Neile Hartman

There are a lot of things I love in this world. Most are two adorable sons, my sweet husband, the posse of fellow moms who keep me sane, the Patriots (3-1 without Brady...suck it, Goodell!), mint chocolate chip ice cream and this big room in Rumford filled with heavy things and sweaty, smiling people. Yes, I love my gym!

Including a gym in that list would seem strange to a lot of people but I bet it's not strange to most of you. What is it about 212 that causes us to swoon and use big words like LOVE? The fact that the trainers are incredibly talented, darn good-lookin', committed to the cause and consistently kind is obvious. They fill the space with infectious energy and set the bar high. They hold our hands while they kick our butts. This is likely what initially inspired us all to sign up. That or the gym's proximity to Seven judgement here.

But it's you who keeps me coming back. We are a diverse bunch- ages, stages, fitness goals and heights (ha)- but there is a common crazy that binds us. We seem to all have a passion for work hard/play live life to its fullest...and share a belief that achieving it together is a lot more fun that going it alone. So, I say thank you for what you each contribute to the tremendous vibe in the gym: the shared relief at the end of a ridiculous set, the knowing glance when Kim pulls out the stop watch, the eye roll at Sean's dance moves. 

As I look back over my five (!) years at 212, I am very proud of what I have achieved yet not a single thing can I uniquely take credit for. Before joining, I had never worked out like this. I played high school sports and was exceptionally mediocre. In college, I went for six "jogs" in four years and visited the gym exactly once to spy on a cute lacrosse player. Then, career started and I was an "all in" workaholic who hopped on an elliptical once a week. Speed forward, I had two kids and the 40th was suddenly on the radar. What the what?!? I knew my ability to fit in those jeans without sweating too much was running out. So, here are my member shout outs because you can never say thanks too much:

  • Suzanne Cadge for showing me that working out with friends (and their strollers) makes working out fun
  • Tracey Murphy & Kristin Siebenaler for telling me about this place they loved called "Punch" in Rumford
  • Kara Kelley & Lee Thompson for locking arms with me and walking in together on that first visit
  • My beloved Tuesday 9am small group...some have come and some have gone but all have been fun and fearless. Joe Fernandes, you are a favorite special guest. 
  • Sandy Barbour for challenging me to do my first 10K and then Half Marathon...and who continues to inspire
  • That very first Spartan crew- Bonnie, Sharyn, Judy, Miche, Shayna, Sandy, Joe, Ben, others- whose muddy smiles taught me that fear is empowering
  • Melissa Curran for making me sign up for my first triathlon then teaching me how to ride a fancy bike and not drown
  • Sharyn Zibrida for being a source of constant companionship, laughter and tough talk literally every step of this 212 journey. What's next?

And then there is Kerry. I am able to do things I never thought possible thanks to his belief in me, which is always greater than my belief in myself. He knows I am a total chicken sh*t and rightly chooses to ignore that fact. I almost quit this joint in the first year because of lifelong migraines that often left me sightless and panicked in the middle of a workout. He let me cry (a lot), hid me in his office and then got me to the right doctor and on the right path. And, when cancer took one of my best friends and I really wanted to bag everything, he didn't let me.

So, thank you ALL for making 212 a place that I love...maybe even more than ice cream.