Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Tag: marathon

Lessons From a Long Run

Regular readers may remember that I participated in the runDisney Princess Enchanted 10K. It was a fabulous event, despite the cold temperatures and early start time. After that race, my running partner and I committed to even more…a half marathon, hosted by Disney once again, in November. We are signed up, and just finished our first “dress rehearsal” training run. Covering over 14 miles of south Florida terrain (a half marathon is 13.1 miles), we learned another meaning of endurance.

When the weather is nice, it’s to the outside we go. However, our normal training is indoors, on a treadmill. Bor-ing. There, you are painfully aware of every milestone. I begin to measure based on other people’s workouts. “The guy in the black shirt has finished three sets…guess I’ve gone another half mile. The girl on the sit up machine is nearly through all the angles…half mile, perhaps?” Or, you have the TVs, with terrible news, a cooking show, and some soap opera. At least give me some reruns of Stargate SG-1, you know! Headphones make it better, but music becomes a distraction, not an activity.

The half marathon distance eliminates these challenges. It’s not like we were going to even bother doing it on a treadmill! We ran to a nearby park, circled part of it, and rounded back home. On this route, we watched the model airplanes being flown, cheered on those playing disc golf, and people-watched at the grocery store, along the foot paths, and more.

We were focused on everything around us and still working towards acomplishing our goal. In fact, by being less focused on our distance, we were more easily able to achieve it!

Same goes for your credit union. You’ve got monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. Do you hover over them like a hawk? Or, do you understand what they are, then “forget” and do your best to serve your members?

On a long run, you cannot see your finish line. It’s there, but so far away. So, instead of squinting and searching the whole time, enjoy what’s around you. Before you know it, you’re traversing the final quarter mile, exceeding your lending goals, and looking success right in the face!

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Just Keep Swimming

“If you’re not being chased by a lion, why would you run?”, a friend recently asked me. It’s a good question. Isn’t that why we developed bicycles, horse-drawn carriages, and cars? There is a special feeling to covering distance on your own foot power.

Last year I decided, along with a family member, to train for a 5K (3.1 miles for Imperial folk). Our first race was in the middle of a Florida summer. Think 90 degrees, with humidity so thick you had to swim through it. Seriously, it was so humid the air was dripping. In other words, about the worst conditions imaginable. Still, we finished. No world records, just an eye towards the next event, a Thanksgiving morning 5K along the beach. It was a wonderful run which we both completed with no trouble.

Our goal was Disney.

runDisney hosts events at both of their parks throughout the year. We rushed to register for the Princess Enchanted 10K at Epcot. Even registration was a challenge…imagine every runner hitting the same site at once, plus, our internet connection went down to add stress. Somehow, we signed up despite the obstacles. But wait…10K? That’s twice a 5K! Sure is. Just keep swimming.

Last weekend, our efforts went to the test. Gathering at the Epcot parking lot at 3:30 a.m., we joined over 10,000 runners in pursuit of our goal. As the fireworks launched, we ran! If the first race was crazy hot, this was crazy cold. At least moving warms you up!

runDisney says, “Every mile is magic.” It’s true. The experience cannot be explained, from the camaraderie, to the character photos along the route, to the before and after party, it was a magical morning. My family member set a new personal record, despite stopping for photos throughout the race.

So, goal accomplished. That’s it, we’re done improving, right? Wrong! Not a minute past the finish line, we agreed to return in November for the half marathon (13.1 miles). Just keep swimming.

It’s easy to get complacent when things are good. We could have stuck with 5K races. Even 10K. You could have stopped when you reached your initial lending goal. But you didn’t. You set new ones, and together, achieved those too!

Dory may be forgetful, but she knows what it takes to accomplish anything. Just keep swimming.

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Are You Creating Members…or Experiences?

Mickey Mouse called. He insisted I return to the parks where I spent so much time as a younger geek. Especially Epcot. Of course, this time, he’s requesting that I run a 10K while there. Through World Showcase? Alright Mickey, I’m game.

It’s easier to stay on resort property for transportation and other logistics, so that’s been booked. What arrived as confirmation was beyond my expectations, but, then, upon thought, exactly what Disney would do.

A fabric jewelry box arrived in the mail, with the telltale embossed Mickey ears. “Guess Disney sent something out…ok, that’s cool.” Upon opening it, an even more prominent not-so-Hidden Mickey. A filler guide fit for a piece of fine art explains I will find a MyMagic+ flash drive as well as my own vacation details. Good thing, because my memory is entirely dependent on outside resources.

Disney Welcome Box USBWait a minute, that’s my family name on the booklet! Custom covers are worth a smile, but certainly they wouldn’t go further. I’m sure it’s the same booklet everyone gets when their trip is near…

Nearly every page is tailored to my hotel reservations, the exact dates I’ll be there, and even what the website will look like with my name on it upon logging in. You cannot help but be excited, eagerly awaiting the moment you get to pass under the Mickey-eared gates.

All they did was create a customized booklet, but by doing so, they created an emotional connection, an experience that leaves you wanting for more. Sure, their solution has high costs, but what can you do to produce the same feelings in your members?

To me, the best part of this package was that it arrived unannounced. Since I wasn’t expecting anything, I was giddy to unbox it, read through the booklet, and connect the Mickey ears USB drive included. There’s no question I am even more excited than before about my visit. In fact, the box is still sitting on my desk, since I’m so impressed with it. You can bet it will be saved as part of a memory collection for the trip!

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