GGS Spotlight: Nancy Harris


nancyharris3-350x368Name:  Nancy Harris, a.k.a. DenMo
Location: Riverside, CA

What does being a Girl Gone Strong mean to you?
Not fearing having strength and muscles. Being strong of character, body, mind, and soul. Not adhering to the norm. Ignoring the naysayers.

How long have you been training?
On and off since 1972. 

How did you get introduced to strength training?

When I was a teenager I trained a horse for a friend. Being a minor, he got me approval to join Holiday Health Spa when I was 16. It was men’s only, and then they allowed women. They only had one locker room so we had to go on alternating days. I have been lifting on and off ever since.

nancyharris2-350x368This photo is from my high school yearbook. I was on the Motocross Team. That is my race bike. My Father put me on a mini-bike at 5 and then I progressed from there, racing Desert, Trials, Enduro and Moto-X. He instilled in me the love of motorcycles.

What does a sample workout look like for you?
I’m currently doing workouts that my Coach puts together for me. They are single arm/leg compound movements to strengthen the muscles used when Mountain Biking. I also do mobility work, foam roller, Stick and La Crosse Ball, plus walking and Yoga. They change every four to six weeks.

Favorite Lift:
I really don’t have a favorite, I enjoy diversity! But I do like single arm kettlebell alternating release and catch.

Most memorable PR:
125-pound Deadlift

Top 5 songs on your training playlist:

  1. A Cut Above by Avery Watts
  2. Carry On by Fun.
  3. Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode
  4. The Awakening by P.O.D.
  5. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2

Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym/in your gym bag:

  • La Crosse Ball
  • The Stick
  • Various sized Iron Woody bands

nancyharris4-350x368Do you prefer to train alone or with a training partner? Why?
I prefer to train alone 80 percent of the time. The other 20 percent I’ll do group programs with my co-workers (P 90x, etc.).

Best compliment you’ve received lately:
That I inspire others.

Most recent compliment you gave someone else:
I told my new friend that I applaud him for all that he has overcome.

Most embarrassing gym moment:
Wearing a one-piece body suit to work out at the gym. (A two-piece at the pool, though? No problem!)

Favorite meal:
Anything home cooked!

Favorite way to treat yourself:
Mani-pedi or a massage.

Favorite quote:
“Weekends are like recess for adults so play hard until the bell rings!”

Favorite book:
A Series of Unfortunate Events #1 by Lemony Snickett

nancyharris6-450x338What inspires and motivates you?
Others who have overcome great obstacles and persevered. (Nancy overcame a big obstacle herself, in recent years. After her first knee replacement surgery in 2012, she was back on the bike, once again!)

What do you do for work?

Computer/Information Security, I help people all day long.

What else do you do?
Amateur mountain bike racer, dog lover, skier

What does a typical day look like for you from waking up to bedtime?

nancyharris5-450x338Up at 3:15 am on Tue/Thur, 4:00am on Mon/Wed/Fri
Let the dogs out, play fetch, feed them, put them away.
Pack my breakfast and lunch
Wash up, get dressed
Drive to the train station
1.5 hour train commute to work
Work (9 hours M-T/8 hours Every other F)
45 minutes at the gym
Lunch at my desk
1.5 hour train commute home
Eat dinner (husband cooks most of the time)
Play with the dogs, walk if it’s not too hot
Watch TV if I have time
Bed (9pm)

What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve noticed from lifting heavy?
Strength, stamina, hot-looking muscles!

nancyharris4-350x361Next training goal:

I'm currently attempting a Couch to 5K program to see how my knees handle running. I'm currently on Week 3 and still on the treadmill. I figure I won't know if it's possible unless I try!!

Weight training has resumed but has taken a backseat to running and riding. Haven't been racing much, but lots of fun trips and riding new dirt with friends.

As a “well seasoned” athlete, arthritis seems to be a “sneaky snake” and has invaded my neck now. Bulging disks and stenosis have caused nerve issues down my left arm. So the next round of physical therapy will be to work on that. What I've learned is the importance of perseverance and regular movement/exercise especially as I age. Figuring out how much is like a juggling act and also the importance of enough recovery time is key!

My body is still adjusting and learning how to rework itself now that I have two straight legs after 55+ years of being knock kneed! I am very thankful for all those who keep me going:

My Chiropractor (ART and SASTM)
My NKT Practitioner
My Masseuse
My Coach
My Physical Therapist

All of them are part of my continued recovery/training.

Watch Nancy cruise and soar at the Snow Summit Summer Bike Park! She'll be back at it in no time!

What are you most grateful for you in your life?
My husband of 34 years, my family and my health and God.

nancyharris10-450x319What life accomplishment are you most proud of thus far?
Losing 70 pounds and finally learning how to sustain that loss healthfully and sanely.

Three words that best describe you:
Compassionate, fun, trustworthy

Tell us about a time when you were scared or doubtful about doing something, but then you did it and you were glad you did.
Trusting my coach and waiting patiently to lose those 70 pounds.

How has lifting weights changed your life?
It has made me stronger, more resilient, improved my health, and allowed me to ride my bike long and hard.

What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous to start lifting heavy?
Take your time. Work with someone knowledgeable. Don’t be afraid. Push yourself but stay safe and trust your body.



Get in the best shape of your life—for good.

With Girls Gone Strong Coaching, you’ll get the support, accountability, and expert coaching to eat and exercise in a sustainable way — without restrictive diets or spending your life in the gym.

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  • Get stronger
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Your coach is available 5 days a week to answer questions and help you navigate situations — like eating while you’re on vacation, exercise substitutions so you don’t aggravate your knee pain, or planning a workout with limited equipment options — so you always have support when you need it. And together, you'll find the best path toward long-term results in a way that works for you.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Improve your nutrition without giving up the foods you love
  • Exercise safely and effectively so you’re getting maximum results from your workouts without burning yourself out
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