Updated: May 3
Written by Lorel Studer
Remember "Track & Field Day" or "All Sports Day" from elementary school? If your school didn't have some kind of day of athletic competition then that's just sad and I'm sorry you. Thanks, Yealey Elementary and Boone County Schools for pulling it off every year.
I used to LOVE those days. I got a few blue ribbons. I got a ton of red and white ribbons (second and third place). I won just enough of the blue ribbons to send me to "County Track & Field Day"! That was the BEST day of every school year in my book. Picture a beautiful, crisp spring day where the whole day the athletes were outside and not at a desk. Races - long and short, shuttle runs, broad jump, pull-ups and flexed arm hang, softball throw, high jump and the relay races. The competition was held at the high school track where athletes competed with friends against the other elementary schools in the county. Oh man! Just the best... I didn't really get it at the time, but that feeling I got from the adrenaline and the dopamine that caused my body to feel exhilarated and pushed me to compete, was foundational to my love of athletics, sports and exercise.
The high from a good workout does things for my mind and body that little else can accomplish. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. It was a perfect month for me, back in 2019, after I finished my doctorate to start thinking about my physical fitness again. I had a friend who introduced me to NewCov Fitness and the Em's FitCamp classes. During the first workout I realized I couldn't feel that "high" I'd once felt during exercise. Frankly, I was pretty defeated. But I pushed through and joined a weight loss challenge group. It consisted of weekly goals, accountability and support. Pretty soon, I got into a groove and made it to the early morning classes before I went to work. I lost a total of 11 inches, 9lbs and improved in my baseline workout enough to win a competition and received a free month at the gym.
After that, I never left...Well, to be honest, COVID in general and the chaos it caused at work slowed me down; but, I eventually got back into the swing of things. The weight loss challenge groups are no joke. The results are real. There are team results and individual results. One team of 13 people lost a total of 5.8% (183lbs) as a team. Individual results are even more impressive, with one member losing 11.2% (31.9lbs) of their body weight and another losing 16.3% (46.9lbs) of their weight. Impressive right? Among the 52 participants the average weight loss was 7.3lbs. NewCov now has the ability to monitor muscle mass, BMI and body fat and lean mass percentage. Today I have muscles that I haven't seen in years. I keep track of different benchmark trials on the app and am improving my fitness with each quarterly trial.
The atmosphere is challenging, but friendly and sooo much fun. The staff and members organize fun community events both formal and on the fly. There are resources to help with monitoring everything from your body composition to helping you recover from injuries with a Physical Therapist (PT) and learning about nutrition from a Registered Dietician (RD). There are also the incredible coaches that offer personal training.
I am no spring chicken; I'll be 50 this month. I feel stronger and healthier than I did at 40. There is diversity in ages of both the Fitcamp and the Crossfit members. I see lots of 20-and-30- somethings, but I also see a great representation of the 40-and-upcrowd, my people. GenX is represented well. Real people working really hard. One day, I may even walk through "the door" into the Crossfit side for a class and see what I've got. Until then, I will continue to kill the burpees, the push-ups, the abmat sit-ups, jump rope and kick ass with the dumbbells, kettlebells, ropes, rowers, slam balls, plates and whatever else Adam throws at us.
You should join me.