Meaghen is in the middle, post Warrior Dash!
When I first started coming, I was on my way, once again, to a size 14. I’ve been up and down since I was in college, but I’m ideally at size 6 (roughly 140 lbs).
I had been a size 6 when I lived in Japan a few years before; I basically ate Paleo the whole year I lived there, and for the 3 years before when I lived in South Korea, ’cause it’s natural and super easy to do there. But I moved back to Portland …
Four years later, I was in a lot of low-back pain. I refused to believe I might need surgery or pain pills. Then, last year, I came to Bring-a-Friend Day at the old kooky but loveable gym and was pretty much hooked.
It took a while for my back to iron itself out, but the more I built up my strength and worked on mobility, the better my condition got. I also started to get pretty serious about stretching more effectively. That, of course, has helped a lot.
It also took me a while to be sold on this whole exercise thing. Since I never did any sort of strength work, ever, I was very slow to bump to the 201 class. (I took 2-3 months).
I’m glad I took all that time to get my foundation down, but I was not seeing anything spectacular until I bumped to 201 and got back to a Paleo way of eating. I’ve just been feeling better and better ever since. I wouldn’t go back to a gym-gym for nothin’.
I’m about a size 8 now, a full 8, and I’m on the way to size 6.
As far as benchmarks…
When I started, I was jumping, not with both feet, onto a 10-inch box. Now I’m jumping, both feet thanks to Sean and Rochelle, onto a 16-inch box.
I couldn’t even hold myself on the rope, but now I can hold myself for almost a minute. Madoc is convinced I can climb it, but I haven’t tried yet.
Also, I just about got knees to elbows last night. In the beginning I could barely hold myself on the pull-up bar for scap-pullups.
Some of these might not seem major or numerically quantifiable, but I know and can tell and it’s a big deal to me. I never did this type of stuff before — I couldn’t ’cause I didn’t have the muscles and the TWC (training with care).
The hardest part for me has been giving myself the OK to not come sometimes. I was getting pretty fixated on my routine and would stress about not coming.
Rochelle’s workshop for women in spring 2011 was what changed all that. It was great, and I think all the coaches should go through this training with her.
Working out as a woman is different than working out as a man, which sounds obvious, but we don’t really understand why until we’re in the other person’s shoes. Her workshop was a good eye-opener and much appreciated.
My advice to anyone thinking about joining is to seriously think about how you want to feel as you get older, and just give it a try. I have never felt more supported, and I finally feel like I’m a part of a big team. I’ve always wanted to see what that sort of camaraderie felt like. There are people at the gym, whether they know it or not, who have helped change my life. It’s pretty great and I hope to go as long as possible.
I have met some very kind wonderfully funny and supportive people. When I see them outside of the gym, they’re like teammate/family types, and I feel great about that.
Also, I never woulda been able to take part in the Warrior Dash if it wasn’t for this. Plus, I’ve gotten back into long distance riding because I feel confident my body can handle it again.
On the last ride I did (45 miles) I kicked ass and was the pacesetter for our four-person team, which was three guys and myself. They were pretty impressed, and I just smiled.