Hi Holly! Please tell us about yourself.
Hi! I’m originally from South Dakota and followed two brothers and my dad to Alaska seven years ago. When I first moved up, I told myself that this Alaska adventure had a five year expiration date on it but after seven years I finally feel settled in and can’t imagine living anywhere else.
I’m from an enormous family-I’m #3 out of 10 siblings. I enjoy living three blocks away from my brother and sis-in-law and 3 year old nephew, Charlie, who calls me “Tante” (German for aunt) and frequently knocks on my door looking for snacks.
I work as a nurse anesthetist at Alaska Native Medical Center and have recently been working on getting my business license so that I can do locums work at other surgery centers.
I’ve also been trying to go on semi-regular volunteer trips to Africa as part of a cleft lip/palate team. It is challenging but incredibly rewarding and I’d go more often if I didn’t find long flights so excruciating.
For fun, I like to hike, garden, cook, travel, and just hang out with good friends and family. I have a smokin’ hot boyfriend who gets me outside on new adventures. He also keeps his freezers stocked with locally hunted, organic, non-GMO meat so it makes my protein macros pretty easy to get 🙂
Fun fact: I live next door to Frankie and Elly. Right next door. In fact, I’m watching them right now.
How long have you been training with FF, and what inspired you to seek us out?
I’ve been with FF since last August…so about nine months. Pre-FF, my activity was mostly sporadic hiking and training for a trail run once or twice a year. Although it felt good while doing it, I was never consistent enough to get better at it or notice any changes in my body composition. I was doing absolutely nothing for strength training.
I sought out FF because I was tired of exercising haphazardly. I was looking for directions for how to get stronger, feel better while running and hiking, and to lose a few pounds.
I also knew from my history that if I just joined a big gym with personal trainers, I’d never go. For the sake of accountability, I needed something small where I couldn’t be anonymous. FF has checked all these boxes, plus many more!
What are a few of your favorite exercises? How about a few of your favorite muscle groups to train?
The box jump. It’s terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Every time I land both feet on the box, I have such a great sense of relief that I actually did it and that my teeth and shins are still intact. And it kind of makes me feel like a kid again.
I’ve been enjoying doing back, chest, and arm stuff because the results are more noticeable on me than the lower body stuff and that’s motivating. I like rows, dumbbell bench presses, and I’m even starting to like push ups.
I do like the Bulgarian split squat, in a “hurts so good” sort of way.
Who or what inspires you?
My friend, Denny-we have a lot of conversations about being at peace with life and yourself. He’s taught me to be more empathic toward others and kinder to myself. And he’s always reminding me to slow down and appreciate the moment instead of always planning for the next thing. He’s a good one to have around.
What is the last book you read?
I have a hard time making myself sit down to read but I’m actually just finishing two really good books. Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday-it’s fiction but it makes you think about uncomfortable, real life things, and its beautifully written. It has short chapters which is great for my attention span.
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker-this one was recommended by Steph and tells you everything that’s currently known about sleep; why getting enough good sleep is so important, and how to do it better. The sections on sleep aids and alcohol are super interesting.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An astronaut or a meteorologist. I spent a lot of time on the roof of the garage, looking at the stars when I was little. And I was obsessed with stormy weather. South Dakota has some good thunderstorms/tornados!
What are some of your ideal ways to relax and recover?
I like to listen to podcasts while working on a project, like cooking a new recipe, gardening, and organizing something. A hike in the mountains is an effective reset button. Scrabble when I can twist someone’s arm into playing it with me.
You’ve made awesome progress with your strength goals! What are your biggest accomplishments in the last 9 months?
I have definitely gotten stronger in the last nine months, I can feel it and see it in the mirror, which is super exciting. I’ve never had muscle definition so it makes me a little giddy to notice a muscle I’ve never seen on myself before.
Running and hiking have become easier and I’m rarely sore after either now. I’ve also never been able to intentionally lose body fat, but I’ve lost about 15 pounds since starting with FF (macro tracking for the win)!
I think my biggest accomplishment though is having learned so much about the different lifts and how to do them correctly. I had zero confidence using free weights at the gym and now I can walk into a gym and lift weights for an hour and know that I’m not going to hurt myself or look ridiculous doing it.
What advice would you give someone who wants to get fit but may not know where to begin?
I’d first point them in the direction of the Figarelle gals. 🙂 Seriously though, I haven’t met a single person who hasn’t made a significant life change after sticking with them for a while.
I think tracking your diet is the most important place to start. Even if you don’t try to change what you eat, just being aware of what you’re eating will help you be more motivated to make better choices.
An after dinner binge-fest of pistachios, red wine and cheese was pretty easy for me to forgive and forget. But if you plug it all into MyFitnessPal, the consequences of doing that every night become more real. I found that it didn’t take much tweaking of my diet to start seeing changes on the scale and that is a huge inspiration to stick with it.
Something that’s really been helpful to me is just to try to be more attentive to how I feel. How do I feel after eating a donut for breakfast vs. a bowl of oatmeal? How do I feel after going for a jog vs. spending an hour watching crap on YouTube? How do I feel after playing with my nephew for an evening vs. just drinking a couple glasses of wine and going to bed? Do things that make you feel good!
What goals are you working on for the remainder of 2019?
I am going to continue to work on getting stronger. I have a pull-up goal that I’m working toward but I think it would be motivating for me to also set some benchmarks to work toward for deadlifts, bench press, etc.
I’ll be participating in the Lost Lake run this summer with the Figarelle team and would love to be able to run the whole thing. Hills aren’t my strong suit so I have my work cut out for me this summer!