Our Female Athlete of the Month for October is Elizabeth Martin! At a time when many people over 60 are hunkered down in their house living in fear from the outside world, Elizabeth is living her life and getting stronger every day. In fact, she just celebrated her 68th birthday yesterday! Wish her a belated HBD when you see her.
Because of the things our world has gone through this year, we've had to change our annual Committed Club from making it in each month, to 180 total workouts for the year. Care to guess how many Elizabeth has already in 2020? ...202 and counting! That is an incredible commitment to fitness in the gym and at home.
Elizabeth doesn't go at it alone as you can often find her working out with her daughter Katy, who we honored as this March's Athlete of the Month. Elizabeth's son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren, have all been athletes at FitTown Jupiter recently. She definitely sets the tone for fitness being in the family!
Elizabeth joined FitTown Jupiter when our BeachFit program began in January of 2016. Since then, she's logged over 920 workouts! She's also succeeded in a few Nutrition Challenges and BeachFit Spartans. In this year's BeachFit Spartan in February she shaved 11 minutes off her previous time!
Thank you Elizabeth for you and the whole Martin family being such a big part of our FitTown Family!
Tell us a little about yourself, and how you arrived here in Jupiter.
I was born in Bahrain, moved to England when I was about 11, married and moved to Tacoma, Washington at 21. My two kids Danny and Katy, were born in Tacoma and we moved to Florida in 1984. I worked at FPL for about 30 years before retiring in late 2013. After retirement I volunteered with the Guardian Ad Litem organization and ‘Cooking with the Blind’ – the latter probably more instructive for me than the impressive blind people I met. Of course I am always available to spend time with my grandchildren Alec and Laicey – their favorite pastimes include science experiments and cooking – the messier the better, with the process more important than the outcome!
What’s something about you that others may not know about you? Any special talents, hobbies, or interests?
I’m pretty boring I love to read – pretty much anything except ‘Self Help’. Since living in Florida my family has always spent time in or on the water, canoeing, kayaking, swimming and lately paddle boarding, I am still a novice but will get better. The children joined JTAA when we moved to Jupiter and I coached the softball for a couple of years – despite never having played the game – I had to learn to catch with a glove – very odd.
I do like to travel, preferably something active. In 2018 Katy and I went to Peru – our ability to mountain hike many miles in the snow at altitude is a testament to the workouts at the gym – thank you.
What’s your athletic resume? Were you into fitness growing up?
I loved sports in School, I was on most teams Netball (similar to basketball), Rounders (similar to softball – without a glove), Hockey (I was really bad but had my dads stick and hockey boots) and of course swimming and diving. In English schools we have a slightly different system with all children being assigned a ‘House’ , and the older children are responsible for choosing and practicing with teams ready for sports days – my claim to fame was teaching a couple of 12 & 13 year olds who couldn’t swim to represent our house (Tudor) in the diving completion. They lived.
Once in the States I didn’t really do anything until after Danny was born – then decided I needed to move – so I bought a rope – maybe managed 20 jumps first time – gradually increasing until I was regularly jumping for ½ hour. When pregnant with Katy the jumping was too much so I joined the YMCA and swam and and started to jog. After that running became my precious time, around 5 miles daily and often 12 on weekends with a friend.
What motivated you to get started at FitTown? What do you remember most about when you first started?
I expected to start training for a marathon after retirement, having not really been able to run for the previous 7 or 8 years due to insane work hours – but my right hip was not cooperating, apparently it was bone on bone. Surgery was the only option and I now have a lovely titanium right hip, I was told I could do anything but running is not a great idea as it will reduce the life of the replacement. But I needed something – my daughter was trying a ‘crossfit light’ class run by Zach at CAT 5, I loved it, always different, often really hard but fun. I biked instead of running. It was so upsetting when the roof fell in! When we heard Zach was starting at FitTown we signed up and were in the first class. I was impressed immediately by the facility and equipment available, still am.
What positive physical progress would you like to brag on about yourself? Also, any new beliefs/mottos, habits, behaviors that you formed since you started that have most positively impacted your life?
I can now do 12" box pushups, and my goal is to work my way to no box. I feel like my body awareness is nil. I really appreciate coaches helping me with form – in my head I was doing exactly what had been demonstrated but my body was doing something different. I am a slow learner but lately have been getting form right more often which is such a great feeling. I have always been relatively careful about what I eat but Danielle worked with me to think a little more in terms of macros and put on a couple of pounds in order to be able to increase the weights I use and build strength.
What has been your most memorable workout?
My most memorable workout would have to be the first Spartan… it was ghastly, I remember crawling through the grass during the last loop, any bear would have been embarrassed. And those 40 burpees were excruciating. This years Spartan was tough but I improved my time by over 11 minutes, my fitness had clearly improved greatly.
What keeps you motivated? What do you remind yourself of on days when you don’t “feel” like going to the gym?
Well of course with my advanced years I know what is good for me – and that is exercise, I have some arthritis and sciatica and I have learned that moving keeps both in check, if I don’t exercise I hurt.
I think my ‘Secret Strength’ is not hitting snooze. I just get up.
What advice do you have for the person who’s hesitant about starting a fitness program like this?
The worst thing that can happen is that all your preconceptions are correct, and if they are you could always leave. But maybe the coaches can help to show you easier ways to do the movement which looks impossible and maybe you will want to come back. Many of the people already in the class are scaling or doing alternate movements due to various limitations, you would fit in perfectly. FitTown is a welcoming gym.
What do you love most about FitTown Jupiter?
I love the fact we have a team of coaches, each with their own style. It is fulfilling to be able to start to master something that terrifies you – box jumps for me. Not least I love seeing the familiar crowd at 5:40 but know that if I take a class at a different time I will be welcomed.