When I asked Natasha for some photos to accompany this story, her response was the kind of thing I hear often from my clients:
“I will have to dig one up…I’m always the one behind the camera”
(or I’ll also hear:
…I like to hide behind my cute kid
…Can I take one later when I look better/less tired/thinner?)
Natasha is so self aware that she realized this lack of photos is lame and set out to document her awesome active self – sans kids. And we are not talking about a gym mirror belfie here…just your STANDARD TRAPEZE IN FRONT OF A TIGER MURAL action shot (see below). In her own awesome words: “ALONE AND UNAPOLOGETIC”
This is what the West End trainer Scott Bussel had to say about Natasha:
“She’s as as dedicated and determined as she is hilarious and good spirited at 6:00am. She’s improved in every facet of her fitness and has even taken on the recent 28 Day Transformation Challenge with positive results. Whether Natasha is cursing at me for that extra burpee during out workout (sorry!) or dropping Neil DeGrasse Tyson knowledge during warm-ups our crew is always a bit more colorful with her presence.”
You’ll love Natasha’s Fitness Story!
Self-Employed & Momstuff: Keeping kid happy; walking the dog; consulting on mental health advocacy; starting my own business.
How long have you been training with us?
About a year
Were you always an exerciser? What did you do for your fitness before signing up with FFG?
I’ve always been active – as a teen it was easy – basketball & soccer in the fair seasons, downhill skiing in the foul ones. It was fun and natural. Then, once school ended, so did the “fun” fitness.
I did Nautalus (remember that!?!) in the 80s, aerobics in the 90s, and was always a member of a gym in the 00s (notice I say “member” but not that I actually regularly frequented said gyms).
But I never really loved any of those things. As I got older I became a sort of “all or nothing” kind fitnesser. I picked up jogging and wanted desperately to become one of those “ooohhh….I LOVE running soooo much!” kind of people.
It never happened. I never loved it. I did it, but every day was a slog. So I had to shame myself into it by committing to half-marathons. But as soon as the race was over I’d allow the “recovery” days to last for months. Then I’d start training again for another race….and the cycle would start over again.
Then, a few years ago, in my early 40s, I discovered trapeze and fell in love. It was the first real fitness activity I found that made me excited and looking forward to the next time I went. I felt like a kid again. Pure joy.
What made you sign up for a FFG Bootcamp and the 28 Day Challenge?
Bootcamp: I signed up for the West End Early Risers because I knew I needed a regular exercise regime so I could build up my energy – for life – and also so I could take my trapeze to another level. I hate gyms. I am not good at holding my own feet to the fire. I love being told what to do. I love being accountable to others. All those social pressures work on me. So Bootcamp seemed to be a perfect fit. And it is!
28 Day Challenge: I was in a Florida airport checking email after 7 wifi-free days of a gluttonous Caribbean cruise and saw Oonagh’s email inviting me to join this “28 Day Challenge” thing. The deadline was “NOW” so I had to decide, sight unseen, if I was going to do it. I tend to dive into things before thinking, and was feeling grossly slothy and bloated, so I said, “Fo shizzle…count me in!”
I jumped at it because Bootcamp, alone, wasn’t doing it for me. Despite regular 4xweekly exercise for almost a year, I felt I wasn’t near where I should be energy-wise or weight-wise. I was still hauling my arse out of bed at 5am for Bootcamp and could barely make it to the coffee maker to get that “hit” to get me going. After Bootcamp I’d have to fight to not take a nap (the double-edged sword of working from home). I felt like there was something missing. I had suspected the missing piece was food.
Little did I know how quickly the 28 Day Challenge would change my life!
How have the programs changed your life?
Energy. Clarity. Optimism.
I feel like a member of a cult when I start talking about Bootcamp – and the 28 Day Challenge, in particular.
The Challenge was truly a Transformation. It got the right nutrients in my body at the right intervals, and in the right order. After the 3rd day I realized what I was supposed to feel like energy-wise all along. I was euphoric! With the 28 Day Challenge, I was forced to look ahead to the next day (and even just to the next few hours) and really think about what I needed to do in order to get that magical food in me.
