Tuesday, September 19, 2017
At many fitness facilities, the buff get buffer and the standard goal is improved appearance. Sure, the Center has our share of six-pack abs walking around. But, alongside these buns-of-steel, the rest of the world exercises—the injured athlete, the postpartum new mom, the accident victim rehabbing. We are getting results, as varied as they might be …

United in Our Diversity

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Meet Gina

Center member Gina Ferro joined our fitness community to accomplish a “normal weight.” “I was scared for my health,” she reports during our interview. “My physician warned me about my elevated cholesterol and hyperglycemia.” Her motivation is to be around for her five children, ranging from seven-year-old twins to a 15-year-old son. With plenty of incentive, Gina managed to quit cigarettes and focus on good nutrition. Unfortunately, her elevated blood counts remained.  And, snacking replaced the cigarette habit, leaving her with an additional 40 pounds.

“High cholesterol and diabetes run in my family. I needed to go beyond a better diet to lower my numbers. I wanted to decrease my medication and lose weight. The Center helped me do that,” shares Gina. After only a few months as a member, Gina lost 30 pounds and brought her elevated sugar and cholesterol counts down.

How Did She Do It?

Carolyn spots Gina during a weightlifting session. “I can’t picture myself training with anyone else. We’re a great team.”
Carolyn spots Gina during a weightlifting session. “I can’t picture myself training with anyone else. We’re a great team.”

Gina’s immediate response, “I put my mind to it. That’s it.”  Gina believes in the value of a personal trainer. At the start of her journey, she connected with Trainer Carolyn Fazio, and they’ve been a team ever since. “I hit rock bottom and wanted to learn the best approach to climbing back up,” she explains. “Carolyn provides professional guidance on the best ways to work out my body. She was assigned to me based on my personal goals. She’s been amazing,” declares Gina, who plans to continue training sessions for as long as she wants to get results.

“People often spend tons of money on crazy things to look good. Spend a small percentage of that on a personal trainer. It’ll be your best investment,” advises Gina. She recognizes financial times are bad for many. However, she insists that even one personal training package can start you on a more effective and personally rewarding fitness program.

Gina encourages you to find a trainer with whom you “click.” “Make the best use of your money. If the relationship isn’t working, hire a different trainer.” Gina concedes she was lucky in finding Carolyn from the beginning. Occasionally, when Carolyn is not available, Gina will work with other trainers from the Floor.  For the long-term though, she insists, “I can’t picture myself training with anyone else.”

Always an Athlete, Never a Gym Go-er

Gina tackles the equipment with Carolyn at the sideline.
Gina tackles the equipment with Carolyn at the sideline.

“I was always into sports and very active as a child. However, when it came to paid fitness memberships in my adult life, I never could commit,” says Gina who would pay the fees and never go. Although she did not like the standard gym memberships of her past life, Gina admits that she could not do without the Center. “I’d be miserable if I was not part of this fitness community. I really enjoy the Center.”

Gina gets the last of her brood on the bus by 8:30 every morning and then puts her car in autopilot to the Center.  Even though she has a routine, she changes her course within it. “I love the openness of the Exercise Floor and working with weights. Between my training sessions, I’ll add cycling classes, aquatics, or time on the exercise equipment, depending on my mood.” Each visit is a variation on her personalized exercise program.

With only 15 pounds left to lose, Gina has plenty of motivation. Her family’s positive feedback constantly inspires success. “During a recent hug, my youngest exclaimed, ‘Mommy, you got so skinny! I can put my arms around you!’” Talk about a feel-good moment.

Meet Lillian

Prior to 2004, Lillian was very active. She participated in line dancing, T’ai Chi, snorkeling, hiking, and power walks. Then, a debilitating accident left her unable to walk even the aisles of a grocery store. After being a pedestrian hit by a car in 2004, Lillian suffered another blow during an auto accident in 2006. As a Center member, Lillian’s goal is to build her body to function better.

“In order to do anything, I realized that I needed to exercise. My physician advised me to join the Center and start a fitness program,” Lillian became a member in fall 2009 to “see how far she could go with it.” Taking a slow and easy approach, she has made tremendous progress. Simple tasks like walking and riding a car without pain reflect big accomplishments over the past several months. She notes her overall quality-of-life has improved for the first time since her accidents.

“The Center offers enough for anyone to accomplish anything. There are special programs for those with disabilities, which are excellent,” attests Lillian, who works out on land and water.  Lillian feels good after exercising and isn’t sore and hurting the next day. She recognizes her limitations and only spends an hour per Center visit.

“The warm water is so beneficial. I can do all my floor work in the water without any straining. I’ll spend a couple minutes in the hot tub as a treat to my muscles after each workout,” indicates Lillian. She also participates in the Center’s aquatic programs, as well as balance and movement classes in the Studios. “These classes are created for individuals who are hurting. We execute movements while sitting in a chair or holding a pole. They provide an additional opportunity to rehabilitate oneself, beyond the aquatics and Exercise Floor,” she notes.

Lillian with Jim Foley
Lillian benefits from Trainer Jim’s ongoing support.

Lillian encourages members to hire a personal trainer to assess their condition and determine specific needs. “Personal Trainer Jim Foley has provided tremendous guidance in getting my health back. He often shares little tips to better my routine, like a change in position that makes the difference between continuing or quitting because of a backache.” With Jim’s help, Lillian has learned to exercise one part of her body at a time to help gain strength without pain. “When I’m really hurting, he suggests I workout in the pool. It’s so easy in the water. I’m flexible there.”

Lillian’s Advice

“Don’t be afraid or embarrassed, even when donning a swimsuit in the pool. No one is there to pressure, compete, or compare. At the Center, it’s all about your own personal improvement.”  Lillian hopes to eliminate her need for pain-managing epidural treatments. She also wants to overcome diabetes, a result of stress from the accidents.  Her only regret is that she didn’t join the Center sooner.

“Before a friend introduced me, I didn’t realize all there was at the Center. Everything is conveniently in one location. No matter where you are in life, you can find exactly what you need here.”

Image Credit

linked hands (introductory art): www.flickr.com/photos/lumaxart/2137735924

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