Your Fitness Stories (Rochelle, Pip and Danielle)

Hi! How has your day been? Mine ended up being a very fun, very intense teaching day. Buff Booty, DJ Dance and Zumba; a trifecta of sweaty happiness. Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked to kick back at the Wildcats game (let’s be real, I’ll probably be jumping up and down screaming the whole time) and eat cheesy nachos tonight 😉

Every day this week, my inbox has been treated with your beautiful fitness stories- I’ve absolutely loved reading them. Thank you so much for sharing them with me and offering to share them with fellow Fitnessista friends. I think it’s been a great way to motivate each other, and know that we all share bits and pieces of very different stories. 

Here are three that I recently received- hope you enjoy them as much as I did! <3

In the comments today, please feel free to brag a little. I’d love to hear a fitness or health accomplish that you’re proud of- let’s cheer each other on 🙂



Tonight’s fitness stories:


I have always been an active person, however from age 21-23 I spent a bit more time partying and less time working out. At 24 I was living in a new city and dating a new man, I was head over heals and incredibly happy. I would run occasionally but not seriously. He encouraged my running and told me he would run a 1/2 marathon with me. We conquered that goal and ended up running another 1/2 marathon a couple of months later. Shortly after that he crushed me, broke my heart in a way I never knew would be possible. It was something I did not see coming, but I knew i would have to find a way to cope. I knew a run would soothe my soul, distract me, and if nothing else exhaust me so I could sleep at night. Through friends and long runs (alone and with amazing friends that I met running) I was able to go back to being happy. With in a couple of months I decided I would run a marathon, a distance I had originally discussed with my ex. I signed up for a training group, convinced a run friend to join me, and off we went. It was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. During that training I ran my first 1/2 marathon solo and did way better than I ever had with my ex, which gave me the best feeling of accomplishment ever! On the last day of training I ran a slow 10 miles with a few other girls that I barely knew, we talked about life the whole time and what got us to that point in running. It was amazing. I ran my first marathon in a complete down pour on December 2, 2012, it was amazing! Since then I have been running about 4 days a week. One of my best friends just signed up for her first half and told me that I am her inspiration and her mentor. 


1 week ago that same ex called me and professed his love, I told him I could never go back to that. I give so much credit to running for giving me the courage to not only make that decision, but to be genuinely happy with it.

Ultimately running can be a time to reflect on yourself or a time to connect with anyone from a stranger to a date to a best friend. I feel blessed that I found such an activity. It is thrilling to hear anyone speak about their fitness passion in the same way, which is why I can relate to your love of Zumba.


I’m a loud, extroverted, chatty person and that’s how I tapped into exercise. As a teen I tended to play hockey and do the odd ‘fun run’ but never really embraced exercise. Later at university I continued hockey, dappled in swimming and took to the track but only in odd spurts and during fitness binges.
Personally, the only exercise that ever sticks, inspires, motivates and drives me is a group of similar fitness fanatics who have a passion for going hard. In my working years I’ve become completely and utterly addicted to group classes. The personal training or boot camps driving you to challenge your body to the max. It all started with boot camps when I was in hungry agency recruitment roles and had stress, as well as money, to burn. I’d soak up the rigorous beep tests, stairwell training and park laps and it fueled my competitive streak for the rest of the day. I’d always dappled in running, cycling and swimming but these group boot camps tapped into my core social and competitive drivers. I used to live and breathe these high intensity training sessions, loving the effect on my body, knowing I couldn’t maintain it but dipped my toe in every few months to get back on track. 
Now that I’m a mum I’ve managed to find a group of like-minded women with fitness as their passion, though maybe a little less competitive. They run a mean lap around our local park, they do beach sand runs like champion race horses and they provide a support group when you’re having issues, motherhood gripes or just need a shoulder to lean on. Exercise for me is so much more than moving your body. It’s a mental, physical and primal need for me and without it my life falls apart. I believe it keeps me on the straight and narrow, pushes me away from that dip in the road that is post natal depression and fuels my thirst for life.


