Hard to believe that we’re already headed into our third year here at Farmgirlfit. Guess it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun! As we reflect on the success we’ve had and our goals moving forward, one thing is certain: none of it would be possible without our members! The ladies of Farmgirlfit are strong, beautiful, and inspiring, both in what they accomplish within the gym’s purple walls, and the lives they lead outside them. Since these ladies inspire us, we thought we’d share that inspiration with you. So, every week for the next several, we will be introducing and highlighting one of our members!
Name and age: Leah Sottile Preston, 32
Fill in the blank: When I see _____ written on the board at Farmgirlfit, I get happy:
When I see _____ written on the board at Farmgirlfit, I groan and think about running away:
BEARS. They make me kind of want to die.
Tell us about your fitness journey.
I’ve always groaned about fitness. Throughout high school, I was sort of begrudgingly convinced to participate in sports by my friends. And I wasn’t horrible at them: I swam on the swim team, was a jumper in track, and even played soccer my first year of high school. But once school got harder, I gladly tossed sports and fitness aside … for a long time. After college I focused my entire existence on my career — and if you’ve ever seen a movie or read a book about journalists, you know we’re not the healthiest breed in the world.
I found myself in February 2012 at the doors of Farmgirlfit simply because I was growing frustrated with the routine and monotony of my life. As a writer, I sit all… day… long. And what was scaring the hell out of me was that after 8+ hours of sitting, I would come home from work exhausted. I felt like if I was exhausted from sitting, then I must truly be in the worst shape of my life.
Farmgirlfit scared the hell out of me the first time I came in. I couldn’t even bring myself to do the workout, for fear of being left behind or being told to leave for being too fat. Of course, that didn’t happen. I joined right then and I consider my fitness journey starting right there at FGF. I’ve watched myself go from lifting the puniest dumbbells and feel like I was going to barf every time I ran to actually feeling energized, refreshed and powerful after every workout.
What was your goal when you joined Farmgirlfit?
To show up. And something about FGF stuck in my brain, and I just kept waking up in the dark and showing up at 6:30 in the morning. I’m still kind of shocked by my own behavior. I’ve come to tell people that the two things I’m most committed to in my life are my marriage and Farmgirlfit. Weird, but true.
What has been your greatest fitness (performance) accomplishment so far?
It’s hard to name one, just because the simple act of picking up a weight was sort of miraculous to me at first. But I’d have to say the first time I deadlifted my body weight was pretty badass.
Do you have a performance goal?
I’d like to do an unassisted pull-up. And in the long-term, I think I would like to do a triathlon.
How has Farmgirlfit helped you to become healthier?
Farmgirlfit hasn’t helped me become healthier — it is completely responsible for making me a healthier person, mentally and physically. There are times when I’m completely zoned out, focusing on completing the Grind, and I value that time of active engagement with my body and allowing my mind to feel challenged in a way that it isn’t when I’m not there. Farmgirlfit makes me take time for myself, and I am so thankful for that.
My favorite thing about Farmgirlfit is:
I love the gals who come to the 6:30 am classes. We’ve got women of all ages and fitness levels, and I love the encouragement we get from each other and the camaraderie we’ve built. And I love the trainers. Every single one of you guys are my heroes.
How have you integrated the Farmgirlfit mission outside of the gym?
I have become passionate about living a healthy lifestyle — simply because I know it will help me perform better at the gym. I eat cleaner, focus on getting healthy amounts of sleep, and when stress overwhelms me — which it tends to a lot in my line of work — I deal with it in healthy ways. I go for runs to blow off steam. I swear if you told me two years ago that I would be going for runs to blow off steam, I would have laughed.
What do your off-days look like?
I take more off-days than I should — but that’s part of my fitness journey, I suppose. On my off days I am very likely writing, cooking (I’ve been a vegetarian for 9 years), hanging out with my “kids” (I have two cats and a dog), working on my weekly radio show and helping plan punk and metal concerts in the Spokane area. My husband and I are avid music fans and record collectors, and travel all over the Northwest to see our favorite heavy metal bands.