What did life look like before you focused consistently on nutrition and fitness?
I’ve always liked to exercise and keep active – playing volleyball, softball, running, hiking, camping, canoeing, etc. I have had back issues for years, and had my first surgery for a herniated disc and degenerative discs in 2003, and then back again for two more disc levels in 2009. So I now have a metal plate and six screws in my neck. (yes, that makes me literally screwy :) Because of this, I didn’t think I’d ever be upper body strong again! Every time I tried to do some upper body work, my symptoms would return. When you immobilize discs, the top and bottom ones have more pressure on them, which degenerates them faster. So I walked, ran and did step aerobics, but often things got in the way and I didn’t get exercise in. I joined the YMCA and loved the Zumba class, but that was about all I’d go to. I didn’t have a connection there. I tried to eat healthy, but didn’t really have any special plan. We have four kids, now 23-16, and I was home for 6 years and then half time for 10. In 2011, I went back to work full time, which was a shock for my family – mom wasn’t getting everything done, food on the table for supper, etc - and my physical fitness went way down on the list! I was diagnosed with Graves disease (hyperactive thyroid), was in a very stressful position at a place that was wearing me out physically and emotionally. I decided to change jobs for my mental health and workload, which really helped a lot, but I needed more. I was out of shape and always tired – and crabby quite often!
What made you decide to make a change?
I knew that my friends, Lise Freking and Laura Gunderson, came to the Warehouse, so when they had the Leprechaun Day workout in the park in 2015, I decided to go and try it out. I couldn’t do half the stuff they were doing – but I loved the energy from the trainers and the people working out! I needed to make a change, to feel stronger and to be consistent with my workouts, so I joined. Over time, I started feeling stronger and tried more classes. The trainers were always awesome to give me modifications so that I kept moving forward.
I am very competitive and never wanted to ‘wimp out’ on the exercises, but when I overdo it, I really pay the price with numbness and tingling in my arms – which signals pinched nerves and disc issues. Then I have to back off – I’d rather not have a third surgery!
What has changed (race times, blood work, attitude, etc)?
I am much happier and, at 55, stronger than I've been since my 20's!! I plan my week around when I can go to the Warehouse, and my family knows that this is very important to me! I drink Shakeology and try for the 80/20 rule. Healthy eating is still an area I am working on. I can be great for a while, then I’ll let life get in the way and not concentrate on it - and gain 10 lbs! I love the accountability of the challenge groups and all the positive messages and recipes that I get from it. My husband has just joined and I am excited for him to see the positive changes he gets from the Warehouse as well! I have loved being a member of the Warehouse!! The trainers are awesome and always fill me up - while they kick my butt! I have made many friends here and love the connections and being able to work out with friends! It is one of the best parts of my day!!
Thanks Nickie for providing such a wonderful community for people to have fun and be healthy with like-minded people!!