In the spring of 2012, at the age of 42, I suddenly woke up and no longer liked what I saw in the mirror. I was unfit, out of breath, soft, flabby and unable to fit into the size up from the size I had already determined was « the limit ».
So, I decided to start running. I had no idea what I was doing, but I started “running”.
In reality, I walked more than I ran until after approximately a year, when I noticed I was running more than walking. I started to do some reading and research into running so that I was doing it safely. Suddenly, I was running an entire kilometre without walking and I kept improving. In the meantime, I lost 40 lbs and started referring to myself as a “runner”. In the next three years, I participated in some races, including two 1/2 marathons. Not too bad for a totally non-athletic person!
Three years after I started running, my friend/colleague and I attended a Sweaty Saturday class at Encompass Fitness Studio on the advice of another colleague. For some reason, we attended, again, the following Saturday, and we were both hooked! We have both been members since that time, for over three years.
While I started group classes at Encompass with the intention of losing my underarm and inner thigh flab (which I learned, running cannot get rid of!), I benefited in unexpected ways.
I did indeed lose the intended flab, but I also unexpectedly built muscle, and
my body literally re-shaped itself.
I found that I built my endurance and stamina past anything I had experienced before. I also noticed that I didn’t need to run as often to keep my cardio progressing.
I was running less miles but running farther and stronger. It defied all my pre-conceived notions.
I also participated in the Balanced Habits Take Down Challenge, Kickstart and Lifestyle eating programs, which helped me to get my eating under control. I still follow the concepts I learned in those programs so that I control food instead of it controlling me.
Another unexpected side effect is that, without my prompting, my husband started coming to group classes and following the eating program. He lost a lot of weight, but his body also re-defined itself. He is now quite fit and feels very positive about himself as well. He walks and runs a bit, but that is not really a passion for him. He prefers to golf. Haha.
As a result of our newfound fitness, we now lead a fairly fit and adventurous life.
I have since learned to downhill ski, and my husband gave snowboarding a try. We snowshoe, kayak and we will hike anywhere, anytime. We travel and camp a lot and never have to shy away from any location or event due to our “age”. We will go anywhere and do anything. We just went on a two-week vacation to Eastern Canada to celebrate our 25th Anniversary and we left a vehicle behind. We bused, trained and walked everywhere with our luggage. Not bad for a couple quickly approaching 50!
In addition, our eldest adult son participated in group classes until he moved, and now our middle adult son and his partner have become long-term members. That son is also a runner, although he RUNS FAST!! He is currently training for his first 1/2 Marathon. His girlfriend has lost 25 lbs and has taken up running since they started attending classes in January and eating healthier.
I still love to run. I have even joined a running group here in Estevan started by one of my Encompass gal pals. It is the first time I am running with anyone else in six years and I must admit that I love running with that group. And I still love group classes and strength training. I will run for as long as my body will allow it. The only obstacle for me at this time is progressively worsening bunions which are causing me some pain, but for now I am able to push through the discomfort. In the event that I am no longer able to run st some point in the future, I feel that Encompass will still provide me with the fitness I need. It is, honestly, my home away from home. The social interaction and friendships we have made from Encompass are priceless. There truly are people of every gender, age and fitness level there as members.
Come join us! #fitfam
- Michella Prokop, Member