Insurance Services Group envisions Get Fit victory

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 Nick Krey of Insurance Services Group, which is competing in the team challenge. Krey’s co-workers Jen Brydges, Brendon DeRouin, and Josh Meester round out the team.

Begin with the end in mind. — Steven Covey

What you visualize is what you actualize, and right now I’m visualizing a lot — maybe even too much! But I’m excited to share my personal visualizations and share what my Insurance Services Group teammates and I intend to take away from the Get Fit Challenge.

It’s 8 a.m. on June 1, 2014, as I stand at the starting line of Leon’s Triathlon in Hammond, Ind. I’m in my Team Red, White and Blue (RWB) tri-suit, which, every time I wear it, reminds me of Jack Black’s line from Nacho Libre, “Sometimes a man wears stretchy pants.” My son thinks I look like Captain America, and I’m cool with that.

My son is one of the reasons I race. He loves to be there, loves the atmosphere, and I see pride in his eyes. There is nothing more rewarding than having your 5-year-old say, “Great job, Dad! You did awesome today!” I strive to set an example for my son that lets him know physical fitness is a worthwhile pursuit.

Team RWB is another reason I race. Its mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. I’m a veteran, and wearing the Team RWB eagle gives a sense of purpose to every race and makes me feel a little bit like I’m back in the Army.

From there I visualize the air horn blasting as I charge the water until my knees can’t clear the surface, and I dive in, kick pull, kick pull, kick pull, breathe, and repeat. The rest is a blur until I see myself charging the finish line of the run. I’m in the chute — I see the clock, my wife and son, and the crowd cheering, and I’ve just crossed the finish line. I’ve crushed the race like a little grape.

My next visualization is in Racine. I’ve never actually been to Racine, but there I am. It’s 7 a.m. on July 20 and I’m standing on the shores of Lake Michigan about to race in my first Half Ironman. It’s the same picture in my head as on June 1 — it’s just a bit bigger! Nevertheless, my resolve is the same and my focus is equally as intense. What I visualize is what I actualize; I’m going to crush this like a little grape. Seventy point three miles later, grapes are crushed.

And finally, Oct. 22, 2014, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis. Insurance Services Group has just smashed the In Business Get Fit Challenge. We’ve crushed our personal goals. I’ve lost that extra 15 pounds I carry around my waist, I’ve doubled my number of rotations through the Get Fit Challenge circuit, and we’ve won Most Improved as an organization. We’re smiling, we’re proud, and there might even be a tear of joy here or there. Scratch that — there’s no crying in victory!



With three members of our team consistently participating in endurance events, from Crazy Legs and half marathons to Ragnar Relays and Half Ironmans, one might wonder why Insurance Services Group is doing this challenge. To that I offer this:

Adversity, when shared with others, is later a fond and comic memory. — First Sergeant Anthony T. Rolfe

Insurance Services Group doesn’t face a lot of adversity, at least not the kind that First Sergeant Rolfe and I did while serving our country. And because we don’t face a lot of adversity, we don’t have the opportunity to bond and form fond and comic memories together from that adversity. Adversity is a tremendous motivator and lays the foundation for outstanding esprit de corps, which is a fancy phrase for camaraderie. Which brings us to the Get Fit Challenge — an opportunity to face mutual adversity, strive together to achieve a challenging and collective goal, and lay the foundation for outstanding camaraderie.

Since we started this challenge, the culture has shifted here at ISG. Several times a week we gather for 10 to 15 minutes in the hallway and do one-minute planks and wall sits with a plan to add more movements and exercises to our routine throughout the entirety of the Get Fit Challenge. While we plank, we catch up, make jokes, and laugh, but most importantly we work together and bond. Nearly every morning our VP of operations checks in with me to see how my training is going. How was my run? How was my swim? And in turn I do the same for her, because while personal accountability is an admirable trait, peer accountability is downright motivational.

I think that this is the true motivation behind my interest in this challenge: to create a culture of people excited to work together and excited to achieve together. Suddenly, this sedentary environment is a lot less sedentary. And that esprit de corps that’s born from adversity? It’s starting to grow more and more by the day.

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

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