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We Rocked The Rock!

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When most Southwest Airlines Employees get together outside of the office, the word “fitness” doesn’t usually come to mind…until now. 

Our fall semester Culture Activites Intern, Liz Dorris, decided to recruit Coworkers to form relay teams to run the 2008 Dallas White Rock Marathon.  Sure, as part of a relay team the most anyone would have to run was 6.2 miles, but remember that part about fitness not usually being a part of our social activities?  Four, five, or, heaven forbid, 6.2 miles sounded like torture when little Liz came up with the idea  to run back in September.

Over the next couple months we had meetings and fought over who would get the four mile leg; we traveled SWA’s campus selling baked goods to help pay our registration fees (which were for a great cause-The Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Dallas); we swore off Sonic tater tots; and we even “trained.”  I put trained in quotes because the way we felt after the race made it evident that none of us had put in anywhere near the adequate amount of training that we should have.

December 14:  race day!  Ten SWA Employees formed two relay teams- Team Peanuts and Team Pretzels—and we were ready to “Run the Rock!”  With our bodies fueled from a big group pasta dinner the night before, we donned our Canyon Blue Southwest Airlines Share the Spirit T-shirts and crazy war paint and set out to wow the crowds at the starting line with our inflatable Shamu One flying through the air (okay, it was taped to a sand wedge, but still, no one else had one). Before we knew it, our first relay runners were off and running; and so it began…

Almost exactly five hours and precisely 26.2 miles later, all ten members of Teams Peanuts and Pretzels had finished their legs of the race-what a feeling!  We had worked together to navigate the streets of Dallas in our getaway cars (special thanks to our “superfans!”) to get to the relay exchange points where we screamed and yelled with so much support for our SWA Teammates that I think other relay teams were a little jealous.  As we waited for our final runners to cross the finish line, I know a couple of us were overcome with emotion from seeing folks that had finished the entire 26.2 miles, but also from thinking about how wonderful the day had been and what this amazing group of SWA Friends had accomplished together.

We all decided to wear our finisher t-shirts to work the next day-we were so proud.  Of course there were several Employees who had run the entire marathon or half marathon—kudos to all of you, I don’t know one member of our relay teams who could have done that!  But for a bunch of folks who usually spend our time together drinking beer and eating Mexican food to have covered 52.4 miles of pavement (when you add the teams together), we couldn’t think of a bigger thrill.

 This wasn’t about the pace at which we ran or about winning the race, it wasn’t really about the race at all. It was all about that thing that we Southwest Employees feel but can’t really put our finger on; and it was about our amazing Intern, Liz, who really “got it” during her time with the Company and fully embraced what SWA Culture is all about and brought a bunch of SWA Family Members together to do something they never would have dreamed of doing before—and, of course, having FUN the entire time!

12 Comments
Employee
Employee
This was the best Team building ever! We really miss you, Liz and Abby!
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A huge congratulations to each and every one of you! And, thanks for representing Southwest so well and with so much flair and determination!! I am sure that experiencing such a daunting task with a group of friends/Coworkers created a special bond that you will have for years to come. In my opinion, everyone should sit on the bleachers at the finish line of a marathon once in their life to witness truly one of the finest examples of the triumph of the human spirit!
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Awesome job! All you beautiful people deserve gold medals. Is that Char from HQ there? She is the bomb diggity!!
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Brian Buckley! I know him !
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That is so inspiring!. My sister Charline was a part of that and I am so proud of her and her accomplishments. Liz - thanks for doing such a great job as intern... I know that entire group of relay runnrers will appreciate you for a lifetime. Luv to you all Janine
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WOW!!! Thats truly inspiring!! Im proud to say my big sister char char was a part of it! CONGRATS TO ALL OF YOU!! Now go eat some Hooters wings and Fried Pickles in CELEBRATION!! heeheee...
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Char is an inspiration! I'm so proud of her go get em attitude and willingness to take on the world. I love you Char!!!!
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My sister Char!!! You are just the BOMB!! I am so proud of you!! You have a lot of guts and charm!!! I love your outfit by the way!!! You have always had that "go get 'me" style and personality!!! You ALWAYS make EVERYTHING a GREAT TIME!!! Congrats to all the other team mates too!! I love and miss you loads!!!!! Your sister Chris in Glendale, Arizona
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My Aunt Char: You have always inspired me with your "Go Get 'em Attitude". You are an inspiration to me and I have always looked up to YOU! It looks like you were having FUN!! I wish I could have been there with you! I just know we would have had a GREAT TIME!! Give me a call when you want to "RUN" again!! I love and miss you!! Come and visit us soon again in ARIZONA!!! Love, Your Niece Mandy Pooh
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You guys are awesome! What a great team building event!!!!
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oh how i wish i could have been there.....NOT!!!! well, to cheer and support. Good going to you all..........and an extra salute to my dear Char Char.....we love ya!!! i can remember when you first told me about this marathon....ARE YOU NUTS!!!?????......and look at what you accomplished......i am not a bit surprised. you never fail. you are amazing. i love ya!!!
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WOW! I'm amazed. This is the first time I've read a blog entry with my mouth open in amazement. Very Inspirational! GREAT JOB Y'ALL!