On any given Tuesday or Friday at an ungodly hour between 6a-630a you can find me and the amazing Trish Tobin warming her up for her training session. Usually she's sore from having taken spin class the day before from one of our mutual favorite instructors (shout out to Danny Baker!). And while from an outsider's perspective it may sound like we're having way too much fun, she's serious about her health and fitness.
Trish knows that training and fitness are about building yourself up versus tearing yourself apart. She is consistent. She shows up for every early morning session despite, as she explains below, not always being stoked to be there. But she shows up for herself and does the work. And she feels better for it every time she does. So read on to learn why this busy 48 year old head of marketing, activist, traveler, daughter, friend, girlfriend (and so many other awesome things) makes time for fitness in her busy life and how doing so actually gives her back more time in the energy it provides.
Q1: As the busy head of marketing for a successful mobile wireless company, how (and more importantly why) do you find time in your life for fitness?
I've reached (ahem) a stage in life where I've found a noticeable difference in my ability to focus, in my stamina during the day and, of course, in my mood when I exercise regularly in the morning. So, like it or not (and let's be real, I never go bounding into the gym saying "Yay I'm here!") exercise in the morning is as regular for me as my latte (nonfat of course). A bonus that JJ helps me to remember and really appreciate is that I always feel better when I am leaving the gym - it's true and it's good to really recognize that every time you're heading back out on the way to work.
Q2: Do you find that training and a fitness regime helps in other facets of your life beyond physical health?
Training and fitness classes don't just help other facets in my life, they affect all facets of my life. My appetite, my digestive health, my mental health, my sleep habits - really everything. It's just part of my life - and I really like having had Equinox as a home base for years - in San Francisco, in Washington, DC and Santa Monica. I enjoy the people and the consistent experience there - but mostly I enjoy the chilled Eucalyptus towels. [Editor's note: OBVIOUSLY that's her pet nickname for me, her dear and trusted trainer. It couldn't possibly be those cool and refreshing towels Equinox is famous for.]
Q3: What is the most rewarding and most frustrating part of training?
The best part is when I'm clearly in a good groove and can see improvement on something I've been doing for a bit - like when the Versa Climber doesn't make me so out of breath or when back squats feel a little lighter. It's empowering and energizing. When I get a cold or the flu though and I am out commission for a week, I am a total grump. It's not like I'm sick and saying "Gee I wish I was working out!", but my body misses the routine and coming back from it can be a real bear. In fact, coming back from bumps in the training road is something I have on my list to get better at.
Q4: What advice to your have for busy professionals like yourself who struggle with the concept of spending the time, energy and money on their fitness and health?
Okay first, I'll tell my you feelings about the money I spend on the gym and training. I simply look at this as my health tax. I have some fitness challenges that are already affecting my overall health and left unchecked, they can have serious consequences. I cannot imagine, no, I simply refuse to imagine giving in. And if I do, I know I will be paying much more to drug companies, doctors and hospitals for my care.
I also know that I am lucky that I have the ability to keep fit. Too many friends of mine don't have those choices available to them anymore. So, to lay off at the gym just seems ungrateful.
While I wish I was the kind of person who could show up and do this on my own, I know I'm not. So, I do what I know I can. I can commit to JJ to be at the gym at 6:30am ready to work out. I can reserve a bike and show up to use it. And in making each of those small commitments, I'm committing to myself to make the most of the health that I have.
As for energy and time, it's not even close. Making time for fitness gives me back more time in the energy it gives me. Even planning out my workouts makes me plan my weeks better too. I'm just plain better for it.
Q5: What have you accomplished in the gym that has totally surprised you and what performance goals are you pondering as a certain special birthday approaches?
Okay, I'll get personal here. But I'll be damned if, at age 48, many of my body parts are perkier than they've ever been. So, for my 50th birthday, I would like to make significant progress on the dreaded middle. But I'm wary. Sharing my goals with JJ usually immediately translates into new and daunting challenges at the gym from him. Wish me luck. [Editor's note: you don't need luck because you have heart. Love you, girl!]