Kick Start Challenge: Little steps = big progress
By Marie PihulicFebruary 11, 2021
FORT SILL, Okla., Feb. 11, 2021 — There was a moment when Stacey Campbell, Army Wellness Center health educator, asked me how much I workout and I wondered how much I should lie to her. Hold the judgement, please.Last year my weekly workout routine was four hours of endurance, footwork, and contact with my roller derby team; two-to-three hours of weightlifting; and stretching every night. I was an athlete and proud of the strength I built. To go from that, to admitting I might do one to (on a good week) three easy workouts in a week, made my brain stutter step.I did tell her.And it was like instantly solving a math problem. Little to no workouts does not equal muscle mass.Little stepsI have completed one week of the Army Wellness Center’s Kick Start Challenge and although I haven’t magically transformed into the exceptionally fit version of myself, just putting the goal into focus once again and taking tiny steps has given me that feeling that I WILL become that person.I went back to the AWC to get more help. This time they calculated my resting metabolic rate. Once again I was donned in futuristic looking equipment. I was told to lie down for 15 minutes and they put an orb over my face with a plastic cover over my arms. I was told to not fall asleep which was the challenging part.Then we moved on to testing my strength. To my surprise, Campbell said there is a correlation between grip strength and health. According to Reuters and a United Kingdom study of half a million people, researchers found those “with the lowest grip strengths tended to have lower socioeconomic status and were more likely to smoke, to be obese and to have higher waist circumference and body fat percentage. They also ate fewer fruits and vegetables, exercised less and watched TV more.”Needless to say, I was trying my hardest to show I had good grip strength.Campbell gave me three tries on each hand. Next, we tested my back strength, and finally my flexibility with a sit-and-reach test. The kicker is they won’t give you your results until you take the Upping Your Metabolism Class, which I will be sitting in today. This is because the data they give you makes more sense when you know how to use it in your equation of reaching a fitness or health goal.Campbell did explain that to gain muscle, I do not need to eat on a calorie deficit. That has never been a problem for me. The hard part is that I will also have to start lifting heavy things. Which I can do, I just like to connect them to results like being great at a sport, rather than looking good in a mirror. But, that will have to wait.So far, my workout routine looks like I can do a workout as long as I am watching “How to Get Away With Murder.” I have not been able to stick to a consistent time yet as it has gone from morning workout to a lunch workout depending on what work or life has for me that day. But, it is starting to become a regular event. I think mindless television is my replacement for being distracted by camaraderie in my past team environment. I will take it for now and enjoy the accumulating results.I will also be trying the Army Wellness Center’s healthy recipes they included in the challenge packet and a nice upper body mobility stretch workout Kayla Lovewell, AWC health educator, was nice enough to include after I explained I had very tight shoulders.Here’s to more steps and more progress.For more information on how the Army Wellness Center can help with fitness and health goals, call 580-442-0680, or stop by 2934 Marcy Road on Fort Sill.