Most people I have met in the fitness world are like diamonds. Multifaceted. Fitness sometimes is the first sparkle you see, but often times they have other interests (and those other interests are sometimes their biggest trait!). But EVERYONE that I meet in the fitness universe plays the balancing act. They have to be intentional and organized when it comes to their life pursuits. Everyone is different, so not one-schedule or one-system will work for everyone.
I wanted a perspective of a fit-focused college student and how he or she made fitness happen. Audrey Zuck gave me an in-depth look into her fit life including obstacles and struggles. Every athlete has their story. Here is hers…
Do you have a nick name(s)?
Audge, Audgie, Chinky, and “Roid-rager,” and Superwoman (which my guy friends call me, even though I don’t take steroids :))
How did you get into fitness or why? What was your driving force
Ever since I can remember I’ve been “into fitness.” My parents have a home video of me bench pressing a chair when I was about 4 years old saying, “Daddy, look at me! I’m strong like you!” Ever since then, I’ve loved working out with my Dad who is a fitness fanatic as well, my Mom and my cousin, Faith. But just this year, as I turned 21 I’ve really started putting in the dedication at the gym and most importantly in the kitchen. I’ve always had short and long term fitness goals, but this year I have been most serious about meeting them. My driving force, motivation and dedication first come from responding to my calling as a follower of Christ to keep my body fit for the work of serving Him and others. 1 Corinthians 6:19-22 reads “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” Along with this, I am motivated by watching others around me- it drives me. This is my passion, so I want to feel and look the best that I can for a strong mind and body for the tasks which God has called me to.
Can you provide an example of a normal day?
07:00am Morning run
09:00am Blog and do laundry
Every day actually looks a bit different for me, as a senior in college with mostly online classes and nanny jobs during various hours of the day. I usually try to get my morning going semi-early (6-7AM), get my protein shake and get over to the gym, which I do about 5-6 days a week. Around 8:30-9:30AM, I am back home making my high-protein breakfast, showering, then either going to class or spending time reading the Word. I am eating my second meal about 12PM, third meal by 3:00, and so on. Saturdays are my cardio days which my friends and I have been spending doing Crossfit at the track.
Is there anything or person or quote that has stuck with you over the years that keeps you motivated?
My cousin, Faith is actually one person that is always at the fore-front of my mind, ready to give encouragement and keep me motivated. For this I am extremely grateful. I’ve found that keeping positive friends around and being around people who have the same drive for living fit as I do, makes a HUGE difference! It’s difficult for me to recognize just one quote that has stuck with me because there are so many, but my favorite right now is by Ashley Horner, “Yeah it’s gonna be hard, you’ll have days where you feel like you can’t make it and that you want to quit! DO NOT listen to that person in your head. The times you overcome are the moments that make you stronger. You have to finish what you’ve set out to do… No more I’ll do it tomorrow, or I can’ts. Make it your priority. Get to where you’re going.” One more is by Jimmy Pena, the founder of Prayfit.com, “The goal is not a better pair of biceps, but a pursuit of the healthiest possible version of the body He gave us so that so that we can better fulfill His purpose, whatever the calling might be. Friends, we have work to do, and we “live” in a showroom of divine craftsmanship. Let’s never again be content to sit idle.”
If people could remember one thing about you what would you want it to be?
I want people to remember my passion and love for life and others!!
Do you ENJOY working out?
I definitely enjoy working out 90% of the time! Of course there are some days where I don’t want to go, but I go anyway because the pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret. Consistency is key to meeting your goals! My goal each day is to become more like Christ in my lifestyle and He “never faints or is weary!” (Isaiah 40:28)
Are you one of those people that needs their food to taste good, or do you just do what it takes to get nutrients in?
When I am trying to meet a short-term goal, I will pretty much do whatever it takes to get those nutrients and protein in, but otherwise I normally like my food to taste at least a little delicious;)
What is your favorite Go-to health food?
I love cliff bars, bananas, and for a quick-dinner I have come to love tilapia with asparagus!
What is your biggest food weakness?
Easily ice cream, candy, and bread! I love carbs and sweets!
What are your hobbies?
Obviously I’m a fitness freak, photography, fashion, art in the form of music (singing and violin), anything outdoors (skiing on the lake, hiking, biking…), shoe shopping, eating out, traveling, dancing, and loving on my friends!
How do you manage social life, school, family balanced with fitness?
They all tie together for me. My social life sometimes is doing crossfit with my friends or lifting weights with my parents when I’m in town. But otherwise, I put my fitness pretty far at the top, making sure I am getting my workout in for the day and then if I have time later on I will hang out with friends. I see it as honoring God with my body, by getting that in before spending time doing fun things with my friends:)
If you were taking a road trip (or even just running errands) and you forgot to bring your cooler of healthy snacks and meals, what would you do?
- Wait till I arrive at my destination
- Find a gas station and purchase a protein bar (If I’m out running errands and can allow waiting until I get home to eat my meal, I will do that. But if I’m out and forgot something, I will try to find a gas station and get a protein bar! They’re delicious to me!)
- Other: _______________________________________________________________
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself, your journey or a personal struggle?
Lastly, I just want to share an obstacle that I have had to overcome that has made me a stronger person and driven me in my fitness goals. When I was really young I had a sternum disorder where I was born with a curved sternum- termed “pectus excavatum.” The doctors had to repair it pretty urgently because my heart was being compressed. Well in the last year I have discovered that I have a reoccurrence of this disorder, most likely due to having had the surgery so young and also irritation of “costochondritis” most likely due from new workouts I was trying. There is a 1% chance of the pectus reoccurrence and I was that 1%. I have seen many doctors, had to miss the first week of school to get it all investigated, had to make a lot of hard decisions and changes for awhile. What it came down to was that my heart and lungs are perfectly healthy, my chest wall is just only allowing me to get 70% of the air I need and I have some discomfort doing certain exercises or in certain sleeping positions. We decided to wait on surgery for now because it would be extremely risky and complex and there are not many doctors in the US who have done a repair of a repair. I could easily give up and make excuses to not go to the gym, but instead I am setting goals and working to overcome issues that make it hard to run or do a lot of cardio. It’s also allowed me more than ever, to depend on my Savior for strength and remain humble because I physically cannot do it on my own. It reminds me that He is strong and never fails even when I do. It pushes my mental health because I have to remind myself to “just keep going. Don’t be a person who needs excuses.”
Thank you, Audrey, for sharing your story and how you make fitness happen! You are an inspiration to athletes everywhere who are working to overcome an injury or physical obstacle.
Can you relate to her story or her system?
Follow Audrey on twitter! @audreyzuck