We love featuring our everyday GORGOgirls that are inspiring us to crush life and a balanced approach to fitness.
Meet Tiffany Penfield.
Tell us about your fitness life.
Over the years, I’ve realized that fitness doesn’t have to come in the form of just going to a gym. I use to believe that if I didn’t have time set aside for “working out”, then I wasn’t exercising. I constantly felt like a failure. I struggled finding time with all of my family’s extracurricular activities.
It wasn’t until recently that I really took a look at my life and realized I AM working out daily in my everyday activities. I have changed the way I view “fitness” and exercise in life, and that has helped me to find a place of contentment.
Because we move so much, family comes first over everything. It’s easier to me to get my workouts in through activities with my kids: boxing with my son, bike rides and neighborhood walks, helping my son practice basketball at night, practicing gymnastics with my daughter on the trampoline, dancing, running around with our high-energy dog, and so forth. My job also keeps me on my feet, so it’s very common to walk 20,000 steps while just at work.
Tell us about your non-fitness life.
We are a military family, so we move a lot (this is our 10th move and 3rd country since we’ve been married). My husband and I have been married for 14 years. We have two children; our daughter is 11 and son is 8.
I work at a school with special needs children; we help integrate them into general population of school and get them included in regular classes.
My husband travels a lot for his job in the military and we are also getting ready for him leave for a 9-month deployment. I have instilled in them that fitness is a good thing, and how fitness can be an outlet for your emotions. So we are very active in our everyday life. My daughter is in competitive gymnastics. My son plays basketball and boxes. Boxing has been a great outlet for him to channel his emotions, as he has a hard find with how much my husband travels.
Tell us what you love about GORGO.
One of the many things I love about GORGO is, I love that the women come from all over in different fitness levels, into different fitness life- lifting, yoga, group fitness, runners and everyone cheers everyone one without judgment.
The first year I attended Camp GORGO, I genuinely didn’t know what to expect. I was really timid about going; I expected it to be all fitness competitors and lifting weight… but it wasn’t. Everyone loved everybody for their story. If people attended camp one year, and returned the following looking different… there was no judgement. I have never been around people that I don’t know that are strangers and felt so comfortable -- like they are life long friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile. I genuinely loved my experience.
Another thing I love about Camp GORGO is the variety of workshops that they offer (mindset, balance, fitness, self-love, etc). Every year, I become more comfortable and at peace with whatever was going on in my mind: my confidence, not being so scared to try new things that I thought were only for people in shape. And learning it’s OK to try new things.
This past summer was my 3rd year attending. Each year, I leave Camp GORGO feeling more confident in my life. I am reminded that women have the same struggles or are going through something worse than me and they are such an inspiration. Or I meet someone that has already gone through my current issue, has great advice or is just great at listening.
I discovered that my own problems and insecurities are more common than I realized, and I should open up more about it. Camp GORGO has helped me to realize that everyone has their own securities.
Anything else you want to say?
I have finally realized it is not the number on the scale, but how I feel inside that matters the most. Growing up thinner, I never really had to put a lot of effort into working out. For the longest time, I wanted to be the size I was before I was pregnant (11 years ago). After having my daughter, I went back to my prepregnancy size right away. Three years later when I had my son, my body didn’t bounce right back. I couldn’t do the quick fixes I did in my 20s; it took a long time to figure out what to do.
I am very active in my church and recently switched from reading self help books to reading christian books; both which helped me find a new perspective on life that I didn’t even know I needed.
I stopped trying to fit into all my pre-pregnancy clothes. I went to a local boutique and bought a pant size I had never before owned. I let go of my fixation on the tag number and went for the rift leg jeans I had always wanted to own. Once I did it, I was liberated. That mind shift helped affirm that my mental health is just as important. I am more confident and have learned the practice of self-love.
It was important to shift my mindset for reasons beyond just me. My daughter is hitting the preteen age. She has become very aware of her body and others, and is alway watching me. I want my daughter to know that life should not revolve around her size or how she looks on the outside.
I want my daughter to look at fitness for what it truly is: not a punishment… but rather, a reward.