Data specialist counts down the pounds

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 Sarah Phillips, an administrative data specialist with TURIS, which is competing in the team challenge. Phillips’ co-workers Brady O’Brien, Eric Schappe, and Michael Whaley round out the team.

When asked if they were interested in participating in the IB Get Fit Challenge, an overwhelming number of TURIS team members immediately responded. Sharing a desire to lose weight, get in better shape, and gain more energy, our excitement could not be contained! Whether it’s wanting to look fit in a tux for a summer wedding or preparing for a triathlon, we all have personal goals to attain.

The IB Get Fit Challenge accepted teams of four participants. With such an overwhelming interest in participating, our employees formed a larger TURIS office fitness team. To get us started, our executive leader, Mike Whaley, suggested we participate in the boot camp classes he’s enjoyed for the past three years at Hybrid Fitness. Our personal Hybrid Fitness trainer, Jen Oikarinen, provides us with a variety of unique and very intense cardio and strength-training exercises. For the past two months we have been attending these boot camps twice a week during our Tuesday and Thursday lunch breaks. We also supplement these with our own personal workouts. That is, if we aren’t too sore from the boot camps!

In addition to this fitness regimen, Jen will be providing nutritional classes to our IB Get Fit Challenge team members. Though we’ve agreed that eating healthy is the most difficult part of the challenge, we understand the journey won’t be complete unless we change our dietary habits as well.

As summer draws near and we begin to see results in our waistlines, we realize we also have each other to draw on as motivation. The relationships that surfaced from this opportunity have been an added bonus.

With the combination of our motivation for a healthy lifestyle and the help of Jen and Hybrid Fitness, we are crushing goals and having a great time doing it together.



Working out has never been an interest of mine, but as I got into my late 20s I realized that it needed to be a major priority for the rest of my life. I started running with my dog around my neighborhood. Over one summer, I was up to three miles two to three times a week. I was enjoying it, too, but it just wasn’t helping me subtract the few pounds I had gained. I was seeing no change. I found this very discouraging, but running a few miles was not something I thought I would ever accomplish. This was a start! And I was enjoying my runs and relieving stress.

That little attitude adjustment gave me the confidence I needed to know I could accomplish more workout challenges and get closer to my goal of dropping a few pounds. I felt amazing. I now feel even more amazing after beginning this Get Fit Challenge at Hybrid Fitness. The timing was impeccable. Not only am I back in my college jeans, I also feel incredible. I’ve overcome setbacks and improved my attitude toward working out. I love it now. I love to talk about it and surround myself with others who are making similar life style changes. I feel unstoppable in all aspects of my life and love being a part of my TURIS Get Fit team and my Hybrid Fit team. Oh, and on another note, I am down 20 pounds!

Meet all of the competitors here, and see who wins at the In Business Expo & Conference

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