Name and age: Sarah Hamilton, 33
Occupation: I work (remotely) for a DC-based philanthropic infrastructure group that helps to mobilize private funding for HIV/AIDS.
When I see _____ on the board at Farmgirlfit, I get happy.
Anything but box jumps.
When I see _____ on the board at Farmgirlfit, I groan and think about running away.
See above. I hope to someday get around whatever mental block is keeping me from doing box jumps… however, that will remain a post-baby goal.
Tell us about your fitness journey.
There’s never been much of a journey (ha). I grew up in an athletic family, but was always the “special” one that liked to read and sort of brought shame to the family name with my antics on the ball field. I briefly fell in love with kickboxing (shout out to CKO Clinton Hill), but gave that up when I moved out West from Brooklyn.
Why did you initially join Farmgirlfit? What was your goal when you started?
I moved to Spokane in May of 2012, and unfortunately still had some (a lot) baby weight to lose. I initially found a great summer Fitness Boot Camp that met at Manito Park, but didn’t know what to do in the fall. I heard a few other ladies talking about FGF and ended up winning a free month via a Facebook Contest. I was intimidated by the photos and videos on the FGF website, so my initial goal was just to show up and try something new.
What has been your greatest fitness (performance) accomplishment so far? Do you have a performance goal?
I feel like every day offers a new accomplishment — you lift a little heavier, go a little faster or further than the Grind before. In less than a year I’m running faster than I have since I was in middle school, and lifting more than I ever thought was possible. This summer I did the FGF endurance training and was amazed/proud to survive the 10 miler and shaved almost 2 minutes off my baseline Bloomsday pace.
My initial goal was to be consistently working out at level 3 by mid-October (my 1-yr FGF anniversary). However, late this summer I found out I am expecting baby #2, so now my goal has been slightly modified to make it through 2-3 workouts per week. At 18 weeks I’m finally starting to feel human again, and regaining a little confidence in my abilities.
How has FGF helped you become more healthy / When it comes to your health, what goals do you have?
Not to be dramatic, but FGF has truly changed my life. For the first time in my life I’m committed to my own health and fitness, not something that’s entirely easy or natural to do when you’re a working mother. The Sugar-Free challenge changed the way I think about nutrition and showed me that my charm isn’t entirely based off of caffeine and cupcakes. But more importantly, I no longer focus on a number on the scale – instead my goal is to be strong and healthy and active. That change in thinking has been huge for me.
My favorite thing about Farmgirlfit is ________
I love everything about the FGF atmosphere and philosophy. Somehow the trainers have perfected this entirely supportive environment, yet there’s still a competitive drive (mostly with yourself) that keeps you moving forward. Every FG member is amazing, offering encouragement and tips along the way. I can’t count how many times a trainer or another member has said, with a smile of course, “let’s just add a little more,” and ended up pushing me to a new personal record. I think it’s telling that one of my first concerns when I discovered I was pregnant was to tell the trainers so they didn’t think I had stopped trying. It was a silly thought, of course, but also reflects the level of support and commitment that’s shared between FGF members and trainers.
I’m also grateful that FGF offers daycare on T/TH mornings. It’s such a help, and so important that our kids can see their Mamas kicking butt at the gym. It’s also pretty adorable that my son asks me on a daily basis to go to the gym so he can play legos with Harvi.
How have you integrated the Farmgirlfit mission outside of the gym?
My husband jokes it’s the year of facing fears for me. I’ve been doing things that I would normally have been afraid of: playing slow-pitch, white water rafting, wearing shorts in public, etc. Once you learn you’re capable of lifting a great deal of weight over your head, you stop telling yourself “I can’t.” I definitely owe this new confidence and openness to adventure to FGF.
What do your off-days look like?
I have slowed down at this point and am mostly focused on getting to FGF 2-3 days a week. However, my 2-year old son also turns into a tiny gremlin if left indoors too long, so I try to get in plenty of walks, trips to the park, dancing, etc.