– A note from Rita’s coach, Austin:
Rita joined Lean Strong Fitness in July 2015, and since then has ingrained herself as a leader of our community, showing her dedication to make health and fitness fit with her busy work and family life. Her infectiously positive attitude and unwavering consistency have led her to achieve many impressive goals, inspiring others to set BIG goals along the way.
Rita initially joined with the goal of exercising to lose weight and age well. Soon, she discovered the many secondary benefits to exercise: feeling stronger, more confident, more capable of handling the challenges that life threw her way. Since then, we’ve been working together to defy the ageing process and reach new personal records she once didn’t think were possible.
Note: since Rita was asked to share her story with us, she reached another new personal record – a 200lbs deadlift. Way to go!
Rita is a full-time Bulk Barn owner, mother, sister, and wife, among many other titles. She has a lot of reasons why fitness can’t fit in her life, but instead she’s chosen to make it a priority with the rest. In doing so, she’s found a synergy between fitness, family, and career where each complements and supports the other, allowing her to enjoy every moment of life that much more.
You are a true Wonder Woman, Rita. We are so proud of you!
I was cruising through Facebook and I saw the ad for Lean Strong Fitness. I read the ad, and I thought, yes, that’s what I need and want too. My daughter was getting married in the summer, and I wished that I could have been thinner for the wedding. Also, I have a sister who is 10 years older than I am, and she went through some serious health issues. I wanted to make sure that as I aged, I would be strong and healthy, and then, maybe nothing would come my way. I am a very busy Bulk Barn owner, but I was looking for a way to get fitness back into my busy life. When I told my family that I had joined, my husband was very supportive, but my kids said, Mom, you’re crazy. How are you going to have time for that!
What were your 1-2 most important goals when you started?
At first, my number one goal was to drop weight. I could hardly stand the number on the scale. But after a couple of sessions, I was hooked! I loved how I felt after leaving the gym, and the number on the scale didn’t matter so much. I felt like I was getting stronger – I felt great!
In one to three sentences, can you describe any reservations that you had before we started working together?
I did have reservations. I thought that I would be judged about how unconditioned I was. What if Ben thought I was too out of shape? I also thought that I would never be able to meet the scheduled gym times that were assigned to me. What if I had to stay at the store longer? What if? What if? But that was never a problem. The flexibility for scheduling is fantastic. Almost each week I would hit a new PR. When I got home, I would tell my family that I hit another PR. They were so proud of me. And that is an incredible feeling.
In one to three sentences, can you explain how I was able to help you with your reservations?
Ben was my trainer first, and he was so matter of fact. If anyone felt that I was out of shape, it was only me. Ben never judged me like I judged myself.
How do those results make you feel? I’d like to share 2 specific achievements. In January, Austin asked me what fitness goals did I want to hit. I replied that I wanted to do a chin up. I had never ever done anything like that. Ever. I remember the first attempt, and that was just to hang from the bar. Time: 3 seconds. The next time was 7 seconds. More than double the time. I loved the way that the focus on results was shown by saying things like “you doubled the time of how long you could hang from the bar!” It could have been said that 7 seconds isn’t very long, but that’s not the way that Austin coaches. He is always positive. I finally could do a chin-up by the end of March. It took 2 and a half months before I could actually do one. But when that day came, I was so incredibly proud of myself. I did it!
The other achievement that I’m proud of is deadlifting. I remember when I lifted my own bodyweight for the first time. I thought to myself, I can’t believe that I’m doing this. It certainly was another proud moment.
What do you like best about our program?
I love the atmosphere. It doesn’t feel like a gym; it feels like a home. When I walk in, there is always a hello or a nod from everyone. When the workout starts, Austin asks what kind of music do we want to listen to. There is genuine interest shown by Ben and Austin to all members. And whatever fitness goal I want to set for myself, a new program is written. Just for me!
Is there anything you want to add about our program that you’d want someone else to know?
If anyone is considering joining a gym, this is the one! Comments like “it sounds expensive”, “there are cheaper places to work out” etc. are comments that I ignore. To me, it’s absolutely worth every penny. When it comes to health and fitness, you pay now, or you pay later. I’d rather pay now and be trained by professional trainers. I have never felt sore, or feel like I can’t move afterwards. Ben and Austin’s attitude to their jobs, their knowledge and constant encouragement mean everything to me. It feels great to be trained by people who genuinely love their job.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Rita!
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