“Through Gauge, my knee has become stronger”

Member Jennifer Smith beats her normal 5K time thanks to her Gauge Fitness workouts and mental state of mind. 

When Jennifer Smith joined Gauge Fitness in July 2017, she was focused on her personal goal.  She wanted to lose body fat percentage, tone, and strengthen her core and lower body.  But her plan to achieve her objective wasn’t like other boot campers because Smith was dealing with some physical issues.  In 2000, she had anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery on her right knee, and in October 2016, she had the same procedure done on her left knee. 

So when she decided to participate in the Candler Park Fall Fest 5K in September, she had some reservations. “I had not run over two miles since my knee surgery so I was a little nervous going into the 5K,” Smith says. But coming to Gauge Fitness three times a week and working on her goals really helped. “I have noticed significant changes in just a few months,” Smith says.  “When I first started, I was very hesitant with any exercises that involved jumping, squatting or lateral movements. Through Gauge, my knee has become stronger and I feel confident performing these exercises with no knee pain afterward. My clothes are fitting better and my endurance has increased.” 

After seeing a difference in performance, Smith signed up for the 5K by herself. “Typically, a few other friends will sign up with me and we will hang out before and after the race,” she says. “But it was actually pretty nice going solo this time.” When she’s run the 3.1-mile distance in the past, she’s come in at around 30 minutes. Never below. This race was different though. “I have never been below 29,” she says. “My official time was 28:22, which was way above my expectations. I knew the route was tough as it was very hilly so my goal was to finish without walking.” And that she did. 

Positive thinking contributed to pushing her through to the end. “Mental strength definitely helped achieve this,” she says. “I am competitive so the race atmosphere seemed to help as well. The last half mile was extremely tough but I knew I had the strength to finish strong,” Smith says. She attributes her increase in endurance and being able to beat her normal 30-minute time to Gauge Fitness and it’s trainers. “The laps around the pond at Old Fourth Ward Park and running the stairs contributed to this.” 

There’s no stopping her now. What’s next? “I hope to complete one or two more 5Ks before the end of the year,” Smith says. “Possibly complete a 10K next year … but who knows!” Well, Gauge Fitness knows, Jennifer. You’re going to compete in a 10K in 2018 and you’re going to do great. Your Gauge Fitness family will be cheering you on all the way to the finish line.