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Sep 23, 201402:06 PMOpen Mic

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Get Fit challenger reclaims youthful prowess

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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 Sally Greenwood, a data architect with TDS Telecom who is competing in the individual challenge.

When I started the Get Fit Challenge, I had a secret goal. I wanted to be able to bench-press the same weight I did in college, back in the late 1970s. After five months of working out with trainer Grant Brooks at Hybrid Fitness, I achieved that goal!

As a junior at UW-Madison, I needed some physical education credits. I decided I wanted to take a free-weights class. The only one available was in the Men’s Professional P.E. Department, so I signed up. The instructor’s first name was Bud, and he was a legend in the department — a tall, massively fit athlete in his mid-50s sporting a gray buzz cut. He was a tyrant when it came to form and safety in the weight room.

The university’s policy was to group members of each sports team in the same weightlifting class so each class could be tailored to what the athletes needed. My class consisted of me and the men’s hockey team! I think they were as surprised as I was.

Bud’s first challenge was to deal with the hockey players who wanted to impress the cute coed (that would be me). They would strap on their manly leather weight belts, load the bar for a heavy dead lift, and then look around the room to be sure I was paying attention before executing the lift with an impressive grunt that I suspect was partly for my benefit. Bud would roll his eyes, sigh heavily, and then say, “Yes, Mr. Johnson, she is watching you. Could you please finish the lift before the semester is over?”

The hockey players burst out laughing when I attempted my first bench press. I gave it everything I had, but all I could manage was the empty bar.


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