Rob Stepic

I saw her chiseled arms across the room, in a dimly lit bar.  Eventually we were next to each other.  Hoping it didn’t sound like a pick up line, I had to ask …and where do you work out?  A kettlebell gym in Rumford.  I didn’t even know where Rumford was.  I called to inquire and although being an extreme skeptic (my last name Stepic) was immediately impressed by the professionalism of the person on the other end of the phone, this was no ordinary gym.  I booked an appointment for the following week. I was intrigued.

The trainer was an immense, soft-spoken guy named Kerry.  I was expecting a sales pitch and instead had my ass handed to me with a series of swings, snatches, core challenging functional movements in just under and hour.  I was beat, pumped, humbled, and excited.  I was hooked.

Kerry’s first few trainings had me in exercises I thought I could not do.  You want me to do a squat to a press from a burpee?  I felt my heart struggling for room in my chest.  Reach my leg back into a reverse lunge while holding a kettle bell in the racked position?  My hips were so tight I wasn’t sure I could without any weight.  Holding a bar over my chest from a lying down position I was to sit up?  All during these amazing varied workouts Kerry made me feel that as long as I kept at it, I could learn to better execute them.  I can’t … you will.  I joined.

For those of you who do not know me, I have been referred to as the guy at the gym who “works out loud.”  The dude who made the new years resolution to “work out quiet.”  But what you may not know is that I made another resolution last year.  My goal was to squat to the floor.

While I can’t get my butt to touch my ankles… yet, I have immensely improved my squatting position.  This may not seem like a huge gain to some people, but to me it has been a huge hurdle since college.  During my junior year while running 5 miles a day in Boston I was struck by a fast moving vehicle.  Thrown in the air I remember feeling like a curled up shrimp tumbling over and over.  The result was a large hematoma in my right hamstring.  The tightening and loss of strength in my leg had caused me years of knee pain.  Exercising at 212 has improved my leg and body to perform movements that were impossible years ago.  In addition, as long as I stretch & roll my leg after strenuous lower body routines, I have almost completely reduced my knee pain.  It is really amazing to go from acute knee pain to being able perform pain free running, biking and squat jumps.

The 212 team has really impressed me.  In two years I have not experienced the exact same work out twice.  This place is not boring.  The trainers here are some of the most enthusiastic, entertaining personalities I have ever encountered inside a gym.  Stopping what they are doing to drop a heavier weight in front of me…you can do it!  My fellow members are like team players encouraging each other working through the tough routines.  This place has been super fun to be involved with and I can’t wait to get back in tomorrow!