I am not an athlete. I am not a runner and I could benefit from losing a few pounds.
I’ve always been fascinated with the running community and thought it would be cool to be a part of their world one day. About 10 years ago I convinced my sister-in-law, and her sister, to run Grandma’s Marathon because I thought how hard can this be? I quit three weeks into training; they completed it.
On December 28, 2015 I decided I wanted to try running again. I cannot begin to tell you where this level of motivation came from; when people asked me why I was running I would jokingly say, “I had a Forrest Gump moment and just felt like running.
By March 2016, my church had joined forces with Team World Vision and before I knew it I was signed up to run in the Twin Cities Marathon. This time I wasn’t just running to run; I was providing communities with access to clean drinking water. I was a really, really slow runner but was determined to finish. It took me 7.5 hours, got lost a few times, but I did it! I also personally raised enough money to provide clean water to over 26 people.
After my race was over I had every intention to keep running. Unfortunately, my ankles weren’t healthy enough to handle long distances. Last year I struggled to run a half-marathon and the TC 10-Mile race. I was signed up to run again this year but after my first 1-mile run I knew my legs just didn’t have it in them.
By June of 2018 I hadn’t officially quit training but my feet hadn’t hit the pavement in over a month. Around this time I was in downtown Wayzata and I parked across the street from Fly Feet. I saw all these people jumping up and down and cheering this group of runners coming towards them. It reminded me of how exhilarating it is when you are out there running and random strangers cheer you on to keep going. I was missing my running community. It was there that I decided I wanted to get my legs healthy so I could re-join my team.
I had sent an intro email to every single running club, group, gym, trainer that was close to my home. The only one to send me a non-corporate reply was Fly Feet!
I tell people that Fly Feet “hooked” me in two phases. The first was when I received Ben’s email reply. It was genuine. He wanted to understand why I was contacting them and what I was looking for. After a few back and forth emails he recommended I start with their Gait Analysis. He stayed in touch with me throughout the week and wanted to make sure I felt comfortable with the day’s events and know who I would be meeting with during my first appointment. I was really impressed with this level of service.
The second “hook” happened when I walked into Fly Feet and I met Heidi. She is one of the kindest, sweetest, most genuine people you’ll ever meet. She could tell I was nervous but she put me at ease right away. She asked me a ton of questions but they were all genuine. Just like Ben, she wanted to understand what I was looking for in Fly Feet and was so happy that I was giving them a try.
Coach John performed my Gait Analysis and that was quite an experience. He recorded my feet hitting the treadmill, which is not a flattering angle on anyone, and was able to show me exactly why my ankles have been throbbing during runs. He invited me to attend a starter class happening a month away and in the meantime showed me some helpful warm-ups to help strengthen my ankles.
After I left I knew I didn’t want to wait a month before starting classes. I registered right then and there!
That first class was so scary. I didn’t know anyone and I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up. I took my piece of chalk and walked over to the farthest treadmill in the room hoping nobody would be near me. No luck. It was a packed room. I liked how one trainer focused on the group warming up on the floor and how the other trainer checked in with everyone warming up on the treadmills. I know I keep saying this but they really do want to know how your body is feeling and if there is anything they should be aware of.
When I switched to the floor we were doing squats and one of the trainers came over to me and corrected my stance. I had participated in hundreds of group fitness classes and I can’t recall a time when anyone corrected me – ever!
After that first class I was signed up to take another class the next day but my body really needed a day to recover. I was awakening muscles that hadn’t been used in a long time and was feeling muscle soreness in places I didn’t even know existed! My initial schedule had me taking one class and then two days off before taking another class. Mentally I wanted to be there every day but my body needed those recovery days.
I am now two months into my Fly Feet journey. My legs are healthy. I can see my body changing and it’s exciting. Every class pushes my mind and body to the max. I started out as an individual trying to fix my run and now I am part of a new running community. Ben and Heidi might have given me the initial hook to want to see what Fly Feet was all about but the Coaches are the ones that keep me coming back for more. They’re smart. They work with you no matter where you are on the fitness spectrum and they motivate and push you to hit your next level.
You are not alone in feeling nervous and scared and sore about this next step in your journey. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone at Fly Feet.
I look forward to seeing you in the studio or on the trails!