From constant back and sciatica pain to her first Murph Challenge - Our Member of the Month Story

From constant back and sciatica pain to her first Murph Challenge - Our Member of the Month Story

Member of the Month: Hannah Honeycutt

From constant back and sciatica pain to her first Murph Challenge, this is Hannah H’s journey.

What the staff at KORE has to say about Hannah:

Elise:  Watching Hannah transition over the last few years into the person she is today has been incredible. She came into KORE with back and shoulder pain from studying to pass the bar.  Our focus with Hannah initially was solely to get out of pain.  Once she got out of pain, which was a slow process (flexible people take longer to heal!), she was free to start to expand her horizons.  

With her pain gone, we were able to start to get into more strength training.  After doing that consistently for a while, Hannah decided to level up with nutrition as well and join a Whole30 challenge we hosted at KORE.  I can remember the devastation she (we both) experienced when she had absolutely no change after doing the Whole30 challenge.  The thing I’m most proud of is that during this dark time, she stuck with it and didn’t quit.   I can remember her frustration as we tried to come up with other strategies to help her achieve her weight loss goals.  Ultimately, the breakthrough came after March Madness when she had bought a fitbit and was able to track her steps.  She realized quickly that despite her very good nutrition choices, she wasn’t moving much at all during her work day.  Together we came up with a strategy to slowly improve her daily movement metrics.  To our great delight, that was the missing piece of the puzzle.  Since realizing that piece of the puzzle she has been crushing her goals without much trouble, and with that momentum, she’s been unstoppable.  She just completed her first Murph Challenge and is constantly improving on her workouts.  From chronic back pain, to a Murph challenge is an amazing feat that we felt was deserving of recognition.  Hannah is a wonderful person inside and out, and we are so thrilled that she is a member of our KORE family.    


When I think about member of the month, I think about someone who has gone above and beyond.  Not just in the big things, but the little things, like consistency, setting achievable goals, following through on action items, staying determined through the hard parts. Hannah is one of the most consistent people I have ever worked with. Consistent with her attendance, consistent with her work ethic, and most importantly consistent in her attitude, even at 6 o’clock in the morning!

The past few months for Hannah have been the embodiment of Embrace Grit.  After having hit some of her goals in the summer, she decided to tackle the MURPH. Not only was this something she had never done before, (and was possibly peer pressured by some KORE friends), she was battling a few minor aches and pains.  However, she dedicated herself to not only doing her normal three workouts a week, but also doing three days of MURPH training a week. Throughout all of this, she never once make an excuse about it being too hard, used her soreness from her Murph training as an excuse to slack on her other training.

It is hard to pick one thing that I’m most proud of seeing her accomplish because I feel like I have seen her hit so many goals! I love when someone sets a very specific goal and just crushes it. That is spot on Hannah. If I had to pick one it would be watching her strict press a 16Kg bell, and push press double 16s. This wasn’t necessarily a listed goal for Hannah, but it was a great accomplishment, especially since she started with 12s not that long ago!

Want to find out more about Hannah’s journey from her own words?  Check out her responses below!

What was your goal when you signed up with us?

When I started at KORE I had constant back and sciatic pain. I've always been active, and I wasn't so much anymore. My goal was go get out of pain so I could go back to being healthy and active.

What held you back from achieving this goal?

In hindsight, I think I was inactive partly because I was in so much pain, but I was also in pain BECAUSE I had become less active. More specifically, I was sitting way too much. I started law school in 2010, and I still worked out regularly, but otherwise I was sitting all the time. In class, in the library, studying at home, etc. I think it came to a head when I started studying for the bar exam in 2013. I was sitting down and hunched over books constantly, and my regular workout sessions fell by the wayside. I developed shoulder and neck pain, and eventually low back and sciatic pain. And being an attorney is not a physically active career choice. When I got my first job, I just continued to sit, and didn't take any steps to mitigate the damage I was doing to my body.

It really took me a while to realize this. Like, years. And it was an incredibly frustrating process. It took me ages to see any results, and it was really tempting to just throw up my hands and quit.


How did you originally hear about us?

When I developed neck pain while I was studying for the bar, I started seeing massage therapist Michael Burkett. During that time he still had space at KORE. I continued to see him after the bar, and when I started having back pain, he encouraged me to reach out to Elise.


What prompted you to seek us out once hearing about us?

I realized I couldn't fix what was happening to me on my own. I was going to a big-box gym at the time, and I got sick of trying different things and either failing to see results, or hurting myself because I didn't really know what I was doing, and having to start from scratch.


Has this goal changed since you signed up?

Yes! I am totally pain-free now. I still have issues occasionally, but now I have a whole arsenal of tools I can use to deal with them. Now my goals are focused on getting stronger and healthier, instead of on an acute problem. And that feels really good!


Now that you’re working on/have achieved this goal, has your view of yourself changed?

Yes, but, again, it took a while. I spent so long trying different things and failing, that I think it messed with my confidence. Other people started seeing changes in my body before I realized it was happening. But once it happened, it was just emotionally huge for me. And I realized that I'm stronger than I think I am. Participating in the Murph Challenge really helped with that. I was so hesitant to sign up, but I followed the program, worked hard, and I did it! If you had asked me to do that four years ago, I would have laughed in your face. It was a huge accomplishment for me, and I'm so glad I did it.


How do you feel about your future health?

Really good! I'm stronger now than I've ever been, and I feel like I'm in really good hands at KORE.


What have you liked best about working with us?

Not having to guess at what to do when I come to the gym, or how to deal with an injury if one comes up. Everyone at KORE is just so knowledgeable and helpful. That's something that kept me coming back even when I felt like quitting: even though I wasn't seeing the results I wanted when I wanted them, I felt confident that I was getting the best advice and training out there, and I trusted that feeling.

Also, the community is so nurturing and uplifting. I'm a shy person, but it really feels like a family. That's something you just don't get anywhere else.


What would you say to someone who is struggling with the same goal(s)?

No joke, when I was studying for the bar exam and I was convinced I couldn't do it any more, I would watch that scene from Finding Nemo where Marlin gets discouraged and wants to quit searching for Nemo, and Dory sings to him that he should "just keep swimming." They keep swimming, and then make an enormous breakthrough in their quest. It seems silly, but that scene applies to so stinking much in life. It took me years (even after I started coming to KORE) to figure out what works for me and my body. I tried so many different approaches, but the one thing that never changed was that I showed up and did everything I was asked to do. Keep at it. Don't give up. You will probably try a whole lot of things that don't work before you find the thing that does. But I promise it's out there.

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