Oct. 2023 Member Spotlight: Sarah Smith

This October we are very excited to feature Sarah Smith as our member spotlight. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Sarah is one of our members who stood up to cancer and is a Breast Cancer survivor. She shows us how commitment to your health and consistency with your workouts really pays off. Some fun facts that Sarah shared with us are that she used to show Arabian horses in her youth, and it was truly her favorite form of exercise.  She still loves to ski, bike, kayak, and hike as she said, “Anything outdoors makes me happy. I also ride my Honda Scooter, nicknamed Piglet, to the gym and work but it has to be warmer than 50 degrees.  Finally, if you or someone you know is having an experience with breast cancer, I am happy to talk with them.” 

We asked Sarah why health and fitness are important to her, and she replied, “I have been active for most of my life and as I get older, I am finding out how important it is to remain active.  I feel SO much better when I am going to FF classes and doing other fitness activities.  It is truly a way to feel my best, stay as healthy as I can and avoid the pitfalls of being sedentary.  It’s so much more that being physically fit…it’s mental fitness too!”
We always enjoy finding out how people found Forward Fitness. Sarah came to us on a recommendation from a friend. “A friend of mine, Nancy Hammond (physical therapist), recommended FF to me as a great fitness center that would ensure that I was reaching my goals in a safe way.  Once I came and tried it out, I was hooked.  The community is broad based and so welcoming.  I love the variety of exercises that change regularly.  It is so easy to just do the same thing over and over.  Running has been my primary exercise for years before joining FF.  I am a safer and stronger runner with cross training at FF.”
Sarah had this to say about overcoming challenges. “Over the years I have had minor physical issues to overcome which were relatively easy to overcome but the biggest one came in December 2022 when I had breast cancer and subsequently had a double mastectomy and reconstruction.  I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to continue the fitness regimen that I have come to enjoy so much but I was assured by my medical team that I would indeed get back.  Over several months, I made incremental improvement with encouragement and modifications in classes, coached by the FF team.  Thank you!”
 That overall feeling of well-being is one of the reasons that Sarah has been able to make fitness a priority in her life. She tells us, “I think part of it is routine, planning but also the “high” you can get from working out.  When I don’t exercise, I don’t feel as well and happy.  Knowing that keeps me doing it.” 
Sarah’s biggest accomplishment was running the Grandma’s Marathon when she turned 40. “I still want to do another one at some point, likely some walking would be a part of it.”
We asked Sarah what she would say to someone considering adding a fitness routine to their life and she replied, “Just start, one day at time, and add more times as you get more comfortable.  It is the best way to extend your life in a healthy way and the return on your amount of commitment is well worth it.  Find a place that you like and meets your needs.  Set your own goals and keep reaching for more.”

Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your story and being an inspiration for all of us.

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