An announcement of my participation in the latest F45 challenge! Plus the WHY behind my decision to take on this fitness/nutrition challenge and what got me to this point.
Long post today, friends! BUT, I think it will be one that you’ll like because it’s going to answer a TON of the question I’ve been getting for, really, the past 1-2 years. So as you can imagine, lots of personal info and details here, but if you’ve been a long time reader I think you’ll appreciate the transparency.
To get started and address the title of this post, I recently tried our local F45 Functional Training studio and FELL IN LOVE with the high intensity circuit-style workouts. As most of you know, I haven’t been able to run for about a year and a half now and I’ve really struggled to find a workout or form of exercise that gives me the same endorphin high and challenge that running did. F45 takes the cake and I only wish I had discovered it sooner!
If you’re unfamiliar with F45, don’t worry…I’ll be telling you all about it later in this post. ?But first, as the title suggests, I am taking part in their latest F45 Fitness & Nutrition Challenge! It started April 29th and goes until June 23rd. 8 weeks of intense, body sculpting workouts and clean eating.
So how did I get to the point of wanting to do this kind of challenge? Let me tell you a little bit about where I’ve been the past two years.
The CliffNotes Version
Here’s a simplified timeline of my health/injury history over the past two years and what brought me to the point I am at now…
January-March 2017: Continued training for the Boston Marathon (I was running for a charity but had 2 BQs at that point as well). Waaaay overtraining with too high of mileage and not enough rest.
End of March 2017: Diagnosed with 4 pelvic stress fractures on my right side 5 weeks out from Boston.
April 17th 2017: Walked the Boston Marathon after getting off crutches a week earlier.
April-June 2017: Physical therapy and rehabbing exercises.
June 2017: Reintroduce running. Low-mileage and continuation of PT.
September 2017: PR in the half marathon. 2nd place at Presque Isle Half Marathon…also one of the worst race experiences of my life for a different reason. ?
October 2017: Diagnosed with 4 pelvic stress fractures on my left side.
October-December 2017: Rest and heal.
January 2018: Try to start running again but can’t because of severe, radiating bilateral leg pain and low back pain. Struggle to walk and get out of bed.
January-March 2018: Still not running or exercising. Barely able to walk without severe pain. No relief from NSAIDS, ice, rest, massage, PT, or chiropractor. Gained 40+ lbs.
Go to various orthopedic doctors and am told my pain is “psychosomatic”. Depression worsens, mental health hits and all time low.
April 2018: FINALLY get in with a local neurologist and am diagnosed with two severely herniated discs in my L4, L5 vertebrae. Immediately begin PT.
April-June 2018: Continue PT and back pain finally starts to resolve.
June 2018: STILL NOT RUNNING…only doing walking and PT exercises for exercise. Begin to get EXTREME shooting, sharp pains in my right shin. Go to the ortho and am diagnosed with 2 tibial stress fractures.
Doctors are baffled since I haven’t been doing any high impact exercise, my DEXA scan shows my bone density is normal/healthy, and I get my period regularly.
Mid-July 2018: Where a boot for 6 weeks and begin having pain in my left shin just in time for my follow-up MRI for my right tibia. MRI shows right is healed and now left is fractured in almost the exact two places.
July 2018-January 2019: Continue getting stress fractures in both tibias for the next 5 months. They won’t heal and no doctors will tell me what is wrong. I try to get into see an endocrinologist and no one will see me based on my bloodwork. Incredibly frustrated and have essentially been in PAIN for over a year now. Afraid I’ll never be able to run or live normally again.
January 2019: Try one last ortho who puts me on 50,000 units of vitamin D once a week for 8 week. By the 4th week the pain in my tibias has totally subsided and two weeks after that I was able to slowly try running again.
February 2019: Not increasing mileage or speed (SUPER out of shape and overweight) just running a few miles here and there to get back into it. Go on a short run with my ex-boyfriend and 2 miles in feel an AWFUL sharp pain my toes. Figure I was just landing funny or twisted something, but when we finally stopped I realized I couldn’t bear any weight on my right foot at all.
Get diagnosed with a 3rd metatarsal shaft bone fracture (dr says these only happen if you drop something on your foot and is SHOCKED I got it on a run). Originally get put in a cast, but transition into a boot to be worn for 6 weeks.
March 2019: Switched primary doctors and FINALLY am able to schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist that is in the same practice. Get a TON of bloodwork done. And start to see all the evidence on paper of all the symptoms I’ve been feeling over the past year like: extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, dry skin, increased appetite, extreme weight gain, increased urination…and of course chronic fractures. Bloodwork also shows I am at risk for diabetes because of my weight gain.
End April 2019: Healed from my broken foot and try my first F45 workout. FALL IN LOVE with this style of training.
And that brings us to now…I’ve made the decision to take the F45 Challenge that runs from April 29th to June 23rd (minus two weeks I’ll be trekking across Spain on foot) and sharing everything with you!
Now for some details on my new fitness obsession!
What is F45?
The F stands for FUNCTIONAL and the 45 is how many minutes the class runs for. This includes an intro and demo of all the exercises, a warmup, and the workout itself. All equipment is your provided. You just need to get yourself there and get ready to WORK.
Currently, F45 is one of the fastest growing exercise movements globally. It got its start in Australia and now there are more than 400 studios worldwide.
Why I Love It
What makes F45 so different from any other fitness class I’ve tried is that there are no crazy power-lifting moves or mind-boggling choreography to learn (no rhythm girl here! ??♀️). So it doesn’t matter if you can’t grapevine or alternate high knees while raising opposite hands like you’d be expected to do in a dance or mixed martial arts style class. These are functional exercises. That means they help with EVERYDAY movements and activities. Squating. Twisting. Pushing. Thrusting. Pulling. All things that will make you more fit for LIFE.
And don’t worry if you’re just beginning your exercise journey or aren’t normally athletic. The atmosphere at F45 (especially my local studio!) is totally motivational and encouraging. The team you’re training with will be pushing you to give your all. Plus, there’s always a lot of big smiles and highfiving when you complete a workout.
Why Do the Challenge?
The F45 Challenge is an all-encompassing fitness, nutrition, and LIFESTYLE challenge designed to give you the support and structure you need to meet your strength, fat loss, and body transformation goals. As indicated by all the health issues I detailed above, my body is NOT where it used to be in terms of performance or fitness. And I have to admit, I’m not comfortable or confident with the way it looks right now either. But above all, the extra weight I have on me is now affecting my health. Diabetes runs in my family and since I am now in the “at risk” zone, I am determined to do everything I can to get back to a healthy (for me) weight.
…..and I just want to feel BETTER. I feel slow. Heavy. Sluggish. Out of shape.
I miss feeling strong, fast, and energized. Plus, I would love to get back to marathon training or at least consistent running someday!
So THAT is why I am taking on the F45 Challenge.
In my next post at the halfway point of the challenge, I’ll be sharing…
- my progress so far
- more details on what you get when you sign up for the challenge
- plus any other relevant insights or experiences I think are worth sharing
Have you ever tried F45?
Do you have any fitness or health goals right now?
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