Michelle Finkelman

Thank you to Kerry and the 212 team for selecting me for this month’s member spotlight! 😊

 Over the years, I’ve struggled with self-esteem issues.  It started at 5 years old with intense ballet training, stayed with me through years of dance training, and eventually into high school.  When I began to see how negative the image issues and my relationship with food had become, and after a lot of soul searching, I quit dance and tried to focus more on my well-being.

 When I entered college, as with most people, there was a bit of a hiatus on my exercise routine.  Although my views on food and body image were mostly positive, there were several times in college that the stress of nursing school would find me in a yo-yo balance attempting to hold my weight and body image issues together. But as soon as graduation came and went, I was in a better mindset.


I began to train for 5k, 10k and half marathon races. I would occasionally join my husband Corey and do some weight training with our small home gym setup. As I began to take my weight training more seriously, my friends suggested several gyms in the Providence area. It was hard, as there were many gyms I tried to stick with. Eventually, I just found myself not enjoying the classes, the teachers, or having that dreaded feeling of “I really don’t want to be here right now.”

 Cue my fitness journey at 212, which started about two and a half years ago.  After hearing about my struggles with those other gyms, my sister in law (and fellow 212 gym member) Denise encouraged me to check out her gym. If the great trainers, variety of exercise classes, and awesome gym community wasn’t enough, 212 is about 0.25 miles away from my home … so no excuses!

 At the end of my gym orientation, I remember writing down my goals and thinking All I want to do is feel better about myself. After being welcomed into the 212 family by Alicia and other gym members at the end of my first class, I realized I was in the right place. Since then, it has been a part of my daily life. It has helped me reach personal fitness goals and encouraged me to move out of my comfort zone, participating in the Drop 2 Jeans Sizes Challenge and the Superhero Academy. It has been an outlet for me when I am feeling stressed, and the gym community is so supportive and positive. I have loved my experience so much, my husband and other friends have since joined the gym.

Being “one degree better every day” is important to me, something that I have held onto from day one. There are some days (usually around 5am) I walk into the gym, bleary eyed, and I say: “Well, I made it, and that’s 90% of the challenge. But I made it!” Yes, we are all accountable for pushing ourselves during class, to get that extra rep, lift the heavier weight. However, to me it also means being happy with yourself and of the effort that got you through the door. Every one of the trainers at 212 is so supportive of its members doing their best, which sets the gym above and beyond any other!!! Being coached and supported by this awesome group of people has given me the chance to re-learn how to love and appreciate the person I am today. I am so happy to be a part of the 212 family!