Amanda became a member of Razor Sharp in fall of 2015. As she tells it, her membership was “timid at first,” inspired by a corporate wellness challenge issued by her employer. Amanda works downtown for ZMac Transportation Solutions, a company that understands just how difficult the weeks spanning Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year can be in terms of maintaining one’s health and fitness. Knowing this, the company put up a cash stake as an incentive for the person who lost the most weight during the 8-week challenge.
Confronted by the dual realities of the challenge (with its potential financial reward!) and 70 “pregnancy pounds” that had now hung around for three years, Amanda took the plunge. And found that her enthusiasm for the workout challenge grew with each visit.
“I knew I needed to start taking time for myself…to get back to the ‘me’ I was before,” Amanda explains. She just needed something to get her off the blocks. She started out working with Personal Trainer Kelli Anastasovski, to establish a realistic set of goals and a program to achieve them. That allowed her to get the workout habit started, and to eventually take full responsibility for working out on her own.
By mid-January and the end of the ZMac challenge, Amanda had lost 21 pounds – enough to win the prize! Realizing that goal made it relatively easy to continue, even during the cold and sloppy days of winter when it would have been so easy not to. But the other rewards – no longer being winded climbing a set of stairs, clothing that fit better, feeling more alert and energetic on days she worked out (powering through the mid-afternoon slump!) – were enough to overcome the urge to be sedentary.
“I really love coming to the club on my lunch, enjoying the camaraderie of the place – other members and the staff notice if I’ve been away. It feels like a home. And my friends have noticed that I am just happier since last fall…especially when coming from a run.”
Amanda hopes her story will feel familiar to others – a high school athlete who became less active in college, tapering off almost entirely as “real life” set in. “By the time I had my daughter, I wasn’t exerting myself much, at all. I was somewhere between a lazy bum and a sad sack.” But the human body has a lot of innate resilience. Day by day and week by week, it’s possible to reverse many, if not all, of the negative effects of inactivity. It’s here that she hopes to be an example to others who may just be starting on their own fitness journeys.
As for Amanda herself, saying “yes” to the challenge has meant rediscovering herself and gaining confidence in her ability to keep improving. “I’ve remembered that the best times of your life are when you’re getting sweaty,” she offers with a wink. And then she hit the treadmill!