Engage in Fitness Activities with Coworkers - the Younger the Better

By Brigadier General (Retired) Maureen LeBoeuf, Ed.D., Thursday, August 22, 2019

I grew up as an athlete, a swimmer. I swam competitively from a young age through my college years. Upon graduation I entered the Army and enjoyed the occasional mornings of physical training. At the time it was the mid 70s and physical training in the Army was just not that important. Eventually, it became more and more important, I loved that physical training was a mandatory part of my day. I spent 28 years in our Army.

I now find myself in my mid-60s and a proud holder of a Medicare card. The older we get the more challenging it can be to stay active. We all have those days when we wake up and something hurts. I refer to this as the ache of the day. Not sure why I have it, I just do.

I work with the Thayer Leader Development Group (TLDG) at West Point, we educate and train executives in leadership development. One of the topics we mention is having fun, yes having fun with your co-workers. Back in the day companies had teams, bowling teams or softball teams, this served as a way for members of the organization to connect outside of work. It is a great way for folks to bond around something other than work and have fun. Sadly today this just isn’t done as often.

My son-in-law, Stephen works for a tech company and recently the CEO asked if anyone wanted to join him in a Spartan competition. Stephen served as a Marine for five years and is in great shape, he signed up. The day of the event the CEO, another executive and Stephen were the only members of the organization to participate. It was a wonderful opportunity for Stephen to spend some time with the CEO. At the conclusion of the race there was a pull-up event, Stephen did 28. The CEO posted a picture of him with a caption on the company’s FaceBook page. They had fun!

Last spring an e-mail went out asking members of the TLDG team if we wanted to participate in the 30th Annual Triathlon at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Each of us was to be on a relay, thus competing in one of the events, swim, bike or run. It was the spring and August was a long way off, I signed up to swim.

Our community pool opens up in mid-May so I got back in the pool. However, because of a lot of travel I was not as diligent in my workouts as I would have liked. I trained for a 1500 yard event and did manage to swim that distance several times. However, the night before the event I read the competitor info and discovered to my delight it was a 750 meter swim. Yay!

We were given the names of our teammates, mine were Caroline Staudle and Mike Cronin, we linked up before the race. In a triathlon your age is written on your calf. I’m not sure why this is done, however it can serve as a source of motivation when passed on the bike or run by an older person. My teammates were quite a bit younger than I, in fact their ages combined is 54, I’m 65! Yes, I was with some youngsters. This was an amazing way to connect in a different way with some of the younger members of TLDG.


Sunday morning was a great day for a triathlon, overcast skies and the water was a cool 77 degrees. When it was our turn to enter the water we stood knee deep waiting for the signal to start. I could sense the nervousness of some of the athletes around me. This is an open water swim and there are no lines on the bottom of Lake Popolopen. The horn sounded and we were off. Initially there were a lot of swimmers around and then it thinned out, making it easier to set a pace. It was a good swim and before I knew it I was exiting the water and handing the ankle timer off to Mike our biker and when he finished it was Caroline’s time to run.

I love to compete and being with colleagues made it just that much more fun. On Sunday, I made a memory with some of the younger members of TLDG. Oh yes, and at age 65 I can still bring it! 

So, when is the last time you got out there with members of your team and had fun?

Brigadier General Maureen LeBoeuf, Ed.D.

ExpertiseLeadership development, wellness, keynote speaker, executive coach ExperienceMaureen spent 28 years in the U.S. Army, where she held various staff and leadership positions, as well as flying UH-1 helicopters in the continental United States and Europe. Most noteworthy was her assignment as the Professor and Head of the Department of... Read More +

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"The first step in developing your leadership philosophy is to determine your values—it needs to be authentic and reflect who you really are."
Brigadier General Maureen LeBoeuf, Ed.D.
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"The first step in developing your leadership philosophy is to determine your values—it needs to be authentic and reflect who you really are."
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