thrilled at the idea. Nike understands that not everyone runs or works out to Hip-Hop or R&B. They understand that "everyone runs to their own beat." People would be surprised to know that when I run, I typically run to Hip-Hop, R&B or Country. When I lift, I typically lift to Alternative or Hip-Hop. Stay Tuned for my PowerSong List(s)!

Then, we got to take a tour of the Nike Research Shoe Lab. I could only wish we were allowed to take pictures inside of there. It was probably the coolest place I saw on the Nike Campus. We met the guy who made the LunarGlide+ and the guy who has done many of the "famous" shoes in the past 19 years. We saw everything in there, from the unique paintings on the walls, to their "Live" Winebago and "shoes with purpose" (ie. Military Boots that are saving lives). I do not have links or pictures or much more to share on the Nike Research Shoe Lab, as you can understand that Nike must hold that to the highest confidentiality. Honestly though, what they do, could never be replicated!

We finished up our day there with our Photo Shoot. This was much easier. I was just goofy and had fun "posing." My 10 seconds of fame - ha:)

We got in our car and our driver brought us back to the airport, where I waited (and my heart sank, not yet ready to leave Nike) to head home to Mountain House, CA.

Nike.

This is what I want to say about Nike - UNBELIEVABLE. There was never a time while on the Nike Campus that I did not feel 110% inspired. They "live" in the most creative and innovative environment. They are encouraged to think outside-the-box. They are encouraged to find all the creativity they can find. There are not many "walls" in between people. Everyone has their areas decorated to fit them, who they are, what inspires them and what will help them produce nothing less than the best. There are no stiff suits, ties and pretentious people. Jeans and a shirt and a pair of Nikes are what I found most people were in.

In these next few months, the 10 of us that were chosen to be Nike+ Human Race Ambassadors have a big responsibility. We have the responsibility to promote, educate and ultimately get runners/walkers in every walk of life to participate on 10.24.2009 in the Nike+ 10K Human Race. The individual goal is to make sure that when someone signs up for the Challenge, that they then also sign up to join our Ambassador Team. (You will be able to do this from nikerunning.com beginning on the evening of Tuesday, August 18th. You will be able to go to the site, see my name and join my team. I will post links as soon as they come out so you will know exactly where/how to join me.)

For me, though, this whole experience is more than just that. Of course I want to "win." Of course I want my team to log the most miles on 10.24.2009. But what this is really about for me is that I want everyone to have a Nike+ and to experience the feeling of "where is my run/walk taking me today" and "wow look at what I just accomplished." I want people to follow me and join my Ambassador group because I know that I will inspire you along the way. Running to me means being able to do something no matter what. It's not just for the ultra-athletic. "The Roads are Always Open." I want people to know that it wasn't too long ago when I couldn't even make it a few miles before I had stomach issues. But now I can. And whatever challenge you have to overcome, you can too!

With Nike, with my Ambassador Team - The Pied Pipers of S(swoosh) K(kinetic energy) H(human race 2009), with YOU and with ME......this is all done with nothing less than 110% PASSION!

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ps.....You can Join my Fan Page by clicking on the top, right side where it has a badge for my Pied Pipers of SKH Fan Page! JUST DO IT.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah you are AMAZING and I am so excited for you!

    ReplyDelete