In our group classes we focus on high intensity interval training so it includes sprint sessions, some weight training, core stability and of course stretching. Most of all though it moves our body fast and challenges us much more than we would ever challenge ourselves in our own personal time in the gym or at the park. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t discovered these boot camps during work, these mummy fitness classes during my time as a stay-at-home mum. I think I’d be in a bit of a bit of a mess truth be told. 
I blog at and strive to be a fit, healthy and happy mum.


I first stumbled upon my local Zumba/dance studio in November 2011, after two of my cousins told me about and raved about how much they knew I would love it, being a lifelong dancer and all.  I went to a trial class, and immediately fell in love. They were so right; it was made for me. 
I had been working out in gyms since I got home after college 5 years ago. My body had changed so much since I returned home; I put back on weight that my body probably needed, considering I was leading a less than healthy lifestyle senior year. Being the captain of my college dance team, I felt the pressure of needing to look skinny and fit in the tight uniforms. I would run 7 days a week and barely eat anything each day. Aside from running, we had several hour practices or games to perform at anywhere from 2-4 days a week. So, once I got home, jeans that fit 2 weeks before when I was still at school, didn’t fit anymore. I was also somewhat depressed since I wasn’t in college anymore, living home again, and not dancing, which is my passion in life. My parents were also going through a rough divorce. It wasn’t a great time at all.
I joined a local gym, and even spent money I didn’t have (I enrolled in Graduate School) on a trainer for a year. While I learned some awesome weight lifting techniques, I bulked up so much that the scale only went up instead of down. My pants still didn’t fit! I wasn’t looking as streamlined and “girly” as I wanted to, so I stopped training. This is when my cousins clued me in to the best thing that ever happened to me.
I think the greatest part of Zumba is the level of energy the instructor and owner, Kayt, brings to each and every class. No matter how bad her day might have been, you would never know it. She is not only encouraging, but crazy and incredibly kind. She cares about every person who walks through her door. That’s what keeps me (and so many others) going back multiple times per week. 
Obviously, the fitness aspect is just incredible. I didn’t necessarily have 10 or 15 pounds to lose, but I wanted to get back in shape and lose a few inches here and there. To my complete shock, now, after over a year straight of Zumba, I have lost about 12 pounds and dropped 2 pant sizes! My body is slim in ways I never thought it would be. I’m not bulky, but I’m toned. I can see muscles I didn’t know I had.   I have learned so many healthy ways of eating and nourishing my body. 

Zumba 1

At 26, I am without a doubt in the best shape I’ve ever been in, and I owe it all to Zumba. My mood is instantly better when I go to class, and when I leave. It’s a life-change that I will continue on with until I have to dance with a cane!

Post Navigation:


  1. Jessica @ Prayers and Apples on January 24, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    @ Rochelle: good for u for staying strong and not taking him back! it sounds like u really made the right decision and are so much happier (and stronger!) than u were before 🙂

  2. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on January 24, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    These stories are so motivating and awesome!! What awesome women! Thanks for sharing! Keep up the amazing work!

  3. Kim on January 24, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    I am so technically challenged – I don’t know exactly where you get your stories but if you want a middle-aged fitness story, I would be thrilled to share.

  4. Jess on January 24, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Love hearing others stories! So inspiring!

  5. Kelly @ Femme Fitale on January 24, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    What a nice idea to share some inspirational reader stories, Gina!

  6. Sarah@Making Thyme for Health on January 25, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Great stories! These are so inspirational to read. I think fitness really can change your whole attitude on life. I have been exercising regularly for 3 years straight and I love the confidence it gives me to be strong and healthy.

  7. Alissa on January 25, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Thank you for sharing this amazing stories! You are all amazing women and congrats on your journeys!

