Alyson Ferney

A few years ago one of my best friends asked me if I wanted to check out a free trial personal training session at a small gym near her house.  At the time I had not really exercised or done much physical activity for years and although I wanted to be healthy, I was scared to get back into it.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do anything without hurting myself, not to mention I knew I could not even do one single push-up, lift anything more than a few pounds, and definitely not run at all. 

Leading up to this point I had gone through about three years of extreme pain and misery because I did not know that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis.  It began as random pains in my joints in college and I just chalked it up to bad eating, too much partying, and generally not taking good care of myself.  After college things improved a bit for a while, but as time went on the pain returned at severe levels.  At times I could not dress myself in the morning and my kind and patient husband would have to help me.  Other times I could barely walk and certainly exercising was out of the question.  This went on for years.  I had no idea what was wrong with me.  I went through numerous doctors who gave me various treatments, but no real diagnosis, until I saw my current rheumatologist who finally figured out what was wrong with me.  I literally thought I was dying in my mid to late twenties, but once I finally got a diagnosis and began taking the correct medication for my issues, my pain subsided and I was able to start living a normal life again. 

This was around the time I went to my free trial with Colin over at what was then Punch, now 212 Health and Performance.  I was at a point where I wanted to reclaim my health and fitness and start over.  I had always been physically fit and played tons of sports through high school, but my health had deteriorated so much that I was a mess when I walked in that day.  Let’s just say that after that first session I was hooked, even though during and after the session I wanted to cry because I couldn’t believe how hard it was! (Little did I know he was going so easy on me too!)

After this first session I signed up and began reclaiming my health one TINY step at a time.  Each and every coach helped me with various techniques and provided me with encouragement and friendship.  My husband Rick was shocked at my progress and transformation and knew how much I loved it, so he joined up with me and we were now on this journey together.  We commuted almost daily fighting through Providence traffic to make it to 5 or 6 o’clock class, but it was so important to us to be there that we didn’t mind.  In fact, this gym had become such a significant part of our lives we eventually bought a house right down the street.  Now, we often ride our bikes to class!

This gym, its coaches, and its clients have literally transformed my life for the better.  I cannot thank the staff at 212 enough for all they have done for Rick and I.  Additionally, we have made some fantastic, like-minded friends at 212 who really make this so much more than a gym and more like a family.