We love celebrating each and every one of our clients and we especially love a great story. This week we’re hearing from one of our favorite people about her fitness journey. Take it away, Mary Beth!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am the Mom of six, an art teacher, and an interior architect with Hercules Design Build, our family business. Our kids are 22, 18, 16, 15, 11 and 2 years old, so life moves quickly at our place.
What was your fitness level and routine like prior to starting at CFR?
I always sought out exercise because of how it made me feel, but I would not consider myself an athlete. I would exercise in spurts, but because I was doing the same thing over and over (treadmill, elliptical, weight machines, etc.) I would become bored or discouraged over lack of improvement and lose focus, so I was often starting over.
The year prior to starting CFR I was advised to eliminate dairy and gluten due to chronic migraines. It was a long 3 month detox, but at the end, my migraines were gone. I lost weight with this change and had begun exercising again, but pretty much the same thing I had always done.
What was the pivotal moment that sent you to seek professional advice?
My pivotal moment was discovering that, at the age of 48, I was expecting our 6th baby. Yay! Okay, so maybe that wasn’t my initial reaction, it was more like…seriously?! I guess going gluten and dairy free improved more than just my migraines!
Having had some experience in the pregnancy department, I knew that I was in for a very long 9 months if I didn’t get stronger before the delivery, but I wasn’t sure anyone would take me on being relatively out of shape AND pregnant at 48. I also knew just walking on a treadmill was not going to cut it. I needed real improvement, and someone to keep me motivated. In one of my sleepless nights I sent a message to Steve explaining my situation and waited to see if this guy was willing to take me on.
Why did you choose CFR?
For years I drove past CFR on my way to teach and saw people in there working out. I didn’t think I would fit in at that type of gym. I mean – those people are serious! I really thought I would feel WAY out of place or be crushed and humiliated.
However, I signed up for their newsletter on-line and began reading Steve’s philosophy. I knew I needed intelligent and efficient exercise to reach my goals and he was making tremendous sense to me. I was encouraged when I read about how he thought it was counter-productive to crush people, and that so many gyms were causing more injuries than improvements by people being pushed to do workouts they were not ready for. Discovering I was pregnant shoved me out of my comfort zone. I was both excited and terrified when Steve answered my initial message and wanted to meet. I am so grateful he did.
What about it worked for you?
I was so impressed that they had a way to evaluate my body other than a tape measure and scale. Their assessment showed where my weakest areas were, so we started there. It made perfect sense. I had a series of basic exercises that I did every day, in addition to working out with a trainer twice a week. In a short period of time I made huge improvements. Eventually I added in the group classes as well. The pain I typically felt in my back and neck went away, despite being pregnant! The workouts were challenging. I NEVER felt like I was wasting my time and I NEVER felt like they were asking more of me that I was able to do.
As my pregnancy progressed, they modified the exercises to accommodate me, but they were still a challenge and I still felt improvements. I knew before the baby was born that this was the place that would help me live a longer, better life. It became more than just making it through the pregnancy. Working out at CFR improved my mood and gave me a feeling of accomplishment that I could see throughout my everyday life. I was more balanced…which for anyone who was ever 9 months pregnant, that alone is a miracle! I don’t mean that my life was balanced, I mean – I was balanced. I distinctly remember nearly slipping down some steps when I was 6 months along, but I managed to right myself, regain my balance and not wipe out. I knew it was because of what I was doing in the gym. I could feel it.
If you’re willing to share, what feelings surrounded this process?
There were definitely days where I felt discouraged. Beginning to develop a workout routine while my pregnancy progressed was a challenge, but I stuck with it and was so grateful I did! I returned to CFR when Leonides was 10 weeks old and I distinctly remember walking into the first class. They modified EVERYTHING for me, and I got a great workout for the level I was at. In fact, I had some issues after the delivery that my OB told me I would never rehabilitate and would eventually have to have surgery. That may have been true if I didn’t work at it. It took over a year, but I no longer have any issues whatsoever. In fact, I just went hiking at 10,000 ft elevation with my 33 lb 2 year old on my back. It was a challenge, but CFR made it possible.
I was so wrong when I had first thought that this was not a gym I would feel comfortable in. I have never felt intimidated by the trainers or other gym members and I was so happy to be back.
How would you compare your life now to your life before beginning training?
As I mentioned earlier, I started at CFR in order to thrive during my late-in-life pregnancy, however, I experienced benefits well beyond my initial reasons. Leo is now almost 2 1/2 years old and I am in the gym 4-5 times a week, because I WANT TO. I always say that my morning workout makes me a nicer person. I get my aggression out in there, which stimulates my brain and helps me think clearer!
We just returned from a trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone and the whole time we were hiking I just kept thinking how grateful I am for the life CFR has given me. I used to get so exhausted by midafternoon I would often have to take a nap. Trying to keep up with my family and jobs and still have time to do those things that bring me joy was almost impossible.
I am 51 now and I can honestly say that I am stronger and healthier than I have ever been. I still have lots of goals I am working toward, so despite all the legitimate reasons to not go to the gym I know I will never quit. Sometimes things happen in our lives and we don’t really know why. I feel like Leo came into my life to remind me there was a lot of living left to do in my life. Because of the benefits I have experienced from CFR, my husband and 4 daughters have joined me. We made the commitment because there is nothing as important as our health, and I have found nothing as beneficial as CFR to improve it.
Absolutely killer work, Mary Beth! We’re proud of you and so glad to have been part of your transformation.