Name: Tara Johnson
Occupation: Owner, CF-L1 trainer and head janitor at Jordan’s Bar; OEM account manager at Cummins Inc.
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What is your workout schedule?
“Daily at 5:30 a.m. and a couple of ‘date night’ workouts with my swolemate, Jason. I take a rest day every fourth or fifth day.”
What is your favorite workout to do?
”I don’t have a ‘favorite’ workout. My programming is very dynamic, so what I like the most is that it’s different every day. I mix in strength work, gymnastics, running, Olympic lifting — anything to keep from getting in a rut.”
Where do you work out, and what do you like about that place?
“I work out at my hilljacked garage gym, Jordan’s Bar. Aside from the 50-foot walk I have to get to the gym, I love that my gym feels like home. People say that sometimes and don’t really understand the value of finding a place that you aren’t intimidated, feel encouraged, challenged and ultimately, like you can be 100 percent yourself. I take immense pride in the crew we have here as a group that leaves the ego at the door; and whether you can bench press 400 pounds or you’re just training to be better at life in general, everyone brings value to the gym. A great crew makes working suck less for people that don’t like to work out. They make it a great adventure for people that love it. Giving the profits back to local youth organizations and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in memory of my daughter, Jordan, gives higher purpose to the work we put in every day.”
What do you eat or avoid eating to be healthy?
“It’s funny, I just started another Paleo 30-day challenge. There are a lot of ‘clean eating/detox’ style ‘diets’ (horrible word, by the way; it has ‘die’ in it) out there, but it really is as simple as eating food that has been grown and harvested — meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, natural oils. There are a lot of variations to ‘eating clean,’ but in the real world, it boils down to finding just how much junk food you can get away with before you negatively impact your health. Find your balance, and enjoy your life.”
What are your fitness goals?
“They change all the time. Fitness isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. Right now, I’m working on a 300-pound dead lift and a sub-two-hour half-marathon. I want to lift heavier that a runner and run faster and farther than a lifter.”
What are some fitness goals that you have achieved that you’re proud of?
“I completed my first (and last) marathon last November and just finished my 10th half-marathon last month in the Seymour Half-Marathon.”
Are you training for any type of event, such as a marathon, triathlon, etc.?
“I have two more half-marathons planned for this year and the Tame the Terrain obstacle race later this month. I use my base training always and add longer runs weekly as the race approaches. Races are tests. You’re either ready or you’re not.”
How does exercising make you feel?
“Training is like brushing my teeth — if I don’t do it, I feel disgusting. You get instant payback at the end of a hard workout. I always find myself in this little place questioning if I can do the work, if I should do the work, and I complain from time to time about it. But I’ve never regretted a workout, ever. I’m always rewarded with the feeling of ‘Yes, I did the work, I succeeded, I’m better than I was yesterday.’”
What is your advice to encourage others to exercise?
“Kevin Hart said it best, ‘Everybody wants to be famous, nobody wants to do the work.’ There’s a truth in that. There’s also the truth in having five — yes, five — local gyms, the Seymour MultiSport Club, Seymour Running Club and four city parks that I can name immediately. We have the resources here and ready to use. Put yourself out there. You don’t have to want to run a marathon. It’s OK to just want to be able to lift your groceries when you’re in your 90s, but you can’t do that if you spend the majority of those 90 years on the couch. Don’t want to lift weights? That’s cool. Sign up for a group fitness class, hit the ‘dreadmill,’ take a walk. Just start. A year from now, you’ll wish you started today or you’ll be thankful you started today.”