Welcome to my fitness story! Fitness is a huge part of my life and it’s definitely a lifestyle I embrace. As a group fitness instructor and avid runner, I’ve had quite the full fitness life so far but I lots of goals ahead of me.
Julie as an endurance runner:
Let’s talk about what experiences have led me to absolutely love being an active person. It all really started with my weight loss journey (read about it here). And it all revolved around my first fitness love, endurance running. It started with an efficient way to burn lots of calories. I didn’t feel like I got a good enough “burn” without running. The elliptical was ok and I would occasionally take a cycle class. But I felt the most accomplished when I went for a run. As the addiction to endorphins grew, it turned into training for races with my super fast runner hubby (who has a marathon PR of 2:52, I like to brag about him 🙂 ). You can read about running landed me that super fast hubby of mine here.
Running has allowed me to set goals for myself, allowed me to be disciplined to follow a training plan, and experience a tremendous sense of accomplishment. I’ve completed 10 marathons, including 3 Boston Marathons, a handful of half marathons and an even smaller number of shorter races. Those shorter distances are harder for me because you have to run them faster. Faster means more pain. I can manage moderate pain over longer time than excruciating pain for shorter time. Does that make sense to those runners out there?
These are some things about my running I’m particularly proud of:
- I ran my first Chicago Marathon at 200lbs in 5 hours and 30 minutes. I lost 65lbs and ran my next Chicago Marathon at 3 hours and 23 minutes (qualifying for the Boston Marathon).
- I ran my first Boston Marathon on a complete runner’s high and actually clocked the exact finishing time I ran in Chicago, 3:23:52. It was exact down to the second. I couldn’t believe it!
- I ran my second Boston Marathon in 90 degree heat with out the thought of quitting ever crossing my mind.
- I ran my third Boston Marathon in 2014 seven months postpartum after having my first daughter, Corrine. This was the year after the bombings in Boston so I knew I had to be there. It was by far the most memorable race I’ve ever done! The energy on course was electric and the emotions were running high. And I heard over the loud speaker that an American had won the race when I was conquering Heartbreak Hill. That memory gives me chills just thinking about it.
It’s such a great feeling to cross that finish line. It signifies you’ve made it, you’ve accomplished the distance. But just because I’ve crossed many finish lines doesn’t mean I’m done with my running/endurance goals. Here’s what I’m constantly working towards (and right now I’m starting back at square one with the end of this pregnancy):
- My marathon personal best is 3:19:22. I’m always shooting to get 3:15 or faster.
- Begin competing in triathlons with the ultimate goal to complete an Ironman.
Julie as a Group Fitness Instructor:
After I lost my weight, I decided to get back into teaching group fitness. I was a free style instructor all throughout college but wasn’t very fulfilled with it. I got burnt out on constantly creating fresh workouts as a busy college student. I knew I wanted to get back into teaching because I truly love being in front of a class and being a positive role model for my participants. This is when I found the Les Mills tribe. I joined a gym that offered these types of classes and was hired as an instructor (little did I know how much impact this step would have on my life). Les Mills classes are different than free style classes as they are pre-choreographed with the moves and music already determined for the instructor. This allows the instructor to focus on teaching a great class without spending all the time developing it on their own. For me (and thousands of other instructors), this is great because Les Mills is known for their innovative, cutting edge, scientifically proven effective workouts and to top it off, they are fun, addictive and overall awesome! Les Mills is a global company where millions of people participate in their workouts daily.
In 2009, I trained to teach BodyFlow which is a yoga, pilates, tai chi fusion workout designed to build strength, improve flexibility and enhance mind/bind connection. I feel strong, focused and centered teaching this program.
My next program is the well know BodyPump which is weight lifting set to a great soundtrack. We use lighter weights but higher repetitions. We’ll perform upwards to 1000 reps in a single 60 minute class. BodyPump is designed to develop lean strong muscles while increasing fat burn with the metabolic effect. BodyPump makes me feel like a powerful badass with great muscle definition!
I added BodyCombat next which is a mixed martial arts inspired workout drawing inspiration from boxing, karate, muay thai, kung fu, tae kwon do and others. In short, it’s a kick butt cardio workout that leaves me feeling unleashing and empowered.
I also teach CXWorx which is a 30 minute core training program that has made me a stronger athlete on all fitness fronts. When you’re strong in your core, you’re a stronger person. Bottom line. I’ve seen improvements in my running, weight lifting and endurance since I’ve been teaching this class.
And finally, I teach RPM which is a high intensity interval cycle class. This class is all about the endorphin rush for me. It allows me to create such a high that many times I’ve gotten chills in RPM despite the sweat!
I am very grateful to be apart of the Les Mills tribe as it provides me a daily dose of endorphins, given me the opportunity to impact so many peoples’ lives in positive way and allowed me to make life long friends. Join the tribe and find a class today! Or better yet, come take one of mine 🙂