FiTONIC is a super cool protein powder (but so much more!) for women and I feel so bad-ass being selected as this month’s athlete. I am in love with their brand on every level!
Here is the interview!
This week we are high-fiving FiTONIC’s Athlete Spotlight: Emily Wagner. We loved loved loved this super raw and REAL conversation about not taking your body for granted, training your daughters to love their bodies, and the importance of just eating the damn cookie. Although Emily has been through 11 different hip surgeries and did not walk for a year, she is just as passionate as ever about the importance of sweating it out and giving yourself grace in the process. Big high five to Emily!
What is your fave way to train (running, yoga, CrossFit, weightlifting, dancing…)?
Spinning is my main jam and has been since the 90s! For me, it’s my sitting/moving meditation. I started spinning when it first came out and really have never stopped, except to have bilateral hip replacements (nothing to do with spinning, I swear – congenital hip dysplasia). I taught for many years and now my favorite thing to do is spin at home. I used to love to my fave Soul Cycle addictions and still do, however, I found that as my time to get to and from class has basically diminished, I now prefer to quiet of my home workout. I use my Shwinn bike and either the Peleton app or FitRadio. I can do spin whenever and find I get more zen out of it than crazy packed classes, managing LA traffic, and the crowd energy.
How did that become your thing?
(Read above!) In the past whenever I tried a work out I loved, I grew compelled to master it and teach it. When I started to teach spinning I was simultaneously working on my Hatha yoga certification. The classes I taught were like yoga on the bike. I started my candlelight spin back in 2000 and I am pretty sure it was the first of its kind, at Body And Soul, in West Hollywood. From there, I always approached my spin as a moving journey to stillness. I can still go really deep with it, but somehow, mostly when I am home, alone and doing a solo ride. I find that LA classes are total madness and have the opposite effect.
How has training physically changed you mentally or emotionally?
I cannot NOT exercise. It’s cellular at this point. I get anxious when I have not moved or sweat. It is my everything and has been this way since I was a teenager. Nothing happens until I get my workout in. My kids know this and now I (finally!) have my 12 year old daughter taking a teen/parent workout class with me at a super cool place in town called WOLA. I am doing my best to instill within her the mental effects of fitness. I totally focus her on how the inner strength will bring mental release, not to mention the hormone involved. She is starting to get it! I make certain never to focus on anything about body other than strength. I am super conscious to avoid all talk of the usual body stuff women and young girls are inundated with by media and social media, etc, and steer the convo to being a strong, bad-ass warrior. I think it’s working!
What is still hard for you about your training, fitness or nutrition?
What’s oddly hard is that I am no longer a hardass about it. So, despite all my talk about my healthy lifestyle, I never beat myself up (or at least try not to!) when I miss a day or so. If I do, I say, welp, my body needed the rest, or look forward to an even better workout the next day. I am also incredibly easy on myself about nutrition – which is code for, I have no problem not eating totally clean. I say this is ‘hard’ for me because I have grown out of regimented living, I am softer on myself and therefore, well, softer in general. In other words, I have probably put on around 10 pounds this year by letting go of stringent, do or die food planning. The hard part is fully accepting where I am. I am still a bit back and forth about it. I do my best to just ‘let it be and love myself’ but sometimes I think damn, I want to fit into XY and Z jeans from two years ago. The next day, I look at myself and think “Wow, I am totally ok being this size!” Hence, it’s still a bit of a challenge finding my center in this place.
What is the mantra in your head that you hear most often when you train?
What do you love most about your body?
That I can walk. Seriously, there was a time when I literally forgot how to lift my leg. My mind would tell my leg to lift and it just would not move. I had around 11 hip surgeries and did not walk for an entire year. So the fact that I can even kick booty at all, is a miracle. Besides that, I think my abs are pretty decent for a mom of two and my shoulders seem pretty strong!
If you have worked with a coach, what’s the most important lesson you learned from that person?
I love listening to Robin Arzon on Peleton – she has a great inspo game!!
What is your fave nutrition tip?
Water, water, water. Listen to your body, it has all the answers and eat the damn cookie!
If you could tell only one thing to every woman who is struggling in her fitness journey, what would that be?
You will only ever feel better after exercising. There is not ONE person who can tell me they don’t feel better after they workout. Nope, nope, nope – it’s just not possible. Even my daughter tried, and she caved “yah, I guess I do feel better.” Point, mom.
What goal are you going to crush next??
To continue to tune in to what my body is asking for – rest, sweat, dance, strength. _________________________________________________
BIG thank you to Emily for being our FiTONIC’s Athlete Spotlight!
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