Wednesday, April 29, 2015

From "Getting Off the Couch" to Beast Veterans

John (far left) made the step to become a Beast veteran.
Two years ago, John and Lisa Meyer say they were tired of feeling out of shape and overweight. They took a big step, deciding to “get off the couch” and become more active.
Today, the couple feels like very different people. It’s been a long journey, but they are now “veterans” of Barber Beast on the Bay and a series of other athletic events and races. They say that they couldn’t have done it without each other, and a group of friends that has supported them from the day they started.
John and Lisa, both teachers in the North East School District, had been athletic in high school but then family and other commitments got in the way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In 2013, they heard about a weight loss challenge from fellow teacher and friend, Elaine LaFuria. The “58 Day Challenge” was a friendly competition organized by Erie chiropractor Steve Krauza that encouraged participants to exercise and eat well – focusing on natural, unprocessed foods. The person who lost the highest percentage of body fat would win $3,000.
At the end, John came in second place—missing out on the jackpot but winning something even more valuable. John and Lisa had both started exercising with “Team Adrenaline,” a work out group also founded by Dr. Krauza. There, the couple found the structure and support that made the difference. “We had done weight loss programs before but never exercise,” said John. “So, we would lose weight and then put it back on.”
Lisa (842, far right).
Team Adrenaline focuses on an “organic workout” with exercises such as lunges and push ups mixed in with sprints and running in different settings – such as up and down sets of stadium bleachers. But equally as valuable is the camaraderie that the couple experiences with other group members.
When some members of the group were signing up for a Tough Mudder, John and Lisa decided to join them. “We aren’t really runners but knowing that you have signed up for an event really helps you stay in shape,” said John.
Since then, Lisa has completed half marathons, while John has done a few 5Ks and the Presque Isle Triathlon. And they both participated in last year’s Barber Beast on the Bay. Going in, John was concerned about all of the running on sand, but said it wasn’t nearly as difficult as he feared.
“We signed up with Krauza's Krazies and had a blast completing the challenge with friends to support a cause that is near and dear to our hearts,” said John.
As teachers, John and Lisa both work with children with special needs every day. They are also the parents of three children, including their 15-year-old son Brett, who has autism.

“We try to do anything to help groups working with autism,” said John. “So the Beast on the Bay is a fun and challenging way to support a great organization that helps people dealing with their own challenges.”


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