My Fitness Life is an occasional feature in which we share stories of inspiring journeys to health and fitness. In this post, we chat with Joni Bascle of Thibodaux, LA, a Koko FitCoach and enthusiast since 2010.
Koko: What did fitness mean to you before Koko?
Joni: I was a stay-at-home mom for five years, and previously had a career in retail management. When I came to Koko, I wasn’t a fit person. I was never unhealthy or had an extreme weight problem, but I always had that feeling that all women have, that I should drop pounds and be thinner.
Koko: How did you discover Koko?
Joni: My friend told me that a new gym concept was coming to town and they needed somebody to cover a 2-hour shift. I saw this as a way to get out of the house, still be a mom and keep my sanity. With Koko, I started doing things as part of a team, like 5k fun runs and ice skating. Koko inspired me and brought fitness into my life. I fell in love with Koko.
I saw results immediately. I’ve gone to gyms before, but never stuck around for more than 6 months. At gyms, you don’t go anywhere. You think you know what you’re doing, but you don’t. At Koko, you actually KNOW what you’re doing. It was so easy to fit it into my schedule as a new mom – it was very doable for me. The environment at Koko was unlike anything else out there. It was very motivating. I’m very competitive – especially with myself – and by showing my achievements with points, data, lanyards, etc, Koko was able to keep me going.
Koko: What was the first sign that your workouts were working for you?
Joni: A few weeks into my workouts, I was driving and had an itch on my arm. When I scratched the itch, I noticed that my arm was hard, not soft! Shortly after that, I found I no longer needed to have my husband carry the 50-80 pound bags of dog food into the house for me. I was strong.
Koko: What was your biggest fitness obstacle in the past?
Joni: Laziness, lack of motivation. I wanted to do things, but it was a matter of making myself do it. I’d try to make a routine and it was always too easy to break the routine and stay away.
Koko: What are your fitness goals now?
Joni: I want to travel the country and run 12 half-marathons this year.
Koko: How did you get into long distance running?
Joni: A friend asked me to start running with her – something I never would have considered before Koko. I started slow – I have asthma and low blood pressure, and had to be careful. I worked up to my first half-marathon. I did it in January of 2012, and I’ve done six since then. This is somebody who was never athletic.
Koko: What does your weekly workout regimen look like?
Joni: On average, I do two or three 30-minute strength training sessions at Koko per week. I used to do more, but found I got better results when I stuck to three.
When I’m training for a race, I do my running outside and do Koko’s “Born to Run” strength training program. It really helped me. I do my running outside, but I cross-train with Koko Cardio elliptical training on my rest days. I like to listen to [Koko FitClub Chief Fitness Officer] Michael Wood coach me. I consider myself a long-distance runner, but 15 minutes with Michael kicks my butt!
How has your body – and your life – changed?
Joni: Without Koko, I wouldn’t be a fit person. I wasn’t fit when I started, and now I am. People now ask my opinion about fitness. Me! I’ve been asked to contribute a monthly fitness article to a magazine. My son wants to run like me, and recently completed a 5k race with me. He is definitely benefiting from my healthy lifestyle.
Koko: Is there something besides long-distance running that you were surprised your body could do?
Joni: On a recent vacation to Florida with my best friend and our families, one of her aunts told us about a leisurely canoe trip we should try. It was “amazing,” she said. “So leisurely.” She lied. When we got to the end of that river, many people weren’t speaking to each other, saying it was the worst day of their lives. There were fallen trees and debris we had to move around, strong rapids, canoes flipped over – it was very dramatic. I was sore for days, but I thought it was awesome. If not for Koko, I could not have kept our boat going down that river. I loved that.
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About Lauren Dell’Olio
Lauren Dell’Olio is a Fitness Life Correspondent and Managing Editor of The Stronger Blog. Lauren brings her perspective as a working mother of three, lifelong fitness enthusiast, marathon runner and “foodie” to the Stronger Blog. Lauren joined the Koko FitClub corporate team in 2008 as one of the company’s early employees and currently serves as Director of Marketing, with a focus on member experience, content development, social media and digital strategy. Since Lauren joined Koko, the company has grown from 1 to 125+ locations nationwide, serving over 20,000 members. Lauren and her family live in Norwell, MA.