Fitness Spotlight: Maura Morse, she may be small but she is FIERCE!

Name: Maura Morse

Age: 32

Weight: After I had my daughter I lost 22 pounds. I had my son 2.5 years later, and lost 30 pounds.

Half Marathon PR: 1:32 (May 2013)

Fitness Background:

I ran cross-country and track in high school. In college and afterwards, I ran and went to the gym occasionally. I really started to attend the gym regularly after I had my daughter. I finished my doctorate a little while after she was born and between having a new baby and all of the writing, I found myself with weight loss goals for the first time in my life. After trying on my own using the treadmill and the elliptical machine, I realized that I was not having the success that I had wanted. Additionally, I had a C-section with my daughter, and started to feel like I needed some more guidance with core work to achieve the shape and the strength I needed. It was at this point that I used a one-to-one trainer for the first time and joined the small group training sessions at the gym.

Current Fitness Regimen:

I do something active everyday of the week. I usually run at least three times a week. Typically, I make one a distance run, one hills, and one a speed workout. Additionally, I attend several classes at Boston Sports Club in West Newton. I usually attend 1 yoga class, 1 UXF class, and one spinning class. When I can, I enjoy participating in the small group training classes, especially UXF ripped. On my own, I also focus on strength training using the weights and do a core regiment. I take what I have learned in the classes or been given by Kristen in previous workouts and do it on my own.

Favorite gym workout:

I like the UXF/Boot camp style classes

Favorite exercise class:

UXF Ripped (small group training)

Favorite non-gym fitness activity:

Walking on trails and playing around at the playground with my family are two of my favorite activities.
Fitness exercise/activity you HATE but do anyways because you know its good for you:

Hill Workouts

When did you start working with a trainer/ coach:

I started 5 years ago for a little while. I have more regularly worked out with a trainer/coach for the last 3 years.

What about that trainer/coach influenced you to chose them:

I think a trainer’s enthusiasm for what he/she does stands out to me. Communication, whether it is about a specific exercise, overall fitness program, my own individual goals or motivational emails, is also essential to a successful trainer/trainee experience. Of course, the trainer’s exercise (sports, injury, weight loss etc.) and nutritional knowledge base is essential. It’s a bonus if they have a fun work out group and playlist to help motivate you!

How long were you thinking about hiring a trainer/ signing up for small group/ before you actually did? Why were you hesitant? Do you wish you had done it sooner?

I was thinking about it and then saw a promotion at the gym. I wish I had done it sooner.

What about this coach/ trainer makes them different from ones you have worked with in the past:

 Kristen’s level of commitment and gentle enthusiasm keeps me very motivated. It seems like she is always working on a new workout to try!

How does personal training and/or small group training differ from working out on your own?

It is much more effective. The trainers know how to put exercises together so that you reach your maximum benefit while being safe.

What benefits have you seen from working with a coach/ trainer?

After my pregnancies, the trainers helped me to not only loose the weight, but also get my shape back. I have learned more about what I can do and enjoy doing working out with them.

Would you consider these benefits life changing?

For me, the benefits were life changing. At first eating this healthy and working out daily was a challenge. Now, they are much more a part of my daily life that I find to be so positive.

How would you recommend others to go about choosing a trainer/ coach that was right for them?

I would say to look for someone that you connect with and understands your hopes/goals.

What is the single best thing that came out of improving your fitness level?

I have more energy and I sleep better!

Have you inspired others to get fit as well?

I am not sure. I hope so!

Best fitness/health advice you were ever given:

To get off of the treadmill all of the time and do some strength training.

When and how did you meet Kristen? Has she changed your life in any way? If so,

how?

In so many ways!!!! The story I shared above about running is really important to me, and I know that I would not have accomplished that without her help. She has brought a whole bunch of us together as active friends who do healthy things inside and outside of the gym. She exudes a fit and healthy life style that is just simply contagious. In this way, she has been a role model to me.

