I’m not the type of person who loses things. I always have my car keys, I always lock the front door and run back inside at least twice to check if the coffee pot is turned off before I leave the house. And I never, ever, leave things out in the open for people to take.
Except for my bike.
My bike got stolen in the parking deck at work off the back of my coworker’s car. Life lesson: bike locks are a good idea! We called the police as a matter of procedure, but I knew the bike was gone forever. There would be no after-work trail ride for me or my co-worker whose bike also disappeared with mine.
I trolled Craigslist the following week hunting for that piece of junk (my bike really wasn’t that nice) but nothing turned up. What bummed me out the most about this experience is that I couldn’t join my friends for a post-work workout. Yep, that’s a thing!
I needed to log some hours for the Bandwidth Whole Person Challenge, (an incentive to make fitness part of your everyday life by winning a paid vacation day if you log the required number of hours). Bike rides were a regular part of my spring fitness regimen and now I had no bike. Worse yet, I was faced with the prospect of having to go running, and I don’t like running.
A few weeks went by and I forgot about it until my coworker David came over to my desk and handed me a card.
He sent a few emails around, without my knowledge, asking for donations to purchase two gift cards with enough money to buy my coworker and I new bike. I was floored. A lot of the people who contributed I hadn’t even met before. I was still a newbie, about six months on the job and felt undeserving of the gift.
It’s strange how you can get something stolen from you and feel like the person who took your stuff was actually the one who lost. I was grateful to see the generosity of my peers at work in such a humbling and unexpected way.
Many of us are now participating in something called the All-4-1 Challenge, which is a fitness incentive to earn one paid vacation day by reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” , donating one or several items to local charities like The Healing Place or the Tammy Lynn Center and logging at least 20 hours of fitness activity with co-workers.
The concept is to pull together to make it happen while benefitting those in our community who could use the extra household items. If every single person who signed up for the challenge completes it successfully, we get the day off. If one of us fails, we all do. The challenge makes perfect sense to me now. When I was down on my luck, everyone chipped in to help. Bandwidth’s team spirit rallied to make my own personal series of unfortunate events an opportunity to give. I couldn’t ask for a better team or a more supportive employer.