Celeste Allen

I was zooming down Empire headed towards a fast food franchise when what should my wandering eyes spot – a huge sign and a trailer for a new fitness center.   A quick “hmmm” paired with recognition of a flyer that I had glanced at in my stack of mail caused my car to veer in the direction of the trailer.  A smiling and confident Matt walked me through the process with a no-pressure pitch.  I was sold when he mentioned a healthy and supervised approach to exercising as I had a lot of injuries from being very active for over a decade and then progressed to a period of inactivity as injuries took their toll physically and mentally.  The explanation of machines used in the training process was exciting and proved to be a good motivational tool in sustaining training in the beginning.

I was advised that until such time as the new center was fully constructed that I could take classes at the facility on Main Street.  Dafne was the effervescent instructor for a variety of classes.  As I eyed the first set of moves, I silently mouthed “no, no, no, and no thank you” accompanied by a slight eye roll.  Despite myself, I continued to attend classes and was surprised to find that moves I had no interest in making were fluidly incorporated into each routine.

The big day arrives for the opening of the center and assessments.  I shared an extensive list of what I could not do and would not do with Molly who glibly provided a plethora of alternatives which meshed well with low impact alternatives provided by Dafne when instructing classes.  It’s been a year since I jointed the fitness center and I have significantly progressed from not being interested in moving too much (I was good to go with one class a week) to on occasion, attending several classes in one day!

You have to think of the lyrics from the theme song from “Cheers” … where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came …”. Every day you enter the center you are greeted by several staff members who know your name and you encounter nice classmates and instructors who are very helpful when you are new to a class and who encourage you to keep coming despite setbacks.  This is the first time I’ve attended a fitness center on a regular basis versus making a monetary contribution and not showing up.

I am glad that I decided to stop that evening after zooming towards a fast food meal which I did not purchase by the way.  I’ve moved my focus from what I cannot do to what I can do in order to move better to garner benefits from each class.  I learned during my journey that saying “no” is not a bad thing when you need to listen to your body versus appearing to do something for the sake of keeping up with the masses despite pain or discomfort. You are the only one in the class judging you! I still have miles to go on my fitness journey, but am well positioned to continue with the help and support of the wonderful staff, trainers, and of course my wonderful classmates in Group Active, Yoga, WERQ, and Spinning classes. So, whether you are reticent beginner or a seasoned exerciser, the center has a wonderful menu for you to partake of in your fitness journey.  Say “yes” emphatically to a better you!