In a few sentences, describe the impact having an OPEX coach has had on your life.
For me having an OPEX coach has had a huge impact on my life for many reasons. The first would be the obvious, because of Greg, I have not only lost a significant amount of weight, but I have also become incredibly strong. I lift, push, and squat weight I never thought I'd be able to do and not only that, buying clothes that are a size or two smaller and actually fit me well is the most rewarding thing ever to me. This was the first summer in a long time where I actually felt confident out on the beach, that's huge for me.
Secondly, what makes Greg special to me is that he knows me. He knows what I can and can't do and honestly I don't think he thinks there's anything I can't do. From how he programs, he gives me things that I think to myself I'll never be able to do and the usual response I get is "yes you can, do it" or "you're stronger than that, put more weight on." We have been working together for almost two years and he genuinely and completely knows me and my body. I honestly think he knows me better than I know myself at times. He knows what I can do and he truly believes in me. I am not a very confident person and I always "joke" in saying that he has more confidence in me than I have in myself but in reality it's not a joke at all because he does. Having him there encouraging me when I am about to go for a max truly makes me believe that I can do it which has almost always resulted in a success. I am a huge numbers person. There is nothing I love more than continuing to up the weight on something. On the flip side there is nothing I hate more than decreasing the weight on something (he'll tell you that for sure hahaha). He has taught me that it is okay to take a step back and focus on the little things because the end result will always be worth it. Because of him, I have gained more confidence in myself and I couldn't be happier.
Another huge reason would be when I first came to Greg I couldn't even do a push-up or an air squat correctly. My asthma would kick my butt almost every other day. I had also come off a never ending battle with an ankle injury and I was terrified to over-work it. Here I am almost two years later doing all those things I couldn't do. Breathing is easier for me, and my ankle hasn't cause an ounce of issue for me. It's truly amazing. My overall health has improved drastically and I am forever thankful.
Finally, he is one of the best friends I have ever had. He's helped me in more ways than even he knows. He's there to listen when I need someone to talk to. He's seen me cry and damn near break down. He's been through a series of job changes and an overwhelming amount of stress. He has also been there to light a fire under my ass if I slacked off on eating habits or sleeping habits. He tells it like it is whether I want to listen or not and it always hits home for me. He has literally seen me at my worst and is part of the reason I have become my best. To have someone like this in my life is something I never thought I would have. He has helped make me, me and helped me see everything I am capable of. As I said, I am forever thankful.
In your opinion, what do you think is the best thing about having an individualized coach and program?
Honestly everything I mentioned above really. Having an individualized coach and program is truly what helps a person grow to their highest potential. Having a program unique to you and your body is definitely what helps to bring out the best results without over-working or causing injury or stress. And having a coach who truly knows you and what you're capable of only helps to bring out the best in you.
What type of fitness were you doing prior to coming to OPEX? How does OPEX differ from that?
Honestly, I wasn't doing anything and that's what infuriated me the most. The whole reason I reached out to Greg in the first place is because I had a doctor's appointment and when I got on the scale and saw what I weighed I cried hysterically right there in the office. I was shocked. It was the worst and hardest thing I ever had to see. I mean in high school I was fit. I was an ice hockey player, a dancer, a softball player, a diver. You name it, I did it. I was always outside and active. All of a sudden I not only gained the freshman 15 in college, it was more like freshman 40. I was devastated. I used to be a member of Planet Fitness back in the day, but it just wasn't for me. I hated it. I found it incredibly boring and I wasn't seeing results. Plus I was the only member of my family or friends who went there and I hated needing to be there by myself. I had no one to work out with and it just wasn't fun. I would often times find myself choosing not to get off the couch to go or driving right past it on my way home from school. With a combination of all these things I realized I needed a change and needed to find somewhere that would make me want to be there. When I started with Greg it was just him and I and it was then that I realized that was exactly what I needed, someone to push me and be there to encourage me to keep going. When we moved to OPEX UML what I thought I needed grew to what I always wanted. On top of working with Greg, I met the other amazing coaches that make up OPEX UML. I met the amazing members of the gym and grew to realize that we're all in this together. Everyone has a goal and everyone's working their asses off for the same reason, to be better than they were yesterday and to push themselves to be even better tomorrow.
To be in an atmosphere where every single coach, not just my own, wants nothing but the best for you literally feels like home. With everyone else there working out together I truly feel that I found where I belong. I want to be at OPEX UML. I want to wake my ass up at 4:00am three days a week and drive in the pitch dark battling herds of deer to get to the gym and be in a full blown dripping sweat by the time most other people's alarms are going off. I want to be fully awake throughout the day and walk around with my muscles pissed off from a hard day's work. And most importantly I want to look at myself in the mirror and absolutely love who I am. Because of OPEX I can do all of those things and more.
How has OPEX/your OPEX coach helped you achieve your goals thus far on your fitness journey?
I think it's incredibly obvious how I feel about Greg and OPEX UML. I can't express enough how incredibly thankful I am for Greg, Cody, Emily, and the entire crew. You all have made me feel like I matter and like I can accomplish anything. I feel respected and welcomed every single day I come through the door. And above all else, there's not a single day at the gym that I am not laughing, smiling, or having an absolute blast. I have come such a long way. I have lost a total of 45lbs. I now have a healthy diet (with less cheat days than I used to ;). I have a healthy sleep schedule. I have less stress. I have bigger and stronger muscles ;). My health has significantly improved in every way. And to top it all off, I am not only happy with myself, I am beyond proud of myself.