Favorite fitness/ life quote:

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can something; And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. (Jeanie Ashley Bates Greenough)

Favorite songs/ artists to workout to:

I like 90’s hip-hop

Favorite person/people to work out with:

I really like working out with all of the BSC people led by Kristen. Of course, I work out the most with Cynthia (a mother of three who I met at the gym). Our friendship has grown over the years, and we frequently plan to attend classes together or to go for early morning runs while our kids are still sleeping. In fact, sometimes in the fall the moon is still up when we get started! Knowing I have someone waiting for me is motivating during the early morning hours!

maura and cynthia

Best thing to get you going on a day when you do not have time energy or motivation to work out:

I think about how I will feel when I am done if I can just get myself started.

 Your favorite healthy snack:

I make a carrot juice smoothie that I LOVE!

You’re crunched for time, your favorite 30 minute workout:

I would alternate 2-minute cardio drill, 2-minute strength move, and a 2-minute core move until the time was up, or I would simply go for a run.

On vacation do you workout? What do you do?

I usually do! I tend to run mostly when I am on vacation. I do try to work in some sit-ups, squats, or planks when I am a

Your favorite brands for workout attire:

I have a lot of different brands. I am not very tall so I like to find pants that fit me correctly.

Attitude towards/feelings about fitness in the past vs. the present:

Being active/fitness has become a part of my daily life over the past few years. I enjoy it now more than I ever did before. Working out with Kristen and at BSC has provided a community of active friends with whom I enjoy both working out and socializing. They are a support network inside and outside of the gym!

Have you had a fitness/ weight loss goal that you met? What was it? How long to achieve it? How did you achieve it?

Yes! I had my daughter 5 years ago and my son almost 3 years ago. After both pregnancies, I had weight loss goals. During both of these times, I benefitted greatly from the help of the trainers at the gym. Kristen helped me to better learn about the advantages of doing strength training along with the cardio I was doing. Further, she helped me to realize the benefits of interval training. I learned about myself that I do better working out in a group. (Before these experiences, I was more intimidated by the gym classes or asking for help). After my second pregnancy, I exceeded my weight loss expectations and became more fit than I have been in years. I never expected to become the active enthusiast that I am today, and I know I could not have done it without Kristen’s leadership and friendship.

I think both times it took me about 6 months to reach my goals. I saw both weight drop and my shape change in a positive way along the way. This was very motivating for me. Losing weight is not easy. When I was plateauing or not seeing the results as quickly as I wanted, it was essential to have the trainers and friends at the gym to keep me progressing.

Current Health/Fitness goals:

I have become more interested in running again as a result of the training. Last spring I ran a half-marathon in 1:32. I would love to train and run a 1:30. (While training with Kristen, I won two small 5k’s in the greater Boston area.) Before having my kids and working with Kristen, I never would have imagined ever coming in first. It was a pleasant surprise. I will never forget how proud my then 4- year- old daughter looked – It truly made me realize that all of the hard work pays off as my husband and I build a healthy family/lifestyle for our children. Coming in first was fun, but my daughter’s smile and the look in her eyes was such a monumental feeling. I hope that Kristen truly understands that through the work she does (burpee by burpee, hill by hill, renegade row by renegade row, etc.) she truly is changing and supporting so much more then she gets to see of her clients while at the gym. (My daughter held onto my trophy for so long, she fell asleep with it in the picture below;))

Maura daughter

 

I won the race at my reunion and won football tickets! This was shortly after I had trained for a ½ marathon with Kristen.

maura bc

I have run some fun races with Kristen, too! (In this picture, she came in 1st and I came in 3rd (2 seconds behind her). She motivated and pulled me the whole way!

maura and kristen

Overall, I want to continue to learn more about daily habits like nutritional choices that will support my health for years and years to come. I want to be strong and healthy as a priority and fit any future weight loss goals into this context instead of solely a number on the scale. I can’t say enough times that a few years ago, I never ever would have thought I could do these things. Pregnancy and weight loss goals caused me to need to work out in a new way.

 

Thanks your for sharing Maura! You are an inspiration to EVERYONE around you and a joy to work with.  Your peppy energetic and team spirited attitude help to make fitness FUN!

Xoxo,

Kristen

 

Author: Kristen Leontie

Fitness trainer to the stars (of Newton Ma), athlete, pro runner and dog lover...

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