Suzanne Gibbs - Featured Member August 2015



Suzanne's Story

Ten years ago I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both knees.  I was told by my doctor to walk less (never run), and go to water fitness classes. I battled depression throughout this time because suffering from ongoing daily pain is debilitating. It still is, but I continue to learn how to manage the pain and the flare ups.

I enjoy RoughFit because I love being outside every day — a true passion of mine. I loved the varied ages of RoughFit participants and I will never forget my first day when I showed up! Tustin was new to me and the RF fitness regime was new to me, however; Everyone was really friendly and accepting so I thought to myself, "ok I can do this!"

The weight loss challenge in 2014 changed everything for me. I was 188 pounds when I joined in and 5'8" — way too heavy! Since October of 2014 I have maintained a weight of about 153 and in October of 2014 I ran my first mile!

In September of 2014 I decided to celebrate my new body and turning 50 by scheduling a trip to Peru and to visit Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail. The Inca Trail is a strenuous hike lasting four full days in altitudes from 4,000 feet to over 14,000 feet traversing seven different climate zones from jungle heat to cloud cover and above the tree line in the Andes Mountain Range.

With the help of RoughFit I was prepared. After months of doctors visits for vaccinations and to get prescribed medication for the altitude — I was as ready to take on the challenge and loved every step! I loved that my body was strong enough to carry my pack (the porters carried my pad and sleeping bag as well as our group food). I loved the trail because on the Inca Trail I found my inner strong and wild woman!

I am a strong and wild woman. At age 50 I hiked in the Andes Mountain Range on the Inca Trail and I had fun!

I am grateful for RF and the Functional Fitness aspect of our training. I will never underestimate the power of squats, lunges, step ups, planks, pushups, and sit ups ever again! 

I hope I never again catch myself saying, "I will never be able to do that..." Because if I had listened to that depressed voice inside of me from 10 years ago I never would have joined RF, I never would have chosen to keep looking for a stronger and healthier me, and I never would have been able to fully enjoy the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu the way that I did in June of 2015.

Every day is new. Every day is outside. Jenni and Greg are terrific, as are all of the RF instructors. I enjoy listening to all the amazing races and adventures that other RF participants complete. RF allowed me to believe that I could reach beyond my preconceived or rather ill-conceived beliefs. RF challenged me to be a better stronger me — oh and wild too!

Thank you so much for inspiring us all Suzanne and showing us the power of our attitude and positive thinking! Congratulations on being named RoughFit's Featured Member!

We look forward to all your future adventures!

Michael Faraj - Featured Member July 2015


When Michael joined RoughFit, he had little exercise experience and could not even run the mile around the park without walking. But he wanted to get healthy and improve his endurance.

Since that first day, Michael has lost over 30 pounds, gained balance, strength and neuromuscular coordination, and has shattered his expectations in his running performance.

In addition, he has continued to challenge the limits of his comfort zone, entering trail races, hiking with RoughFit to the summit of Mt. Baldy, and taking on new adventures throughout the year.

Michael is an inspiration to all those around him; he brings such a positive attitude everyday; and he has embraced our mantra that health and fitness is a lifestyle.

From Michael:
The life long struggle to eat healthy and stay physically fit had been a continuous challenge for me. April 1st 2014 I decided to make a commitment to my family and myself, to introduce more physical activity by joining RoughFit on a friend’s recommendation.  Over the course of the year, I was able to lower my blood pressure and drop 30 pounds. When I signed up, my goal was to run my first 10k at the Dino Dash and I did. After my first 10k, I continued to run and now truly have a passion for it. Since my first race I have set a new PR for my 10k, placed 2nd in my age division in a 5k trail run and joined the Tuesday night RoughFit Run Club. RoughFit creates a culture of its own, with trained professionals leading the classes and showing us injury free methods to workout. The synergy of the people and staff make up a truly supportive and positive community that we know as RoughFit. I am grateful to wake up in the morning and leave the house to have fun with RoughFit each day.  

Congratulations Michael on being named the July 2015 Featured Member! We are so proud to have you in RoughFit! 

Michael's kids celebrate with him after the Peter's Canyon Trail Race.

Michael's kids celebrate with him after the Peter's Canyon Trail Race.