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Sep 15, 201412:41 PMOpen Mic

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Get Fit challenger finds renewed motivation in wake of adversity

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Ten professionals and 10 teams are competing in the 2014 Get Fit Challenge, a spinoff of IB’s popular Fittest Executive Challenge. Who will earn the healthiest marks? Follow along on Facebook and then find out at the In Business Expo & Conference on Oct. 22. This week, IB checks in with Brady O’Brien of TURIS, which is competing in the team challenge. O’Brien’s co-workers Sarah Phillips, Eric Schappe, and Michael Whaley round out the team.

I went into this Get Fit Challenge with a bit of a different attitude than most competitors. I was very apprehensive at first knowing how busy life is already, but my Get Fit teammate Sarah said something awhile back that I’ll never forget: “I say ‘yes’ to almost everything, and then I figure out how I’m going to do it when the time comes.”

To me, that was really inspiring because I overanalyze things so much and usually end up talking myself out of doing stuff. My boss Mike Whaley sent out a company email awhile ago asking if anybody wanted to do the Get Fit Challenge, and this was the first time I just jumped in and said, “Yes, I’ll do it.”

At the beginning of the challenge, our team started off together. We all joined a boot camp class and worked out together on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We participated in this class for about three months, and after that I started to lose a little steam. I kept telling everyone we need to sign up again, but no one, not even myself, jumped in and joined the class again.

I fell off the wagon and life got even crazier. My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in May. I spent a lot of time in the hospital and then at his house. Any free time I did have I spent worrying about my dad, and I started to feel depressed.

I didn’t realize how bad my depression had gotten until my friends, some of 15 years, pulled me aside and said, “You’ve got to snap out of this.” I was always down, sad, negative, and straight-out mean to some friends who are like family members to me. This was a wakeup call for me. I slowly started my own healing process and started to work on improving my mental health.


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