Inspired to Challenge Each Other: A Family Plan for Fitness
August 16, 2017
Elena Dumlao at the Seattle Marathon
To call Elena Dumlao competitive might be an understatement. “I compete against myself,” Elena says with a laugh. “I’m always pushing myself to be faster and stronger. And I’m not satisfied until I reach my goals. I was so disappointed when I missed my personal goal of running the Seattle half marathon in under two hours. My actual time was two hours and one minute. I guess that means I’m going to have to run another half marathon!”
As the Operations Manager at the Peoples Bank Mill Creek Financial Center, this perseverance serves Elena well. Balancing a busy career with an active athletic schedule isn’t easy, and Elena has been doing it for years. “Fitness has long been an important part of my life,” she explains. "When I moved to Seattle after high school I started working out and running 5K races. I find exercise to be a really good form of stress relief.” And rather than viewing her fitness program as something that's in conflict with her work life, Elena regards it as an important element in a balanced life. “I notice that when I don't exercise for a while, I miss it, and I’ve come to realize that it's something I need in my life. For me it's an important way to stay well-rounded and healthy – both physically and mentally."
Most recently, Elena’s husband has become involved in her training regimen. "My husband is not a runner," Elena says, "but when I was training for the Seattle half marathon, he wanted to support me. He started riding his bike alongside me on my long run days. He really enjoyed doing this, and came to see it as a way to get fit while spending time together. It makes me really happy that my husband got on the fitness bandwagon. Now we both own bikes and we challenge each other. Our new activity is doing long weekend bike rides together."
This year, Elena used her annual $150 wellness reimbursement from Peoples Bank to help buy a new bicycle, and she is grateful for the Bank’s support of employee health and fitness. “Working for a company that recognizes the important role of physical fitness in its employees' overall well-being is very important to me,” explained Elena. “The benefits Peoples Bank provides to support health and wellness are indicative of its dedication to making sure that employees are well taken care of and that their needs are met both in and out of the office. The bank also does a great job of making sure we know these benefits are available to us through regular email notifications. They’re not hidden benefits – rather, they’re front and center. The bank wants us to use them. When I worked at our Ballard branch we were offered a discount to join one of the nearby gyms. Many of us in the office signed up. The bank also organizes quarterly fitness challenges which I love – especially the step challenge. That really gets my competitive juices flowing and I do everything I can to get an extra step!”
While Elena jokes about being competitive, she explains that it’s really about keeping herself accountable. “I need that boost to keep me focused on my goals, to keep my workouts interesting, and to keep me centered in life,” she explains.
Although she’s recovering from an injury, Elena is getting ready to hit the pavement again soon. Her sights are set on Seattle's next Rock 'n' Roll half marathon. One thing we can be sure of – Elena will engage her competitive spirit and do everything she can to record a time under two hours!