10-Week Challenge Transformation (Lisa Wasikowski)

There is a famous book authored by Malcolm Gladwell called the “Tipping Point” which reminds me a lot about Lisa Wasikowski’s fitness journey. The book describes the “tipping point” as the moment when something, an idea, a trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and suddenly spreads like wildfire. And while Lisa has been a member for nearly 2-years it was the 10-week challenge that seems to be her personal tipping point!

When Lisa began her fitness journey with CKO/2.0 she did so by constantly “dipping her feet into the water”. In other words, I could tell that physically she was ready for change but mentally she still had some apprehensions. There had been 2 other 10-week challenges that popped up on Lisa’s radar screen but each time she dipped her “toe into the water”, she immediately pulled it back out…

Quotefancy - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Then the 2015 spring challenge rolled around and Lisa had this look on her face that said, “no more dipping my toe, I am jumping head first into that water”. And that is exactly what she did and immediately everything about her changed for the better. Once Lisa made the decision to fully commit to herself, she reached her own personal tipping point. This personal tipping point revealed Lisa’s true character–a strong, confident, and very capable women who’s possibilities know no bounds!

Oh, I can’t forget, Lisa is also a constant reminder that in order to be our best we must find time for self-improvement.  As you will read in Lisa’s interview, her personal journey has been far from easy but Lisa has learned that the stronger and healthier she is, the better equipped she is to care for and support her family! Read below to hear more about Lisa Wasikowski’s journey.


Feb 2015 - May 2015

Feb 2015 – May 2015

The Lisa Wasikowski Interview:

1.  Besides being a CKO superhero, what is your day job. Currently, my day and night job is being a full-time mom and special needs advocate.

2.  Do you have any hobbies? Oh man…. yes! I am a hand drummer.  Not in a band, just like to jam with friends, and get transcendental in the woods.  Also, I love to travel (especially road trips), check out local farmers markets, shop for ingredients, cook, camp, hike, drink wine, frolic on the beach, buy cool shit for my daughter, research, read (mostly autobiographies), spend time with family, get a sweat on, watch movies, and work on art projects.
3.  How did you first learn about CKO? It was a sign, literally.  Sandwich board! I live in the area. Drove by the place a zillion times.
4.  What are some of your fitness goals? At this point it’s to keep the fire going, and really work on exploring outside of my comfort zone.  Time to start living that bucket list.
5.  What is your favorite aspect of CKO? Oh boy, that’s a big question…
I love you, CKO / 2.0.  Some days it’s all I can do to not just throw in the towel, but that all consuming, love-filled feeling following a truly great workout is a high like none-other.

When I first joined, to be honest, it was intimidating.  The energy was electric, but it seemed a bit cliquey in the gym.  I get it now though.  You can’t be in a place like this, doing what we’re doing, for the reasons we’re doing it without forming connections, and unlike most gyms I’ve ever been to, the love is pretty unavoidable.  After a year and a half of trying to get my life on track, I can absolutely say this place is one of my favorites.  The classes are fun.  The energy is awesome.  Some options actually fit my schedule.  Familiar faces are everywhere.  It kind of has that “Cheers” effect.  Can’t help but make friends.  I’m even getting to know people who have inspired me, people whose stories help get me through, even when I’m sure I can’t.

Just finished that CINCO

Just finished that CINCO

I came to you (CKO/2.0) completely sad and broken, really seeking refuge from who I’d turned into.  I went through the motions enough to shake up the monotony of my life, but my molting process has taken time and considerable effort.  Each step seems bigger and bigger, and I turn to you more and more.  You have become my sanctuary, a safe, sacred place where I go to unleash, learn, and heal.
Oh… I also want to give props to my super fabulous trainer, because she’s super fabulous!
6.  What was the best part of the challenge? Making gainz!!
–  First wave was being able to think more clearly and start realizing how to make better decisions for myself.  Also a feeling of overall contentment washed over me, like everything was going to be fine, so I could breathe into this and not worry so much.

–  Second wave was actively carving out time for myself and putting my needs first.  My daughter has some pretty extensive special needs, and part of why I signed up was to get a bit of myself back.  As I started feeling better about life in general, other things, things I wanted and had been craving just started happening.  I even felt like I became a better mom, a more patient and attentive mom, not so frustrated and anxious, and finally was able to shake the last of the postpartum depression.  It’s nuts, once I let all the crap go, the gainz just kept on coming, even through the difficult times.

