Katie was not only DC’s runner-up in last month’s 31 Days of Sweat Challenge, but when we first reached out to her, we were incredibly humbled by how inspirational and motivating her fitness journey has been.
1. As one of our Top 10 31 Days Riders, what made you excited to participate? What were your personal goals for the month of May?
I’d only been riding at Revolve for a few weeks before the challenge began, but I had already fallen in love. The challenge was an added bonus since I was already going two times a day on average. When I saw the ultimate prize for a bike, I knew I had to try averaging three classes a day.
I volunteer and cook meals at the Fisher House DC – which is where families of wounded warriors stay while their loved ones are having surgery and recuperating at Walter Reed. I met an amazing Army Lt. Col. who lost both legs above his knees and used cycling in his physical therapy, something I could relate to. Due to his prosthetics, he couldn’t use a male bike so I gave him my female bike without hesitating for a second. It was the least I could do for a man who served our country and almost died doing so. I’m now in the process of saving up money to buy another bike.
2. What kept you motivated day after day?
I am being completely honest when I say that the prizes were not my main motivation – not at all. Getting healthier and stronger has and will remain my number one motivator. What also really kept me going were the friends I was making as well as the enthusiasm and guidance I received daily from the instructors. It didn’t hurt either when riders I did not even know would come up to me and ask, are you Katie? Then they would proceed to tell me how they loved my tweets and/or hoped I’d win the bike. It meant a lot that folks were paying attention and that definitely pushed me, especially when I wanted to hit that snooze button.
Finally, during the month of May I led a DietBet game, where you have to lose four percent of your body weight in 28 days, and you win money! I’m happy to report that by adding Revolve to my exercise routine I went beyond the four percent and actually lost just over six percent in a month’s time!
3. How did 31 Days change your relationship with Revolve? With your health/fitness/working out? Did you learn anything new about yourself or the Revolve community during the challenge?
I’ve never been a runner – ever – but I am a “Walker” after all 😉 I’ve tried everything to get into running, including taking expensive running lessons from professional coaches. I wanted to find a workout that was tough, that made me sweat, lose weight, and go distances that I never thought possible.
So one day a friend invited me to her gym to try cycling and after my butt recovered (cause there’s no way around it, those seats make you sore) I was like, this isn’t so bad. Then I remember Francina, who until then was just my awesome Zumba teacher, telling me a local news channel would be featuring her Barre Ride. I grew up dancing and I liked that one indoor-cycling class – so after watching the segment, it just clicked and I went in and bought a monthly package at Revolve. I started with just the Barre Ride once a week, and then bought the monthly intro package, then went all out and purchased a yearly membership.
Francina and Katie after a tough Barre Ride
I learned that it’s ok that I can still be an athlete even if I’m not a runner. After a few months at Revolve, I am proud to say I’m a cyclist.
4. What physical/mental/emotional outcomes did you notice after participating in the challenge?
This is a little bit of a long story, but it really explains how far I’ve come physically, mentally, and emotionally in my life. I will be celebrating the third anniversary of surviving a terrible car crash in India this upcoming June 25. I was on my way to see the Taj Mahal. The accident shattered both of my legs in multiple places, so I had to have rods put in during surgery. My left lung collapsed, I broke ribs and my nose and had weird burn marks all over my stomach and arms. The worst discovery would be finding out I sustained a traumatic brain injury – the neurological ramifications that I’ll be living with for the rest of my life.
I was on complete bed rest for four and half months. I’ve gone through multiple physical therapy sessions, neurological rehabilitation, and counseling to deal with depression.
There were many times I thought how much better it would have been if I had just died during that accident, it would have been better than the physical, mental, and emotional toll the accident took on me. Then I thought about the people who have overcome more than I have and I knew that part of becoming healthy again meant being active both physically and mentally. I used to be a “the glass is half-empty” kind of person before the accident, but today I’m just happy to get a sip of water.
5. How will you continue to sweat hard?
After the accident, along with some other hard things that happened in my life, I gained 70 pounds in two and a half years. Since October 2012, when I was finally cleared by all my doctors to start working out again, I’ve lost 40 pounds, including 12 during May’s 31 Days of Sweat Challenge!! I still have about 40-50 pounds more I’d like to lose. In addition to Revolve classes, I have continued to take Zumba classes, do lap swimming, and take long walks on the Custis and Mt. Vernon Trails. Recently, I’ve taken up tennis lessons and joined a doubles tennis league. My endurance on the court has skyrocketed since I started Revolve. I’m also looking forward to using one of my prizes – a month-long MyBootcamp membership with Revolve instructor, Grant.
Katie and her doubles partner, Patrick, two and a half weeks post Challenge.
6. What tips do you have for other people facing down challenges in and out of the studio?
It’s really quite simple. LIVE YOUR LIFE ONE DAY AT A TIME. While it’s good to have long-term goals, it can be especially daunting if you don’t celebrate small victories, whether it’s a few ounces of weight lost to increasing the resistance on your bike. We all have bad days – from eating what we shouldn’t to not getting any exercise in. That doesn’t mean you quit your journey all together, it just means the next day you vow you’ll get back on track.