In 2020, the world came unseamed. So many unknowns, while the world spun into a new and unknown tumult. I embraced the familiar: I laced up my Brooks and ran. I’d run for miles. I’d rise before the oversleeping sun to outrun COVID fears, the negative media blitz, the ever-changing guidance, and race toward gratitude.
Eventually, I found a path to ground myself, but I wanted to ensure I could sustain and continue balance. I wanted more strength to battle the endless mental and physical fatigue of the pandemic. I knew the more grounded I was, the better mom, spouse, and human I could be, negotiating the endless pandemic challenges.
Why a Virtual Trainer?
The gym is not for me. I prefer conditioning outside with the simple distractions of nature or neighborhoods, and the freedom and texture of movement and terrain. When the pandemic hit and I increased my miles, it increasingly wrought havoc on my knees. Running wasn’t accomplishing my fitness goals or giving me breadth of strength. After two C-sections, I wanted to increase endurance and run smarter, but mostly I wanted to feel mentally and physically stronger, since the world felt so broken. I reached out to a friend in California, Jenacyn Nicholson, owner of Fierce & Fit, who’d recently left corporate marketing to start virtually training clients. A lifelong athlete and a yoga and HIIT instructor, Jenacyn coached me first in Florida, and then through our travel and recent move to Texas with the Air Force. Her next-level athleticism (to include competing at the Olympic Trials for Tae Kwan Do), health-centric mindset, and body positivity intentions are ever encouraging. This portability reduced my move-stress immediately.
Jenacyn and I set custom health and strength goals. I’d struggled significantly with core and back strength after my second C-section. I wanted a pain-free and holistically-strong life so I could be adaptable to daily play and athletics with my boys. I wanted to extend my running life and show my family how strong women are and continue to be.
Jenacyn’s perspective was a foundational key: “I have seen an increase in strength in all of my clients, which has led to them feeling better about themselves, but also has helped them be more capable in other things that give them joy, such as getting ready for a marathon or chasing their kids around the playground.”
We got to work.
I love the bespoke training method. We work together to tailor my workouts to specific goals, motivations, and accommodations for my injuries. I’ve found a sunny home space where I feel confident sweating with my own gear. I remix my own music. I’m guided and educated by a woman who understands all bodies move differently. Transferrable and flexible, without commute times, but with individual accountability—it changed my fitness life immediately.
“Once you understand what type of value a trainer will add, make sure to have a good conversation with the trainer to make sure you are a good match. Not only can they meet your needs, but they can push you in the ways you need to be pushed,” Jenacyn told me.
Mental Health and Balance
Mental health awareness is so important, especially while the world continues to be polarized by COVID challenges. But movement lifts us. It settles the mind. Lifting weights, building strength, and challenging my physical threshold are other extensions of calm. After a year of training with Jenacyn, my brain feels clarity, sharpness, and more adept at processing daily changes. It has helped me cope with the new pandemic normalcy.
“The pandemic has shaken up all of our lives, so depending on the client’s starting point I think the pandemic impacted clients in one of two ways. One, if they worked out before the pandemic, training created a sense of normalcy, a way to get back to their workout routine. For individuals who did not work out before the pandemic, it gave them something different to focus on, and a reason to move their body.”
Together she’s helped shape my new peace and helped me refocus on health and wellness in a balanced way.
Body and Self: Confidence
Body confidence is universal. We want comfort beneath our clothes, when out with friends and family, or playing with our kiddos on the floor. With age, children, and daily rigor, it’s easy to get lost in a rut, in the discomfort. I don’t want my shape and body space to define my day. I want health, strength, and love to define it. Training with Jenacyn has redefined my shape and body space and reimagined who I can be, what I can accomplish, and how I can be present with increased confidence, energy, and strength.
Jenacyn reminds us, “Just get moving. Even if it’s not with me, you will feel better if you do some type of activity. Once you get that feeling, hold onto it and let it motivate you to keep moving.”
You Do You
Everyone’s movement is motivated differently. I’m moved by great remixes, favorite running paths, strong women (ahem, Jenacyn—see above), filtered sunlight, and compartmentalized goals. Oh, and rowing. Lots of rowing. At the end of each day, what matters is what movement makes you feel your strongest, healthiest, and most complete self.