I had an opportunity last week to sit down and talk with one of our clients, Andrea Gibson. Andrea is an Executive at a major retirement community and assumes an extremely high tasking, high stress, high performance lifestyle. Andrea came to OPEX UML 6 months ago and began working with me to better manage her stress, nutrition, and gain a better balance profile while trying to juggle her many responsibilities. For many reasons, Andrea says that getting started at OPEX helped her take back control of her life. Since starting with our team, she has had tremendous success in weight loss, fat % loss, and muscle mass increase. Her stress profile has lowered and she even makes more time now for self care, and for completing her workouts. She is sleeping better, eating better, has more energy and has found more happiness in her day to day life. She finds joy in being a positive influence and going to the worlds-end to help better the lives of those around her. Andrea and I talk about her progress often, and how impressive it has been to watch her succeed both inside and outside of the gym over the last 6 months. Although she has learned a lot about herself during this time, she has taught me and my staff incredible lessons about life, and how doing for others what they cannot do for themselves is the highest order of care and giving. I hope you enjoy this snapshot of Andrea's experience. I know our community is better for having her as a part of it!
- What has your experience been with fitness prior to getting started at OPEX Upper Main Line?
I never considered myself an athlete. I wasn’t involved with sports in school. I identified as a runner in my 20’s and worked with several personal trainers during that period of my life but never saw or felt successful. My "fitness life" came and went in stints. Once my career advanced, fitness fell to the waste side. The majority of my time and energy went into my work. I tried different group fitness programs, individual programs at home and diets, which I could never stick to. I soon found myself heavier than I liked, tired all the time and overly stressed. Something needed to change and I decided to work on my weight first.
2. What did you find yourself struggling with in other fitness models that prohibited your success or progress?
The other trainers I worked with, while knowledgeable didn’t provide the total package and didn’t look at my whole life and goals. They were only focused on what their goals for me were. I tried group fitness and it wasn’t for me. Getting back into working out, I was nervous about getting injured or doing something the wrong way and felt self-conscious of those around me. The group instructors are great at motivating the group but don’t have the time for the individualization I needed to be successful. The programs at home were nearly impossible because it was so easy to find excuses not to do it or to cut the work out short. And let’s not even talk about diets.... I wanted to lose some weight but ultimately I wanted to feel better. I didn’t want to be tired all the time and I wanted to feel good in my clothes. My weight, while not excessive in societal terms was more than I was comfortable with.
3. How has OPEX changed your perspective of fitness, and aligning your purpose with your fitness goals?
OPEX and the trainers helped me and supported me in setting reasonable goals and making small tweaks to my life which has enabled me to make fitness a sustainable part of my life. I have a demanding career as many others do, as well as family responsibilities. Going to the gym 5 days a week or even every other day is a daunting time commitment. We set a goal of 3x a week for 1 hour max. Sometimes my workouts are changed the day of to accommodate 30 minutes if that’s all I have. Over the last 6 months, I have been able to commit to 3x per week and stay consistent. When I have had to travel for work or on vacation I have been given workouts to do in the hotel gyms and on the road. I have been assisted with nutrition strategies to keep the travel food temptations at bay. I am stronger now than I have ever been in my life. The functional strength had made a tremendous difference to my daily activity. I am not winded after running up and down the steps to take care of laundry. I can carry in heavy groceries with ease. I have longer standing tolerance while standing to cook and do dishes. The best part about all of this is I sleep better because my body is physically tired at the end of the day. My commitment to fitness has inspired my husband to join OPEX UML as well so we can enjoy more activities together. It has even inspired my mother to start walking again!
4. What has been the most beneficial part of your experience working with the coaches at OPEX UML?
Having coaches on the floor no matter when you choose to workout has given me a sense of security during my workouts. I’m not afraid to try a new movement, add weight to a set or go for that last cardio round when I really am not sure whether or not I can do it. The coaches are there to support each of us and they do an amazing job. So many times I have been in the middle of a movement, starting to feel tired and one of the coaches comes over with a small tweak to my form. I am then able to do more reps safely and efficiently! Working out at OPEX is unlike any fitness experience I have ever had.
5. In 3 sentences or less, describe the impact OPEX and working with a coach has had on your life both inside and outside of the gym?
I joined OPEX at a very difficult time in my life. I had to recover from a traumatic experience both physically and mentally. Working with Cody and the OPEX UML team brought me back to life and has made me a stronger, happier person!