New Outlook on Health, Fitness, and Gaining Strength From Within

“It is a shame for a woman to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which her body is capable.”

-Socrates

About three years ago I decided to sign up for a half marathon with a friend of mine. I could barely run a mile without getting winded, and working out was something I did when I had time. I was active as a child and throughout high school and college, but when I started grad school, my activity level decreased and my poor eating habits increased.

After signing up for the half marathon, I began running every day and discovered it’s not so terrible. A friend of mine invited me to a workout at RaceStart Training and I confidently stated I would go with her; after all I had been running every day, I figured I could handle any kind of workout. Turns out, I could not have been further from the truth. I came to harsh realization that running does not make you ready for anything. My first workout at RaceStart challenged me mentally and physically. It took me awhile before I realized that the challenges that I once feared where exactly what I needed to help empower me. Often times we are our own worst critics. After that first workout with RaceStart I beat myself up and neglected what I was capable of. I spent most of my time focusing on all the things I couldn’t do. It was a process, but soon I have learned to be kinder to myself.

Despite being able to run, I still dreaded going to a “globo gym” just to find myself doing the same thing day in and day out. After completing the half marathon, I realized that I  ready for a change. I was now mentally prepared and fully committed to take on new challenges- Which lead me back to RaceStart. Training at RaceStart is one of the best decisions I have ever made! In the last two years, not only has my body thanked me, but my mind and heart have as well. Today, I still run, but I can do SO MUCH MORE! I now have more confidence along with a whole new outlook on health and fitness. RaceStart is unlike any other gym I have ever been to. Antonette’s approach and presence as a trainer is the perfect balance between challenging and encouraging. RaceStart is a community that I am so grateful to be a part of. Without Antonette and RaceStart Training, my life would look very different- Experiences, like the one I am about to share, would have broken me rather than motivated me, reinforcing the pride I take in my abilities.

Recently, I experienced something that in the past would have discouraged me and sent me into a whirlwind of self-doubt and tears; fortunately, this time was different. I was at a globo gym getting my run in for the day, and as I was towards the end of mile 3, an employee of the gym stopped to talk to me. He introduced himself as a personal trainer and asked what my workout was going to consist of for the day. I explained to him I was only running today, because I was training at RaceStart later that day. His response was, “Just running? Why nothing else?” I again explained that I had another workout planned for later in the day and I just needed to get a run in now. Ignoring what I had just told him he went on to say, “There is no reason for you to be scared of the weight machines, free weights, or functional fitness machines; they could really benefit you.” Next, he questioned if I had ever worked with or considered working with a personal trainer. I explained that I was very committed to personal training at RaceStart Training; However, recently I switched it up with group workouts there. What he said next almost had me lost for words … ALMOST.

class-strength-conditioning-milwaukee

As I was approaching mile 5, he said, “Your body would look a whole lot better and you would be capable of so much more if you decided to personal train with me.” I calmly stepped off the belt of my treadmill, onto the side rails and said to him, “I think you’re confused, because if I heard you correctly, you just told me my body was not good enough nor capable enough. Fortunately for me, that could not be further from the truth. My 5 foot 10 inch, 230 pound body may not fit into your ideal of a strong and fit body, but my body is incredibly f#%k!ng strong and capable of ridiculously incredible things. I would appreciate if you stopped concerning yourself with my body and my capabilities.” I got back on the belt of my treadmill and continued my run. My mind started racing about what I was going to do…write a complaint, speak with his boss, cancel my membership, etc. I realized none of these things would do any good-As none of these options would change this man’s beliefs about what strong and capable looks like. As I was leaving, he approached me and apologized profusely for offending me and asked what he could do to help me feel better. I explained to him that I did not need him to help me feel better, because unfortunately for him he was worse off than I was. He looked at me with a puzzled look, and I suggested he educate himself on health and fitness and the FACT that strong, capable and fit look different on everyone. I walked out the door and left him with a smile.

