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Occupation: Project and resource development director for Columbus Parks and Recreation and the Columbus Park Foundation.
Family: Husband, Troy; daughter, Elle; son, Christian.
Where do you work out?
Outside, One Body One Soul, and Foundation for Youth.
How many hours a week?
Five to six.
Briefly describe your daily/weekly workout routine:
I bike ride one to two days per week; walk and/or run one to two days per week; attend Pilates one day per week; crosstrain/strength train one day per week; and swim two days per week.
What inspired you to begin a regular fitness routine?
I have always incorporated exercise in my daily life, as I know the benefits of staying fit and healthy.
Why is it something you have stuck with?
I enjoy staying active and feeling good because of it.
How do you make time to work out?
I’m an early riser (5:30 a.m.). I work out for an hour before work. This past year I also joined the Wednesday Downtown Bike Group. This gave me something to look forward to and make consistent every Wednesday evening. And I enjoy the company of the friends I made.
When and why did you get serious about fitness?
I have never had the metabolism to eat anything I want without seeing weight gain, even in my younger years, so exercise has always been necessary in my daily routine.
Have you lost or gained muscle mass through working out? How much?
I have not measured specific muscle mass, but I can always see a visible difference in definition.
What’s your favorite exercise?
Bicycling and running.
Any exercises you dread, but do anyway? Why?
No ... Well, maybe pushups. But only because I need to get better at them.
Do you listen to music while you work out? What’s on your playlist?
Yes, when I run. It’s a mix genre, from contemporary Christian to modern pop. I like John Mayer, Michael Bublé and Christian artists like Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp and Francesca Battistelli. Some soul/jazz from Corinne Bailey Rae, and some older rock, such as James Taylor and Van Morrison.
Do you follow a special diet? Describe it briefly. Do you “cheat” much?
I’ve always tried to follow a Weight Watcher’s philosophy — just a balance of protein, fiber, low sugar, fruits and veggies. Carbs are always a weakness, so I try to be conscientious about portions, because I can eat.
Do you have a favorite fitness moment, for example, when you reached a tough fitness goal or overcame a plateau?
I’ve run three full marathons and numerous half-marathons, so it’s always such an awesome experience when you train for weeks/months and feel the reward of crossing the finish line.
What do you do to motivate yourself?
The only time I don’t want to work out is when I’m sick, which is not very often. I’m more challenged when I can’t work out, especially outdoors.
Share a little-known fitness fact about you?
I am strong-willed and determined, and this crosses over to my training. Endurance is my strength.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start working out?
The benefits you gain from being fit and healthy far outweigh the initial pain in getting there. Persevere and you will reap great rewards.
— Jennifer Willhite
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