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Team Thrive Spotlight: Highest Holiday Strain, Best & Worst Recovery


Team Thrive Spotlight: Highest Holiday Strain, Best & Worst Recovery

An unusual commute to Thanksgiving dinner was responsible for the highest Day Strain on Team Thrive. Plus, what can cause Recovery to drop from 98% one day to 25% the next?

Throughout the month of December, we’ll be sharing a number of stories from Team Thrive members as they aim to #ThriveTheHolidays. Today, the spotlight falls on those with the highest Strain and Recovery on Thanksgiving.


As we mentioned last week, Thanksgiving Day was an above average Strain day for Team Thrive. Eliot Pitney, a 38-year-old project manager from Yarmouth, ME, topped the leaderboard with a Day Strain of 19.0. For Eliot, it wasn’t holiday stresses or even a hard workout in the gym that elevated his Strain, he simply participated in one of his favorite hobbies–riding a fat bike. It also happened to be his means of transportation to Thanksgiving dinner.

“I am an avid road cyclist and I do a lot of competitive racing [Cat 1],” Eliot told us. “But I also really enjoy fat biking as a way to avoid burnout on the road. I just wanted to get outside, have a little fun on the bike and work up an appetite. There is a nice, local trail system about a mile-and-a-half from my house that runs out to Cousins Island. My Thanksgiving dinner happened to be on an adjacent island, so I ended up riding about 20 miles out and back, having a good time running through the mud and up over the rock walls. I rode until sundown, which always yields some spectacular views along the Maine coastline. I was quite hungry for our family Thanksgiving feast–success all around!”

Eliot’s Day Strain was all the more impressive considering he was only 35% Recovered that morning with less than six hours of Sleep:

“I’d just come off being ill and using NyQuil to help get some rest,” Eliot explained. “That Wednesday was the first night without the drugs, so on Thanksgiving I was awake a lot earlier than the previous mornings. I hadn’t exercised in four days and I was itching to get in some activity. I find being outside and getting the blood flowing helps loosen everything up, it’s good for both the mind and the body!”


Joe Leyba works in internet marketing in Minneapolis, MN. “We have a 10-month-old at home and all my normal routines have been thrown out the window,” he said. “I’ve had more colds this year than I even thought possible. I’ve been trying to keep a close eye on my Recovery because of it.”

After a 100% Sleep Performance of 8:31 on Wednesday night, Joe woke up Thanksgiving morning with a 98% Recovery, the highest on Team Thrive. However, his reign at the top was short lived. Despite meeting 100% of his Sleep Need for a second straight night (this time 7:49), Joe was only 25% Recovered on Friday, near the bottom of the team. What happened?

“On Thanksgiving, a bartender friend of mine came over and made some exotic drinks for us,” Joe confessed. “They were something he invented with an infused vodka he’d been working on for the last few months. I can say with complete certainty that having more to drink than I normally do killed my Recovery. For a guy who usually sticks to just one, having three or four drinks definitely hit me hard.”

As you can see in the week-long chart above, it actually took four days for Joe’s Recovery to get back to green. “At this point, there’s no question how alcohol affects my Recovery,” He added. “WHOOP data is the perfect extra incentive to keep things in moderation.”

If you’re on WHOOP and would like to be part of Team Thrive, click here for an invitation. We want to hear from current team members too! Email with your Thrive stories (good and bad!) and make sure to check out @whoop on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates.