Inspire · Miss Mary

Inspire me: What a team!

Dana and Allison Popovich
Dana and Allison Popovich

I met these sweet Lake in the Hills ladies from afar through my trainer.   They are a mother and daughter team that work out together at Fitness 19.  While the gym was under renovation the management created a few outdoor gym-in-the-park days.  Everyone was invited to attend.   The bootcamp attendees were there and Dana and Allison Popovich were a part of that group.  The endurance and strength that Allison and Dana displayed just blew me away.  BTW, Dana looks far too young to have a daughter Allison’s age.

I originally started this story as one of a unique nature being a mother-daughter workout team.  In my conversations with Dana it is now one of inspiration.  Dana has Lupus.  Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various parts of the body, especially the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys.  But you would never know.  Dana says, “What helps is a healthy mindset and to always keep it moving, because you have to do what you have to do to stay healthy.”

Allison is a sophomore nursing student at Northern Michigan University.  She is a Team member at Jamba juice when she isn’t working out with mom.  Dana is a sales associate at Justice and an adult care giver.

I posed several questions to the “team”.  Here’s their interview:

What drew you to work out together?  Have you always worked out together?

We have been me

Dana and Allison Popovich
Dana and Allison Popovich

mbers of Fitness 19 since 2010.  We didn’t work out together initially.   Allison was in high school so she would work out in the evening and I usually went in the mornings.  We started working out together in the beginning of summer 2012.  We originally started because it was just convenient to go together but then it became a routine.

2013 Pop4What drew you to do the bootcamp?  Did you know what you would be facing?

What got us interested in the bootcamps were the posters that we saw around the gym.  We both felt that we hit a plateau in our workout lives and we needed something to push us. We knew that it would be tough but we weren’t sure how tough it would be.  Our first few classes were rough and it didn’t help that it was 95 degrees out and we were working in full sun.  We felt extremely welcomed by the group and Tony encouraged us to really push our limits.

Dana also wanted to let everyone know that no matter at what level you are, you are always welcomed and never made to feel that you can’t do it.

Dana & Allison Tough MuddersWhat enticed you into the Tough Mudder?

What made us decide to do Tough Mudder was of course, our trainer, Tony.  In January after one of our classes, Tony asked us if we planned on signing up for Tough Mudder.  At first we were leery of the idea because we had watched all the videos on YouTube and deemed the participants as crazy, but then we decided that we had five months to train and that we were willing to take on the challenge. We both knew that this was something that not many mother-daughter teams would experience, and we knew we could get through the course if we had each other.

What would you say to others to help them lead a healthier lifestyle?

There are so many resources available to help you get healthy.  I never thought that I would be someone who needed the help of a trainer but now that I have a trainer, it’s so helpful.  Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things. There’s always room for improvement and once you get into a fitness routine it becomes a lot easier.  If there is a will, there is a way.

Dana’s Lupus has not stopped her from the tasks at hand when working the bootcamp circuit.  She is very strong and understands her limits.  

What have you noticed since working out that you do better or what are the surprises you’ve noticed since working out?

Allison: Since working out and doing the bootcamps I feel stronger and I’m not intimated by any workout because I know that I can push myself to do almost anything.  I also notice that my endurance is much greater and that I can run faster.

Dana: The thing that surprised me the most was the fact that I did the Tough Mudder race. I never thought I could do something like that. That was a great day!

What is your favorite exercise that you get the best results from?

Dana:  My favorite exercise is plank-ups and kettle bell swings.

Allison:  My favorite workout is dead lifts with the tires outside.

What’s your favorite saying when working out?

Allison: “Train insane or remain the same”

Dana: I like  to say “If I can do it, you can do it!”

Do you use playlists?  If so, what’s on your iPod?

Allison: I do not use a playlist when I work out.  I normally just shuffle through songs.

Dana: I do the same as Allison. 80’s Rock ‘n Roll really makes me want to run through!

Dana & Allison Pre mudderFor the person just deciding to get into a fitness routine, what would you suggest for them?

Allison: I would suggest that they not be intimidated to try new things outside of their comfort zone when it comes to being in the gym.  It’s never too late to get in shape and with the right diet and fitness routine you will really see your body transform.

Dana: I would say no matter what your age you can do it!  I was diagnosed 10 years ago with Lupus. I’ve gone through my ups and downs with it. I never thought I could physically do a workout like “bootcamp”.  We have a great group of people to work out with and Tony is always there to encourage and push us.

I really admire these ladies.  Dana gives me such reason to keep pushing ahead.  We chatted about our challenges of limitations but we both agree that working out has staved off disasters.   It’s a joy to find folks who can inspire you.  Keep looking in the smallest of places for a spark of joy.  Such a great story – and how about those mudder pictures!!!!!

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