The Blog

March 2023 Client of the Month: Sarah Benzel

I have been training Sarah for the last year and I absolutely love seeing her get out of her comfort zone, become more confident and get stronger every day. Strength training and the kind of cardio we do at the gym were so new to her, yet she always embraces every workout. Sure, workouts can seem scary at times, but she never says no. She pushes every time she shows up and it is no wonder she is seeing so many results. It is amazing what a year can do!

Check out what Sarah has to say about her fitness journey.

Q: What was your health and fitness like prior to training with Dig Your Deepest?

A: I dabbled in yoga and pilates for several years, but was never truly consistent with my practice. Getting a dog in 2020 kept me walking multiple times a day which helped my mental and physical state when life became more sedentary that year. I’ve realized how important it is to move every day, especially since I work from home, sitting at a computer and could easily spend a day walking 10 steps or fewer.

Q: How long have you been working out with Missy and what changes have you noticed?

A: I’ve been working out with Missy for just about a year. I started with a family workout in February 2022, then continued going with my mom every weekend, and added a personal session once a week around this time last year. Squatting has given me much more definition in my legs, and even working with a couple dumbbells each week has improved my arms. It’s been really fun to look in the mirror and see muscle definition! 

Q: What are your favorite movements and workouts and what are your least favorite?

 A: Oooh boy… If I tell Missy my least favorite movements, she’ll program them for the next several months 🙂 Pushing through the squat cycle was a pleasant surprise – an area I realized some newfound strength! The StrongBoard has been really fun to work with too – so many possibilities and they all provide their own challenge. I am not a fan of push press or many single arm movements, but given my fitness goals, I think they are here to stay.

Q: What has made you most proud since starting with Missy?

A: Overall, I’ve noticed my drive and personal feelings of achievement. In my past experiences at the gym, I’d stay away from weight-training, I wouldn’t push myself to go those extra 30 seconds or add those extra pounds, and I’d feel done after 10 minutes of meandering. Now, I have a can-do attitude and am excited to level up each session, to push even when it feels impossible, and to build on my routine. A year ago, I was sore from working with 5lb dumbbells and now I have built up the strength and endurance to do so much more.

Q: What are your fitness goals?

A: I had several wrist injuries as a kid, so I have had a tendency to stay away from movements that involved my arms and wrists. I’d love to continue toning my arms (I sense some push-ups and pull-ups in my future!), learn how to keep that core engaged across all movements, and of course, strengthen my endurance (and love) for cardio. 

Q: What does it mean to you to be able to workout with your mom every week?

A: Working out with my mom has kept us both accountable and in a routine. We’ve had other family members join us and it can get pretty competitive with them, but when it’s just us, we are so supportive and positive. Seeing someone twice my age be that fit and strong is inspiring, and I love that she prioritizes her health. Sometimes I think her workouts are harder than mine! Every time we get in the car to drive home, we think “wow, I’m so glad we did that”, and I don’t think we’d be as eager to wake up early every Sunday without each other and Missy.

Q: Any advice you can give to someone new to fitness or getting back into it after some time off?

A: The more routine you become, the easier it gets. You’ll start to notice how you feel when you don’t workout, not just how you feel when you do. For instance, when I travel and have to miss my Tuesday session – my body/gut/brain/mood feels off and a workout will reset it all. And on days when you don’t want to work out, absolutely push through it because there is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment after. 

Q: A few months back you did a really tough backpacking hiking trip in Washington state. Reflecting on that experience, what did you learn from it?

A: There were many moments on that 3-day trip where I felt hopeless and defeated. I felt out of my league, hiking long distances with a heavy backpack at altitude, alongside these nature buffs who made it look like a breeze, but I learned to use my own accomplishments to propel me forward instead of comparing myself to them. Whenever I wanted to give up, I’d reflect back on how many steps I’d taken or how many hills I’d climbed, and I was able to break up the challenges ahead of me into “bite-sized pieces”. I’ve learned to do that in tough cardio sessions – if 100 sounds too big, count to 10, 10 times – so this was a version of that, but breaking up the hikes ahead of me into manageable thoughts. I was able to use my fitness journey to push through it, and now I’m able to use that experience to push through my fitness journey.

Q: What 2 things can you share with our Dig Your Deepest community about yourself?

A: I’m an LA native, and I currently live in Inglewood with my husband, Alex and rescue dog, Largo. 

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