NOVEMBER 2021 RISER of the Month
In life and her workouts, Jen McNeill, our November RISER of the Month, finds motivation from people, progress, and P!nk. As a daily RISER, Jen knows that everyday the RISE staff will meet her energy by bringing their A game each and every day. "If there is one thing I can count on, it’s that If I walk into the studio or log into a Zoom, there is going to be instant motivation, inspiration and empowerment waiting for me on the other side. So many days, after spending an entire morning running around getting three children, and sometimes my husband, out the door, the first person to genuinely ask me how I am is Jen B! Katelyn always starts classes by saying something like, 'You gave me an hour of your time, so let’s use it' and it's such a simple statement but so true. We all independently decided to RISE together, and that independent decision becomes a joint commitment to strive for success."
In terms of progress, Jen is most motivated when she can feel little changes starting to occur, a feeling she also finds through RISE. "When I can sense that what I am committing to is working, it fills me up with so much confidence to continue to push myself," she says. "This doesn’t necessarily mean a number on a scale. It’s more a feeling of 'Yes, I can.' For example, my goal for this past challenge was to adopt an early morning workout routine so I could better organize time in my day. It was hard at first, but each week I realized how much better I felt throughout the day by starting my day choosing to RISE."
And while Jen says a P!nk song during class can literally get her to do anything, we know Jen would be there, bringing her strength and positivity Zoom or in-person, with or without the P!nk. Recently conquering her goal to become an early RISER means Jen can now set her sights on new goals. "I'm working on finding and maintaining my new post-kid body. Since having twins 4.5 years ago I have been in a constant battle of getting back to my pre-kid body but I’ve realized that type of pressure doesn’t serve me. I will never have a pre-kid body because I have kids! My body is different than it was, my time is different than it was - as are my priorities and capabilities. Long term, I would love to use what I practice at RISE, in class and in life, to get into a healthy shape that I can both maintain and feel proud of. In short, my long term goal is to just find whatever my new normal is and to stop letting my weight fluctuate as a direct result of how challenging certain seasons of life are!"
Whether it's her happy place on her bike or pushing herself in barre, we know we'll keep seeing Jen pushing her limits toward her goals and we can't wait to keep cheering on this All-Star RISER. Congrats, Jen, on your well-deserved win. Read on to hear some of Jen's best healthy living tips. What’s your biggest challenge in getting to class? The easy answer is time - time I am not ubering the kids to school or activities. Time that my husband has on weekends to cover kid duty. But the real answer: Getting out of my own way! I feel like I can be my own worst enemy with my long and always growing list of to-dos. It’s hard to mentally designate time for MYSELF when there are days that it seems like I am the one juggling all the balls to keep the house and the people living in it running. Us moms wear so many hats: schedule keeper, chef, maid, taxi driver, tutor, planner, medic, etc. It’s easy to forget that sometimes I just want to be “me” for one sweat hour. It helps that we have such a close-knit community that it doesn’t take long for a friend to reach out and check in. Never with any shame for being absent, but rather a friendly reminder that this space is always waiting for me! What’s your athletic background? To be honest, I never really thought of myself as an athlete until training here at RISE. I grew up playing soccer and basketball but honestly did not find a competitive drive to boost my fitness until coming here. I remember always feeling like sports was about competing with those around me but here I feel like it’s about empowering those around me and hoping to soak up the mutual positive energy that fills the room. What’s your best healthy living tip? Being a long-time RISER, I shamelessly steal what I hear from class and use it as motivation. Zoom cycling at home, I keep a notepad on the Peloton screen and jot down quotes from class that I want to remember! (Thank you, Rachel and Katelyn! You have become my inner voice!) Here are a few tips I have learned along the way:
It’s OK to modify. Don’t compare your workout to anyone else's. I’m a big believer in doing what works for your own body.
View life as a rolling hill. There are so many uphill battles we face daily, whether it's not finding time for yourself, not eating right, dealing with an issue with your kids, etc., but it's always important to know that a downhill is coming and to appreciate it when it comes!
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Every day is not going to be perfect. You won’t always make the best choices, but keep showing up and keep choosing to RISE!
Find personal fight songs and play them when you need a boost!
DRINK IT OUT. Start and end your day by drinking an entire glass of water! A hot cup of tea and 5 minutes of silence can do wonders for a quick reset.