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David Freeze: Brooke and Michelle reach the finish line!

On Tuesday morning, I couldn’t get the girls to run in the cold. They conspired, beginning on the evening before, to do an inside workout. For once, I felt that was OK. The scale awaiteth — and they knew it. The final weight for the year!

Last week, Brooke Taylor and I had just finished a run and we were approached by a woman who followed the story all year. Brooke, Rowan County Library circulation supervisor, said, “I was really surprised and humbled by the lady that spoke to us at the Y last week about how she was encouraged by reading our story. It has been interesting (and sometimes a tad irritating, but mostly interesting) to have patrons come into the library and ask about my progress or encourage me to keep working hard.”

Michelle Patterson, Director of Fun at Patterson Farm, joined us for the last four months of the year, back for a reset after finishing strong in 2016. Michelle had lost some of her fitness in 2017, was off track somewhat and had gained back nine pounds in 8 months. She said, “The challenge is not only staying motivated but also realizing that exercise has to be a part of your life every day. One of my quotes to stay motivated is “Fitness is not a destination, it is a way of life.”

We had a fun time along the way. Michelle said, “Definitely a highlight would be all the conversations we had while out on our runs.” Brooke remembered a morning when we were passing behind Harris Teeter. “I loved it when I tried to get the bread/pastry guy behind the Harris Teeter to give me some doughnuts! I learned a big lesson when I went on vacation for a just a few days over last Easter and came back having gained five pounds. The words ‘you are what you eat’ are for real.”

When asked about the results, other than just pounds lost, Brooke said, “I never thought I would one day be able to run five miles without stopping!! It blows my mind to read the measurements that Ester Marsh took, especially the fat weight. When she showed my fat weight dropping 85.389 to 48.296, I almost fell out. My blood pressure is lower and the doctor cut my dosage of medicine in half. Of course, it’s also awesome to see the number on the scales come down, and to drop so many dress (20 to 12) and pants sizes in a year has been amazing.”

Michelle added, “The result I am most proud of is now being off all blood pressure medication. After being on two blood pressure medications for almost 15 years, this is huge for me. Of course, I am happy to have lost some pounds, inches and body fat. I don’t want to turn back into the trap many women my age fall into, according to Ester, which is gaining 8-10 pounds each year.”

On Tuesday, we discussed how the ladies would keep the momentum up. When losing a personal trainer and the accountability he or she brings, the going often gets harder. Brooke said, “Sticking to my routine of getting up early each morning to run or work out, and preparing meals ahead of time should keep me on the right path. I will keep running three days a week, one of those with Michelle. She and I have committed to continue to meet each Tuesday to run five miles (and more as we progress forward). Recently I started taking the Thursday morning Core Class at the Y which is killing me, but in a good way.”

Michelle echoed more of the same, “In the next three months, I would like to add more swimming into my exercise plan and also will be adding more weights for the short and long term. I plan to participate in Winter Flight and other upcoming runs with hopes of improving times. Additionally, I will be tracking my miles with SRR in hopes of getting at least 500 miles in 2018. I would like to participate in the Buck Hurley Triathlon and am considering participating in some races with greater distances than 5K and 8Ks.”

Bottom line, for 2017, Michelle gained nine pounds and lost five of it back. She’s stronger now and her inches measure the same as the end of 2017. Brooke lost 51 pounds and 33 inches. She is going for 17 more and a possible half marathon in 2018.

My challenge to both ladies is the same as always, “Keep it up and don’t waver in your resolve! And sometimes, exercise with someone fitter than you. It will pay off.” I’ll be keeping an eye on both, but I am confident they will be successful.

Michelle said, “Exercise is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going.”

Brooke added, “I have zero regrets about participating in this program. It has totally changed my life!”

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