Once again, Nike put together a major league workout experience. As you may have heard, Nike encouraged all athletes to #GetOutHere, embrace the elements, and take their winter workouts outside. Similar to the #TrainChicago summer warehouse, Nike built a barge on the Chicago River to host the event. The #GetOutHere promotion concluded December 13th with an event that recruited 48 high-level athletes to compete in various fitness challenges.
As a baseball and football player that grew up in Chicagoland, I am used to playing and practicing in crappy weather conditions. Fall/winter/spring are often interchangeable (sometimes in the same day!) so we have to be ready for everything. But, as good coaches often preach, the conditions are equally crappy for both teams. Dropping a ball because it’s “cold” is unacceptable. As players, our job is the same whether it’s 90° and humid, 75° and sunny, or 38° and rainy: go out and perform well. This mentality allows us to focus on what we can control (our actions) rather than what we cannot control (weather conditions). It’s better to just battle your opponent; not your opponent and the weather.
With this mentality in mind, Nike hosted outdoor November workouts across the city. We trained in Grant Park, Lincoln Park, and Northerly Island. We trained in the mud; in goose poop; and in the cold. We used November to set the tone for December and create an environment that embraced outdoor training. We used the conditions to our advantage by dressing appropriately (hello, Hyperwarm!) and getting our work in, regardless of the temperature.
The barge went live in December, and it looked like Nike’s outdoor version of the Water Cube from the Beijing Olympics. Plus, it was a VIP party atmosphere right in the loop. Nightclub lights? Check. Live DJ? Check. Random people walking by taking pictures? Check. For one week, the intersection of Wacker and Wabash was the headquarters of the Nike universe.
The “Final 48” was a unique experience. The contestants stayed at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel; were outfitted in all new Nike gear; had a team dinner/introductions at Soldier Field; and were treated like professional athletes — which some of them were. They raved about the first class treatment and were grateful for the opportunity.
The Get Out Here event was amazing and Nike knocked it out of the park. But, even though the Challenge ended, winter training continues. The cold is calling, are you prepared to answer the call?