I’ve never really been the ‘joining’ type or all that great at working out on my own. Whenever I noticed an unfavorable change in my body I’d start some sort of workout regimen. Then once I began to see any type of muscle definition, I’d feel that the working out I had done sufficed and I’d hang up my running shoes. Job well done… until I started to feel kind of chubby again. Not exactly a healthy lifestyle.
After putting on more weight than I ever had before and being completely unhappy with the way I looked and felt, I started looking into joining a gym because I finally admitted that this girl needed help. From what I’d read online and asking around, Unit 2 seemed to have the best reputation in town.
Because I’m also not the ‘commitment’ type I inquired about a month-to-month membership, which was met with this unforgettable question, “You can’t commit to a year of taking care of your body and being healthy?” I felt ashamed. I knew I didn’t want to just lose weight, I wanted to adopt a healthy lifestyle. I wanted to quit caring about numbers on the scale. I needed to start taking care of myself – after all, I wasn’t getting any younger. My body fat was at 27%. I wanted to destroy that number. I didn’t want to be 1/3 fat.
I started with kickboxing. At first my shins couldn’t handle it more than two to three times a week, and I spent the rest of my nights icing my shins and exhausting Kroger’s supply of Epsom’s salt.
After learning some proper lifts from a personal training session, I began lifting on my own. When a trainer came up and quietly adjusted my form and then allowed me to carry on, it was then I realized how much the trainers at Unit 2 really cared. I started asking questions – lots of questions – and it really helped me to improve my technique as well as build a great rapport with the instructors and other Unit 2 members.
I began taking the Fitness 360 (now Crossfit) class. Nothing had ever pushed me so hard. Within the first ten minutes I would think about walking out… well, storming out, and cussing in my car. Instead, I pushed through as best I could, and honestly, I couldn’t have done it without the amazingly supportive instructors at Unit 2.
Initially I had no interest in joining the martial arts classes. I was afraid to fail, afraid to look silly, afraid to get my face smashed. Still, I really wanted to build up some self-defense strategies and improve my kickboxing technique. This led me to the Muay Thai classes. I’d fallen in love. Nothing had been more terrifying, difficult, exciting. Soon after that, I started training with the Roberto Traven Jiu-Jitsu ladies, another terrifying and humbling martial art that I now love.
Within six months I had lost the 20 lbs I’d gained and dropped my body fat percentage by 8%. I was technically an athlete at 19% body fat! Working hard wouldn’t have been enough to reach this goal. I cut and recorded my calories. Tracking my calorie intake helped me to understand what I needed to be putting into my body.
At Unit 2 you get out what you put in. I feel privileged to train here. It’s crazy for me to consider myself an athlete, to say that I train instead of work out, to wear a mouth guard 5 days a week. I have so much respect for those I train with and have formed indescribable bonds through our training. The instructors hold me accountable when they see that I’ve missed class or am not performing to my potential. If I’ve missed a couple days of training in a row, other members have contacted me to see if I’m okay. Joining Unit 2 is definitely the best choice I’ve made for myself. I’ve gained a family. It has wholly changed me, pushing me past my limits to accomplish things I never thought possible. Joining this community has strengthened me emotionally as well as physically. And really, now I feel a little odd if I don’t have bruises on my body or am not at all sore.