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40 Minutes Was My Goal – Guadalupe Benitez

Guadalupe Benitez How It All Started Run Tri Bike Magazine
Guadalupe Benitez
Year started: 2017
Next race: After The Pandemic
Favorite gear: Fitness Wear and Running Lights

Hello my name is Guadalupe but you can call me Lupe!

This is my fitness story. You might relate to it, but even if you don’t, one thing is certain, we are on our way to be a better version of ourselves!

I started exercising regularly in 2017 asI was getting out of a toxic relationship of 6 years. I wasn’t sure what to do as a single mother, so everything seemed dark and uncertain.  All at once a really mean comment was made to me about how I was eating my feelings and gaining weight then one visit to the doctor revealed I was pre-diabetic.

40 Minutes Was My Goal

That was my wake up call. I will never forget how I started jogging for the first time. Inside a recreation center in my neighborhood there was an old fashioned treadmill facing a white wall. I would go every morning for 40 minutes. At the time I didn’t care about the mileage, I was only focused on finishing 40 minutes. To me that was a huge accomplishment. Then I started attending Bootcamp ShapeUp classes at the center. These classes made me stronger, making me realize that I was capable of more, not just physically but in life as well.

A few years later, I met my husband while he was training for the NYC Marathon. I told myself if he can do it, so can I. So I started training and ran my first Marathon in 2019 finishing in 3hrs and 37mins. Running a marathon was the longest distance I had ever ran. Your body, mind, and soul goes through everything. You should not be afraid of a marathon but simply respect the distance. It was not easy, but all my  hard work had paid off. Life is like a marathon: you have good days and bad days. You have smooth miles and struggling miles; the important thing is never give up.

Fitness was the light at the end of the tunnel. As I was marathon training, I enrolled in a ShapeUp training program. I volunteered in a wonderful community group called Bronx Bikes, who support cyclists. From my experience, I say if your heart really wants it, you can do it. I was a full time hair stylist, single mom, volunteering, marathon training and keeping up with ShapeUp classes.

I Am Here To Help

After graduating from the ShapeUp training program, I volunteered as a ShapeUp Fitness Instructor at the same Recreation Center that saw me grow. It was such an amazing experience. I wanted to give back to the community, which includes many low income neighborhoods that don’t have access or resources to fitness and wellness. Helping others is the change I want to be and I do that through being a fitness instructor. I had been teaching classes  in-person for a year when COVID hit. After that,  I saw people going through hard times so I started hosting free virtual fitness classes online using my handle @fitconlupe. I am now 6 months pregnant and I continue to offer the classes online. I don’t know what is ahead but I know fitness will be involved!

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