Stephanie is a 31-year-old mother of one 9-year-old girl, a registered nurse, an on-again/off-again smoker (mostly on), and a moderate drinker. She would like to Represent for all of us out there who are, shall we say, more moderate in our fitness goals. Her goal is to keep it real and serve as a voice for those of us who will likely never run a half-marathon, let alone a full, but who struggle to maintain at least a moderate regimen. You can find her on Twitter as @stephjothor.
When my best friend, Tracey, told me that she and a few friends were starting this website, I couldn’t have been prouder. The woman has been moving since the day I met her twenty years ago: dancing, yoga, Pilates, weightlifting, walking, and this past summer, running her first marathon, not to mention the myriad other activities she’ll try out just for fun. Her fitness level and motivation have always been inspirational to me, and I’ve done my best to cheer her on. Like at the marathon, where I met her at the finish line. I walked there, quickly and out of breath, from my car about 200 yards away, hungover, clutching a direly needed bottle of Vitamin Water, and having just extinguished a cigarette.
I danced as a kid, into my teens, but haven’t had any regular exercise regimen since. Sure, I did some yoga here and there, or embarrassed myself royally in a dance class. I joined a gym a few years back, but in time, I found myself using it mainly for the poolside lounge chairs in the summer. In short, I’m one of those people who jump into a new interest head-on, at full speed, and then drop it like it’s hot within a few weeks. I beat my obsessions to a pulp, devour them, suck out all the marrow, and then spit them out. I eat my own young, play the same song over and over again until it’s devoid of meaning. It’s a habit I’ve been working on remedying as of late.
This past fall, I got the wild hair up my butt to attempt a running program. I ran myself into the ground within two weeks and used the increasingly winterish weather (my ears are sensitive!) and lack of a gym membership (I can’t afford a treadmill!) as an excuse to sit on my ass again. The intention to start over was there, but it took until a few weeks ago to follow through. My primary motivation? Evading the dreaded Mom Butt. Secondary to this is a desire to quit smoking, counter the effects of inhaling carcinogens for the last 17 years, lead my patients by example, and ward off the cancer that runs in my family and is no doubt sitting on the doorstep, awaiting entry.
Fast-forwarding a bit: I’m now in my third week of the Couch-to-5K program and have found a real sense of balance. I can’t (read: won’t) work out every day, but can easily manage 3 days a week. And now that I’ve maintained that schedule, the prospect of more is so tantalizing. 4 days a week. Harder. Longer. If I’m not careful, I just may blow the dust off the Pilates DVDs in my living room, or, heaven forbid, find a new gym. And if I can do it, you most certainly can.
Still not convinced to get started (and maintain)? If nothing else, improving your overall health by adding a moderate exercise routine to your pack-a-day, twice-a-week drinking habits will make you feel better between hangovers, if not decrease the severity of them. This is Milwaukee, people. I’m just keepin’ it real. Need more? Two words: Intensified Orgasms. Improved oxygenation can increase the libido, stamina, and sexual response of both sexes.
That should get your heart pumpin’.