March Madness

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         Spring is one of my favorite seasons out of the year. Not only because the weather starts to break and I don’t have to wear a snowsuit just to walk to my car, but also because it is March Madness! This is the time of year where athletes across the nation get the chance to prove how hard they have worked all season and compete for a NCAA championship title. For those that are unfamiliar with March Madness or NCAA basketball, it is a nationwide tournament where the best of the best (men and women) play teams from all over depending on how well each team does during the regular season. No one is guaranteed a spot in the tournament unless they win a conference title. When selection Sunday comes around, every team across the nation gathers in front of a computer or television to see who is selected to play in the tournament. Only 16 teams from each region are chosen to play and if you lose, you are out of the tournament. It is truly a privilege to be one of the 16 teams selected because the spots are limited and it shows that the success your team has had over the course of the season has been recognized on a national level. Basketball has one of the longest seasons in sports so it is an honor! Around this time 3 years ago, my team and I were preparing to play our first game in the NCAA DII Women’s Basketball Tournament. We were in the perfect position at the perfect time to make program history; to do something that no other team before us has done before. We had the opportunity to advance past the first round for the first time in Wayne State University history. The pressure was heavy, adrenaline was pumping through my veins, but we were locked in as a unit and ready for battle. The energy in the gym was so high I could barely hear myself think, but despite the noise from almost 2,000 people in the stands, we beat our opponent and became the first team in WSU women’s basketball to advance in the NCAA tournament! Not only did we win the first game, but we also won the next and danced all the way to the Sweet 16. The feeling I had was indescribable! It was like we were on a high and through all of the adversity, early morning workouts, practices and conditioning we were able to make a statement. Unfortunately, we came up short in the Sweet 16 regional championship against Ashland University, but we left it all out there with no regrets. We had accomplished something incredible as a team and built a new reputation that year which is something no one can take that away from us.

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Excuse all of my basketball references if you aren’t a fan of the sport, but it is tough not to talk about it when the experiences I’ve had with this game has molded me into the motivator I am today. I love the game and it has exposed me to so many things that are relevant to everyday situations in the “real world”. This goes to show that hard work really does pay off. However, you have no control of when you see the outcome. As I stated in my last article, BE PATIENT. Your time will come, so stay focused, fight through adversity, get through the hardships that life hands you, and your blessings will flow.

From a fitness standpoint, this is when that tunnel vision should be kicking in and that inner beast should come out. The warm weather is coming and no one wants to be covered up when the sun is shining! Whatever your goals are whether it is related or unrelated to fitness, do not let anyone or anything get in the way of your progress. Spring forward just like daylight savings when you have to set your clock an hour ahead and take advantage of each and every day. Get in the zone, focus in, and push the distractions to the side while you are in attack mode. If there is something you have always wanted to pursue that may seem impossible, figure out a game plan to turn your thoughts into an opportunity for success. Use your talents to their full potential to help yourself as well as others. What do you have to lose? Leave it all out there as if you were fighting for a championship. Make smart decisions, take calculated risks, and push full steam ahead without turning back! It’s hard to move forward, when you are constantly looking at what is behind you. Progression is the key whether it comes in small doses or in copious amounts of achievements. The passion and intensity that these young athletes play with during March Madness should inspire you to want to work at that same capacity. Go “beast-mode” and don’t be afraid to let the lion loose!



Lena Thomas

Personal Trainer (Pulse Fitness Royal Oak and Detroit)

Business Owner (Lean Machine Training LLC)

High School Girl’s Basketball Coach (Birmingham Groves High School)

BA Kinesiology concentration in Sport and Exercise Science (Wayne State



Instagram: @lmtraining #leanmachinetraining #pulsefitnesstraining

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