Had this happened a year or more ago, I would not have walked away with a smile on my face. I would have walked away with even less self-confidence, more self-doubt, and at some point would have been wiping away tears. Not today though; today I felt proud, I felt confident, and I felt strong! I know that physically I am strong and capable, and today I became wholeheartedly aware of how mentally and emotionally strong I am as well. I finally realized that it was not a perfect body that I had been searching for this whole time but rather the emotional and mental strength to be able to remind myself, in even the most difficult of situations, that I am pretty damn incredible. Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect and I’m not where I want to be, but I am certainly not where I used to be.

I owe a lot of my (physical and mental) progress to Antonette and RaceStart Training has always encouraged me and reminded me of how much I am capable of. I will forever be in debt to the coaches and the individuals I workout with at RaceStart. Without them, I would not be where I am today. I cannot imagine my life without that gym or without those people. I have recommended RaceStart to my family, friends, coworkers,  complete strangers, and I will continue to recommend them! Nowadays, I prefer to focus on what I can do and what I will do rather than what I can’t. I have fallen in love with taking care of myself…mind, body, and spirit.

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October 2016 Athlete of the Month

“And though she be but little she is fierce”

alli-box-jumpAre you familiar with this quote? This is our Alli! She ALWAYS has a great big smile across her face with every rep, every round, and EVERY WORKOUT! She might joke that her arms feel like they are going to fall off, but she NEVER complains! I always tell everyone that “Whatever you put into your workout is exactly what you will get out of it”...and Alli pushes herself EVERY TIME!

When Alli was a “newbie” at RaceStart I can honestly say she was afraid to step out of her shell. Now I see her pushing herself to new levels every day- This way of thinking is now automatic and she’s beginning to see what she’s truly capable of.
It’s so important to remember to smile and just have fun, and that’s something that Alli brings out in all of us! She is so fun to be around, and really challenges you to push yourself harder in class. She might not admit that she’s competitive, but I beg to differ. Alli has been attending our 5:30A.M. classes as well as our night classes- Training 5 days/week, and 3 of the days she trains 2x/day. It’s safe to say that you have reached “rockstar status” 😀
Alli, I’m proud to announce that YOU are our Athlete of the month!

You have come a long way to receive this honor. Only those who are truly deserving are rewarded with “AOTM”. With that being said, some months might not have an “ATOTM” – but over the last few months I have .as you really stepped it up and your hard work has not gone unnoticed! Way to go! You have now taken on the roll to help encourage and empower others.

nose, cotton ball, bucket

(Allie usually does not dress up like a “dead bug” for her workouts, this photo was taken during the RS Halloween Event)

AOTM Survey:

Occupation?
Sales

Tell us something we may not know about you?
I am obsessed with my dogs. They rock.

When did you start training at RaceStart?
June of this year

Main reason for joining RS?
To find an enjoyable class experience that made me want to be go to the gym.

What were your thoughts after you completed your first RaceStart workout?
Everything hurts and I am dying. Also my arms are going to fall off. All in all I really enjoyed the group setting and how welcoming Antonette was, I didn’t feel pressured into doing anything I didn’t think I could do. 

What is your fitness background?
Running and swimming. Also that embarrassing stage in my life where I thought it would be fun to be an ice skater and I got stuck wearing a fuzzy lion costume at my first performance in front of hundreds of people.

What’s your biggest fitness accomplishment?
Lifting weights in general, I’ve always had a fear of how to properly do it.

Has RS affected your life at home, at work, with friends, family life, etc? (underline all that apply)
I would say all of the above. It has made me a more conscious grocery shopper and avoid the free terrible food at work. My friends and family have to put up with me talking about how my arms are going to fall off but find it amusing.

What results have you seen since your first RS workout?
I can lift much more than when I started and I think more about what I am putting into my body. Going to the gym also relieves stress that builds up at work.

What are your future training goals?
To be able to do a pull up with no band as well as do ropes for 20 seconds and not want to die.

What is your most memorable experience with RS?
When I wasn’t fully awake in the morning class and face planted over my kettle bell. Also the time Antonette was riding on top of the sled stacked with weights while Bryan pulled when I can barely pull 50 pounds.

