October Member of the Month: Allison P.!

A big HIGH FIVE to our new Member of the Month, Allison P. Her pure grit and determination in the workouts have made her a welcomed staple to our evening crew. Whether she’s slamming med balls, crushing her lateral squats, or moving it on the bike she’s there to get the work done and done well. Here’s what coach Renell has to say:

Allison, or “ The Mayor of 5:15” as she’s been coined, has been doing an amazing job all year! She’s been super consistent and taking major steps in her own agency towards her fitness. She looks at the workouts and thinks about possible modifications or substitutions for herself. She is always up for a challenge when I take her suggestions and I add a little spice to it. I appreciate her steps towards listening to her body and pushing herself to get stronger in every class.

Thanks, Allison for what you bring to the team, your motivation to do and be better is inspiring. Keep it up! Read below to learn more about our MOTM.

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia but I have lived in Atlanta for over 21 years, so Atlanta is my hometown now  

Age: Turning 45 on October 3rd 

Occupation: Finance Merger Integration Lead at Truist – basically financials for merging SunTrust and BB&T technology into Truist

When did you first start FitWiting?  August 2018

Tell us about your sports & fitness background: 

In elementary school and junior high school, I played basketball and soccer and also took dance classes, but when I got to high school, I ended up stopping those as I did not enjoy it enough to dedicate the time to continue with it – social things got in the way and I am not super competitive.

Since college, I have worked out but not consistently.  I would go through phases where I would be consistent for 3-4 months and then things would drop off and then six months later, I would start again.  Nothing stuck – I have done group fitness classes, cardio machines, weight machines, spin classes, etc.  

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

When I first started FitWit, I developed some muscle tone and I would no longer tweak my back doing mundane things like yard work, but back in December, I decided I needed a change (maybe a mid-life crisis??). 

In January, I participated in the nutrition challenge and lost 11 pounds (thank you, Sandybell for the motivation!!).  To see a drastic change in one month was motivation enough to continue.  At least half of my meals are still Whole30.  I eliminated unnecessary sugar in things like salad dressings and other condiments, cut back on dairy and junk food, and the only snack food around the house is Whole30 compliant (except for chocolate).  I don’t deprive myself (Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel, Peanut Butter M&Ms, anyone??), but I have learned to focus more on moderation. Doing the nutrition challenge made me realize how much food impacted how I feel and how I function on a daily basis.  Based on how I feel, I can now recognize when I have had too much “unhealthy” food and need to adjust.  Before FitWit, I would “diet” in phases as opposed to making a lifestyle change.        

During quarantine, I started doing the Zoom workouts every day during lunch and Saturday mornings.  I started doing it every day to maintain a sense of sanity with all the craziness going on with COVID and I continued when we came back to the parking lot. I always thought those people that said they loved working out were just flat out crazy as I always viewed it as a necessary evil to eat and drink what I wanted, but I realized I have become one of those people that actually enjoy working out.

Since January, when I decided I needed a change (aka mid-life crisis), I have changed my eating habits, lost 26 pounds (and still counting), become stronger, lift heavier weights, have more muscle definition, move better, done thousands, and thousands of lateral squats and slam balls, mastered a one-legged plank/elbow plank and working on mastering a one-legged push-up.  None of this would have been possible without FitWit and without Renell’s support cheering me on and helping with all the workout modifications. I appreciate everything you do!    

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

I love to travel and before FitWit, when we were logging miles and miles walking everywhere, I would struggle as my legs and feet would start to hurt mid-day from all of the walking.  I had only been doing FitWit for four months when we took our next vacation, and I was able to walk every day, all day long without pain.  My legs had gotten stronger in that short period of time.  

Why do you FitWit?

 I FitWit because it enables me to move better and be more active. I have tried other gyms over the years and none of them have had the community and support that FitWit has. Everyone cheers each other on and the coaches are amazing and provide great support and encouragement.

Favorite workouts?

HITT workouts and workouts on the Tabata clock (you can do anything for 20 seconds at a time!!)

Least favorite workouts?

Pre-COVID, I would have said the bike, but since then, it has become more like a frenemy. I don’t mind core work, but something about Superman makes it fall to the bottom of the list.

Three words to describe you:

Resilient, Introverted, Survivor

Any favorite FitWit moments?

In general, the encouragement provided day in and day out, the evening jam sessions across the parking lot to “It’s The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” and the love (using this very loosely) 5:15 has for the music that accompanies the Riverdance workout.

Fitness Goals?

My goal is to remain active, consistent, and continue to get stronger.  I always schedule my classes a week in advance and treat it like any other meeting.

Words to live by?

It is not really a quote but a passage from The Velveteen Rabbit:

What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?” “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.” “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real, you don’t mind being hurt.” “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?” “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Something cool we don’t know about you?

I was born in Germany. I still get asked by customs when I travel abroad if I have a German passport (I don’t – I lost dual citizenship at 18). I have traveled to over 30+ countries.  Christmas is my favorite holiday, so each year (except this year with COVID), we go to a different place in Europe for the Christmas markets (my husband goes to eat, I go to buy Christmas decorations).  I love to bake – my peanut butter white chocolate pretzels are Clemson tailgate famous that even the cops doing traffic control near us come over for some. As a stress reliever/hobby, I make dog collars, especially holiday ones.  My two labs (Bowman & Spiller) have a full wardrobe of collars for every holiday and season.  

Anything else you’d care to share? 

This is the strongest and most fit I have been in my adult life. I have a dropped foot and a good portion of my right latissimus is in the back of my right knee filling up space. Still, despite that, the coaches have been amazing in helping me find ways to get stronger and move better – especially Renell, Sandybell, Sarah, and LeeAnne, as I usually come in the evenings and Saturday morning!!