My name is Heidi Baker and I have been a member of SLAM Clarksville since April 2019- so I am still pretty new to the SLAM crew.  I am so honored and humbled to be selected as member of the month!

Here is a bit of my story.  I was NEVER active growing up.  Seriously, never.  It was almost a joke in my family how terrible I was as sports and how NOT athletic I was.  When I started dating my husband is when I started getting into strength training and going to the gym.  That continued as we got engaged, married, and throughout my first pregnancy.

After I had my son, finding time to go to the gym was very difficult, so I started to run since it was something I could do with him.  I had already run a 5k and 10k, and wanted to run a half marathon just to try it out.  I figured that would be the farthest I would go.  But I LOVED it and immediately started planning my first full marathon.  My first full was incredible- it was in Liverpool, England and it was such a fun race!  I loved every second of it and was bawling as I crossed the finish line.  I fell in love with the marathon that day.

Marathons are my favorite distance now!  I have run 8 now, and will be finishing 9 and 10 this year (they will actually be a 50k and my first 50 miler!).  I love the training, the journey, the race, the bonds and friendships made.  It’s just such a wonderful and fun experience.  Shortly after my first marathon I added some purpose to my running experience.  I joined the I Run 4 program and was assigned a buddy to run for and dedicate my miles to.  My buddy is a sweet little boy named Oliver, and I dedicate my miles to him, and I send my race medals to him.  This program has created a wonderful friendship and relationship between me and my buddy’s family, and I am so forever grateful for that.

I added an extra motivation to my latest marathon training and ran as a charity partner for Freedom 4/24, which works to raise awareness and help victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.  It was an eye-opening experience, and incredibly rewarding and motivating.  If you have ever considered being a charity partner- I highly recommend it.  It is such an amazing experience!  Plus, it adds a whole new goal to reach.  I crossed the finish line at the Flying Pig Marathon to discover I had met my $1000 fundraising goal!  It was so incredible!!

As an experienced runner, I was skeptical when I heard about SLAM.  I have been part of workout clubs and running clubs in the past, and my experiences have varied.  A friend told me to try it out, and I decided one class would be fine, but fully expected not to return.  I doubted I would get a good workout in, and as I have experienced with some clubs in the past, I figured everyone already knew each other and wouldn’t really welcome me.

I was so glad to be wrong on both counts!  First off, I was sore for like 4 days after.  Kelli kicked my butt and it was great!!  And secondly, EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the class welcomed me and introduced themselves.  I have never felt more welcome!  I had to come back, and so I signed up after my first class.  My kiddos love SLAM, and my son asks every day if we are going to SLAM and is upset if we don’t.  My daughter is at the age where she tries to copy the workouts and it is ADORABLE.  Even my husband has said that he loves this club and what it has done for me and the kids.