Mud, Sweat, & Overcoming Fears

I have a confession.

I truly, wholeheartedly, loathe running. Now, it’s not that I hate exercising or don’t enjoy physical activity outside, I just can’t sympathise with Forrest Gump and go for a jog because “I just felt like running.”

So you can imagine that two months ago when my manager, Josiah Deegan, nominated me to run a 5k I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy.

However, if I had learned anything in my first four months at Relus Cloud, I knew this would be another great opportunity for me to exemplify one of our company’s favorite expressions: get comfortable with being uncomfortable. And you know what makes me uncomfortable? Running 3.10686 miles while conquering 12 obstacles. In the mud. On a Saturday.

In the beginning, I think a lot of us were hesitant to sign up for the race. But can you really blame us? Look at how much mud we had on us after the race.


I can’t say I wasn’t intimidated when I visited The Warrior Dash website and saw that I would quite literally be jumping over fire AND climbing through mud- while underneath barbed wire. Yet looking back, it makes me unbelievably proud that before we even knew any of the details of the race (or found out more information about the obstacles), our office knew the story and purpose of why we were running. We were doing it to pay it forward.

For the past couple years, Relus has been involved in the Promise686 TOUGH Campaign. If you haven’t heard about Promise686, it’s a nonprofit whose mission is to mobilize and serve families to meet the needs of orphans and foster children, both locally and abroad. As Tori Levine mentioned in her previous blog, “there aren’t enough families for the more than 13,000 Georgia children in foster care.” So it came as no surprise that we were getting involved with their TOUGH Campaign to not only raise awareness of the issue, but to also put one of our core values into practice (making it a priority to make a difference within and outside our organization).

Between the weekly workouts training for the Warrior Dash…


constant words and acts of encouragement throughout the actual race…


or even our last minute fundraising (which resulted in raising $3,000 in 15 minutes to watch four ReluStars shave their heads) showed it was so much more than just finishing a race.

*Huge shoutout to Mark Metz, Josiah Deegan, Chris Masters, & Michael Whaley!


Now that it’s all over, it has given me a greater appreciation for my co-workers here at Relus Cloud. Throughout the race, it was inspiring to see so many individuals push themselves and others to perform the best they possibly could and conquer their fears. Similar to how we view our challenges at Relus Cloud, people were encouraging each other to view the race as an opportunity to rise to the occasion instead of viewing it as an uncomfortable challenge. After reflecting, I took away that it’s our responsibility to face our challenges, while also helping others face theirs along the way.

Whether it’s through volunteering, giving advice, lending a hand, or even shaving your head for a greater cause, it’s up to us to continue to pay it forward. As a company, Relus Cloud was able to sponsor 25 ReluStar Runners, and I have no doubt we made an impact. The realization that we were able to to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves is truly remarkable. Collectively the Promise686 TOUGH Campaign was able to raise over $170,000. We conquered challenges and made an impact helping people along the way.

To me, it was worth every stride of the run.