Lessons in motivation

Ten professionals and 10 teams are competing in the 2015 Get Fit Challenge. Who will earn the healthiest marks? Follow along on Facebook and then find out at the In Business Expo & Conference on Oct. 21. This week, IB checks in with the team from Hausmann-Johnson Insurance, which includes team members Barry Richter, David Kruse, Melissa Schultz, and Kyle VonRuden. Stay tuned for future blogs from the team.

We’ve come to the end of the six-month challenge and are now reflecting upon what we’ve learned, what has worked for us, and what hasn’t. We realized in the beginning that each of us have very busy work and home lives and it wasn’t feasible to work out as a team; we did meet regularly to check in with one another and offer support and accountability as needed.

Here are a few things we learned along the way:

  • Reward yourself once a week, not every day. Just because you exercised today doesn’t mean you should have that donut, cookie, or beer.
  • When you’re not focused on a goal, life gets in the way. Set an exercise goal and follow through. When you complete that goal celebrate, and then set another.
  • Drink water! Eight to 10 glasses of water each day keeps you hydrated and does wonders for your skin.
  • Getting employee participation in wellness initiatives on the weekends is darn near impossible.
  • Sleep. It is impossible to overstate the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Everything will suffer if your sleep suffers.
  • Our coworkers really appreciated Fresh Fruit Fridays and the nutrition data we shared on the fruit provided. It was educational for some to learn just how many carbs are in certain fruits.

Kyle learned he’s not getting any younger. Getting back into “shape” took a lot longer than he anticipated. The easiest part of the challenge for him was learning to control what he eats. Instead of sleeping at 5:30 a.m. he now works out for an hour. It’s easier to maintain your health than trying to recapture it.

Melissa was able to try new things, as well as some old things she hadn’t done in years. Stand-up paddle boarding was a new adventure and she loved it. She ran one mile for the first time EVER without having to walk any part of it. She attended a 10-week kickboxing class and wished it didn’t have to end. She is now able to pull her two girls around in a bike carrier on family bike rides instead of making her husband pull the extra 85 pounds around.

David learned that in the game of fitness, one cannot rest on their laurels. That fact that you were in shape once, lost weight once, or worked out recently means nothing if you don’t plan on continuing the activities that made you successful. One of the most effective ways to keep these activities going (and to keep your motivation up) is to string fitness goals together, using one goal as the foundation for your next goal. During the Get Fit Challenge, he trained to compete in his first half marathon; he’s proud to say that after months of training, he ran the Madison Mini-Marathon Aug. 22! Now that the experience is behind him, he’s already registered for another half marathon in November and has a goal of dropping 15 minutes from his overall time. Using the endurance that he’ll have built up after training for two half marathons, he’ll then train for and compete in the Capital City Strongman Competition in June 2016.

Barry learned that it was very hard for him to cut out the sugars from his diet. Summer is a busy time for his family and it was a struggle sometimes to get the workouts in every day. He also transitioned his workouts from the hardcore sprint work to longer runs and more steady workouts.

As a company we will continue our wellness initiatives into 2016 and members of the Get Fit team are forming a Wellness Committee. In order to make this initiative as sustainable as possible, we will be incorporating members of our HR team to help turn our efforts into more systemic, and we hope impactful, programming.

The most difficult part was fighting the myth of motivation. There are times when motivation hits like a bolt of lightning and you feel empowered to take on the world. More often than not, though, motivation is something you have to manufacture for yourself. Whether it’s early in the morning or after a long day at work, you have to make the conscious choice to lace up your running shoes and pound the pavement in spite of your desire to stay in bed or go home and watch TV. You won’t always have a surge of motivation when you want it, but once you force yourself to get moving your motivation will come from the sound of your feet hitting the pavement, the resistance the wind will give you (or the resistance you give the wind), or simply the sight of other people out there running, just like you. In the end, you have to make your own motivation.

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

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