What advice would you give to a “Newbie” or someone considering joining the RaceStart family?
Do it! The classes have a great structure so you don’t do repetitive movements day after day with no results. I also don’t dread going to the gym and everyone is so welcoming it feels like a little family.

t2b-alli

Fill in the Blank

I likeBeing outside, traveling, and hanging out with friends.
I eat(I feel like I shouldn’t honestly answer this question… joking). I have my weak days but mostly try to eat on the healthier side i.e. salads, canned tuna (I know this is gross but I can’t get enough), sweet potatoes, sushi
I doYoga, running, snowboarding, and water sports?? I don’t know how to answer this hahah
I amConfident and excited to see what I will be capable of doing in another year!
To be fit is to beDetermined, motivated, and perseverant

FINDING MOTIVATION FROM WITHIN

I’M ONLY HUMAN

Some days are definitely easier than others to get up outta bed. I have moments or even days that I rather curl up and feel sorry for myself- Make excuses about why it’s so hard to juggle “life”.

Then I take a minute to reflect on everything that is important to me and all the sacrifices and hard work that has led me to where I am today.

At that time I think about where I want to be.  Then I think,  what  I am  going to do to make that happen.

DO OR DON’T DO

Over the last 2 weeks I have removed the words, “try” and “can’t” from my vocabulary. I realize that both words have negative connotations.

I will either “do” or I ”will not do”.

There is no try.

If I want it bad enough I will figure out a solution and make it happen.

FINDING MOTIVATION FROM WITHIN

Some days are easier than others to find that motivation and drive.

On the days I allow doubt into my head, I am often left asking myself a common question,  

“What am I doing this all for?”

Then I walk into RaceStart and see what I have created.

It’s at that time that a big smile stretches across my face, and then it all comes back to me. The doubt is no longer there…

This is my happy place. I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else. I’m not okay with only giving half the effort-no matter how big or small the task is.

I know that through my training I am able to help motivate others live a healthier life”

THE REALIZATION

Coming to realize this drives that force inside of me to push harder. My athletes, as well as the coaches at RaceStart, inspire me everyday to push harder in life, to train harder, and to be a leader by setting a good example.

I read somewhere that,

“ The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake- You can’t learn anything from being perfect.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I have made plenty of mistakes, but those mistakes have only made me stronger from the inside out.

MY MISSION

quote gym

I know that I will not be happy unless I give 100%. I am a fitness enthusiast in every way possible and want to share this with my community. I believe this is my purpose and my mission.

Find your happy, and let your passion drive you!

For a great motivational short video click on the button below.

I want to share with you a few quotes from this motivational clip:

“Quitting lasts forever….The decision is yours. How badly do you actually want to achieve your goals? If you got a dream you gotta protect it- Don’t’ let someone tell you can’t do something.

If you want something go after and get it. You have to believe that you can make a difference.

You gotta want it more than you want the party, more than you want to sleep. Make a choice. Decide who you wanna be.

Surround yourself with those that see greatness in you, even when you don’t see it in yourself”

PROVE THEM WRONG

“Find it within yourself to keep moving forward”

“Just because you failed, doesn’t mean that you are a failure”

“Don’t let the distractions distract you”

Start your day out right by clicking on the button below for one of the most inspiring and motivational videos  that I’ve come across.

Meet Cindy, Our Athlete of the Month

Cindy is being recognized as our athlete of the month.

At RaceStart we have a saying, “don’t put in half the effort unless you’re OK with half the results”…

Cindy’s transformation didn’t come easy at first- It took diligence inside and outside of the gym.  It wasn’t until recently that Cindy made a commitment to herself and her health. At that point she was “ALL IN”. Her  perseverance allowed her to achieve EVERY personal goal that we set (to date over the last 4-5 months)

I am so proud of Cindy! I have not only seen a physical difference with Cindy, but her entire demeanor has changed. Cindy, you are an inspiration to us all! For that reason alone I thank you for being apart of the RaceStart family and I am happy to announce that you are RaceStart’s Athlete of the Month.

30 lb weightloss milwaukee racestart

Congrats  Cindy!

