My apology is extended to all the good people at Nuun who worked so hard and so diligently and so generously to make this event again unforgettable ... a powerful experience ... and, yes, life-changing. (I'll get to why it was all that in a later post...and it isn't all for reasons you ...or I... might expect).
You may ask why I am apologizing.
I'm not so sure there will be a question about that once you see the photos I've used to illustrate this post :D
But while I'm apologizing, I want to express my deepest, most heartfelt gratitude. I needed this event. Needed. Like you cannot know. Well, some of you know...but most of you don't know how badly I truly needed this event.
Thank you, Nuun.
Thank you, EVERYONE at Nuun who worked so hard to create/implement/support/manage this amazing event.
I wasn't going to even apply this year. Things were so almost-perfect last year...how could that ever be topped or even matched? Add to that a whole mess o' health and personal issues that kept me awake at night, crashed out during the day, and just upside down and inside out no matter which way you sliced it...a creative application was not on my radar. Besides...how could I ever top The Nun?
However...I am so glad I found inspiration and desire for long enough to make my 'sexy' creeper video and even more glad that the Nuun panel deemed it worthy of selection.
So I arrived in Seattle on Wednesday and was met by...
Kim is solid. In every way. She seems to always be able to say just the thing you really need to hear right when you need to hear it. And she has a beautiful outlook. More than just a Nuun contact person, I am so fortunate to be able to count her among my friends.
At the baseball game I was delightedly greeted by Mason Reay, head of Nuun, who gave me a hug and told me more than once "I am so glad you are here." This was closely followed by a similarly hearty welcome from Casey Otley, Nuun CFO (and van driver for the awesome Nuun Platuun Van 2 of 2011). In Seattle for a mere hour and already feeling significant and wanted. What a great feeling!
This continued through the day and on into the night. Nice dinners for everyone. Kind words. Good conversation. Mason even joined some of the participants on a shakeout run Thursday morning...
baseball hat, in the middle
"Sorry, Shanna...you have to be Runner #5..."
anyway I think that's Shanna...
We each were treated to a gorgeous team jacket and a nice-fitting graphic technical team tee...among other things. And our fabulously fun and very organized team coordinator (what a detail-oriented, ball-buster of a job that would be) Caitlin had also put together some really fun stuff for us to do...like the Nuun-mazing Race I wrote about a few days ago.
I can only imagine all of what she had to oversee...from what has previously been mentioned to that night's dinner catering to all manner of dietary restrictions to procuring super comfy 12-passenger vans and supplies to successfully complete a 200-mile running relay for three 12-person teams and having well-appointed condos awaiting us at the end. Caitlin, you deserve your own special 'thank you' post! Your efforts did, indeed, improve upon the perfection of last year's Team Nuun experience for this participant :)
And then there were the drivers... these guys went above and beyond in so many instances. First, there was Mason behind the wheel of Team Night's Van 1. The driver for their Van 2 was...
...who drove my van back to Seattle when the race was over.
driving for Team Noon
How is it this guy is always smiling?
Team Noon's other driver...
...who sparkled and ate Chobani yogurt like the rest of us...
but maybe not as happily as...
...who donned a sparkly skirt (and presumably nothing else) and assisted Caitlin by running with her!
Runner #5 has it really rough. Really.
I'm thinking the skirt makes you smile more.
He also kept Stephanie safe during her night leg.
Again, with a huge smile across his face.
Like Casey, this guy is always smiling.
Tyler (left) and Jay (now unrecognizable on the right)
formed the Van Driver Force for Team Morning...
the team I was running with.
You know we felt secure with these two behind the wheel, right?
Not only is
an excellent driver and a supermodel...
But he and Alex also were great at taking direction when it came to performing simple-yet-very-scary chiropractic maneuvers...
Yes, Elizabeth in the background is very scared.
I almost let them pop my hip...but I was a little too nervous to let it go all the way.
Okay, I'm gushing and rambling. Not such an attractive combo, but I really cannot thank Nuun enough for putting together such a wonderful experience. Spreading hydration elation :) It is with pride and pleasure that I consider myself part of the Nuun family.
*further apologies are extended to improperly credited or uncredited photos used in this post. I was a lame photographer this year :( and additional apologies to those Nuun employees who went unmentioned or whose roles appear to have been minimized. I was rather overwhelmed and can't remember all the names and all the hats everyone wears! Except for ERIN!!!!