Lisa after a circuit training class

Lisa after a circuit training class

–  Third was seeing the changes.  I’d have moments where it was like…. whoa, I just lifted 155 lbs! …. or…. whoa, those pants haven’t fit since before the pregnancy!  Awesome feelings!  One of the biggest changes was re-prioritizing, and making time for myself (treated myself to a movie, and a day at the spa, and that memorable day I had to purchase a new pair of jeans because all the others now require belts and I don’t have a belt.).
–  Fourth was meeting my goals.  Yes, there were hiccups, and cheat days, and sicknesses, and doctor appointments, and missed alarm clocks, and unforeseen shit all over the place, but this was my time,  Mine!  I didn’t have to share this with anyone.  No matter what happened, I still had this, and I wasn’t going to fuck it up.
–  Fifth, was people noticing the gainz.  My husband is amazing, and I love his compliments, but when people other than the two of us started noticing my hard work, I felt like that was when it’d all happened, like I’d arrived, like I’d actually done it.  Best-feeling-ever!!
–  Lastly. personal connections.  New friendships were made.  Gotta love that!
Final Numbers (10-week challenge fitness test)
Push ups:  from 53 to 69
Goblet squats:  from 46 to 56
Arm hang:  from 48 sec to 62 sec
Final numbers (10-week challenge measurements)
11.25 inches lost (off entire body)
8.4 lbs lost
7.  What was the hardest part of the challenge? Balancing my commitments with life’s various road-bumps and hiccups proved difficult, at best.  Plans change.  Schedules rearrange.  Nothing is for certain until it’s happening.  Sicknesses.  ER visits.  Family squabbles.  Business trips.  Overtime.  Impromptu get togethers.  Power outages.  A couple birthdays.  A wedding.  A migraine.  A wrenched out back.  School switches.  IEP crap.  You name it, it happened.  I used the gym time and workouts as therapy.  No therapy = very cranky Lisa = not so good times.
Also, figuring realistic food choices when away from home was a total drag, like trying to find paleo options in the Children’s Hospital ER or on a room service menu or in a convenience store or in the airport.
8.  What motivates you to walk through that door day after day? –  Gym time is one of the rare opportunities I have to detach from all else.  No phone interaction, and not responsible for anyone but myself.
–  It’s the best anger management I know of, and is far cheaper than hiring a really good therapist, better results too.
–  The sweat factor.  I love the sweat drip!

–  The biggest motivator is the lifestyle change, and holding myself accountable for the promises I’ve made to myself and to my daughter.

Rocking that house at CKO

Rocking that house at CKO

9.  What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with? Lower back issues. Bad posture.  Heavy book bags.  Too many years in food service.  Bad quality shoes.  Untreated scoliosis.  Overcompensation due to injuries sustained from a car accident.  Pregnancy.  Post-pregnancy issues.  Sleeping on a bad mattress.  Helping my daughter learn to walk.  Life…. it gets heavy, and it tends to take its toll.  I’ve learned how to manage it more, but I like to go hard, which isn’t always kind to my back.
10.  What can we do to actualize your true potential? I am at the gym to make myself a better version of who I was yesterday.  Push me harder!!  Other than that, childcare would be awesome.  🙂
11.  Share any relevant information about yourself that other CKO members might not know about you.
I’m not a person who sugar coats things.  Life during these ten weeks was far from easy, but making the effort to try to live in the here and now helped me ward off the voices of resistance, and find my flow.  The challenge stretched far beyond the bounds of the gym, right into the core of me and who I am.
I like to have a tough skin.  Life has been so thick the past few years, part of what got me needing to turn things around was auto-pilot mode to the next fix, the escape, the desire to “turn off”.  I certainly didn’t expect to get all emotional at the end, but I totally did, which means progress!  Allowing myself to live my best life means actually LIVING it, feeling it, experiencing it, bad and good, not shutting it off or trying to numb it away.  I just had get up and do it.  Now it’s over.  The threshold is crossed, time to move on, and man does it ever feel good!
Today there is no rush.  Today it’s all about what’s happening right now.  My today involves enjoying the sunshine with my daughter, helping her get excited about walking on her own.  Her inner fire is my biggest inspiration.  I have no business setting my bar any lower than that.  I am her mom.  How can I teach her… how can I ever make her believe she can achieve her dreams if I’m not going after my own?  That’s what this challenge was for me, getting myself on track, finding the right path(s), setting the bar higher, and not fucking stopping.
Today I was reminded about the work I put into being the best mom I can be, and the kind of team my husband, daughter, and I are now.  When my daughter was in the NICU, we hooked up with an incredible Seattle based organization which provided us a wonderful team of early-intervention therapists.  They served us and taught us for three years, starting when she was three weeks old.  During that time, my daughter has been a “poster child” for their early-intervention program.  It is their 50th anniversary this year.  They put together a publication of “50 Stories Worth Sharing”.  We were featured!!
Lisa Fun
You want an itemized list of my gym related successes since joining CKO, let’s talk over a couple ciders and bun-less burgers (add bacon).  A lot has happened in that year and a half, including battling postpartum depression, a pregnancy, and a miscarriage.  CKO / 2.0 have been instrumental in helping me push through.  It’s a lifestyle change, though that wasn’t my aim at the time.  I just wanted to start feeling better and find some “me space” away from the house.  That was accomplished, and then some.
What I achieved in these weeks has been an off-put goal for years.  I was finally ready.  It was time to rise above my former self, and I did!  Not often in my life have I been truly happy or truly proud (of myself) let alone all at once.  I can honestly say I worked hard, I earned it, and dammit I deserve it.  Success!
Link to the article:  In “50 Stories Worth Sharing”.

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