  8. Pip on January 25, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Gina, I’ve been a fan of yours for ages! and it’s made my day to play a part in your fitness stories. Thanks for even more inspiration and for sharing your readers’ stories – I’m actually getting some new ideas to fuel my next fitness challenges 🙂 Cheers, Pip xx

  9. Vesna Fit Missy on January 25, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Great stories to share! Very inspiring!

  10. Stellina @My Yogurt Addiction on January 25, 2013 at 8:47 am

    It’s so motivating and inspiring to hear everyone’s fitness stories. Everyone has a different history and I love hearing about why they loe to exercise!

  11. Caroline on January 25, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I love these stories! So inspiring- just what I need today! I’m in law school myself, and I started running seriously my first year here- it has been a great way to keep me physically and mentally healthy. I use running as my own break for the day and time to just let all the stress go. I am running my first marathon in (gulp) 10 weeks- which feels both scary and thrilling. I’m glad I got to read these before I go out and do my long run-12 miles, here we go!

    Have a good Friday everyone!

  12. Lauren on January 25, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I love reading how others have found their passion for fitness 🙂

  13. Sarah (Shh...Fit Happens) on January 25, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Thank you for sharing! Great stories!

  14. Staci on January 25, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Wow Rochelle, I love your story!! good for you 🙂

  15. LisaG on January 25, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Great job ladies! Very inspiring.

  16. Andrea on January 25, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Hi Gina!

    Thanks for posting these…its always inspiring to hear other stories…all 3 of those ladies rock! And so do you of course! I have been reading your blog for a few months now and I love the balance you have of fitness, family and fun.

    Just to share my own story shortly…been a “big girl” all my life…was teased ruthlessly in middle/high school…topped the scale at 226lbs. my senior year of college…lost some lbs. here and there over the past few years…got engaged to my soulmate last year (yay!) and finally got serious about being fit…I have lost 62lbs. to date and feel SO much better about myself now…and its always amazing to see what my body is capable of now! (Running my first half in March! Eeeeek!)

    I am currently trying to loose those last 14lbs…which I know will be hard but we set our wedding date for August 10th and I want to look and feel my best! Looking forward to the winter shape-up!!

  17. Bethany Henderson on January 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Hi, I just discovered your website and love it! I too am a military pilot’s wife… My hubs flies an AH-1 Cobra in the USMC…. So I can totally relate to all the insane hrs and crazy schedule they keep….my friends on the ground side just don’t get it! :). Anyway, to make a long story very short, I got very sick as a teen (iCU for 6 weeks) and because of long term steroid use, I had to have both of my hips replaced as a senior in high school. So I never considered myself fit….i was a size 8-10 when I married my hubs in college, and ballooned up to a size 16-18 after having 2 girls in 19 months of flight school. After I had my 2nd girl I joined WW and lost about 50 lbs eating diet food and working about 3-5x a week…but after my 3rd girl the weight just didn’t come off that great. I finally started getting onto clean eating and increasing intensity in my workouts…..the hubs discovered crossfit in his last deployment, and I started to run….and I Love it…I ran my first 5k and I was hooked….because running isn’t recommended for my hips,I try to only run 2-3 days a week and do insanity or a HIIT workout, but when my baby was diagnosed with autism 5 months ago, we transformed our eating…. We are mostly GFCF and non processed food eaters and I have lost another 20lbs! My Baby is doing great with all the therapy she gets and dietary changes we have made. Thank you Tricare!!! I went from a 10 to a 4 and I feel fantastic! Thanks for an awesome blog with amazing recipes and workouts! I love it!

    • Fitnessista on January 26, 2013 at 1:04 am

      thank you so much for checking out my blog and HUGE congratulations to you for all of your hard work taking care of yourself and your family! hugs to that sweet baby girl and keep up the amazing job <3

  18. Aditi on January 26, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Gina! Your posts on fitness passions inspired me to write a post about it 🙂

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.