|Me in San Francisco, July 2010|
By Midwestern standards, I am a freak of nature. I love working out. LOVE it. I love being active in any way that I can. I also HATE driving, which is difficult not to do because Omaha is very spread out. However, I have designed my places of work all within a mile of my home, perfect for walking and biking. I have been a runner, biker, weight lifter, Zumba freak, yoga addict, plyometrics junkie and spinning sap for a few years now. I do not have a particularly uplifting weight loss story to share with you as to why I feel the way I do about fitness, but I believe my mother was a huge influence on my decision to stay fit and healthy.
When I was 14, my mother passed away from breast cancer. She was 36 years old. It was quite traumatic because she had always been so healthy in life. She never smoked, was an aerobics instructor and, much to my annoyance as a grade schooler, made sure to keep junk food out of our house. However, our poor family genes got the best of her and she passed away shortly after the cancer metastasized into brain cancer. Despite this horrific period in my life, I decided to follow in her footsteps of healthy eating and activity. Her doctors said she hung on as long as she did with Stage 4 breast cancer because her heart and lungs were so strong. Now, I work out every week because I want to have a strong heart and lungs, and the iron will to live every second of my life. This attitude has kept me motivated as my fitness routine has evolved over the years.
I was active in high school and college by regular workouts and intramural sports. Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a sports player. I kept trim with these workouts but I didn't pay much attention to my eating habits. I didn't particularly care about a balanced diet when I was just trying to make rent as a server in Lincoln. After I received my undergraduate degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, I moved to Washington D.C. to work in public policy for an anti-human trafficking organization. Since D.C. is so mobile, it was quite easy to keep active by regular walks to the Metro, and evening runs around my gorgeous neighborhood.
After a semester in D.C., I moved back to Lincoln, Nebraska to find full time work. I soon was offered a job at a law firm in Omaha. I was quite excited to work full time and have a regular paycheck, but the office routine soon drug me down. I was chained to desk and had to sit in front of a computer for hours. To pass the time, and to stretch my legs, I would often hoof the 14 flights of stairs in the firm every hour on the hour! Since I had to wear heels everyday, my knees became weak and my workouts infrequent. Coupled with lots of drinking, eating and dating, I was soon up to 134 pounds, my heaviest yet!
Luckily, a year and a half after working for the firm, I decided to go back to school to get a Master's degree in Urban Studies. With a student schedule and a new research assistant position, I was motivated and finally had the time to hit the free campus gym regularly. Boxing, running and weight lifting quickly chiseled me down to 125 pounds, a weight I have managed to stay at for nearly 3 years. I feel healthy, strong and confident!
In May of this year, I received a Master's in Science in Urban Studies from UNO. Next month, I am beginning a year long contract with the Americorps in Neighborhood Restoration. In March of 2009, I traveled to Jerusalem, Israel and married an amazing man named Jason. We now have adopted two WONDERFUL cats (be prepared for plenty of posts about them!), Athena and Ghengis Cat, and am learning how to cook healthy meals, keep up a fitness routine, work, enjoy life and stay healthy in the middle of the country: Nebraska!
|Jason and I at a wedding in Denver|
|My husband Jason and I at our wedding reception, July 2009|
I hope you enjoy!