First, thanks for selecting me for the Member Spotlight! My 212 story is not as inspiring or remarkable as many I have seen. I will, nevertheless, tell you a bit about myself and my experiences at 212 over the last 4 ½ years.
I am 54 years old, been married for 25 years (God help me) to my wife Leslie; we have two children, Sydney, 23, a senior at Northeastern and a son, Blake, almost 20, a sophomore at Denison. I live on the East Side of Providence, a very convenient commute to the 212 gym.
I have always been pretty active, as a tennis player and jogger, on and off throughout my adult life. My activity, however, fluctuated when we were raising children and I started to have back pain in my early 30s. In late 2009, I started working out with Todd Cambio, Precision Fitness, who had space directly across the street from my office in Warwick, and who introduced me to the importance of “core” training and exercise. In February, 2010, Todd moved his operations to Westerly, I asked for a recommendation, and he sent me to Kerry. After meeting with Kerry and my introductory workout w/ Colin, I knew I wanted to join.
Before I joined 212, I would suffer from cramping in my legs, feet and elsewhere after playing tennis. Working out at 212 with the focus on core exercises has not really helped my tennis, although I am a bit quicker around the court, but my recovery time after playing tennis is zero and I no longer cramp up after matches.
Before joining 212, my commitment to working out was irregular and inconsistent; I suffered from lower back pain, left shoulder discomfort and general malaise. Initially, I was a “6 AM” person, working out before getting to work. Later, I did classes and worked out on my own with programs written up by the trainers. With respect to my shoulder, Kerry said that consistent workouts, especially with the use of clubs, would eventually help my shoulder. And after about a year, my shoulder pain subsided.
My back requires more attention and I try to use a foam roller and stretch before every workout. Colin has advised on the best positions for stretching for me. In addition, the summer of 2012, I was in pain in my lower back and no amount of heat, or ice, nor the stretching I was doings helped. When I further described my condition, Colin said the problem was not my back really, but my “piriformis” muscle (which is in your lower back and sits on top of your sciatic nerve). I did some research and found exercises and stretching specifically designed to address pirformis syndrome and have been back pain free since then. My annual goal is to be “back pain free for 365 days,” one I have achieved in 2013 and all of this year.
I drink a bottle of chocolate milk after every workout. I heard on a fitness show that chocolate milk is an excellent “recovery” drink, best consumed within the first 20 minutes after exercise. A protein shake would be “better,” but not as convenient and not as tasty.
Finally, some random thoughts about why I love 212 Health and Performance:
v I mix up my workouts, to “get out my comfort zone”, as Kerry likes to say. These days, I mostly work out in group classes, but also try to work out with Sean 1-on-1 or small groups.
- ALL of the 212 trainers are excellent, I have worked out with them all, in class and small groups, each in their own way.
- I love the variety of classes, and the variety within the classes; circuits are my favorite.
- I love saying I work out with The Strongest Man in New Hampshire.
- Over the last 2 years or so, I average 4 times to the gym a week. I cannot work out much more than that without hitting diminishing returns.
- I have also learned : (i) never ignore your body, especially when it comes to rest and (ii) always mention any issue you have to the trainers; they almost always have a good suggestion for improvement or recovery.
212 Health and Performance, in many ways, has become an important part of my life.
P.S. I am a USTA 3.5 tennis player, if anyone wants to hit or for a friendly game if singles.