John Jones

Man….Nothing like a Kerry Taylor “Congrats Baby” email to brighten you day. My thanks to the 212 Crew, it is an honor to be chosen for the December Member spotlight. And to get a free year membership for writing this up, I mean really…....Wait, what?……Really? I thought there was also a prize……so nothing?…….what about a t-shirt?……..Seriously??…… Don’t you “Come on baby” me! …….Well then, let’s get to it.

I was not always passionate about working out. From the age of 17-23 I wasn’t active at all…I ate and drank excessively,  and by age 23 I was just shy of 300lbs. It was then, October 2007, I decided to take my health more seriously and would spend the next several years going to the gym and eating healthier. There were many successes along the way, also failures, but eventually I got my weight back under control and by summer 2012 I was down to 215lbs. It was also that same summer a friend convinced me to join CrossFit with her.  At this point I was bored of my routine at Planet Fitness and had hit a plateau so I gave it a shot. After seven grueling weeks I had lost 20lbs and was now 195lbs! Only downside of that was my injury, I had to learn the hard way that CrossFit is dangerous and that the trainers (at my particular gym anyways) were more concerned with PRs than form. I had fractured my L4 and L5 vertebrae and formed a bulging disk. The next two years would be spent trying to get back into a routine, but everyone I started would just end up with me reinjuring my back. I slowly started putting the weight back on and was getting depressed.  I didn’t know what to do.

Luckily in 2014 my employer reached out to 212 to inquire about weekly instructor led classes. That’s where I first met Heather Castellanos, the person I credit most for helping me get back on track. On our first class she assured me that she would help me avoid exercises that would trigger pain and would always have a substitution ready for me. It felt great to get back into a routine, for the first time in a long time without injury.  Heather, seeing how much I enjoyed the weekly classes, convinced me to swing by 212 to meet with Kerry for an orientation. Kerry’s passion, not only about his business, but also the members, is what caught my attention. I knew 10 minutes into our session it was where I wanted to be. My first class will always stick out in my mind; First impressions usually do. During warmups Sean walked right up to me and said “How’s your back today? Let me know if you’re uncomfortable with anything and I’ll give you a substitution”.  That’s what I love about 212; the way the staff goes out of its way not only to help you in your workouts, but to also to make you feel welcome. Even on the days I’m dragging and don’t feel like going to class, as soon as you walk through the door you get positive vibes to pick you up. That’s why class at 212 is the best part of my day. No matter how crappy I feel or whatever I have going on outside those doors, for one hour, I can just work on me…..and have fun with a bunch of cool people.

Today I’m stronger, healthier, and feel better than I have in years. And thanks to nutrition counseling with Alicia, I’m starting to lose weight again. I’ve made peace with the fact that my back will never be 100% again, and cannot do everything I used to but it hasn’t stopped me from doing what I’ve come to love. For that I will always be grateful to 212