December Athlete of the Month: Lora Kennedy

December Athlete of the Month: Lora Kennedy

Your story. Who are you? What do you do when you are not here (job,school, etc)? Past athletic history.

I am Lora Kennedy. I am 49 years old and live in Lake Forest with my boys Eagan 15,Owen 11 and my husband Ed.2 years ago I was diagnosed with arthritis in both hips and hands. My left hip has only 10% cartilage left and several bone spurs, the right side is only a little better. I am in pain all the time. I used to run/walk 3-4 times a week, but the pain forced me to stop. I am a snow skier, and I couldn't even make it down more than 1 run without resting and pain medication.

Chiropractors helped me the first year with adjustments, massage, acupuncture, electric stimulation treatments and energy work. I tried yoga, prescription medications, 8 vitamins a day to help decrease inflammation and build cartilage spending thousands of dollars with no long term relief, and gained 25 pounds from no exercise. I was getting frustrated and depressed.

Why CrossFit?? How did you find CrossFit Lake Forest/Lyft Health & Fitness?

One day, as I was limping to the soccer field, my friend Heidi Prom suggested I try her CrossFit class and see if I could at least build up strength in my legs again. I met with Andi and she told me about the women only Lyft 6 week program. I was scared and nervous my first class, but it was nice to see other ladies with similar injuries and stories who were also trying to get back in shape and build muscle again.

I started going 3 days a week beginning October 2015 and started seeing and feeling results. What I liked most was the family feel while working out and the constant encouragement, even when I was last to finish a workout. I looked forward to going to class even though it would be painful, I knew I was getting stronger and I felt better mentally. Andi also introduced me to nutritional products and they helped me drop 20pounds and stop all medications within 4 months.

I left my full time job this Spring because my body would be in too much pain from standing 8 hours, I now work from home as a consultant for Rodan & Fields Skincare. I have more free time and get to workout 4 times a week. I have to rest a day in between classes.

Favorite workout? Least favorite?

My favorite workouts are the Lyft classes for ladies because we laugh a lot while we sweat and I like the variety of workouts. I started going to CrossFit classes twice a week. Those classes are more challenging for me, because they typically involve a lot of weight lifting. Lifting a barbell involves using your hip flexors, and mine being weak and bone on bone, that's challenging. They also do work on the chin-up bars and its hard to hang and lift myself up with arthritis in my hands, but I do the best I can. All of the coaches are awesome! They are so helpful and encouraging!

Goals or things your working on.

I have hip replacement surgery scheduled mid December. My Doctor said that since I am "fit" and have a gym I continue to go to, I can do outpatient surgery. My goal is to be back at the box within 2 weeks to see what exercises I can do. My immediate goal is to do a Burpee with no modifications 6 weeks after. Long term goal...Spartan Race?

One piece of advice about CrossFit, life, anything!!

I can honestly say that I did not think, one year ago, that I would love CrossFit as much as I do. I like challenging myself. I like that EVERY TIME I go to a class I learn something new. I have made so many new friends at this gym. Every single person I have met there has been kind, helpful and encouraging. I have seen the transformation in my body and many others who have worked out with me this past year. Amazing! Lake Forest CrossFit has been a savior to me. Andi and her team want each of us to do well and reach our goals....let them help you like they have me. Thanks!

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