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Soar to New Heights

by Kelli Littlechilds ASEBP | August 30 2018

We often hear motivational cries—Cheers! or Bon Chance!—as we dig into a new school year. But with my good luck wishes to you all, I’d also like to take the opportunity to get us thinking like Eddie! No idea what I’m talking about? No worries—read on and learn how ‘being an Eddie’ can change the name of your wellness game!

The Eddie I’m talking about is the iconic underdog, Eddie the Eagle—the famed 1988 Olympic ski jumper from the English team who won the hearts of millions around the world for his dogged determination and spirit. I was recently re-introduced to Eddie’s quirky story: one of the most average-of-average guys who relentlessly worked to find a sport that could get him into the Olympics. He was close to making the ski racing team in ‘84 but fell a bit short. Ski jumping, on the other hand, hadn’t had a representative from England in more than 60 years and the entrance rules for the Olympic Ski Jump Competition hadn’t been updated for 52 of those years—it was perfect! Although he placed last in all of his ski jumping heats, Eddie won the hearts of viewers around the world. Moral of the story? Determination and resilience go a looooooong way!

I know what you’re thinking, what on earth does Eddie have to do with workplace wellness? It’s a fair question. I think we can all strive to take a page out of Eddie’s book for the school year ahead, taking on wellness challenges with new rigor and lots of heart. Here are a few Eddieisms for you to test out in your workplace:

  • Try new things...and see where they take you. The adventure along the way is the fun part and there are oodles of resources on The Sandbox to help guide you on your workplace wellness journeys. Better yet, sharing your ideas and giving feedback to other wellness champions in the forum helps foster camaraderie and support for others too, funneling the same type of leadership and spunk into your own initiatives.
  • Be willing to take risks. Find the path least taken and go for it! In order to earn money as he trained, Eddie worked oddball part-time jobs, including mowing lawns, babysitting and chopping wood. What are you and your teammates willing to push for in order to finesse your wellness strategy? Stretch those wellness ideas and strategies as far as you can to really help move the needle and flourish in your year ahead.
  • Resiliency goes a long way. If you fall down (in Eddie’s case, literally over and over again), put those skis back on and try again. We’ll come up against roadblocks throughout the year—that is certain—but how can you work through a busy time, special holiday or the push before Christmas/Spring Break in order to really fly? Remember, Eddie the Eagle finished last in all three of his jumps at the ‘88 Olympics but he managed to beat his own personal record—mission accomplished!
  • Be innovative and creative whenever you can. You’ll impress yourself and your teammates with the results. Go back to that risk-taking bullet above, as I believe that it goes hand-in-hand with innovation and creativity. Think of all of the ways you too can, for example, collaborate with your team differently, put a spin on your monthly team-building activities centred on wellness—you name it! Eddie wore six pairs of socks to fit into his hand-me-down boots. What does “six pairs of socks” look like in your workplace? I’m sure those creative solutions can shine through for you too—maybe even with fewer layers of socks.

Time to Fly

It’s always nice to think of September as a launch pad for new things and fresh starts. I truly hope that you are able to incorporate some of Eddie’s spirit in any capacity you can this year. Perhaps it’s something small like fine-tuning your walking clubs or monthly potlucks, but maybe it’s something much bigger, like really running with a wellness initiative you are passionate about, throwing all of your might behind it. What can you take on to soar to new heights?

Kelli Littlechilds

Kelli—or 'Noodle' as she’s referred to affectionately—is a workplace wellness superhero of the highest calibre. As the current CEO of ASEBP and the holder of seven former roles over her 30-year career here, Kelli understands the importance of a healthy workplace and the impact that can have throughout an organization. Although you won’t catch her in a silent room to save her life, you may find her demonstrating her peculiar hand tricks to staff, flexing and twisting her fingers like she’s made of rubber. That’s okay, Noodle—we dig it!