What are some challenges you faced that elicited that change or that made you want to go for that goal? What barriers did you run into while pursuing your goal?
Diane: My life roles changed from being a busy mom of 3 to an empty nester and caregiver to my parents. When I found out that I would become a grandma, I decided to fulfill my goal to run a marathon; appropriately Grandma’s.
Laura: I like running because you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment – for me it’s just a good pair of running shoes, good headphones, and good music. However, I always have a hard time keeping up with running during the cold dark winters, hot summers, or any other time the weather is bad in MN (which is well over half the year) because I can only do so much running on treadmills before I get bored. I’d get a burst of motivation to start a regular running schedule, but would often lose that motivation after a month or two. Really, I just needed some variety in my workouts to keep me engaged.
In the fall of 2016, my small work team got moved out to the NW clinic on 41st Street, which meant yes I got parking there, but also meant instead of being able to just walk to DAHLC after work, I had to drive down there and deal with the hassle of finding parking. If I didn’t enjoy the workouts as much or didn’t have friends to meet up with at the classes, I probably would’ve stopped going.
In the fall of 2017, I made the leap to get a puppy. While I was spending a lot more time outside on walks, I had less time to spend at the DAHLC and needed to cut back on the classes. I made the effort though to keep my favorites.
2. What are some factors that helped you make that change or helped you achieve that goal?
Diane: Because I needed to train throughout the winter, I utilized the treadmills at dahlc for my shorter runs. I attended a running class by Chad and Brent to help get me started. My daughter, Laura invited me to join her in some of the drop-in fitness classes and I found them to be excellent for cross training. I successfully completed Grandma’s Marathon in memory of my mother and in honor of my new granddaughter. I have run it a second time in honor of my second granddaughter!
Laura: I started working at Mayo Clinic in August 2015 and became a DAHLC member shortly after that. A couple of my friends from work encouraged me to go with them to some of the group fitness classes. I probably would not have even started going to the group fitness classes had it not been for them. The classes I started with were Zumba and kickboxing.
In the past, I had never taken any classes like these so it definitely took a few weeks of regularly attending them before I started to really enjoy the classes. Knowing that my friends were going to be there though gave me that extra push to stick with it. My friends and I explored other group fitness classes, even got into a weekly swimming routine, which was always paired with relaxing in the hot tub afterward. After a while, I noticed I was actually looking forward to working out and bummed when I had to miss them due to conflicts. I also noticed I was less stressed the day after a good workout.
I’d tell my mom all about these group fitness classes I was enjoying and encouraged her to come to some of them, just like my friends encouraged me. I thought my mom would really like kickboxing and this new class called STRONG. Both are high intensity cardio workouts set to music. We’d get so focused on the routine and music that we’d almost forget we were exercising (until the next day when we were so sore we could hardly move). Both of us also noticed a huge improvement in our running.
After a few weeks of STRONG, it got so much easier for me to run longer distances. We spent last winter doing these classes a couple times a week and running on the treadmill for 30-60 minutes a couple times a week. By the time it got nice enough outside this spring, I was able to try running longer distances and made it past 10 miles one day. One of the things we like about the group fitness classes at DAHLC is that they are at a set time. You can’t keep putting off your workout for later in the day (which I’d often do with my running).
3. What would you tell or encourage someone with who is in your old shoes and doesn’t know where to start?
Diane: Simply find the exercise or activity you enjoy and you will stick with it. The trainers/ class instructors at the DAHLC are very helpful and encouraging . Also, find someone to share the activity with; makes it fun! I find inspiration in my daughter who is a 2 time liver transplant survivor. She makes each day count and lives life fully. It makes me happy to see her healthy and happy and I love spending time with her!
Laura: Definitely find a workout that you enjoy, whether that’s group fitness classes, running, weightlifting, swimming, biking, or walking. Also, I think having a variety of different workout activities is helpful to maintain motivation and prevent getting bored. With a variety of different workouts, you also strengthen different muscles which can help prevent injuries. Don’t be afraid to try something new. I would also highly recommend having someone (friend, family member, spouse, co-worker) join you with your workouts. Even if they don’t do the same workout as you, just having someone to go with you to the gym can keep you motivated and make it more fun.
4. How does the future look different that it did before?
Diane: Laura and I will continue to attend our favorite classes and look forward to running the Star Wars half-marathon in April. We also will enjoy time together biking, hiking, kayaking/stand-up paddle boarding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. We know life can hand us difficult challenges, but our support from family and friends can help us through. Most importantly, we need to keep life in balance and celebrate each day!
Laura: My mom and I just recently signed up to do a Star Wars themed half marathon at Disney World in Florida. It’s in April next year so we plan on starting up a training program soon and continuing to go to a couple group fitness classes each week as our cross training. Because we found a variety of workouts that we enjoy, we feel more confident that we’ll stick with it even after the half marathon and for many years down the road.