As the Executive Director of Kansas City Corporate Challenge, Lacey Fisher is headed into her seventh season with the organization while the Games themselves are entering their 43rd year.
Although originally from western Kansas, Lacey has taken to becoming a KCMO transplant and enjoys all things Kansas City including BBQ, the Royals, and of course the Chiefs.
Lacey earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk!) and her Master’s Degree of Leisure, Youth, & Human Services from the University of Northern Iowa.
At any given time, Lacey can be found involved in some type of competition or sporting endeavor whether it be pursuing her interest as an unlikely runner, organizing events, or watching her favorite sports teams.
- “If you’ve been, no explanation is necessary. If you haven’t, none is adequate” – Lou Holtz
- “We know that no one goes it alone. And that’s why it’s important that people have friends that go for a walk with them or they take a podcast, and maybe we’re on a walk with you today or a bike ride or on your Peloton. And however you’re consuming this podcast today, we’re delighted to be sharing that journey with you.”
- “It’s the people. It’s always the people. And it’s seeing the participants do things they’ve never done before, whether it’s on the half marathon, one year there was a participant out there, and I’m not making this up, she was nine months pregnant!”
What You’ll Learn:
The heart of the Kansas City Corporate Challenge and how to participate in the challenge.
This Episode Includes:
- This episode is dedicated to our good friend Mary Elmwick who was a big influence in Dr. Robin’s life.
- Robin shares the acronym that she wrote for Mary’s funeral service in 2021: SEEDS which stands for Sight, Encouragement, Enlightenment, and Dash.
- Robin encourages people to live in the “dash” between the year they are born and the year they die, to live life to the fullest.
- Lacey Fisher shares that the Kansas City Corporate Challenge started in response to the U.S. protesting the 1980’s Moscow Olympics.
- The mission of the Kansas City Corporate Challenge is to promote health, wellness, and camaraderie within the business community.
- It is the oldest and largest corporate games in the country.
- The idea is that they present the participants with physical endeavors designed to challenge their bodies and minds through the spirit of corporate competition.
- The KCCC also includes a program called “Lunch and Learns” where participants are provided sessions on everything from stress management to nutrition and even self-defense.
- Lacey shares a few stories from the challenge, that her favorite challenges are the races, and how corporations can register.
Three Takeaways from Today’s Episode:
- Don’t go it alone – take a friend with you on a walk or listen to a podcast episode on your drive to work.
- Consider how you can build camaraderie in your community – maybe encourage your co-workers to sign up for a 5k together or invite a few friends over for a homemade dinner.
- If you’re in the area encourage your workplace to join the KCCC.
Mentioned In This Episode:
Click Here To View Written Transcript of Episode
Welcome back to Small Changes, Big Shifts, Building Rhythm, resilience. I’m Dr. Michelle Robin, your host, and I want to dedicate this special episode today to my friend and mentor, Mary Elmwick. It’s her birthday weekend, so Mary, happy first heavenly birthday. I wanted to share something that I actually wrote for Mary’s service in April of 2021 in memory of my friend Mary.
Dear soul, we talked about seeds, seeds that will remember her legacy, and the garden sheep they began for you and hopefully maybe some of you, but definitely for me. Let us become her new gardeners to continue her belief that small seeds will one day show their beauty. And so, I wrote this acronym because I’m a little bit of a nerd like that for Seeds. Seeds. And what I’ll always remember Mary for was her sight and vision of life and how she was able to see much bigger for your own growth in the future than you can see for yourself.
Also, an E for the encouragement that she was able to cheer me on and as well as many others, thousands of her family. And then the other e for enlightenment and helping us really connect to our spirit. And D for dash. There’s a poem by Linda Ellis talks about the dash in between the day you were born, the day that you make your transition, and how important that dash is and how to use your dash to your fullness and of course, spirit.
Mary really helped me start listening to my spirit at a different level. So I want to dedicate this show to her in honor of her birthday today.
But also joining me today is Lacey Fisher with Johnson County Parks and Rec Department. She’s executive director of the Kansas City Corporate Challenge. Lacey is heading to her 7th season.
I love those seasons, Lacey. I’m heading to my 30th season of practice, so I get talking about seasons with the organization while the games themselves are entering their 43rd year. Although originally from Western Kansas, Lacey has taken to becoming a Kansas City, Missouri transplant enjoys all things Kansas City barbecue, Royals, and, of course, the Chiefs.
Lacey earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Kansas Rock Chalk and her master’s degree of Leisure, Youth and Human services from the University of Northern Iowa. Lacey, welcome to my show.
Yeah. Thank you so much for having me today. I’m excited to be here and chat with you.
Well, we’re excited about Kansas City Corporate Challenge, and we love that because also we encourage people to be their best self. So tell us a little bit about the Kansas City Corporate Challenge going into its 43rd year.
