Cara from Columbia, MO

An image from a SSoD user who submitted a testimonial.
An image from a SSoD user who submitted a testimonial.
I had multiple people ask how I was able to stay so fit after my knee surgery. The answer was always easy; SSoD!  The biggest compliment came from my surgeon. He could not believe how fit I was… I told him I rode A LOT…  He gave me a look and I could see his doubt. I simply quoted Cat Kom and said “These are not your mama’s spin classes”. From the outside looking in, there is nothing monumental about my story.  But for me, what I have been able to achieve with SSOD is priceless. I have been active all of my life. I played two sports in high school and did rodeos (barrel racing) in the summer. After I started to run at age 26 to quit smoking, I fell in love with the sport. Since 2005 I have done 1 marathon, 10 half marathons, 3 sprint triathlons and multiple 5k & 10ks.  After my first child was born in 2008, I need to work out from home and would strength train periodically but mostly ran. But I grew bored with my workout. So, in 2012 my husband got me a spin bike and I joined SSoD. I would spin 1 or 2 times each week. But, my SSOD story does not begin until the fall of 2013.  In September of 2013, I did the Tough Mudder and found myself to be really weak and that drove me crazy. So, I visited a local CrossFit gym and gave it a two-week trial.  During that trial, I tore the meniscus in my right knee (but would not have surgery for another 6 months). I did not return to Crossfit and was told not to run and the only cardio/workout that would be good for me was a bike. I was able to spin 4-5 days per week and maintain fitness.  It was also suggested that losing some weight would help too.  During the no running phase I got pretty bummed and gained some weight (heaviest was 180lbs at 5’9”).  But how could I lose weight with a bum knee? That is when I went all-in with SSOD and it became my savior. I purchased a heart-rate monitor and went to 6 days/week of SSOD classes.  I started to lose weight and had my first knee surgery in March 2014.  Two weeks after surgery I was allowed gradually get back on the bike.  We took a family vacation in June 2014 in the Wisconsin Dells and we went to a couple of water parks. I was able to walk around in my two-piece swimsuit with confidence and felt very strong (I lost 15 lbs)!  Then in late summer, I started to have more pain in my knee. After a visit with my surgeon, it was determined that I had to have a second surgery to remove a cyst that developed in my IT Band (same knee). So a second surgery was done in October 2014. I was determined to have it be my last. I worked extra hard to increase my strength training, taking more pressure off of my knees by strengthen my core and legs.  I had multiple people ask how I was able to stay so fit after my knee surgery.  The answer was always easy; SSOD! But the biggest compliment came from my surgeon at my last checkup. He could not believe how fit I was and how strong my quad was after two surgeries in one year. I told him I had been riding my bike, A LOT.  He gave me a look and I could see his doubt. I simply quoted Cat Kom and said “These are not your mama’s spin classes”.   I wake up at 5am every morning to get in a workout, I crave the sweat and the burn. The priceless gift that SSoD has given me is a sense of confidence. I have two daughters (4 &6). I want to be a role model for them and not have it be someone they see on television or in a magazine. I want to show them a woman should be strong both mentally and physically. I was able to do that a few weeks ago while running my first 5k in over 18 months. I had only run about 3 times before the race, so all I was looking to do was finish and not have to walk.  I ended up being the first female to cross the finish line! There is no way that I could have done that without SSoD. My legs, heart, and mind were strong thanks to the countless amazing workouts and trainers. I will never be able to say thank you enough for the priceless gift of health and confidence that you have provided me and my family!

Cara Columbia, MO May 29, 2015