Two U.S. HealthWorks employees located in Alpharetta, GA are not only dedicated to their jobs, but they enjoy a passion for their respective hobbies.
Kevin Tseng spends time jumping out of planes, while John Som runs marathons.
Some people would say skydiving is for adrenaline junkies, but others see it as a way to shake off stress at the end of the work week. Tseng, a cash application manager at the Alpharetta regional billing office of U.S. HealthWorks, is an avid skydiver.
“At the end of a hard week, skydiving is my stress reliever,” Tseng said.
At the age of 25, Tseng tried skydiving on his birthday for the first time with his two best friends. After what he describes as an incredible experience, Tseng was hooked. Three months later he pursued his skydiving certification.
Tseng has become an avid skydiver and has jumped almost 500 times in the last five years.
“A lot of people see it as crazy, but skydiving is something that gives you opportunities that you’ll never have in your daily life,” he said.
Besides skydiving, Tseng also enjoys a related activity: flying in a vertical wind tunnel, which is frequently called “indoor skydiving.” The recreational wind tunnel enables the skydiver to experience the sensation of flight without planes or parachutes, through the force of wind being generated vertically.
Tseng has experienced 12 hours in a vertical wind tunnel in Raeford, North Carolina.
“Flying in a wind tunnel sounds fairly easy – float on a column of air, right?” explained Tseng. “But it’s much more difficult and physically demanding than one would think to fly, and have control, in wind speeds of 120-plus mph.”
Tseng has found more opportunities than just skydiving, though. He has worked as a U.S. HealthWorks employee for more than six years and has moved up from an entry-level position to being a manager.
“There is nobody quite like him,” said Dawn Bodahl, Vice President of Operations at the U.S. HealthWorks regional billing office. “He is a perfectionist and doesn’t cut corners with his work. He’s geared for high stress, which is why he has such an attention to detail for what we do. He’s been promoted and has earned his way up to a management position. It’s nice to see him grow in the company.”
Tseng is not the only U.S. HealthWorks employee who is athletic and enjoys reaching new heights. Another Georgia employee, John Som, has worked for U.S. HealthWorks in the cash application department for more than five years. During the last two years, Som has finished three marathons.
So, how did Som get into marathons? Encouraged by his wife, Diana, he signed up for the Chicago Marathon and immediately started an 18-week training program. He also ran for a great cause, raising more than $1,100 for charity.
His first marathon experience was more difficult than he expected.
“I was going to finish regardless of how much pain it was,” Som said. “I didn’t want to run again. I couldn’t walk for three or four days after the marathon.”
His competitive spirit told him not to quit, and despite sore legs, he has continued running marathons. Som’s second marathon was the Publix Georgia Marathon in Atlanta on March 2014, and seven months later he completed the Twin Cities Marathon in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Som recently qualified for one of the most difficult marathons in the nation. In 2016, he’ll be running in the famed Boston Marathon after qualifying with a time of 3:08:55.
Som said he applies his marathon training into his daily life, which helps motivate him at work.
“John is very dedicated and has a great sense of humor,” Bodahl said. “He is a pleasure to be around. He makes the work process less stressful and he’s proud of what he does.”
Besides running, both Som and his wife enjoy playing with their mixed Labrador retriever and taking walks.
While marathons and skydiving may not be everyone’s cup of tea, these two U.S. HealthWorks employees demonstrate how extreme sports can be good, both personally and professionally.
“Skydiving is definitely not for everyone. Some people will cross it off their bucket list, but others who try it may have a new perspective of the world,” Tseng said.