I met Jillian Michaels today.
THE. JILLIAN. MICHAELS.
I’ve been intrigued by her since starting to watch The Biggest Loser years ago. Her passion for helping others get healthy is obvious, and her breed of tough love is unique. I was addicted to watching her coach the contestants on TBL as I was on my own weight loss journey. If they could do it, so could I. I got an extra boost of motivation watching her push them to achieve what she knew they could accomplish, but they didn’t yet know.
Just before Christmas, I got an email from a PR rep asking if I wanted to attend an event where Jillian would be.
UM, YES PLEASE. I have never written back so quickly.
This morning I went to Uplift and tried to half-ass my way through class so I wouldn’t kill my muscles for working out with Jillian. Oops. I forgot to cancel my class and didn’t want to get charged extra for not showing.
I got to work and was endorphin WASTED. I was so happy from my workout and coffee and excited for the event. I tried really hard to stay really, really quiet all morning, because all I had to say anyway was how excited I was.
She’s working with Curves, so this event was to kick off that partnership.
We walked in, and I was bursting with excitedly nervous energy. Like, so excitedly nervous, I couldn’t stop tapping my foot. I play it real, real cool around celebs, let me tell you.
The event started late, but finally JILLIAN BOUNDED DOWN THE STAIRS, AND WALKED RIGHT PAST ME. Omg, I was dying.
She talked for a few minutes about the partnership, and then we began the workout. So, back in the day, you’d go to Curves and do one machine, then recover, on and off for thirty minutes. Now, you do 30 seconds on a machine, 30 seconds of a cardio interval and repeat. They play a video of Jillian cueing you what to do.
BUT WE GOT REAL JILLIAN.
Y’all. The machines use air resistance, so they are incredibly low resistance, but I knew that the cardio intervals would not be, because Jillian wouldn’t let us take it easy.
This is accurate.
The intervals included air squats, plank holds, high knees, jump ropes, push-ups and …some other stuff.
She was great at both telling us when we were doing an awesome job and helping us when we needed help.
As I was doing push-ups, she came over to me to correct me. OMG, OMG. Do not collapse, Theodora. Do not turn bright red out of nervousness. DO THE BEST PUSH-UPS OF YOUR LIFE. I guess I was doing them a little too fast and with not good enough form, because she told me to focus on form, not reps and widen my arms a little bit. Oh, and of course she didn’t walk away until I did.
Another interval was air squats. I did approximately 17 million squats this morning, so I probably wasn’t pushing super hard. She came over to me, and said “I know you’re fit! Come on! I want to see you go lower.”
JILLIAN MICHAELS THINKS I’M FIT. IS THIS REAL LIFE?!
So, squat lower I did, obviously.
We also did sumo squats with elbow-to-knee touches, with an advanced option to touch the ground instead. I wanted to impress my new BFF, so I went for the floor. My squat still wasn’t that low, because my hips are tight as hell. She came over to tell me to get lower, and I told her my hips were tight. I wanted to tell her I was a runner, and I had lost 50 pounds and then ran 4 marathons and I listen to her podcasts all the time, but I just stuck with “my hips are tight.” “I can see that!” she said. “This is about mobility, too. You’ll get there.”
I wasn’t expecting a great workout, to be honest, but we were all sweaty by the end from all of the intense cardio intervals.
SEE? I WAS REALLY THERE. ME, HER, SAME FRAME. I’m not actually shaking my fist at her, even though it looks that way.
It was so, so cool to meet her. I didn’t get to talk to her one-on-one, but she just seemed so laid-back. After the workout, someone asked about the Q&A, and she goes “yeah! Let’s do a Q&A.” One of her people said she didn’t have time for it, and she said “come on! I want to do one” and they said she only had time for 1-2 questions. “That’s not a Q&A!” she said…and ended up answering a good handful of questions, including telling Nicole a cute story about getting her daughter to eat kale by telling her Katy Perry loved kale. (Her daughter is obsessed with Katy Perry.)
When I got the invite to this event, I thought how this was such a dream come true – to be able to meet and work out with someone I really admire because of her work to popularize fitness and teach people what they’re capable of. (Don’t get me wrong, I realize how controversial she can be, but overall, I think she’s done a ton of good.)
Which fitness celebrity would you die to meet?