Sara’s dedication, commitment, and hard work is a coaches dream!  I’ve been working with Sara since June 2012 and have enjoyed celebrating her success.  Over the last year and a half, she has challenged herself both mentally and physically — she’s gone well out of her comfort zone, kept showing up, started seeing results (stronger, faster, leaner–HAPPIER), pushed even harder and further out of her comfort zone, created more goals and challenges for herself–and conquered EVERY ONE!  

Sara’s attitude and work ethic are a BIG part of VAST Fitness and the success of its members.  She’s part of the VAST Fitness Family, and I’m looking forward to working with Sara towards her next set of goals.  

While you contemplate your 2014 goals and intentions, perhaps Sara’s story (below) will inspire and motivate you–just as it has me!

Congrats on all your HARD WORK, Sara!  

 1.  What led you to participate in VAST Fitness?

My first job required me to work a lot of hours.  Because of the schedule, working out and making healthy eating choices weren’t always a possibility for me.  Over the years I had gained a lot of weight and was just overall not happy with myself.  My friend Kelsey joined VAST looking for a different challenge from working out at the gym, and she couldn’t stop talking about it…the sense of community, the challenge, the motivating instructor. She kept telling me I could do it – all I had to do was start with the best that I could do.  It was certainly very hard at first. I was leading an unhealthy lifestyle and had to retrain my body.  I have stuck with VAST since June 2012 and am still loving the challenge (and the results!).

2.  What has kept you motivated all these months?

The results have been the biggest motivator, and I don’t mean just the weight loss. Weight loss and overall fitness was definitely was my number one goal, but I wanted to do it right, and I knew that would take time.  Initially what kept me coming back was the challenge to see if I could improve from one month to the next.  Starting out I could do less than 20 push-ups, and they weren’t even on my toes.  But by the end of the first month, I practically doubled where I started.  Now at class, we have done multiple 200 push-up work outs.  I still can’t believe it.  Push-ups never really get easier for me, but I like pushing myself to get just 10 more, then 5 after that.  It’s addicting!  The other key motivator for me is the people who are part of VAST.  I am my own biggest enemy when it comes to mental toughness, but the folks who work out at VAST are there for each other’s improvement as much as they are for themselves. It’s nice to have people in your corner cheering you on and congratulating you on your successes.

3.  What kind of results have you experienced? What were some of your goals?

This past year has been filled with many goals.  They have ranged from dropping my mile time, to running extra mileage, to doing all push-ups during our workouts on my toes.  In addition, I had made two weight goals – a short term and a long term – that have really helped my eating habits improved.  With the help of Kerry, I was able to hit my goals and stay motivated to keep going!

4.  When did you really start to notice more results? What do you think contributed to those results?

From a fitness level, the results are very fast.  I was shocked at how much I improved in just one month session.  It is really amazing, and it is what has kept me coming back each month.  Healthier eating habits have also contributed to these results – the workouts can really take you so far, but I really noticed the dramatic change when I really started paying attention to what I was putting in my body.  Food has always been a challenge for me, and when I reached out to Kerry, she suggested I keep a log to see exactly what I was consuming in a day.  I wasn’t counting calories necessarily, but I was able to see if I was eating enough vegetables (and what types), getting enough protein, drinking enough water, etc.  With the help of Kerry and the VAST community, I was able to reach both of my goals (and I’m working on my next set of goals right now!).

5.  What is your favorite part about VAST Fitness?

The camaraderie of the fellow VAST members.  Everyone is so encouraging and it makes you want to do your best. Each person brings a different strength to the group and we all encourage each other.  The encouragement is especially helpful because in the beginning, I didn’t believe that I could finish everything or push more, but when you have someone right beside you saying “two more, you got it,” you just do two more, and then you do one more after that. 

6.  What has been most difficult?  How do you navigate the difficult times?

Training myself to show up was very difficult for me. Not only am I not a morning person, but I hadn’t really worked out in at least a year prior to my first class.  Getting the motivation to just show up was really hard in the beginning, but with each class, I could feel myself getting stronger, see myself doing better.  That’s what kept me coming back.  It took me a good four months to condition myself to wake up early before I stopped really dreading it.  Now I truly look forward to it.  I consider the VAST group my friends, and I get to see them three days a week (sometimes more!), so that’s part of my motivation.  Showing up and pushing each other has been the driving factor to get me through the difficult times.

7.  What is your advice to new recruits?

Show up.  This includes making sure you’re taking care of yourself.  Eat right, get enough sleep, and keep showing up.  That was the hardest thing for me, but with every class, I could see improvements.  I could do a new exercise or something that I thought I couldn’t do – it will happen for you too.  Also, be ok with not feeling comfortable.  This is one thing we strive for in classes – to make sure we push ourselves outside of our comfort zone.  I tell my friends that I’m my own worst enemy, and it’s true.  I can talk myself out of anything, but with the support of Kerry and VAST, I have shed over 5 minutes off my mile time, run 5 sets of stairs at Golden Gardens in an hour, and done 200 pushups on my toes in one class!  All of these exercises, I started out telling myself I didn’t think I could do it.  Turns out – I was wrong!

8.  What are your goals moving forward?

One of the goals I had this summer was to run the South Lake Union loop (which is a little over 6 miles).  I have never been a great runner, but it’s something I focused on this summer with David’s running camps and with my friends on the weekend. In August, I completed all 6+ miles and still can’t believe I did it!  My next goal is to start training for the RAGNAR relay next summer. It’s fun to be working towards a new goal, and I can’t wait to start training!

 9.  What are you most proud of?

I’m proud of sticking with it.  I was definitely out of my comfort zone when I started, and every class seemed to last forever.  But I kept showing up.  I’m no longer the person I was in June 2012 – I’m happier, healthier, and STRONGER!

 10. Favorite workout?

 I think everyone at VAST knows that “Minute to Win It” is my favorite workout.  It’s usually 15 or so exercises that we do for one minute at a time (and then repeat).  Some of the exercises seem so very hard, but I just remember it’s only a minute and then it’s over.  There is also a lot of variety in this workout since it’s made up of so many different moves.