Amanda Pietros

It was a cold, rainy Monday when I received an email from Kerry congratulating me on being chosen for the member spotlight.  I was admittedly shocked, but very honored!  I learned about 212 from Kaela Gentile, and am not ashamed to say I read all the previous member spotlights when researching (stalking) the website prior to my first meeting with Colin, and they were all so inspiring to me.

Growing up, I was a competitive dancer and my lifelong dream was to become a Rockette.  I came very close when I auditioned in 2002, and my biggest regret is that I never gave it another try.  After hanging up my tap shoes after that failure, I started working out in the college gym.  I had no idea what I was doing, but I went and stayed active.  Upon graduating, I took a job in Boston that required a long daily commute and a lot of hours; AKA I stopped all physical activity and sat on my butt all day long!  I still have that financial analyst job today, but I now work from home half the week and have a standing desk in my office when I am in Boston. 

During my “sitting on my butt all day long” years, I met my husband Mark, who owns Re-Bath of RI and Southern Mass (anyone need a bathroom remodel???).  My step-son, Ryan, is now a Junior at Pilgrim and our son, Nolan, is 7.  Ryan has played hockey since he was 5 and Nolan currently plays soccer, basketball, lacrosse and baseball.  In other words, my life is a little busy!

When Nolan was born, I unfortunately suffered from post-partum depression for several months.  It was during this time that someone suggested I start exercising as a means of therapy. HAHA!  When would I have time for that?!  I started taking one Zumba class a week, taught by my very good friend Richard.  After a few months, that turned into 2 or 3 classes a week.  Then one day, I saw a Groupon for a Crossfit class.  I was terrified, but I bought it.  And then actually used it a few weeks later.  When I think back on it, I can’t believe  I actually bought a membership after the Groupon period was over.  But I did – and I continued on for 3 years! 

Somewhere around the 1 year mark, I noticed my shoulder was bothering me during certain movements.  It would come and go – somedays I had to modify workouts, and other days it didn’t bother me at all.  This continued on for about another year or so.  During this time, I met Kaela through gym friends and would have her “fix” me every couple of months.  She does amazing work, and I still see her on a regular basis!  Even with her magic ways, my shoulder was really starting to impact my everyday life.  I gave in, and went to the doctor.  Diagnosis – dislocation and torn labrum.  Off to the operating table!

I don’t know if my doctor did a horrible job fully explaining what my recovery would be like, or if I just didn’t pay close enough attention, but I was not prepared for the 6 months following my surgery.  I was in a fully immobile sling for 2 months and had PT 3x week for 6 months.  It took 4 months for me to be able to lift my arm above my head.  I went back to Crossfit and worked really hard to get my strength back.  However, it just wasn’t feeling right and at that point was terrified of reinjuring myself.  I really wanted to just quit working out altogether!  I was still seeing Kaela on a regular basis, and she encouraged me to give 212 a try.  I am so glad she did!!

As I said before, I stalked everything about 212 online; social media, the website, online reviews – I was very nervous to try something new because of my shoulder.  I met with Colin on my first day and we talked for a while about my shoulder, and where I was in my recovery.  Then he put me through a “little” workout.  It was really hard – and I loved it!  I signed up for the 5 weeks, and immediately signed up for a year once that was over.  Colin listened to everything I said on that first day, and pushed me further than I thought possible and my shoulder has never felt better!  There isn’t much I can’t do and for a while there, I didn’t think that would ever be possible. 

There are 3 things that really stand out about 212:

1)The members!  Each and every one of you has been very welcoming and never look at me funny when I grab a dumbbell for kettlebell snatches. :)

2) Professionalism!  You may not think professionalism is something that matters much in a gym setting, but I think it does and it does not go unnoticed.

3) The Staff!  I cannot say enough good things about the staff at 212.  From Heather, Kathy and Jess always greeting me with a smile when I walk in at 6 AM to Kerry, Colin, Sean, Alicia, Kiki, Aura, Kim and Steve always pushing me.  Each and every workout is different, challenging, but most importantly, FUN! 

I would like to give a special thanks to Kerry and Colin for not letting me use my shoulder as an excuse!  I look forward to what the future holds for me at 212!  Enough shoulder talk – is it time to squat yet?!