Member Spotlight – Sheila Woodruff

Member Spotlight – Sheila Woodruff

Sheila Woodruff 3Hi, my name is Sheila Woodruff.  I first came to Top Level Fitness in April 2014.  I was motivated by my own rude awakening after going through some pictures taken on Spring Break the previous month.  I decided to buy a Groupon for Top Level that day.  I walked in not knowing a soul but quickly became comfortable with the friendly and helpful trainers and workout buddies that I couldn’t help but stay.

When I see old pictures of myself, I know that I wasn’t fat.  I was just out of shape.  I had not always been out of shape.  While I wasn’t an athlete, I was always active.  I had run many 5Ks, 3 half marathons and I competed in one sprint triathlon.  I was a Weekend Warrior.  I didn’t win.  I wasn’t the top of my age group, but I felt like such a badass when handed my participation medal.

Then I got sidetracked by lots of excuses.  I see that now.  I’m glad I bought that Groupon!

Reflecting now, it’s amazing how quickly the year has gone.  In the beginning at Top Level, I’d get dizzy, I could only do knee pushups and my strength was non-existent.  Today is a different story.  I’ve lost weight, inches and body fat.  More importantly, I’ve gained muscle, confidence and friendships.  Fun tip:  do Zack’s Challenges.  My weight really started coming off because of them (and the absence of alcohol…).

When I’m not at the 9:30 am workouts (8:30 am in the summer), I’m working at a nearby elementary school as a Lunch Mom.  Yeah, that’s right, I hand out sporks, tie shoes and give high 5s for a living.  I LOVE it.  My co-workers are wonderful and the kids are so entertaining that I’m having more fun working here than when I was in PR/Marketing.  Who knew?

My favorite thing to do is hear bands.  Any kind of band, any kind of venue (I prefer outdoors).  We’re making Lollapalooza a family affair this year (although I think my 15 year old is too young but I was overruled).  I love it because I always find a “new” band there.  Last year for me it was The Avett Brothers.

My family is very encouraging about my TLF involvement.  My husband praises my hard work on a daily basis and my boys and I compare workouts (football/wrestling for them).  Someday, my daughter will join me for a workout.  They are proud that I can push a sled with weights and a trainer on top (I just don’t share how slow I go because they don’t need to know that).

Lastly, I want to say thank you to my workout buddies.  You ALL inspire me.  Whether you are touching your toes to the pull up bar, chest pressing 55lb free weights, or box jumping on the highest box, you are pushing me to do better.  I absolutely love it.  I think to myself every day when I leave the gym (whether I feel like I could flip a car or that I need more water), “I never regret working out”.

Have a great day.  I’ll see you in the gym!

PS – Here’s one of my favorite healthy recipes!

QuinoaQuinoa Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

Vegan, gluten-free
Adapted from Betty Crocker

1 cup uncooked quinoa
15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 roma tomatoes
1 orange bell pepper
1 1/2 cups corn (I used frozen, thawed)
4 green onions

{For the dressing}
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1 1/2 tsp. basil (or fresh if you have it)

Rinse quinoa, and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and basil. Set aside.
Slice green onions, dice roma tomatoes and bell pepper.
When quinoa is done cooking, let cool. Then place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
Pour dressing over top and mix well to combine.
Can eat immediately or chill before serving.