What follows is a guest blog post by Elevate Liverpool member Kate Langlois. This isn’t the first time she’s contributed a story for us, you may remember her sharing her thoughts and feelings on her late mother’s legacy of fitness in a story that we share to day with our new members.
Since writing that first piece, Kate has taken over her mother’s legacy. Not only is she a fitness inspiration in the club, she is proof that the apple seldom falls far from the tree, bringing a light and joy to the club that reminds us so much of Ginny. As proud as we are of Kate’s amazing transformation, we know that Ginny would be even more proud of the energy and kindness that Kate has brought to one of Ginny’s favorite places.
What a year it’s been. None of us could have imagined the challenges we would face. While overall I was lucky in very many ways, I was scared how to continue to work on my fitness amid a global pandemic. Although I knew it was going to happen, the gym having to close felt like it could be a major setback for me.
I’ve made attempts in the past to lose weight, not necessarily to get healthier, just lose weight. The difference in those two goals I’ve learned is huge. This change in focus has helped me immensely to stay true to the path that I started. It never took all that much in the past to derail my efforts, just the normal things we all deal with – a little extra stress at work, a vacation or activities with my son….almost anything could lead right back to poor eating habits and to stop exercising. Now with a different focus, and seeing the rewards of my efforts, I’m able to continue on this path of fitness and a healthy lifestyle no matter what is thrown at me. Even during the height of the pandemic, when everything was shut down, I was able to find the motivation to continue my workouts with the limited equipment I had at home (and a little borrowed from a friend) and make positive choices about what I was eating. It was not always easy but I was able to tap into the goals I’d set for myself and use the foundation that had been established during my 1:1 training sessions to get through the tough days.
Working toward my fitness goals is work – hard work! I was thrilled when the gym was able to reopen so I could resume my personal training. Jonas continues to put together new challenging workouts every session. Even when I’m doing movements I’ve done before, they are mixed with new movements or done with a different intensity so that I continue to progress and don’t get bored with the same routine every day. Jonas also continues to listen to me, and more importantly, hear me when I talk about how I’m feeling (physically and emotionally) as well as how my goals may shift. Yes, working out with a mask on stinks – but it is worth every minute of that discomfort to be able to continue moving forward.
My new level of fitness has opened doors to new experiences and opportunities. I had no idea how much I would enjoy hiking. I’m not about to try to tackle Mount Everest but I’ve been able to go places in the Adirondacks that have provided amazing views as well as explored state parks closer to home. My friend and I are planning some hiking weekends as a chance to see some new places and have mini vacations. I’ve started running, something I’ve never particularly enjoyed but now find a sense of accomplishment in what I can do. In 2019 I walked the Liverpool Turkey Tot – in 2020 I ran it. Yes, it was around my neighborhood but I ran every step. I love that I now have the option to go running if I want to. It gives me another way to mix things up so I don’t get bored.
I’m about a year and a half into this new lifestyle. I’ve lost over 90 lbs. and am off my high blood pressure medication. I’m down five pant sizes and can easily shop in the “regular” department now. I feel better than I have in years and have a level of confidence I don’t ever recall having. This translates into every aspect of my life.
As much as I take pride in the changes I’ve made within myself, to prioritize my physical and emotional health, the support from my family, friends and team at Elevate is immeasurable. I can’t say enough how much the support from my husband and son has meant to me. My friends continue to be there for me whether it’s to walk the neighborhood for the millionth time or provide encouragement. At Elevate, Gil is always there to greet me with a smile and cheer me on when I’ve reached a new milestone. Jonas clearly comes to each training session prepared with a new workout so I continue to be challenged and make progress. His professionalism and caring have made ours a great match for personal training. I’ve thanked Gil a number of times for hearing me when we first met and I talked about what I would want in a trainer. He listened and really did match me up with the right person.
I still think of my mom every time I go the gym. Sometimes it’s when I walk in the door. I think about how many times she did that so early in the morning. Sometimes it’s during the middle of a workout when I need to dig deeper to finish a set. Sometimes it’s as I’m getting ready to leave and I’ve worked up a good healthy sweat. Each of these times I think of how proud and happy she would be with the changes I’ve made. I still miss her every day but know she’s looking down with a smile and thinking I’ve become a “gym rat” like she was.