Congrats to Cara for being our latest Camper Spotlight!
Our Camper Spotlight this month is Cara! Cara has been part of JCF 2.5+ years and we’ve been grateful to have her be part of our fitness family! You can find her boot camping at JCF on a regular basis, loving mountain climbers (haha) and somewhere in between find her at a mountain, near and far, crushing an obstacle race. Onward…
Here is Cara’s story in her own words…Enjoy!
“Growing up I never considered myself athletic. Sure – I did Tee-ball, Softball, Soccer in school – I even had a short stint at Horseback Riding. Yet sports or athletic activities never really held my interest. It was more common to find me singing to Whitney Houston in my bedroom, hairbrush microphone in hand.
When High School came around I decided to try Cross-Country and Track. Both my brother and sister seemed to like it, so why not? My challenge however – which I realized quite quickly – was that I hated running. It was hard. It hurt, I found it boring and I was always one of the last to finish…even on a really good day. I wanted to quit every season. Heck – I wanted to quite every race! It was my brother and running friends that kept me just motivated enough to keep signing-up. But it really wasn’t until later in my life that I was able to motivate myself and make physical fitness a priority.
My first JCF session was in the Summer of 2011. I wanted to find something to motivate me to work out and shed a few pounds…something that was going to hold my interest for more than a couple months. I stumbled upon JCF online and decided to sign-up for a 5 day-a-week, 4-week trial. I admit it was rough waking up so early every morning. But after 2 weeks of the routine I was addicted. I felt so much more alive!! I had tons of energy and could not wait for the day to end so I could wake up and get to JCF the next morning. After the first cycle was up I signed up for another. And another, and another, and another. In fact I think I went 5 days a week for an entire year! Nothing kept me from getting up to meet Daris and the ladies in the morning…late nights working, a little too much partying (sorry Daris), or traveling from near and far…nothing. I was committed to my 5am wake-up and totally loved it. Surprisingly, even when Daris incorporated a lot of running.
In the fall of 2011 I decided to do my first mud run, the Rugged Maniac. It…was…AWESOME!! I loved running through the mud and woods, jumping in freezing water, flinging myself over barricades, putting my bootcamp skills to the test. I became obsessed overnight. The thought of racing made me want to work even harder at bootcamp and Daris made me want to work even harder in the races. The energy and physical strength JCF provided fueled me to sign-up for more and more races to see how fast I really was, how strong I really was. Suddenly this “non-runner” filled-up just about every other weekend with a race. I completed my first long race with the Tough Mudder in May of 2012, followed by a series of 15+ road and obstacle races of all different shapes and sizes, ending with the Rome Marathon in March of 2013. I had such a blast and was by far in the best athletic shape of my life.
This September I decided to go Killington, Vermont to participate in the Spartan Ultra Beast – a 30 mile Ultra-Terrain course up one of the highest ski mountains in the East, with 60+ obstacles. My friends and family thought I was nuts. There were definitely moments of high-nerves when I thought about the test I was about to put myself through, but I didn’t worry too much because I had the everyday training of JCF with me.
The Ultra Beast proved to be by far the most physically challenging thing I have ever done – period. Relentless vertical inclines and steep, slippery, wooded declines with obstacles in between. I thought about my JCF friends the entire time. I replayed Daris in my head, “No Quit!” and “Get Your Mind Right!” and “Successful people don’t act the way they feel!“, “DIG DEEPER!!”. I lasted 13.5 hours until I was pulled at mile 23 for not making the last time cut off. I was heartbroken. Not heartbroken because I didn’t finish, but heartbroken because I felt I had so much more in me…I really wanted to finish. I may not have been fast enough, but I did give my all on that mountain. And there is no way I could have gotten that far – or even the confidence to sign-up – without JCF.
JCF has become such an integral part of my every day – it truly has changed me. Not only with all of the races, but with how I feel about myself and about life. I have more energy, more confidence and am even more positive. I have made some incredible friends, have been pushed beyond my limits and am constantly inspired by Daris and the ladies to do my best every workout…every day. Thank you for rekindling an almost burnt-out flame and inspiring me to become an athlete at this point in my life. I’m loving every minute of it and am forever grateful.”
Cara, thanks for sharing! Thanks for your hard work, dedication, and modeling making fitness a way of life!
We hope you enjoyed Cara’s story and that it inspires you to raise your own bar.
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