Yes. So Interestingly enough, the Kansas City Corporate Challenge was founded in 1980 when the US boycotted the Moscow Olympics. There was a group of individuals here in Kansas City that didn’t want to give up on the competition that year. So they formed their own little challenge here in the Metro, and they welcomed a total of 18 companies and 1500 participants for a weekend of competition.
Since then, we have grown to now include 30 events and pre-pandemic, we are seeing numbers of about 300 participants. So, we are a very unique, unlike anything else, opportunity for corporations to involve their employees and a little bit of competition outside of the workplace.
The mission of the Kansas City Corporate Challenge is to promote health, wellness, and camaraderie within the business community here in the Casey Metro. And we are proud to say that we are the oldest and largest corporate games in the country.
The oldest and largest. I actually have friends that could not go to the 1980 Olympics. I had no idea that’s where the Kansas City Corporate Challenge found out of what a small world is that.
And you said health, wellness and camaraderie.
Yes. And we do that by presenting the participants with physical endeavors designed to challenge their bodies and minds through the spirit of corporate competition.
Well, it’s perfect with our mission because we know that no one goes it alone. And that’s why it’s important that people, whether they have friends that go for a walk with them or they take a podcast and maybe we’re on a walk with you today or a bike ride or on your Peloton. And however you’re consuming this podcast today, we’re delighted to be sharing that journey with you. So talk about some of the lunch and learns that we’re partnering on this year and how people can participate.
Yes. So in addition to being a participant of the games, there is, of course, the competition and the competitive aspect of all of that. We are excited to give our participating companies a chance to kind of expand that, and we give them an opportunity to participate in our lunch and learn program.
So every participating company gets a free lunch and learn. And these are sessions that speak to everything, including managing stress to nutrition, financial wellness, self defense. We’ve got a little bit of everything but these are opportunities that companies can book a lunch and learn for their employees and anything after the first free session is a $100 fee. And that donation actually goes to our beneficiary of choice, which is the cornerstones of care.
Wow. That is awesome. So, hey, since this is your 7th season with the games, what are some of your favorite memories?
Oh, man, there’s many. It’s the people. It’s always the people. And it’s seeing the participants do things they’ve never done before, whether it’s on the half marathon, one year there was a participant out there, and I’m not making this up. She was nine months pregnant and just cheering her on as she came across the finish line. And then the same event, a half marathon, a different year. I had a girl that crossed the finish line and she just burst into tears. And of course, I ran up to make sure she was okay. And she just was so thrilled that she had done that. She had never done anything like that in her life before. And she just was beside herself that that was something she was able to accomplish.
That’s awesome. What’s your favorite part about the Lunch and Learns?
I just think the Lunch and Learns provide such an array of opportunities for our companies to bring to their employees. We speak to everything as far as managing stress. Of course, we have how to adapt in a coded world as a lunch and learn session, nutrition. I think this just really rounds us out and makes us a full body offering to our participants.
Well, Lacey, I’m excited about what you’re doing. Do you have a favorite sport for yourself that you like to compete in?
Oh, that I like to compete in. I call myself an unlikely runner. Running has always been something that I do not like to do, but I always think it’s amazing that people can be such endurance athletes. And so I have somewhat tried to become a runner, so I always liked the races. However, I will say our bike race that takes place out at Kansas Speedway, which is, of course, an amazing venue. So that’s probably my favorite.
I love that we started with this show celebrating the words from my mentor and friend, Mary Elmwick. So I’m curious, do you have a favorite quote, song or book that’s inspiring you in this moment?
I do. And I actually have to give credit to our board President, Jason Robertson. He likes to speak of corporate Challenge in a Lou Holtz quote, and he says, “if you’ve been, no explanation is necessary. If you haven’t, none is adequate.”
Wow. So before we talk about corporate challenge, so do you have to belong to a Corporation to participate? How can people play? And you have to be in a corporate environment to do the lunch and learn?
Yes. So we take registrations. We actually open those in the fall, and companies will register with us and their upfront registration fee will cover their entire company’s participation in all 30 of our games. And so then in addition to that, they received the lunch and learn program as a cherry on top. And so to be part of the lunch and learn program, yes, you do have to be part of a participating company.
Well, thanks for joining me today on small changes big shifts and thanks for your passion and heart for making our community one of the finest communities in the world. All right. Blessings to all of you. Thanks for listening. And now it’s your turn. Turn hope into action by implementing one thing you learn from this episode. I believe if you change one thing a month for the next twelve months, it will change your life forever. Be sure to subscribe so you can catch new episodes each week. Visit the website smallchangesfigures.com for the show notes and don’t forget to leave a rating or comment. Blessings to you.