Teaching Healthy Maintenance at the Icy Portland Auto Show

The 1986 Mercury Cougar: The Pinnacle of Automotive Achievement

My first car was a 1986 Mercury Cougar. She was big, she was old, and every time I reached 60 MPH, that beast shook like I was going back in time (the fact that it never exploded is miraculous). It’s safe to say the Cougar was NOT a pristine automobile, but I absolutely loved her. While the rest of the world saw a rusted out gas hog that would overheat if I didn’t turn the heater on in the middle of the summer (I called it “sauna driving”), I saw a hot rod. So I took great care of the Cougar. I changed the oil regularly, I washed and waxed her frequently, I rotated the tires, and gave that beat up V6 the maintenance she needed to continue firing. When I bought the Cougar, she was on her last legs. But thanks to some love, she ran like a champ for years.

The same concept holds for people. Just like the Cougar, most of us aren’t in pristine condition. But by exercising, eating well, and knowing your risk factors, you’ll run at your best for the long haul.

1606942_673688136010606_823856310_nThat’s why we sponsored the Healthy Life Garage at the Portland International Auto Show. We wanted to spread the word to “car nuts” that they’re probably taking better care of their automobile than they are themselves. At the show, we posted up with free apple slices (along with our healthy dip), a hydration station, injury risk assessments, blood pressure checks, and gave out some of our healthiest recipes. We also partnered with some clinics in the Portland area to come give biometric screenings on site. In theory, the event was a home run. However, Mother Nature wasn’t kind to us.

Carrying ice in an ice storm will get you some crazy looks. But the hydration station was delicious!

Carrying ice in an ice storm will get you some crazy looks. But the hydration station was delicious!

It snowed, then iced, then snowed again. That meant getting to the Auto Show was along the lines of an Icelandic adventure. But with a skeleton crew, the Healthy Life Garage went on! And, we owe a huge thank you to Rose City Vein Center and The Portland Clinic for braving the roads and giving health screenings to the folks that were able to trudge their way to the Oregon Convention Center. While the crowd was understandably smaller due to the weather (seriously, we’re talking ice rink roads), the folks that stopped by had a great experience in the Healthy Life Garage.

Despite the weather, we still had a great time talking wellness with the good people of Portland. Check out some snapshots from the icy weekend.

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You Pledge to “Go Healthy,” We’ll Give Money to Oregon Charities

TheCivilWarSeries_Banner AdWelcome to the PacificSource Healthy Life Civil War Challenge! From Oct. 28 through Nov. 25 we’re encouraging University of Oregon Duck and Oregon State University Beaver fans to step up, and pledge to live a Healthy Life at HealthyLifeChallenge.org.

By committing to take simple steps to improve your lifestyle, you can help your team – Ducks or Beavers – win the PacificSource Healthy Life Civil War Challenge while also helping to improve the overall health of your community.

For every pledge to “Go Healthy” this Civil War, PacificSource will donate $1 to a charity of your choice. Charities include:

We’ll be tracking to find out who gets more pledges: Ducks or Beavers. So sign up, get healthy, help your community, and (most importantly), help lead your school to victory!

Up at Dawn, Hiking for Healthcare

Eugene Flag5:00 a.m: The Alarm Sounds

While I’ve never taken a karate chop to the head, I’m pretty sure it feels exactly like waking up at 5:00 a.m. If you’re a morning person, I salute you, but I have to question your sanity. With that in mind, on this day, I had good reason to wake up in the midst of darkness. I was one of the 37 brave (aka insane) PacificSource employees that vowed to “spring” out of bed, go for a hike, and plant rewards for early morning exercisers.

Let me back up a bit. At PacificSource, we want the world to understand that the best way to improve the healthcare system is to simply live a healthier lifestyle. If we eat better, exercise more, stress less, and quit smoking, we can significantly decrease the burden on the entire system. It sounds simple, but it’s a difficult message to broadcast. So to make it happen, we needed to get a little creative.

We decided to reward people for taking part in healthy activities with thank you cards with a little bit of cash (5 big ones). The way we see it, by taking part in a healthy activity, you’re saving all of us healthcare dollars in the long run, so we wanted to give a small piece of those savings back to you. We also offered to donate an additional $5 to a program called Veggie U if our finders sent us a picture of their hike. Here’s a look at the thank you card we created:

Thank You For Helping Healthcare_Project Golden Ticket

But how would we find these healthy people? That was the fun part.

Back to my 5:00 a.m. wake up. We picked 10 popular hiking spots in Oregon, Idaho, and Helena, and our employees teamed up to plant “golden tickets” along those hiking spots. But since we picked a work day to pull it off, we needed to start our hikes at 6:00 a.m. so we could all make it back to work on time. Luckily, I had a hiking squad to keep me accountable for showing up on time, or the old “snooze button” would have gotten a work-out.

Starting before dawn at Hulls Gulch. Boise, ID

Starting before dawn at Hulls Gulch. Boise, ID

6:00 a.m: Let the hiking begin

At the exact same time, all of our hiking teams attacked trails in Eugene,  Bend, Portland, Boise, and Helena. Like little elves, we carried our mysterious flags up hills, along rivers, and through wooded trails in search of the perfect place to plant our “golden tickets.” We looked for places that could only be accessed if you exercised to get there. What that meant for us; we needed to invest some sweat to plant these suckers!

The top of Mt. Pisgha. Eugene, OR

The top of Mt. Pisgah. Eugene, OR

7:00 a.m: Operation “stealth flag plant”commences

Since stumbling across a mysterious note is way more fun than watching somebody leave flag, we wanted to secretly plant them. In my team’s case, I had the honor of planting our flag on the top of Mt. Pisgah in Eugene. I creeped up the hill, darted from tree to tree, and lurched in the grass to avoid being seen. Turns out, nobody else was up there, so all of these antics were strictly for my own amusement (How often do you get to pretend you’re a spy? Can you blame me?). Mission was accomplished. Once again, at all of our hike locations, our teams planted their flags at the same time.

8:00 a.m: Back to Work

What made this such a blast was the fact that so many of us took part, and we all made it back to the office like it was business as usual. When we got back to work, we all felt pretty darn energized by the experience (however, we all felt like slipping into a coma a few hours later). While our goal was to reward a few lucky hikers, our crew probably received the biggest benefit. Whether we were hiking Oregon, Montana, or Idaho, it’s pretty hard to be a morning sunrise after pounding the trails. Not to mention, we felt like a hybrid of a secret and the Easter bunny as we planted the flags. All told, it was a great morning.

Team Riverwalk. Bend, OR.

Team Riverwalk. Bend, OR.

Keep your eyes peeled

We aren’t finished thanking people for helping healthcare. So next time you’re on a hike, jog, walk, or bike ride, keep your eyes peeled. We’ll have thank you cards all over the Northwest.

Huge thanks to all my hiking pals! Had a blast, can’t wait to do it again. To see all of us in action, here are some snapshots from all three states:

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