Beach scene

Unlimited PTO Diaries: Accidentally Viral

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Unlimited PTO Diaries

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the need for companies to help their employees unplug and recharge has never been more clear. Studies have shown that work-life balance is most strongly correlated with job satisfaction. At CrossComm, we are steadfast in our commitment to work-life balance and encourage our employees to use our guilt-free unlimited paid time off (PTO) benefit as a way of caring for themselves and their families. In the “Unlimited PTO Diaries,” we asked our employees to share how they celebrate life, outside of work.

A Sun-Kissed Fourth

My wife and I love the coast. We met at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina as undergrads. We spent several years in the Myrtle Beach area before moving to the Triangle, and we go back to the Carolina coasts as often as we can. Naturally, when we had the chance to spend the week of July 4th in Carolina Beach this summer we didn’t hesitate.

Another thing to know about us is that we love CrossFit. The first part of our trip included a few days with a group from our local gym. We drove down early the first morning and headed straight to the beach.

The “Incident”

Any time you get a group of competitive fitness junkies together, add in a few drinks and beautiful weather, you’re bound to end up with a few silly challenges. Typically these are as harmless as a race to the water or a handstand contest. However, on this day I decided to attempt an overhead press...of my wife. Essentially, steadying her on my shoulders in a plank position and pressing her up over my head, and posing for a photo. This is a common enough movement with a barbell, not so much with a human. To my pleasure, and mild surprise, we pulled it off.

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Remember that part about competitive people? Our good friend, and the owner of our gym, wanted to give it a shot next. And while strength was no issue for her, there is no chalk on the beach and sweaty hands often slip.

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Accidentally Viral

Her attempt had a different outcome, which led to a lot of confused messages over the next two days asking me, “Uh, is this you?” The simple act of my wife slipping from our friend’s hands to the wet sand below was not, in and of itself, extraordinary. Despite the fall, both were unhurt. We all shared a big laugh and waded into the waves to rinse off the sand.

Little did we know that down the beach someone saw our fun–– guessed how it would end–– and took a video of the #fail. She was a stranger to us, but a friend of a friend. Later that night, our friend sent me a text with a screenshot of that person’s facebook post and a confused “Uh, is this you?” We all laughed about it and went to bed. After all, we planned to head to a local gym to drop in in the morning (fitness freaks).

After sweating out the previous day's fun, I glanced at my phone on the way to my car and noticed about a dozen Instagram messages:

“Have you seen this?!?!”

“I’m pretty sure this is you.”

“I love this haha. Sorry for laughing”

“I thought this was y’all!”

The list went on. The ‘stranger’ had sent the video to a CrossFit themed meme account, @MakeWodsGreatAgain, with over 350,000 followers.

The infamous Instagram post!

Over the days it racked up more than 200,000 views in a post captioned “Never drop an empty barbell.” In the grand scheme of the internet it was barely a blip, but to our little community it was a viral week of embarrassment, hilarity, and a little bit of pride.