“Over the last two years this has shifted. I can actually say that I am confident with what my body can DO and what my body can BE. The way I look at myself in the mirror is so different.”
High School Teacher, 10 & 12 English
My fitness journey was more like a chore list. I knew it was a necessary part of my life, especially since I have never been naturally thin, and I love food more than air. I envied people who just “loved to workout” and lived to sweat. I did not understand them. Who needs to discover other planets when there are people who enjoy running…they are alien enough! I did not play sports, I skipped the mile in high school, and I only went on the elliptical during college to avoid and cure hangovers.
When I left Gonzaga, I didn't know who I was or what was next. I didn’t have an identity. I knew I was supposed to teach, but other than that, all other details were blurry. I moved back to Spokane after a year away at home. I went through some really dark times trying to piece together my new adult life. I had an incredible man and some great friends, but it just felt empty. (FYI: This is NOT the way anyone wants to feel when you leave your entire west-side life and start over).
I began working at West Valley High School (my dream job), and I started creating MY life instead of just being a receiver of life. I started FGF because a friend coaxed me into it when I got engaged. When she had her baby, I stopped coming to FGF, as well. Apparently I was sympathy birthing with her...this is for no other reason than I wasn’t quite sure if I belonged yet. I returned a few months later and Jaunessa and Sav both asked where I had been. I remember feeling shocked that they knew who I was and that I had been missing. I went from going 2 times a week to Unlimited. I was shifting my life and schedule to start focusing on my health. I went from staying at school until 7pm most weekdays to sprinting out of the building at 3:01pm. I needed to be there!
My overall FGF story is the same as I feel in every workout: Anticipation, dread, near-death, hope, VICTORY! My very special (daily) roller coaster ride. I never knew I could fit into a fit-world. FGF became my home; and even though there are some things I do not necessarily look forward to in workouts (just like chores at home), I rejoice knowing that I have a place that values strength and perseverance. This is my community of positivity and BADASS women.
I think I cried when I finished my first 9-minute mile. I had never run a mile on purpose before. It was my arch nemesis in high school and when I completed the first 800m and Bowman said 4:00min, I almost tripped. Then when I finished…Lord Jesus be a bottle of water and a new lung! BUT I did it, and that was all that mattered. I also lift heavy S*** and that makes me feel like a badass everyday. No matter if it is 85# or 205#.
I am really enjoying my consistency. My goal is to maintain showing up 4 days a week. I have a fracture in my foot right now and it is majorly hindering me mentally. I don’t like being told I can’t do something. Even though my life feels like one big modification, my goal is to continue this pattern, regardless of my bum-foot. Also, don’t tell anyone but I might want to start trying some Level 4 weight…and I might want to attempt Pull-Ups. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
The women I work out with. I look around when I feel like I want to escape during a workout and see people of every age, shape, and size kicking ass and I love it. It gives me life.
My favorite would have to be anything with the bar that we are working towards a 1-rep max. If I had to pick one, it would be Deadlifts. I just feel awesome doing them! My least favorite…well the good news is that this list is getting shorter. Currently, Burpees or any workout over 4 rounds. I remember almost walking out when there was a 10-round workout one day…really?!?
This too shall pass. It has to end. It can’t last forever.
Nothing on Heather Bowman’s coaching playlist…I AM KIDDING!
Breakfast. Any and all breakfast food!
I love the community. I love the way we embrace each other and that I can truly be myself (sarcasm & all). I work out in the afternoons during the school year and in the mornings during the summer. The women in all of these classes are so strong and awesome. I can’t imagine my world without them.
I love my body. I love what my body can do and I love the changes it makes weekly from giving it the attention it needs. I love how clear-minded I am. My husband actually said, “Make sure you go workout today so you have a better day!” That statement alone shows the 180-degree change that FGF has helped me create. I didn’t know who I was when I graduated college. I felt blah. I looked blah. Over the last two years this has shifted. I can actually say that I am confident with what my body can DO and what my body can BE. The way I look at myself in the mirror is so different. Of course, there are things I dislike, but when I catch that little shoulder muscle shadow, the rolls on my side seem to disappear in my mind, and I really like that.
My life looks like a circus. A really fun circus but sometimes the monkeys lose their limbs and the lions catch on fire. I am recently married, I interact with 150 teenagers daily, and I have the best friends and family in the universe. My house has a revolving door of people and we are constantly going places. I love shopping, traveling, and happy hour with my best ladies. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The lake or a beach. I’m solar powered.
“Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that. Shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.” - Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
Of my students. Of my friends. Of my family. I love people who believe that they can do anything. I get my pride from others succeeding and climbing mountains that they never thought they could.
I love my birthday. This Sunday, woot! But recently I realized that my love-language is quality time when serving others. I absolutely love any reason to host a party or throw a party. I put together a mean cheese tray and I just love all reasons to get together with people. We even use the smallest holidays to have BBQs (what’s up, Flag Day!).
My 21lb cat Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli. He is so soft and cuddly, but he also has a lot of sass. He also likes food. So pretty much I’m raising myself in a fur body.
I grew up singing in church. I still do (shout out Sozo Church). Never school choir, but I get down on some Jesus-music.
My mama. She is incredible. She is a breast cancer survivor, grandma, best friend, hot wife, and seriously the most incredible person. She started running this year and I just can’t put into words the pride I feel when I hear her fitness stories and how she takes care of herself and everyone in her life. It makes me proud to be her daughter and gives me a goal of what I want to be like when I grow up.
Just.Keep.Going. No matter what, you have to show up. With my recent foot issues, Savhanna texted me saying, “Well… we STILL have workouts for you!” There is a place for you HERE. There are workouts for you no matter what your needs are. You belong HERE.