March Kirkwood Member of the Month- Sarah T.L

Hey FitWitters, our prized member of the month for March is Sarah!!

Sarah is a mid-morning camper and has been with FitWit for a year now. Her positive and consistent ready-to-work mentality is contagious. Her story includes walking the red carpet, earning a black belt in karate at the young age of 11, and more recently a Doctorate in Mathematics from Emory! We’re thrilled to have had her for a year and applaud her in her next chapter in life. San Diego won’t know what hit them this June!

Hometown: Bethlehem, PA

Age: 26

Occupation: In transition.  I just finished my mathematics PhD at Emory, and will be starting a job at a math education company in San Diego this June.  

When did you first start FitWiting? I started one year ago – in April 2017.  Shout-out to Sarah ZB whose Facebook posts about FitWit inspired me to give it a try!

Tell us about your sports & fitness background:

I grew up doing martial arts.  I got my black belt in karate when I was 11, and so was pretty in shape at that point – the black belt test was about 6 hours long and very physically demanding!  In high school, I got involved in Outdoor Ed, where I did a lot of hiking and white water rafting / canoeing / kayaking.  However, I stopped doing all of that when I got to college… 

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting FitWit?

I had already switched to a paleo-ish diet and lost more than 20 pounds before I started at FitWit.  I’ve lost maybe 10 more since joining, but that’s definitely not a focus for me anymore! I have noticed that even though I weigh about the same as I did in high school, I’m a few pants sizes smaller – so I think I have more muscle now! 

I’ve had issues with my back and shoulders for a while, so in some respects my progress has been frustratingly slow and I’ve had to drop back to more modifications and lighter kettlebells when stuff flares up.  But my endurance has definitely improved.  When I first started, my goal was to run a mile without having to take any walk breaks.  Now, I can consistently run a mile in under 9 minutes! Another thing I’ve noticed is that I can now stay up for the entire 4 minutes of rolling plank! 

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like FitWit that were totally unexpected?

FitWit has turned me into a morning person and helped me create and stick to a morning routine for myself.  As a graduate student, I’ve had a super flexible schedule, and so working out at 7 am, making a smoothie and showering, and then starting on my work has resulted in me being a lot more productive and having more energy throughout the day!

I’ve also surprised myself in how much I enjoy going to the gym.  When I’m out of town, I’m sad to be missing class!

Why do you FitWit?

I love the awesome community and that the coaches really get to know you.  The focus on mobility in addition to strength and endurance is really important to me, and I can see how the coaches are constantly learning new things and incorporating them into the workouts.  Also, I don’t think I’d be able to workout as consistently or push myself as hard if I was doing it by myself!

Favorite workouts?

I’m come to love HIIT workouts, especially ones with weird bodyweight moves.  I also look forward to the torture of 7 way hips.

Least favorite workouts?

Rowing and air bike. Running used to be my least favorite but as I’m getting better it’s becoming more… tolerable?

Three words to describe you:

Silly, independent, contemplative

Any favorite FitWit moments?

I really enjoyed the porch crawl last summer! 

Fitness Goals?

My main goal right now is to attend 16 classes each in April and May.  I’m doing a good amount of traveling, so this will take some planning! After I leave Atlanta I want to complete GMB’s Integral Strength program and find a gym and fitness routine in San Diego. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about my long term fitness goals lately.  Here’s the most recent iteration: I want to be able to run and crawl and jump and climb, to keep up with kids on the playground, and to move freely and playfully.  And I want to stay that way for as long as possible.

Words to live by (Favorite Quote)?

The creative adult is the child who has survived. 

Something cool we don’t know about you? (Don’t be shy! Lots of things about you are cool.)

– I once got to walk the red carpet at a movie premiere (The Man Who Knew Infinity at the Toronto Film Festival). 

– My favorite color hasn’t changed since I was a toddler (it’s teal, and I have photographic evidence from my 2nd birthday party). 

– I’m also a member of the YMCA, and I try to go to water aerobics, tai chi, and yoga classes there whenever I have time.

Anything else you’d care to share? 

I’m going to miss all of you when I leave Atlanta!