Some people find fitness later in life, but fitness found Rachel Drewry at a young age. Rachel grew up in an active family with parents who prioritized health and fitness. With such firmly instilled roots, it’s no surprise that fitness remains a main pillar in Rachel’s life.

Endurance for Life

Rachel moved to Memphis 28 years ago after she married her husband. She has four children and works at the Campbell Clinic as a registered nurse. With such a busy schedule, Rachel needed an exercise routine to do on her own time. She turned to running. “I completely fell in love with running. It was my solace in a busy schedule.” 

After increasing her running distances, Rachel decided to compete in triathlons. She grew up swimming, so the transition felt natural to her. She purchased a bike and dove into the world of triathlons, completing 18. 

Rachel succeeded as an endurance athlete, but that didn’t keep her from trying new things. In 2013, she attended her first yoga class with her daughter at Hot Yoga Plus. “I was immediately in love with the practice and the integration of mind, body, and soul. It gave me peace of mind and clarity,” Rachel says. Two years later, she completed yoga teacher training and began teaching classes.

Overcoming Setbacks

In 2019, Rachel faced consecutive injuries. She injured her wrist, her back, and her right shoulder. After dedicating so much time to health and fitness, Rachel felt defeated. “I was in pain some days, but I was frustrated every day. I had to modify yoga poses and swim strokes, and ultimately had to stop running,” Rachel explains.

Despite feeling discouraged, Rachel knew there was no way she was giving up on exercise. But, she says, “I had to dig deep. I began to focus on what I could do and not what I couldn’t do.” Rachel continued to modify her yoga and swimming routines and took up walking and weight lifting as recommended by her doctor. 

Rachel had to learn how to adapt to her new normal. She shares, “I relied heavily on prayer and the positive people around me. My patients and yoga students are such an inspiration to me. My parents especially motivate me to keep going. My dad is 82 and makes it to the gym five days a week.”

Finding Gratitude

Reflecting on how to create a workout routine for longevity, Rachel says, “Find what makes you feel strong and happy. Don’t focus on the length of the workout or the calories burned. Listen to your body. There are so many ways to move in a manner that honors your body.” 

Rachel integrates these messages into the yoga classes that she teaches. “It’s so important to not compare yourself to those around you. Gratitude turns what we have into enough. Someone always has more or less, whether it’s material things or physical capabilities. The key is keeping a grateful mindset,” she says. 

By Morgan Stritzinger
Photo by Daniel Scruggs