by Jo Demmler December 02, 2019

Catching the ACTIVE bug with @drenergize #ifoundfridays

Dren shares so much inspiration with us this week, the journey to finding her active and what challenges, surprises and fun she has had along the way. This is a great read and truly inspiring - THANKYOU @drenergize for taking the time to share your journey with us all xxx

First Name:
Dren

Hometown:
Muskegon, MI, United States 

Instagram Username:
@drenergize

Age:

34

What ACTIVE have you found? 
Oh boy, well I don't think I've met an activity that I didn't love! My main activities are running roads and trails, but I also regularly hike, kayak, climb, camp and backpack, and bike.

How did you find your ACTIVE? 
I got really active when I moved from Michigan to New York. I made friends with several runners and I was totally in awe of their training and their lifestyles. They were really fun people who were full of energy and just loved food and friendships and being active. I totally caught the bug for sure.

What do you love about your ACTIVE? 
I have made so many friends from running in particular. Plus, all of my active hobbies fulfill lots of different purposes in my life. They serve as family time and alone time, exercise and relaxation, and even quiet meditation. I feel strong and energized and at peace because of my active pursuits.

What pulled / drew you to the ACTIVE? 
There's something so simple and beautiful about being able to just put on your shoes and go for a run. Whether it's to clear your head, get some sunshine, get rid of stress, or see the world—running is the best. I keep getting drawn to new active hobbies because I make friends who do those things and I get a new perspective. I only recently started rock climbing because a friend invited me and I love it! It works my body in a new way, but it's super fun and challenging.

What surprises did you find along the journey? 
If you would have told me in 2010 that I was going to run a marathon someday, I would have said there's no chance I'd ever be able to do that. When I started Couch to 5K with my new runner friends, I thought, "Maybe I'll be able to run a mile. Someday." And I could run a mile within a couple of weeks and a 5k at the end of 2 months. That's happened every time I hit a new milestone—5k, 5 miles, 10k, half marathon, 25k, marathon. I am constantly surprised by what my body can do.

What were the challenges getting started? 
It's HARD! Running is not easy when you're a beginner. Even with the years of experience I now have, it's a challenge to keep pushing yourself. You really have to let it be hard and be okay with not being a pro at first. For my other activities, there's a learning curve. It helps to have someone who knows what they're doing show you how it's done and lend you equipment. It can be expensive to get into some hobbies if you don't have the gear, so I suggest borrowing or renting when possible to try new things.

How do you keep yourself motivated? 
It's not hard now. Being active is a huge part of my lifestyle. It's how I see some of my friends and how I celebrate holidays and go on vacation. I've created friend groups around my activities, so I'm motivated to train and not be the one who has to slow down (but I also don't want anyone to be afraid to be the slow one, either!). It can be hard to be motivated to work out when it's cold and gross outside and I just want to go home and hang out with my babies, but even a quick workout helps me destress and not lose the fitness I've worked so hard for. I'm not perfect, but making being active into a lifelong habit and not a short-term pursuit really helps keep me motivated to keep it up, even if I'm not training for something or pushing really hard.

What was one thing that was holding you back from your ACTIVE?
All of my friends were couch potatoes and smoked cigarettes like me. None of us were active, so it was easy to not even realize that I was slowly becoming a sad lazy person. Then it was hard to feel confident when I started running because I was overweight and had all the wrong gear. I had always wanted to be a backpacker, too, but didn't want to go by myself and didn't have the items I needed. Once I finally had some money to buy a few key items, I invited other people to go with me and found some people who were okay with giving it a shot.

If you could share one piece of inspiration to those finding their ACTIVE and staying motivated, what would it be? 
It's not all or nothing. It's not something you quit because one aspect failed or you hit one goal. Being active is something you should do for your life. You want to age well and be strong for your friends and family well into the future. You want to have friends and make time for yourself. So don't worry about doing the best exercise or trying to really beat yourself up. Just find activities you enjoy that you can do forever and then make your friends join you. Ha!

Who inspired you to find your ACTIVE? 
My friends Julia, Jon, and Debbie. More recently, my dad and I have been working on getting active together, and my husband and I are always thinking about how to keep our kids moving and enjoying being active so I am definitely inspired to do it for them.

How has your ACTIVE changed over the years? 
I've picked up so many more activities and I'm much more confident in my abilities.

Words of wisdom to share:
If you are trying to get active and don't know where to start, look for groups that can inform you. Whether it's a community group with your interests or an online group for support, people love to talk about their hobbies. I do it all the time! And I love inviting beginners to do things with me. I'm sure there are lots of people out there who feel the same way.

Here's to us all being Everyday Adventures - #findyouractive
Don't forget to share your "I Found" Story with us HERE



Jo Demmler
Jo Demmler

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