Fitness Frank and the Early-Morning Escapade
There's commitment ... and then there's commitment. WesleyLife Chief Financial Officer Frank Tallerico proved last week that when he's in, he's all in.
Last week's "Outpace the Leaders" fitness challenge pitted the organization's vice presidents and executive directors against the remainder of WesleyLife team members; the team that collectively tallied the greatest number of Fitbit-recorded steps would be declared the winner.
Frank had decided that as a runner, he needed to set the example for his team and run at least 10 miles every morning, racking up more than 20,000 steps before most other team members were awake.
On Saturday, the second-to-last day of the challenge, Frank realized that because he and his wife had a full slate of activities planned for the day, he'd need to rise especially early to complete his steps; because his knees were sore, he'd decided to slow down a bit and walk his route.
So he set out shortly after 3 a.m.. and by 3:30, he was walking along a main thoroughfare in Waukee, a Des Moines suburb. He was ambling peacefully when all of a sudden, lights flashed and a police officer was calling out to him.
"Sir, what are you doing out here at this time of night?" the officer asked. "Are you all right? Do you need any help?"
Frank, startled, walked toward the police cruiser.
"All I could think about was the show 'Cops,'" Frank says, chuckling. "I was concerned about showing him I wasn't someone who was up to no good."
Frank explained to the officer that fitness is important to him, telling him that he often started out early in the morning to get in his workout before going to the office. He found himself informing the policeman about WesleyLife, and about the Fitbit challenge.
"At one point, I pulled up my jacket with the intent of showing him my Fitbit, and then I thought, 'You dummy, he's going to think you're pulling out a gun!'"
Thankfully, the officer understood and allowed Frank to go on his merry way. Frank was a little shaken, but the impression the officer left was a good one.
"He represented Waukee very well," Frank says. "He was kind and understanding. And above all, he stopped with the intent of making sure I wasn't in some kind of need."
Frank's waiting to learn the outcome of the challenge, but whatever that happens to be, he's thankful the contest brought about the early-morning meeting with one of Waukee's finest.
"That's the way you want your town's police officers to serve their residents," he said. "It reinforced the fact that we're all lucky to live in such good and safe communities."