Knowing my sedentary nature (I’m sure my spirit animal is a sloth), and that I do respond really well to structure and…GASP…rules…
Bootcamp and the 28 Day Transformation have given me a sustainable structure for all areas of my life…and the motivation keep it up. I’m a much better person for it.
What do you do when you are not Bootcamping?
I’m kind of finding my way to creating a “Life” right now.
I spent the first part of my life exploring and working in a bunch of areas from permaculture (building straw bale houses & composting toilets) – to advocating for mental healthcare…all the while tinkering contentedly and creatively in my shudio (shed+studio).
Last year I decided to get off the conventional work train and am starting my own company that (I now realize) combines my love of sustainability, helping people, and working with my hands. The goal of my new venture is to help people “rekindle” (give new life to) unused sentimental clothing and textiles; to help people transition from one stage of life into another by transforming old, unused, yet cherished clothing — full of memories and stories — into something new that will be appreciated and bring joy. In other words, I turn precious socks, sweaters, onesie, etc. into scarves, pillows, quilts, ponchos…
What’s your major fitness goal right now?
On my next birthday (July 22) I will do:
5 consecutive pullups,
land in the splits…
then throw up my horn hands and unapologetically declare,
“Suck it ‘middle age’!”
(I’ve never done a cartwheel. I’m not even close to a split. I can do 2 pullups without cheating.)
Then, if I feel like it,
I’ll do a wall-sit, with a glass of red wine,
and make it my bitch.
(Note from Oonagh – THIS IS MY FAVOURITE FITNESS GOAL EVER. I’m changing all my assessment templates to reflect progressing towards this moment only.)
What about coming to Bootcamp makes you jump out of bed at 5am singing the Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music?
Or what did you love about the 28 Day Challenge?
I LOVE that – thanks to the Challenge – I don’t need COFFEE anymore to get my motor running. I have my morning Mojo and that’s all I need to get my arse to Bootcamp – fog-free.
I LOVE that this Challenge has given me true energy and I find that it manifests in how I feel during whatever HIIT SH*T you throw at us on any given MWF. I can go all out for a TABATA and collapse…but I now actually RECOVER between the sets and am energized to keep going. It’s so frigging amazing to find myself genuinely smiling between the tears – and to feel that energy continue throughout the day (no more naps!!!)
What exercise or drill makes you cower under your bed covers and pretend you don’t hear your alarm? B-squared: Bear crawls & Burpees.
Or what was the worst moment of the Challenge for you?
First 2 days of the 2nd Challenge. Migraine, shakes, technicolour yawns. Nasty business. Everything after that has been sunshine & unicorns.
Best/funniest Bootcamp/ Challenge moment?
Kind of a combination…I remember Day 3 of our first Challenge (the first day we feel human again after the two initial torture days) – walking into Bootcamp and looking at Erin, who was also doing the Challenge.
We just looked at each other and laughed at our shared experience – how absolutely shitty we felt for 2 days…but that morning we felt we could fly. It was such an incredible surge of energy and joy. Kind of like we discovered this Holy Grail that we couldn’t remotely ever explain to anyone else who hadn’t experienced it. It was cool.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting out with us or just thinking about it?
Don’t think too much. Just do it. Seriously. You don’t have time NOT to take control of your health. It’s the cornerstone & foundation of E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G in life!
Yes, it’s a time commitment; but it’s the most important time commitment you can make. It may feel like a slog but, if you keep at it, you’ll wake up one day and say, “Ohhh….I get it now!” and never look back.
What is the accomplishment or personal milestone you are most proud of?
Having kept with Bootcamp for a year and getting through the 28 Day Challenge…twice….I know that I’ve created new lifelong habits that I’m not going to piss away.
For the first time (probably since being a teenager) I feel truly fit and healthy. I can’t wait to see what the universe has to offer next!
Wasn’t that a great Fitness Story!? To check out more Fitness Stories, click here.
And leave Natasha a comment below to congratulate her on all her hard work!!