I always thought runners were the most fit and lean athletes, so running is what I immediately gravitated to when I set out to lose more weight post-surgery. I hated running with a vengeance at first. But I stuck it out.
I started by waking up at 6 a.m. every morning and bouncing along at a 19-minute mile pace for 45 minutes.
But soon, my 19-minute mile became a 16-minute mile. At that point, a close friend asked me to come to an Orangetheory class with her. Orangetheory is a high-intensity interval training workout that combines running on a treadmill, biking, or using a stride machine with weight training and rowing. I did not want to attend that class, but I told myself that I could go one time. If I hated it or felt embarrassed, I never had to go again.
I hated the class, but the instructor, coach Michelle, came over and told me that I could run faster than I was and that she could help me. No one had ever taken an interest in my fitness level before, so that was enough for me to try one more class. After my second class, I was hooked on the workout. I loved how it’s different each time but it’s always a good workout. My mile time went from 16 minutes to 9:45 over the next few months, and I’m still working on it.
I exercise a minimum of five days a week. I’ll usually take classes during the week and go for a long run on Saturday or Sunday. I ran my first 10K in November and kept a 12:30-minute per mile pace for the entire race. I’m running a half-marathon at the end of February.
The best part about working out is what I call my “fit family.” This group of friends keeps each other accountable. Not showing up for a workout isn’t an option because it’s about more than just you—there’s something very motivating about that.
I’d say that my fit family and workout regimem is mostly responsible for the drastic changes I’ve seen in my body and soul over the past seven months. I couldn’t be more grateful for them.