Our O4W Member of the Month for April is Michelle B! Talk about a true FitWit OG – Michelle has been a loyal FitWit member since 2006. This alone is evidence of her commitment to her health and fitness which she also prioritizes for the entire Bower’s crew. Michelle is committed, consistent and curious. She has committed for 12 years strong, is consistent in prioritizing her wellness by putting in mobility work before and after her workouts to prevent injury, and plays an active role in her progress by always staying curious, asking questions, and empowering herself with knowledge. Congrats Michelle and cheers to 12 more years! Read on to learn more about MIchelle – you’ll pick up many wisdom nuggets along the way!
Name: Michelle Bowers
Hometown: Evansville, IN, but I’ve lived in Atlanta for 24 years.
Occupation: Technical Communicator then COO, Bowers Household. 😉
When did you first start FitWiting? The second camp in 2006.
Tell us about your sports & fitness background:
I really don’t have a sports or fitness background! Before FitWit, I periodically participated in rec or casual sports or an exercise program, but nothing consistent or frequent. I was feeling desperately awful when I started FitWit.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting FitWit?
A better question for me might be what HASN’T improved. 🙂 Everything from body composition, energy level, to heart rate improved with FitWit. Of course, mile times, workout times, etc have overall improved greatly. But the biggest impacts are in how I feel about myself, my overall stamina, eating habits, and overall physical abilities. I’m much more capable of spontaneously doing a physical activity and enjoying it than I ever was pre-FitWit.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like FitWit that were totally unexpected?
When I started, my second baby was 12 weeks old. So I expected to lose weight, get moving, increase my endurance—the typical things. What I didn’t expect is the connection my husband, Jess, and I would form together with FitWit. We both became committed to being healthier and feeling better, and that common goal has helped our family life tremendously.
I never thought of myself as an active person, but I learned how much better I feel physically with consistent and varied exercise. I’m almost 49 now, and I think of myself as a healthy and active person who might be able to remain that way for many years to come. I’ve also learned how much exercise impacts your mental and emotional well-being. I learned that if I exercise in the morning (even when it had to be 6 am), that I feel better the entire rest of the day.
And I’ve learned that our bodies really change over time, and learning to work with those changes and adjust workouts, eating habits, and schedules are necessary to staying committed and uninjured and active. Another change I didn’t expect was how much by body rejects really unhealthy food now. It doesn’t like or want bad fuel!
I never expected to commit to exercising for 12 YEARS!!
Why do you FitWit?
The changes I’ve experienced through FitWit affected me pretty profoundly, so I continued…and continued…and continued. When I don’t go to FitWit due to schedules and other commitments, my body and I start missing it pretty quickly. I also see how easy it is to age in an unhealthy way, and I plan to do what I can to remain as active and healthy as I can as long as I can.
I also stay specifically with FitWit because of the super skilled and personal trainers that keep me on track and motivated! They have taught me so much about managing exercise, how to exercise safely, motivation, and my body. The sense of community in this group is strong. I might start a workout in a bad mood, but I have NEVER left a workout in a bad mood—and I usually even have a laugh or two (thank you, 9am!). I’m not the kind of person who enjoys exercising exactly, but the community and the benefits far outweigh the momentary discomfort! And, really, after all of this time, the workouts still keep my interested and on my toes; it’s always different and changing.
I also FitWit because I want my daughters to see their mother living a healthy lifestyle that includes movement and time dedicated to keeping yourself healthy. They literally have grown up with FitWit, and I think that’s cool. And it helps me keep up with them and their lives.
Favorite workouts? I’ve enjoyed The Tour workouts, the sandwich-type workouts, and workouts that have lots of different parts.
Least favorite workouts? Well, how about that one this week—The 7/11! Or 100 burpees for time. Actually, any how-many-burpees-you-can-do-in-a-certain-amount-of-time workout is always my least favorite.
Three words to describe you: Persistent, quiet, and nerdy.
Any favorite FitWit moments?
A favorite personal achievement (when I was closer to 40) was running a mile in the seven-minute range—a huge accomplishment for me. Other favorite moments are when Josh would have us do something utterly ridiculous that no one would ever do anywhere else or with anyone else. Like carrying slosh pipes, working out in the pouring rain and lightning, crawling on a nasty, high school hallway floor, or holding squished bananas in a relay. But seriously, I’m a quiet person, so many of my favorite FitWit moments are just feeling good in a good group of people.
Maintain or lose a bit of current weight, keep body fat in check, move enough to be able to eat ice cream once a week, and stay healthy and as active as possible into my 50 and 60s.
Words to live by (Favorite Quote)?
My fav FitWit tee quote: “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Ghandi. Because FitWit takes will, not strength. Another unexpected lesson I learned.
“My Goddess is an ocean and we are drops of water, but the ocean exists because of the drops of water that form it.” – Isabel Allende
And words to live by… “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, Drink the wild air’s salubrity” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Something cool we don’t know about you? (Don’t be shy! Lots of things about you are cool.)
Don’t you all know everything about me by now?? 🙂 How about I lived in Geneva and worked for the World Health Organization. And I’m a bigger nerd than Jess.
Anything else you’d care to share?
I wish I could convince everyone how awesome it is to be closing in on 50 and feel like you are as active and fit as you have ever been.