How Indoor Rowing Helped Me Maintain a 75-Pound Weight Loss and Gain Confidence

Emma Roose, now 36, was like any other active kid — she loved riding her bike, running, and playing with her friends. At 11 years old, she was riding her bike across her neighborhood cul-de-sac to visit her best friend when she was hit by a drunk driver. The driver dragged her down the street, breaking her leg in two places.

“Getting hit by that car was definitely that one moment in my life where I was like, ‘Oh, my body’s gonna be different from now on,’” she says. The stress of the car accident — paired with her parents’ divorce — seemed to trigger other physical conditions, like a mysterious case of hives, and Roose found it harder to stay active.

She intermittently went to the gym as a teenager and often restricted her eating. As she got older and had children, “life got away from me. I wasn’t prioritizing myself,” she says. It wasn’t until after the birth of her second child that she realized something needed to give. “I was 27 and I was really overweight, like almost 240-something pounds, and I was really unhappy,” she says.

Roose knew her brief stints at the gym and restrictive eating patterns hadn’t worked before, so she decided to change her mindset. The new goal was to keep her routine doable and consistent. She committed to exercising for 30 minutes a day, beginning with Beachbody (now called BODi) workouts at home, then joined Jazzercise with her grandmother. She began losing weight and enjoyed the activity so much she became a Jazzercise instructor. Over time, she lost 75 pounds. There was just one problem: Her knee, which had been affected by the car accident, was always causing her trouble.

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