Happy Throwback Thursday all!  As we promised last week, this Throwback is featuring the experiences of three VS Challenge members, Elana Nanscawen, Samantha Duitz, and Jennifer Casas.

Why did you each join the challenge?

Jennifer:I was stuck in a fitness rut.  I would run and take WiO classes, but my weight wouldn't budge, so I started to stress about it.  I needed motivation and direction and I knew I would get that from the challenge.

Elana:I joined the challenge to challenge myself, tone up, and try something I've never done before. I played sports in high school because I liked them and because the sense of camaraderie and friendships made meant so much to me, but I was never "a star athlete". I can still hear my tennis coach telling my Mom that I had tons of determination but not an athletic bone in my body. That always echoed in my head and I feel more "athletic" now than I have ever felt. I think it takes the right person and atmosphere to inspire you to push yourself and there isn't any of the typical yelling and screaming, or that feeling that you just can't do it that most boot camps are recognized for. Monica and Kara are amazing at pushing you past what you think is your physical limit and helping you understand that it's mental motivation as well all while keeping us inspired with positive words of encouragement. We all were excited to be there and see each other meet goals, try something we haven't done before, or watch someone do a drill with ease. It's just inspiring, and I know it helps me to have coaches, friends, teammates, and opponents to motivate me rather than just working out on my own. 

Samantha: I joined the challenge to push myself in my workout routine.  I'm always insecure about my body and weight and was hoping to have a more positive self image.  Even if I don't look different, when I work out, I feel different, and I believe this projects a more positive image.

What are you noticing about yourselves throughout the challenge?

J: Many things!  I am stronger than I thought I ever was.  I am pushing myself to do exercises that I used to hate and now I enjoy many of them, such as, push ups and mountain climbers.  Because I'm seeing and feeling results, I make sure to take at least one WiO class per day during the week and it has helped me stay on track.  I also feel that I am much happier and confident in all areas of my life than I was before.

E: I am stronger than I was 2 months ago. I was always excited about the challenge, but nervous looking at the class schedule if I was going to be able to complete the drills, or workouts planned. I have never been a runner, but the night we ran up to the Weehawken track was awesome. I did it without feeling exhausted at the end and I actually enjoyed running, something I never thought I would be able to say.

S: I'm noticing that I'm becoming much stronger.  Both in my stamina and in physical strength.  I am pushing myself much harder than I ever thought I'd be able to. 

Do you feel your body changing? If so, how?

J: Yes!  All of my pants fit perfectly and some of them are even baggy!  I used to have such a hard time getting dressed each morning, but those days are quickly fading.  I've noticed that my legs, arms and stomach look toned, slender and strong and my butt is getting smaller!  :)

E: I'm noticing the definition in my arms and, this may sound silly but there is space between my thighs when I'm standing now. I've always wanted thinner thighs and they have always been a difficult part of my body to try to get into shape. It's a slow process, and they aren't as tone as I would like them to be, but at least I now know the proper techniques, and exercises to do to try and reach my goal.

S: Honestly, not really.  I haven't seen any dramatic transformation. It's really my mindset that's been changing.  I WANT to work out.  If I don't work out every day I feel bored, tired, and a waste of space. My energy level when I work out is so much higher and my self-esteem soars.

What was your favorite/ least favorite part of the challenge so far?

J: Favorite: Meeting some fabulous and inspirational women- we stuck together through this challenge and pushed each other each week. It was also fun completing our final assessment and seeing how far we've come since that first week. Least Favorite: The smelly boxing gloves!  Thank god for Purell!

E: I love how there is more to just working out with this challenge. We've had secret guests who have helped us, given advice, suggestions, tips and inspiration for diet, style, and motivation geared towards each of us individually. I can't say anything negative about this challenge besides the stinky punching gloves, and the fact that 8 weeks has gone by too quickly :)

S: My favorite part and least favorite part of the challenge are one in the same.  I ran 3.6 miles!!! It was so painful but it was the best thing I've ever done.  I never thought I'd be able to accomplish something like that.  In my spare time I take WiO Ride classes, so I think that helped with my stamina.  Now, when I don't ride I run 2.5 miles.  I feel really good about myself after each and every workout.
If WiO were to do this challenge again would you recommend it to your fellow WiOs?  If so, why?
J: Definitely! I was just talking to my neighbor about it and how it's an awesome experience. 8 weeks does go so fast, maybe a 10-12 week program would be good for next time. But even in that short period of time, I've accomplished so much. I've increased the amount of push ups I can do and the amount of weight I use to lift for arm exercises (biceps, shoulder press,etc). If I can accomplish this in 8 weeks, what will I be able to do 8 weeks from today?  I plan to keep pushing myself and getting to those fabulous WiO classes!
E: I would highly recommend this challenge! Not only do you get to see a physical change in yourself and your teammates, but everyone helps to push you past what you think you can do. The friendships, sense of camaraderie and fitness knowledge I've taken from this challenge has been so inspiring and I am honestly sad that the challenge is over. It's really suited for all levels of fitness, and as much as it's a team activity, it's also an individual challenge which you are guaranteed to see results from.
S: I would definitely recommend it to anyone.  I would like to see everyone more involved in MyFitnessPal next time!
Congratulations VS Challenge Ladies!
Do you have a WiO success story you want to share? Email us at info@workitoutgym.com !