Fitness

Females of Fitness – Sarah Larsen

 

Sarah Larsen

Meet Sarah: mom to two, wife to one, domestic abuse survivor and lover of everything active and fun. 

“I am a mom of two. My daughter is 18 and graduated last May, and my 14 year old son is going into 9th grade. I’m married to such an awesome guy who is super supportive in all I do and constantly encourages me to put myself out there and try new things. Oh… and I am going to be turning 48 this October which is completely WEIRD to me because inside I still feel (and act) 22. I love being active and just spending time with my family. We are close and do basically everything together. I grew up in Michigan (Detroit area) and when I was 23 I visited Utah for the first time ever and knew I needed to make a clean break. So I quit my job and moved, leaving all I had known behind and I’ve been here ever since.

For so many years I struggled with body image issues like so many women do. When I moved here I weighed only 94 pounds and smoked a pack of Marlboro Lights a day to stay that way. I never ate, and wouldn’t ever let that scale reach triple digits. I am a domestic abuse survivor which is a large part of the reason I moved to Utah in the first place, and in a small way, that part of my story has really helped me to find my voice.

I really love lifting weights. I love the look of lean muscle, but more than that I love feeling strong. I lift 4 days a week and I hate cardio with a passion, especially being stuck on a machine where you can’t go anywhere. When my daughter was 18 months to about 3 years old, I was a single mom and times were tough. I struggled with depression so everyday I would put her in a jogger stroller and run. It wasn’t my favorite thing to do but it got me out of bed and kept me going and I loved the time with her. My favorite time was running when it was snowing. The quiet and peacefulness was wonderful and really healing for me. I would wrap her up in blankets and we would go, it’s one of my favorite memories of that time looking back. I did that for a few years until I got remarried and had my son and then joined a local women’s gym and dabbled in whatever for a few years until I had a friend show me around in the weight room. She had an AMAZING body. With her help, I became a little more confident in the weight room and that’s where my love of lifting began.

Sarah Larsen

I saw a woman at the gym (she’s 3 years older than I am) and she ALWAYS looked amazing. She had a similar body type to mine build wise and I got the courage to ask her a few questions. She was SO kind and always took time to chat and answer my questions. Then she hired a trainer and I thought “WHY is SHE using a trainer? She already looks amazing….” So I watched, and I watched her shred. And I thought well hey, maybe I should hire a trainer too, so I did! I learned SO much and changed my body and was HOOKED.

I am NOT a competitive person with others but I am with myself. I started to sprint stairs a few times a week in addition to my lifting and I found that I love doing HIIT intervals for my cardio. It’s quick and my body responds so well to it compared to 40 min on the stair climber or treadmill. I love that with HIIT I get to be outside and my kids get to come with me, my daughter even started running them with me and I love that most of all. In the winter it got a little tricky with ice and snow, and my knees started to feel it a little too much so I moved on to running sprints on an indoor track in the winter and outdoor in the summer. If you had told me 20 years ago that I would start sprinting for fun at 46, I would have thought you were CRAZY, but oh how I love it! My workout routine includes lifting 4 days in the am and sprinting in the pm, with 2 active rest days where I hike with my family and keep my heart rate down.

I will never do a fitness competition, I don’t like that kind of attention. I’m not in it to win others approval. But being strong and fit has allowed me to meet other women who have come up to me to maybe ask me a simple question and then they end up sharing THEIR story. Abuse, eating disorder, injury, family dysfunction…we all have something. Finding common ground with other women, lifting each other up, empowering one another, this is what I love about sharing my journey and staying physically fit.

What drives me? First off, I’m close to 50 and I REALLY want to be healthy and strong. I want to have extra energy and less aches and pains so that I can do fun things with my kids and even my grandkids one day. I want my kids to see the importance of health and make it a priority in their lives as they get older. I love the feeling I get when I am finished for the day. I also love when others who are struggling or feeling lost at the gym stop and ask me questions. Everyone has a story and I’ve met some awesome people at the gym. I am super confident now, but I wasn’t always that way and thankfully, I’ve learned a few things along the way. My happiness has nothing to do with the shape of my body, or if I have a 6 pack. How my body looks DOES NOT define me!  

I’m hoping to keep at it for as long as I physically can. We all have to go through the seasons in our lives. One day at 80, maybe I’ll be in the water aerobics class, or in the class with all the sweet silver haired ladies sitting on the chair with my band and 3lb weights,or laughing with my daughter remembering how she wanted to puke when I pushed her through stairs and track sprints.

I will embrace it all and enjoy the entire journey.”

*These women may or may not be actual users of IdealFit products, we simply want to share their story.



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