SURVEY QUESTIONS

Occupation?
I work for Baker Tilly in their Management Consulting practice and lead a team focused on growth strategy services. Our value is to help clients improve their performance and grow their business.

Tell us something we may not know about you?
I love 70’s music and threw myself a disco party for a recent milestone birthday.

When did you start training at RaceStart?
I started personal training with Antonette several years ago at a “chain” health club. When she decided to go out on her own and launch RaceStart I didn’t hesitate to follow her. It wasn’t until recently that I fully commited to my fitness goals.

Main reason for joining RS?
I was tired of feeling winded just walking up a flight of stairs and decided it was time to focus on improving my health. I was going to the gym but not making any real progress. I realized that just showing up at the gym wasn’t getting it done. I wasn’t challenging myself and I needed someone to push me in order to get results.

What were your thoughts after you completed your first RaceStart workout?
I felt defeated initially. It was hard to realize that I didn’t have the stamina, flexibility or strength that I use to have when I was younger and healthier. It magnified how out of shape I really was- BUT  that’s what motivated make a change. I think you have to hit a very low point – rock bottom – before you are ready to commit to showing up and giving it everything you have.

What is your fitness background?
I was a three sport athlete in high school and have continued to play sports throughout my adult life. I began to slow down my activity in my 30’s and saw my weight climb. My career also required a lot of travel which only added to my problem. I have worked with a personal trainer on several occasions before and generally had good success when I had someone pushing me so I
decided to give it a try again.

What’s your biggest fitness accomplishment?
It is so hard to pick one because there are so many fitness accomplishments since I have been working with Antonette. When I first started I could barely squat even an inch and now I can squat past parallel! My improved flexibility is what I notice most often and the fact that I can walk up two flights of steps with ease.

Has RS affected your life at home, at work, with friends, family life, etc? (Circle all that apply)

explain….
There isn’t any part of my life that hasn’t been affected since joining RaceStart. I sleep so much better and therefore wake up in a better mood most days. Work related stress has diminished significantly because I have more energy and am able to focus on my work throughout the day. I have introduced friends and family to RaceStart because I want them to experience first-hand how Antonette trains and her philosophy on being healthy. My self-confidence has increased with each “personal record” I achieve and I am excited to share these small accomplishments with the important people in my life. My schedule resolves around my workouts now rather than trying to fit workouts into my schedule. I really had to embrace the concept of putting myself first because my life depends on it.

What results have you seen since your first RS workout?
I had a significant amount of weight to lose in order to be “healthy” and each day I am closer to that goal. The scale didn’t show dramatic results initially but I could feel my clothes fit differently and have dropped 4 dress sizes. While this is important, I also choose to focus on the small accomplishments such as getting a new personal record or lifting a heavier weight than the last time.

What are your future training goals?
My weight loss goal is something I will continue to focus on but I now have some other goals that challenge me. I want to get strong enough to be able to do pull ups on the bar rather than with rings. I also want to be able to do “double unders” with the jump rope and get more than 5 in a row. The next big thing is getting off my knees and doing real push-ups and that is going to take some time. 

What is your most memorable experience with RS?
Overhead squats… I could never do them. So much of what you do in the gym requires thinking and proper breathing and once you figure that out it all comes together.

What advice would you give to a “Newbie” or someone considering joining the RaceStart family?
Don’t give up – believe in yourself no matter how out of shape you are or how much your body hurts when you are done with a workout. Your body can do so much more than your mind tells you. I have learned that there are many aspects that contribute to your health and I had to address each one of them in order to start seeing results. FIRST, I had to truly commit to working out on a consistent basis-THEN I tackled my nutrition. I started to see some results at this point but they were not in line with the effort I was putting out. That is when I had to address the emotional issues that were holding me back. I am very motivated when I hear “I am proud of you” from my VIP – make sure to include them in your journey – support is critical!

Fill in the Blank
I like… group classes because having a little competition from my classmates is a great motivator
I eat… whatever I want but make good choices more often now and I cook more too
I do… enjoy working out – it is addictive
I am… proud of what I have accomplished 
To be fit is to be… strong in both mind and body