I have to admit that I enjoy watching sports on TV more than exercising myself. However, I still ended up co-founding a running and fitness app together with Thomas and Magali.
I never was a big runner, to begin with. In my childhood, I played soccer for more than 15 years. Quite competitively, I would say, hitting the pitch with my buddies three to four times a week for practicing and matches. What I enjoyed most about soccer was the social aspect of it and its simplicity. If you let the ball do the work, you wouldn’t have to run that much to be successful. The worst time for me was the winter break when we had to work on our cardio. I always hated it to go on these 10-15K runs when it was cold and snowy. Because of work and my studies, I couldn’t find the time to play anymore when I was 23 years old. Since then, I didn’t do too many sports other than a quick run to catch a bus.
So how could I end up being a co-founder of atlasGO?
First of all, I really like the idea that goes way beyond the running part of atlasGO. A platform that brings together people, companies, and charities to raise funds and awareness around social issues is what I probably like most about it. Just look at the homelessness issue in San Francisco. Nobody really understands why so many people live on the streets of our city and how they got there. I believe that our app can have an impact in telling important stories, making our users more conscious of social and environmental issues.
Second is my corporate background, mostly in CSR. I myself experienced many conversations with peers working in HR and CSR who are actively looking for innovative ways to engage employees and customers and to make their social engagement more visible for brand building. I think atlasGO is a great way to get a company engaged around a cause while promoting a healthy lifestyle in a fun, uplifting, and uniting manner. It’s a big motivation to see how the employees of companies like Stripe, New Resource Bank, or AT&T stuck together and engaged each other to go the extra mile.
Third, I do see the need for myself to exercise more. My lifestyle is not healthy, and I want to make atlasGO a tool that motivates me to go out at least once a week and do a 5Kor 10K run. Even if my primary role at Atlas focuses on operations and finance, our App is the one thing I’m particularly fond of, and we often have heated discussions about designs and new features. I believe that my input as a person who needs an actual kick in the ass to get up and go for a run is super important.
A blog I want to write soon is my first experience with the runner’s high – let’s see how long it will take me to get there. As you can see in this picture (right) from the Berkeley 10K race, I’m far away from being high during my runs 🙂