The staff at Barton Memorial Hospital is determined to B-Fit. -
The new employee wellness program, known as B-Fit, prepared and encouraged 97 employees to swallow their fitness fears and participate in the Lake Tahoe Marathon events this weekend.
A little encouragement is just what Barton employee Jackie Durham needed. Durham wanted to get in shape, but with a full-time job and kids two kids she didn't know where to start.
"Too many women and mothers who work, and have a home to take care of, forget about themselves. I think I fell into that same pattern," Durham said. "I forgot about myself."
The first steps down the road of fitness were intimidating, especially in front of co-workers, but the Barton wellness programs made it doable. The wellness program offered free training, healthy cooking classes and race registration. It was all a nice incentive to get started, but Durham said it was the support that kept her going through the months.
"We all just push each other," Durham said. "I guess you don't see it sometimes as the individual, but when someone else who doesn't know you sees it, it makes a difference."
To others, 27 pounds lost and 6.2 miles yet to run may not seem like much. For Durham, it's something she never dreamed she could do. Before this year, she did not run and a 10K may as well have been a marathon.
The Lake Tahoe Marathon was the starting goal, but it has opened of fitness floodgate. Durham's calendar is packed with races for the rest of the year and she's got a new mindset to match her fitter frame.
"I'm not really worried about the person on the side of me anymore who is skinnier or heavier or slower or faster," Durham said. "It's your personal goal. Whether it's 6.2 or its 10 miles, you just have to keep pushing yourself."
In addition to the 97 runners, Barton medical staff will be out offering support to runners throughout the weekend. There will be 10 nurses and six physicians, including two orthopedic fellows, out this weekend, volunteering their time to racers who need it.
"Depending on the weather we treat patients for dehydration, nausea, blister care, skinned knees, asthma and in one case - water intoxication, because one patient was not getting any electrolytes," race medical director Ruth Orozco said in e-mail.
The medical crew expects warm temperatures this weekend, but early race start times help combat the heat. -
"If you've never seen Tahoe at 6 a.m. in the morning," Durham said, "it's the most incredible place you've ever seen."