Name: Sarah Clark
Occupation(s): Librarian and bass player.
Joined: March, 2013
Sarah has been a regular in our Monday/Wednesday/Friday and sometimes Saturday classes for almost four years, and is a hard-working, funny, kind, genuine, (and all-the-other-superlatives) person. In addition to working hard in the gym, Sarah is a librarian and plays bass in three bands.
SC: I grew up playing sports (soccer and track & field), but after college my activity started dwindling. I ran or swam sporadically to prove to myself that I still could. At some point, being active got harder, and I got a lot slower. At the same time I was eating a lot of take out, feeling stressed out from starting my first real job, and spending a lot of time on the couch. I was less and less motivated to prove anything to myself.
SC: Yes. Around 2011, I decided enough was enough, and I tried to make exercise a part of my daily routine. That year, my mother-in-law gave us Wii Fit, so why not use it? I could hear my 17-year-old self making fun of my thirty-something self for this approach, especially after I sprained both ankles running in place on my living room floor (yep, that really happened).
It was time to challenge myself, for real, and I signed up for the Freifhofer’s 5k, and refused to make a fool of myself. Two months before the race, I couldn’t run more than a mile without stopping, but I kept trying. Race day came, and I made it through without walking. My time was pretty slow, but I didn’t stop to walk, and that was my goal. I continued to run 3-4 days a week, and the next year, I was much faster, and set my sights on the Boilermaker 15k.
I downloaded a training plan for a 15K which recommended 1-2 days a week of strength training. I found my pink 3-lb dumbbells, did some curls, and realized I needed help. A friend at work told me to check out the Kettlebell Fitness Center. I took a couple of private sessions, then started going to one class a week, to fulfill my 15K running plan.
During one of my running workouts that involved a lot of hills, I felt a pain in the back of my heel, and knew right away it was Achilles tendinitis (a recurring injury I’ve had since college), so I knew running in the Boilermaker was no longer a reality. To my surprise, with this injury, I was still able to attend kettlebell classes, and started going two to three times a week instead of one. Kettlebell days were outnumbering my running days, and I was getting a great workout, feeling a lot stronger, and not putting myself at risk of injuring myself further. Best of all, I was noticing that heavy things weren’t feeling as heavy.
NH: How has lifting heavy weights made a difference outside of your time in the gym?
SC: As a bass player who insists on using vintage tube amps, loading my equipment in and out of clubs is a feat of strength. I really don’t like relying on my husband or bandmates to lift my equipment for me. It’s part of my job! I’ve heard other musicians say they’ve given up using their preferred equipment because it’s too heavy, compromising their tone and style to save their backs, and I get it! Amps are awkward and heavy, but for three years now I have been conscientiously lifting all my gear with good form. I can now carry my amp and speaker cabinet up and down our basement stairs, in and out of the car, and on and off the stage, and I wake up feeling great the next day.
NH: Do you have a favorite move or lift?
SC: Among the moves we do at TKFC, I have a different favorite all the time. I go through phases where I like squats, then it’s presses, or snatches. Above all, I like anything that involves hanging from the pull-up bar, and of course, flipping tires is always fun.
NH: Anything else you’d like to share?
SC: I recommend TKFC all the time, especially when someone is looking to start or return to a healthy lifestyle. The value of the classes is beyond getting fit and strong. I’ve become more confident and more motivated. My posture has greatly improved. My eating habits are better. I’m a happier, nicer person. And best of all, I’ve met some amazing people who’ve become my friends.