My Lifestyle Experience I share as follows:
As Justin Timberlake so eloquently stated back in 2000, “It’s gonna be May.” For this reason, among others, I have to confess that May is quite possibly my favorite month of the year. As a kindergarten teacher, May represents the near completion of another long, but beautiful academic school year. I love May because it is a time to reflect on my own growth as a teacher, but also a time to step back and stand in awe of how much my little nuggets have grown over the last 9 months. While I am always reflecting and have become fond of being a journal writer over the years, I find myself being more introspective during this month. This May, not only will I find myself reflecting upon the school year, but also my five year journey in Chicago, particularly the last year and a half here at Fit-Results. As my time winds down here in Chicago, I’ve been taking stock of everything that I’ve learned while being here.
I started Fit-Results in November of 2016. I always have a few students whose first year of school will be with me and my classroom. You can feel their excitement ooze through their pores, but also can feel their anxiety and nerves as they are not sure what this whole school thing is about. I, too, felt that way as I started my fitness journey with Paul doing personal training sessions. I was excited to start my journey of healthy living, but was nervous that I wasn’t up for the challenge or that I would fail. I remember my first few classes. There’s no other way to say that they were difficult, challenging, and exhausting. I wanted to quit and I always left the workouts feeling defeated. I remember watching the clock ever so slowly, wondering why I was doing this. Thanks to Paul’s wisdom, encouragement, and cheers, I pushed through the initial few weeks of classes, and while the classes never got easier, I got stronger and became more confident in my ability to do the exercises and complete the workout. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Paul’s guidance during the first few months of my fitness journey.
I finished my personal training sessions with Paul, and transitioned to fitness group classes in February. It’s at that point where my paradigm of working out changed from something that I didn’t want to do, to viewing exercise as a way to better myself on a daily basis. I only have Lou, Paul, and the 5AM crew for my change in mindset. It was also at this point in my training, that I finally realized that there is no “perfect body.” As someone who has struggled immensely with self-esteem issues, this was a big leap forward for me. The more I worked out with everyone and listened to the trainers, the more I became focused on being stronger and better than the day before, rather than focused on what my body looked like. While I can’t say I enjoy doing the workouts, the enormous feeling of accomplishment at the end of each workout kept me coming back.
I was able to celebrate all of my successes at Fit-Results when I crossed the finish line at the 2017 Chicago Marathon. To me, crossing that line (four hours and sixteen minutes later) was a tangible sign of how much Fit Results changed and transformed my life. Never in a million years did I ever think I had it in me to run and finish a marathon and live to tell the tale. But Lou and everyone else cheered me along and never stopped believing in me. I can’t tell you how many texts I got during the race from people at the gym encouraging me and telling me to never give up. Many friends from the gym found me at various points of the course. Their presence was always that little extra boost that I needed to get me to the next mile. In a sense, the marathon represented the best of what Fit-Results has to offer. If you’re willing to work out and put in the work, you’ll be able to do things you never imagined and that is only possible because of the tight-knit community we have. The community we have is something truly special and makes Fit-Results what it is.
As I leave Fit-Results, I leave a truly transformed person, but more than just physically. Yes, I can celebrate the changes in my body that I have seen over the last year and a half. But, more importantly, I’ve changed in so many ways that the human eye can’t see. I’m more confident, have a healthier body image, and my motivation to workout and eat healthy stems from a desire to be the best person that I can be for my family, friends, and students. So, thank you Justin Timberlake for always taking the time to remind me that “it’s gonna be May.” More importantly, thank you Lou and everyone at Fit-Results who have truly made me the person that I am today. I’ll leave this gym stronger than when I started. But I’ll also leave this gym a little more wiser, kinder, and with countless new friends who have shown me unconditional love and support over the past year and a half. For that, I am forever grateful for Fit-Results.
Ryan G. (See Before/After Pics below)