The journey with 212 has taken me to places I never thought I would go. If you told me three years ago I would be signing up for two obstacle course races in a month I would have laughed. As a kid I was never the “athletic” type. I didn’t play any sports and wasn’t a huge fan of gym classes. As I got into college I worked more on my fitness, trying to eat better, going to the gym, and taking the opportunity to try various activities like yoga, fencing, gymnastics, boxing, karate, and ballroom dance. I was working out regularly and dancing 5-10 hours per week, so I was in okay shape, but I lacked guidance on how to maintain and improve my general health. As I continued into adulthood I went to gyms on and off. I walked the dogs daily, continued dancing, and did some yoga, so I was not sedentary, but I wasn’t in great shape either.
I was encouraged to come to 212 by two different sets of friends. I first remember Miche participating in the Dragon Boat Race in Pawtucket. I came by to cheer him on and was impressed by the cohesiveness of the team. A few months later my friend Sue convinced me to do a small group with Sean for “bring a friend” month. I was really impressed with Sean’s ability to quickly assess when people needed to push more or less. Unfortunately, at that time my father was in late-stage lung cancer and I was spending most of my free time managing his health care, which left me with little time for myself.
That next winter I decided to finally make the call. I was intimidated at first, but I had a good Orientation with Alicia and completed the Kettlebell Workshop with Sean. They were both really supportive and encouraging. The day after orientation I remember going into work and my co-workers thought it was hilarious that I was so stiff. It was an eye opener that I had a ways to go to get in decent shape.
While there is always room for improvement, I am happy how far I have come so far, not only from a strength and endurance perspective, but also from a practical perspective. The eating habits have helped me keep my migraines in check. The strength I have gained has helped me manage endless tasks around the house without injuring myself, including installing air conditioners and more importantly, carrying a large elderly dog when he has his vestibular issues.
Joining 212 has been one of the best decisions I have made. The trainers are true professionals in their fields. They are invested in your progress and in you as a person. They push when they see you need it and are understanding when you are injured or aren’t feeling your best. The sympathy cards, “get well” cards, and check-ins when you miss a few days show they are invested in us. There is an obvious effort to keep things fresh and fun by offering different classes, having special classes on holidays, coming up with challenges to keep us motivated, and hosting parties to keep it light and build the community. I truly appreciate the efforts and can’t thank the staff enough for guiding us all on our journeys!