How to Become a Badass (Part One!)

How to Become a Badass (Part One!)

One of the things I love most about working with Tonik is the opportunity to meet so many total badass women. Holy Moly you guys are some cool ladies who do some pretty amazing things.

If you follow Tonik on Instagram and Facebook (and if you don’t, why not??) you will have seen comments or tags from Amy Margolis. Amy is a Tonik ambassador who spends most of the year on the road doing endurance athletic events. She does more events per year than anyone I have ever met. But it was not always this way. I think her story is fascinating and inspirational and I asked her to tell it. This week is Part One.


Someone recently asked me how I got started in the world of endurance sports. Well, it has been quite the journey. I was not an athletic kid, and as a matter of fact, in high school I would do anything to avoid PE class.

By ten years after high school, I was an inactive, unhealthy couch potato who was heading in the direction of potential health issues from a poor diet and no exercise.

As it happened, believe it or not, September 11, 2001 was my thirtieth birthday. After the scariness of that day, I decided that life was too short to be unhappy and I no longer wanted to live a life on the couch.

I started out by joining the local YMCA and walking on the treadmill. I joined Weight Watchers because I really needed to learn portion control. I also learned my “trigger foods” that should not be in my diet at all. With my Y membership, I got three sessions with a personal trainer for free so I learned how to use the equipment that way.

I began to see changes. I was feeling better, had more energy and as an added bonus I was losing weight. The treadmill walking started to become a bit boring for me so eventually I began to run on the treadmill. And when I say run, I really mean JOG.

At first it literally was only about 15 seconds until my legs and lungs were burning and I had to stop. But I didn't give up. I would do run/walk intervals and slowly increase the run portion of the interval until I could run an entire mile without stopping.

From there I went on to run two miles, and then three, and then eventually ran my first 5K. I don’t remember the name of it but it was in Appleton, Wisconsin. I remember thinking there was no way I would be able to run the entire race without walking, but I did and I finished in just over 30 minutes.

The feeling of accomplishment when I crossed that finish line was like nothing else I had ever felt, an incredibly proud moment for me. That race is one of my most memorable experiences, even today.

So I ran more 5Ks and eventually those turned into 10Ks, and those eventually turned into a half marathon. My first half marathon was the Hippie Chick Half Marathon in Portland, Oregon.

A little over three years after I decided to change my lifestyle, in November 2004, I ran my first marathon, The New York City Marathon.

Next week: Amy starts with triathlon!

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