Monday, August 27, 2012

Fitness Challenge: Another Challenger's Story

For as much fun as I've been having on this fitness challenge, I have to tell you a little bit about someone else who has been on this journey. She's been at it a lot longer than I have, and she recently completed a challenge that at one time she couldn't ever see herself taking on, much less finishing.

My sister began her fitness journey two summers ago after my daughter, at the age of 4, said some pretty mean things to her about how big she was. I was appalled at what Marissa had said, apologized profusely, and admonished Marissa that we shouldn't talk to people about their weight. Kristi took it in stride and said, "She's just being honest."

Summer 2010.
It was the wake-up call she needed.

She began working out at Curves and watching what she ate. She didn't go on a diet per se, but because she was working out so much she WANTED to eat well. Who wants to work that hard only to put it all back on?

She started shedding weight, toning up, and dropping sizes. She finally had to go down a size in her scrubs, the most adjustable of uniforms, because her pants threatened to fall off at work.

Curves started not being enough of a workout for her, so she added running to the mix, and last year ran her first 5k. She moved from Curves to Crossfit to continue her fitness journey. Crossfit is a workout of constantly varied movement at high intensity, from push-ups to dead lifts and pull-ups. It's completely scalable so that anyone at any fitness level can take it on. She's deadlifted 135 pounds and can do overhead presses of 75 pounds. Wow.

In the meantime, she continued with her running and began eyeing a 10k, when something else caught her eye:

The Warrior Dash.

By this time, she felt like a warrior. She had conquered that little voice in so many of our heads (especially women) that says "You can't" or "You aren't strong enough." Her voice started saying, "You can. You are capable. You are strong. Get out there!"

And then summer happened, with a long, awesome vacation to Upper Michigan to visit our cousins. When she wasn't working she was traveling, visiting family and indulging in good, home-cooked meals in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arkansas and elsewhere.

Kristi had taken a 5-week hiatus from working out when she came to visit in mid-July and ran the Color Run with us. With the Warrior Dash in just four short weekends after her visit with us, she got down to business when she arrived back home in Indiana.

On the day of the race I was excited and nervous for her from 500 miles away, especially because she was doing this alone. She hadn't found anyone else willing to take this on with her, and that extra encouragement can sometimes go a long way in a challenge like this. I was hoping that it went well. She called me after she completed the course, crying.

Before the Warrior Dash

Leaping over fire.
At the finish line!
"It was easy," she practically sobbed. She couldn't believe it. It was EASY.

This from the woman who, two years earlier, needed to use both arms to push herself out of bed in the morning.

Now she's addicted. Screw that 10k, who wants to just run when you can run, climb, pull, crawl and leap? She's signed up for the Warrior Dash here in Minnesota in a few weekends, and this time a team of 3 or 4 others are joining her.

I can't say enough how proud I am of her far she's come. What a warrior!


  1. I am proud of Kristi too. It was a nice blog and indicative of how you both feel about the other. I am also proud of you Jenny, both of you are amazing daughters and I am so glad to see and read of your success. WTG!!

  2. Thanks for the great write-up Jen!! Excellent as usual, but did you have to mention the sobbing? lol
    (BTW, my first 5K was this year, in early March.) Thanks again for all your support & encouragement. It means so much to me.