April 07, 2017

Movecoach Success Story: Gail Johnson

Written by Jennifer Van Allen
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Gail Johnson
Fitness Instructor and AFAA/NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Blue Star Resort & Golf
In the spotlight: Shea Companies

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Favorite fitness activity: Definitely bicycling. I ride close to 150 miles per week and love every minute of each of my rides. The best ride is always the one I’m on. I love Spinning classes because they are great for endurance and are also a form of cycling. I also do weight training and stretching so I mix it up a bit.

What is the secret to your success? Passion for the sport I love, and my friends.  You have to find something that you love to do whether it is cycling, running, swimming, tennis, hiking, walking, fitness classes or whatever gets you excited. Cycling is my passion and when I ride I am doing what I love.  Just going out to my garage and looking at my bike makes me smile and long for yet another ride.  I also belong to a bicycle club with ongoing scheduled rides. I ride with all my friends and so each of us counts on the other to show up. We take turns leading, chat along the way and even race each other a bit. It is all about fun and stopping for a cup of coffee - those conversations keep us all connected.

I ride at least 3 to 4 charitable events a year and have spent vacation weeks riding my bicycle. During the last 12 months I was lucky to be able to ride three tours with friends in Canada, Switzerland and New Zealand. Wow! I have to stay in shape and keep up my training in order to do these rides, so it motivates me to keep riding.

What is the biggest challenge to moving more? Getting out of bed and getting going. It is too easy to roll over and go back to sleep. But if I missed a ride just to sleep in I would be unhappy the entire rest of the day.   I don’t do that very often unless of course, it is really raining or very windy (I hate the wind!). Besides that, my friends are waiting at the corner for me!

What is the most rewarding part of participating in a movecoach Challenge? I am a bit competitive so I really am enjoying this challenge. I love it that every time I turn on my Garmin for a ride that the data automatically transfers to movecoach. Up until the past few months I haven’t tracked most of my steps or walks, but I just got a Garmin watch in the past few weeks and so I guess that will upload in the future. I love how it is so easy to add activities, such as my weight training and spinning miles.

I also like seeing what others are doing and giving the “High Five” to other employees that are on my BlueStar team. I’m also impressed with folks that really kick it up achieving goals.

What advice would you give others who are struggling to move more? First, get out of bed and decide today is the day. Then set an achievable goal and work to get there. You don't need to do a marathon to set a goal. A goal can be as simple as just taking your first class or walking two miles. Whatever you choose it has to be achievable. Don’t be afraid to go to a class - t most people really don’t care how good you are. A good instructor will help to modify exercises to individual abilities and limitations.

There are also lots of charitable organizations that need help and they offer fundraising events for all levels of participants all over the country. You don’t have to be the fastest or even go the farthest. These events usually have lots of options. Finding one and training for it makes it a goal with a deadline. What could be better than riding 35 miles one year and the 65 miler the next - talk about an accomplishment! Both the participant and the charity wins.

Most important to me is being part of a group because the support and the friends are invaluable. Both my bicycle club and exercise classes count on me to show up. We share information about equipment, gear and even pictures of our kids.

I think it helps to try a lot of different activities to find your favorite. Over the years, I have tried both swimming and hiking. While I liked them both and did well with them, they just didn't ignite the passion and excitement that I get from bicycling. Not only can I do something fun while exercising but I can actually go somewhere!

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Last modified on June 14, 2017
Jennifer Van Allen

Jennifer Van Allen

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