Name: Jen Castle
Hometown: Ringoes, NJ
Occupation: Composition/literature instructor at GSU and amateur cat-whisperer
When did you first start FitWiting? January 2018
Tell us about your sports & fitness background: My fitness background is pretty limited. I played softball and took Taekwondo when I was younger, but didn’t do much through high school or college. My fitness regimen of the last five years has involved occasionally hiking and running, as well as doing yoga or pilates at home via YouTube or taking the occasional fitness class at my university. Immediately before finding FitWit, I’d been attending a martial arts/self-defense class, but wasn’t really satisfied with it and wanted something more.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting FitWit? The biggest thing I’ve noticed is a change in definition. I haven’t lost as much weight as I’d anticipated, but I definitely notice overall toning—I can see definition in muscles I didn’t realize existed (hello, quads!). I’ve increased the weights of the kettlebells I use, too, and have improved my 2k row time by nearly 40 sec.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like FitWit that were totally unexpected?
I’ve found that I’m more aware of my movements now, which I think is a result of our focus on form and mobility in the gym. Mentally I feel like I’ve become a bit more confident in my abilities, too—pushing myself in workouts (or having others push me when I doubt myself) has helped me challenge myself in other ways and realize that improvement doesn’t happen without struggle or change.
Why do you FitWit? Frankly, it makes me feel good about myself. I’ve always been self-conscious of my weight and physique, but coming to FitWit has helped shift my perception of that. I’m learning to value what my body is capable of and what it can accomplish instead of fixating on what’s “wrong” with it. Also, it’s great to just hang out with an awesome bunch of people while getting in a great workout to boot!
Favorite workouts? I really love strength-based workouts and anything with carries, but the Ron Burgundy, strength AMRAPs, and (surprisingly!) the agility course are some of my favorites.
Least favorite workouts? As much as I love rowing, The Tailpipe is the wooooorst. Burpee-heavy workouts are a close second.
Three words to describe you: compassionate, quiet, and encouraging
Any favorite FitWit moments? Meeting Copernicus! Otherwise, when Matt occasionally “graduated” me to heavier bells was a really great feeling (despite my eye-rolling at the time). Looking around during particularly challenging workouts and witnessing our collective struggle and effort is always encouraging, too. Finishing those sorts of workouts is even better.
Fitness Goals? Toe push-ups! And pull-ups! For now and more generally—to consistently complete blue level workouts.
Words to live by (Favorite Quote)? “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” (those 100 burpees for time will be over eventually!)
Something cool we don’t know about you? I’m currently finishing up my PhD in literature at Georgia State, writing my dissertation about British women writers and environmental empathy. More cool—I once went to a llama training summer camp and thereafter won first place in leading my llama through an obstacle course at the 4H fair. Oh, the joys of growing up in rural Jersey.
Anything else you’d care to share? Even though I haven’t been at FitWit for terribly long, I can understand why people stick around for 5, 8, 10+ years. Y’all—trainers and campers alike—are seriously great. Thanks for everything!