To be honest, I was very intimidated being a beginner at kettlebells. There were people in class that were physically way ahead of me that had been there for years, and I felt pretty uneasy starting out with a 15-pounder. However, I knew that I had to start somewhere, and there was no time like the present. Strength training would be so beneficial and I would never be motivated enough to do it on my own. I was so sore those first few weeks. However, after just three weeks of taking Matt's kettlebell class, I noticed significantly less knee pain not only with exercise, but in everyday activities. Since then, my knee pain has been nonexistent. The camaraderie and support of classmates was (and is) very motivational and kept me coming back, no matter how sore or tired I was!
Getting stronger and reaching smaller fitness goals made me take a giant leap and set a long-term goal of completing the Tough Mudder with some friends in Phoenix in February 2012. Having that date on the calendar kept me motivated and committed to pushing myself to work harder. Completing it was like nothing I’ve experienced before. It set in motion yet another Tough Mudder completion in Kansas in October of that same year, which sadly brings me to my current injury! Not training correctly lead me to develop plantar fasciitis in both feet. I’m still dealing with this injury as it can be a very persistent and painful. I’m not the type of person to sit still, so I’ve had to find creative ways to still participate and exercise without injuring myself futher.
Jamie Baas is my neighbor across the street and recent exercise partner! I’ve known her for almost 6 years. She’s the most motivated and active person I know. She works full time, has two adorable young children, and still has the energy to play on volleyball and softball teams, coach her daughter’s team, as well as golf in a ladies league. As I was going back to work full time after staying home with kids, she was a person I looked up to, and wondered “How does she do it all??” She and her husband courageously did the Tough Mudder in Kansas with our Altoona Campus group. She did an amazing job and quickly and easily fit into our kettlebell group. We decided to car pool to class, and has also been such a motivator for me. There are so many mornings that my alarm goes off at 4:30am…it’s cold and dark outside, and all I want to do is stay in bed for another hour. However, I know that a certain someone will be waiting for me and I drag myself out of bed and am so proud of myself for doing so! Jamie has come so far in the last year. I remember the first day of class; she couldn’t do a push up from her toes. Now she’s pumping ‘em out like it’s her job! It’s been so cool watching her become stronger and more confident. Plus she makes us all laugh just when stuff gets hard and we all want to quit. Having an exercise partner helps tremendously in staying committed to fitness and holding yourself accountable.
Matt and Julie are also an inspiration to me. They put their heart and soul into their clients and it shows immensely in how sincere and passionate they are about helping people. It makes it easier for me to show up to the 5am class, still half asleep, when I know that those two are waiting for us. This type of exercise really pushes me to my limits and is a place I know where I get to set a goal, work hard and know I put my all into it. I see results and I love how much stronger I’ve become, both mentally and physically. Thank you, Sillanpaa’s for all your support and dedication to us!