Live Fit Winner, TJ – 2017 Year in Review

Hi FitWit Nation,

My year as the FitWit Live Fit winner has come to an end.  However, everything that this year has given me will help me to continue always moving forward.  I started the year hoping to survive a workout to finishing the year reaching for heavier weights and getting extra rounds.

My year went a little something like this:


Newbie assessment took me more than 19 minutes to complete.  I was just trying to learn proper form and the names of all the different moves.  If you want to check out a more detailed recap of that first month, check out it out here: TJ Tells It: 7 Workouts In



February found me with a month under my belt and making improvements.  I was in the middle of marathon training.  Adjusting to my new life style with more weight training was giving me new energy. Check out February’s recap here: Live Fit Winner TJ: Be Consistent!



My first quarter came to a close with some big gains to help fuel me into the next quarter. I did my marathon (spoiler alert: I PR’d!) and kept moving forward.  Check out my marathon recap and recommitment to the jump rope: Hollow Rockin’ To A Marathon PR



April was the month where the work in the gym had its first notice impact on everyday life.  I loved being able to move boxes while moving and doing volunteer work with an ease that I didn’t even realize was happening until after the fact.  It’s a great feeling to be able to push yourself to new limits. Check out how I beat the moving boxes: Live Fit Winner, TJ – 1, Moving Boxes – 0



My positivity reached new heights in May.  I started owning the things that I could do! Not just the things that where a challenge. I found the importance of giving myself some kudos for achieving new goals. The next major aha moment came from putting shot at a track meet. Check it out here: Live Fit Winner, TJ – Putting The Shot!



The halfway point in my year came and I did the newbie assessment and set some goals.  With six months of experience, sweat, and hard work, I wanted to see where I was objectively. It works! Check out the results of my retest and the new goals here: Live Fit Winner TJ Six Months



It was the best of times and the worst of time in July. I started the month with an invigorated passion for reaching new goals. I used my workouts to prepare for my first USATF Master track meet. It ended with a car accident that shifted my focus. Check out how FitWit helped me win all the medals here: Live Fit Winner TJ Win Win Win



August was a recovery month for me.  I had to put my goals on hold to get my body back into training condition.  After a car accident at the end of July, I was sidelined.  It shifted my fitness journey focus to not just the workouts but also on nutrition.  Check out how I adapted here: Live Fit Winner TJ Always Moving Forward



I came slowly back to the gym after some recovery work. My first workout back was modified and fit my needs at the time. September was a rebuilding month and I put my upper body to the test at the end.  Check out how your upper body work can help with running here: Live Fit Winner TJ Positive Patient



I finally did it! I made it to a 6 AM workout.  It only took me 290 days to convince myself to get out of the bed and make it to a 6 AM workout.  I even made it a few minutes early. Imagine my surprise when I was the only one there besides Ben and Stacy. Luckily, people started to show up because I’m not sure it would have been that much fun alone that early.  Turns out it wasn’t so bad. I wasn’t totally coherent but I got the workout done!

In all seriousness, the 6 AM time slot wasn’t terrible or even bad.  Everyone was really nice (not shocked…it is still FitWit). I did manage to make it through my workday without needing (another) nap. And it is not on my ‘yeah nope I’m not doing that again’ list.

That 6 AM class also sparked getting back into showing up for my early morning runs in the park.  Well, that and knowing I needed to get ready for the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler with some miles in addition to my FitWit fun.  It is amazing how accomplishing a goal can put you (back) on the path to getting things done.



Coming off of the fun of a 6 AM class and with the holidays on the horizon, I formulated a game plan. I knew I would need support and other like-minded people. This year was not going to be the year I threw away all of my hard work during the holidays.

Camper Kara came to the rescue with a call for people who wanted to be in a nutrition group together. The group was more than nutrition but a place to encourage. We all made it through the holidays with our fitness and nutrition still in the forefront of our minds.  The community made a big difference in keeping my year on track! I finished November with the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon. It was the fastest half in a very long time.  While it wasn’t a personal best, I felt better and stronger at the end of the race.  Having a group of people to keep you focused even when not in the gym is important. Find your people and connect.



My last month as the Live Fit Winner was all about finishing strong. I had one goal to make 5 workouts in a row. I did it too! Not only that I made it to another 6 AM workout. It is easier to make it when you know a friendly face is going to be there to sweat it out with you.

I reached most of my year-long goals —

Make it to all time slots: Check

Five workouts in a row: Check

Make peace with the jump rope: Check

Expand my fitness journey: Check

Stay on track through the holidays: Check


My last goal was the Newbie Workout test out with improvement. I knew it was going to be a challenge just because I wasn’t back to where I was before my accident. Not only that, while I didn’t go off the rails during the holidays, they weren’t perfect either– the gluten-free pound cake, y’all!

Here’s the thing, I’m determined. I had the tools and I knew how to use them. I did it. Last goal for this year met. I finished the Newbie Workout with a minute of improvement from my mid-year testing. I took off over four minutes from the beginning of the year to the end.  While the jump rope isn’t my new favorite workout equipment, I made it work for me.

I find that each individual workout and the collective of the workouts help to keep me on track.  Even more it the little changes that really keep me going.  Whether it be trying toe push-up (squeezed out a couple in a few workouts…) or showing up earlier than ever before to keep me motivated.

Each month changed me in a different way.  I love the progress I was able to make but even more so I loved the support the FitWit community gives each other.  We are all on the same journey to live healthier lives but all bring a unique perspective, idea and encouragement to the process.  My first year as a FitWit camper would not be complete without acknowledging some people specifically.

I want to thank Kara for always having a smile and encouraging conversation for workouts.  And a big thanks to Josh for being willing to be my partner anytime even if he knew he was going to work just a little bit longer while I got through my reps.  Other campers definitely helped me along the way too.  I really appreciate your encouragement and conversations at workouts and socials. Big thanks go to Lisa and Beka for helping me achieve the goal of being able to do those evening workouts.

Overall, my year was a great one. It set me up for always moving forward on my fitness journey. I’ll leave you with my motto for my fitness journey and life: One step at a time. When you consider your workouts, consider what a small change that you can try? It just may motivate and help you accomplish that big goal.


Thanks again FitWit Nation for an amazing year.

Telling it #oneswingatatime,



FitWit Live Fit Winner 2017

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