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The Staff of Life

Posted by Kyle Orton on

TestOut believes in constantly bettering oneself physically, emotionally, and career-wise. In support of those laudable goals, the company sponsors an annual fitness challenge called “Run, Bike, Hike.” The event takes place over several months and is open to employees and immediate family members. It consists of three separate activities: run a 5K race; bike a designated distance; and, the most challenging, hike a local mountain. The whole event is great fun. It’s a time to be out in nature with friends and family and get some needed exercise.

On top of the world

While it isn’t mandatory, a large portion of TestOut employees do participate. Successfully completing all three activities means you’ll receive a beautiful hard wood staff with a medallion affixed listing the year and the events. Each year you complete the events, an additional medallion is added to your staff.      

My family and I have participated for the last three years with impressive results. My wife and 13-year-old daughter have each earned three medallions. My three sons ages 13, 9, and 7 have each earned two medallions. I confess that I only have two medallions as well — I had to be at Boy Scout camp one year and missed one of the events.

Each time I look at my family’s collection of staves, I’m reminded of the effort that we put in to earn a medallion. Some people are in good enough shape to jump right into the event and complete each activity. Because of my weak knee, my family is a bit more premeditative. We begin getting ready way before the first activity by increasing our walking distance and speed. We also haul our bikes out of the shed for a complete tune-up.

In many ways, the event has similarities to earning an IT certification. The staff and each medallion represent a significant accomplishment. Just as a cert’s certificate or badge validates your IT ability, the staff and medallion validate your physical ability and dedication to the goal.

For my family, the effort in earning a staff and medallion are like the effort to earn a certification — it takes time and preparation. As noted above, we begin preparing months before the first event, strengthening muscles and building up our flexibility and endurance. The successful preparation for a certification exam requires weeks, if not months, of intense study involving video lessons, reading materials, hands-on labs and practice quizzes.   

When it comes to study materials, they are like the bike we use. Because the quality and condition of the bikes is important, my family spent a fair amount of money purchasing dependable bikes and then making necessary repairs when needed — a cheap bike that hasn’t been maintained and tuned-up isn’t going to complete the bike portion of the event.

It’s the same with certification study materials — if they aren’t up-to-date, comprehensive in their coverage of the topic, and easy to utilize, then they won’t help you get certified. That’s why I work for TestOut: Each of our courses include the most up-to-date knowledge in their domain, filled with easy-to-follow video lessons, and excellent hands-on labs and practice quizzes, all designed for one purpose — to get you across that certification finish line and validate your IT abilities to potential employers.

Where's your staff? Start studying today and get certified!

Kylo OrtonAbout the AuthorKyle Orton is a sales account manager for TestOut Corporation. He has a business management degree with an emphasis in marketing from Brigham Young University. He is married to Jill Orton, the love of his life, and they have five children. If Kyle could have dinner with with any five current Warriors players four of them would be Steph Curry, and the fifth would also be Steph Curry. Kevin Durant would be the honorary sixth man, but he would have to sit at the folding table in the TV room with Kyle's kids and Klay Thompson. Draymond Green didn’t even get told about the party, much less invited to it, and Nick Young and Zaza Pachulia are like, “Where did Steph go? Anyone know what happened to Steph? Guys? Man, nobody ever tells us anything.”

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