The Corporate Challenge is an Olympics styled event held every Aug-Sept and pits over 50 Dallas area companies against each other in events like basketball, badminton, volleyball, running and swimming. For the not-so-athletic, there is even dominoes, poker and bowling. Me, being somewhere in between, joined the GE soccer and cycling teams. I figured there was safety in numbers...
We started our soccer practices in the heat of July and the scenes were reminiscent of The Junction Boys. Blazing heat, bad fields, injuries, not enough water, and so on. To make matters worse, our average age was 40-something and we scrimmaged against 20 year olds. All the conditioning paid off to an extent: we breezed through our first three Corporate Change soccer games, winning all by a combined margin of 18-1. It unraveled in the semis' when the opposition scored three of the luckiest goals imaginable and we went down 3-1. In the bronze medal game, we lost 2-0, again giving the other team two gifts. We ended up fourth out of ten teams in our division - no mean achievement given it was our first foray into Corporate Challenge.
I made about 15 new friends from other GE offices in the Dallas area, guys I would normally never interact with. We are determined to keep the nucleus of the team together and hopefully add some youth next year (we have plenty of experience).
What stands out in the Corporate Challenge is the athleticism and determination of people who have real day jobs. Case in point was the bike race. It was only 9 miles, but was won a 40-something guy who completed the course in a little over 20 minutes. That's 27 MPH!!! On average!!!
I was on a big old mountain bike and finished in 32 mins, or about 17MPH and Team GE placed 7th.
The Challenge goes on for about another two weeks and so far GE has two silver medals to show for our efforts. We will get 'em next year!