Get Fit Challenge tests marathoner’s mettle

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 Marcus Neumaier of The Employer Group, which is competing in the team challenge. Neumaier’s co-workers Angie Heim, Luke Anderson, and Eric Lowry round out the team.

When The Employer Group’s owner sent out an email asking for volunteers for the IB Get Fit Challenge, I knew it was right up my alley. Health and fitness are not new to me; I have participated in various physical events ranging from mini-triathlons to marathons over the years. I also designed and helped implement The Employer Group’s wellness program, which promotes healthy lifestyle choices among our colleagues. However, I was not always the health nut that I am now.

About six years ago during my freshman year of college, I was completely out of shape. Most freshmen suffer through the “freshman 15.” For me, it was more like the freshman 40. Why? Mostly due to lack of self-control with the all-you-can-eat buffets at the cafeteria, and of course, the staple of all college students’ diets, beer. But one morning I woke up, looked in the mirror, and was disgusted with what I had become. I knew I had to make a change then and there.

My first challenge was to change my eating habits — not the easiest thing to do in college. But I did it. The second was exercise. Luckily, a good friend of mine was on the track and field team, and I convinced him to let me go running with him. The first few weeks of running were a struggle, to say the least. I was not a fan of running. I found out the hard way that getting back into shape was not something that happened overnight. It took time and dedication.

Once my endurance started to pick up, I found myself enjoying running. In fact, running became an escape for me. It was something I could do to clear my mind and relieve stress. Not only did I enjoy working out, I started to see the pounds drop off, and I gained a newfound confidence I didn’t have before. I had been bit by the fitness bug; if I didn’t work out or run a certain number of times in a week, I would start to get the jitters and need to go work out. I still get that feeling today if I don’t work out enough.     

Going into this challenge, I’ll admit I thought I was in good shape. I exercise regularly, eat well, and it helps that I’m young. But boy was I wrong, and I’ll freely admit it. I’m regularly tired, sore, exhausted, and have a hard time moving after our workouts. Sure, I was expecting to be a little sore and out of breath after some of our workouts, but not after every one.

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Our trainer at Hybrid Fitness, Tyler Seubert, pushes us to do exercises I would have never thought of doing before. We push cars, flip and carry tractor tires, do TRX workouts, and participate in a number of other crazy exercises you might not believe if I listed them here. Fortunately, I have some great team members who are experiencing the same thing I am. We push each other to do our best, to put that extra effort in, and to go for “just one more rep.”

For this competition, my main goal is to tone and define my body while increasing my strength. But let there be no mistake, there is another goal I hope to achieve, and that’s to win the Fittest Company award for The Employer Group. Let’s be honest: Everyone wants to win this award, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t important to me. And the more I read about how hard the other competitors are working, the more I find myself pushing even harder.

So bring on the competition and let the fittest business win!

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

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