CornerStone Blog

Surviving The Holidays

If you’re like me, you hear the word holidays and you initially get this excited feeling remembering all the great things that the holidays bring – fun music, beautiful decorations, smiles from the kids and a warm, cozy feeling while you spend time with family and friends. 

Warrington Wellness Coach Kim Stone and her family at Cliff Walk in Newport, RI.

Then reality sets in, and you realize it’s not quite the Norman Rockwell moment you have pictured in your head.  Stress and anxiety begin to set in just thinking about everything that needs to get done and the conversation in your head starts to go something like this: 

“Did I actually say that I wanted to host this year?  I must have been on crack when I said that.”

“How many days are left until the new year?  Crap!  I haven’t even started working on my resolutions from THIS year yet.”

“How am I going to stay on track with healthy eating when people keep bringing in such yummy cookies?  I mean I don’t want to be rude and not eat ANY of them with all the blood, sweat and tears that went into making them.  I’ll just have one or maybe two.  Well this third one was stuck to the second so that really only counts as one, right?”

“When am I going to find time to get shopping done let alone workout?  Ugh!”

Trying to juggle it all on a daily basis as a mom is pretty exhausting.  Now,  throw in the chaos of the holidays and I go into straight up survival mode.  This usually means falling back into old habits where exercising and eating healthy fall to the bottom of the priority list, but I am determined that this year will be different.  So how do you manage to survive the holidays and stay on track with your health?

  • Bring Something to the Party – Not only will your host be happy that you’ve brought a delicious dish, but you’ll also have food that can help keep you on track with your health goals. Try this Faux Cookie Dough Dip.  This recipe is a definite crowd pleaser for all ages.
  • Get Plenty of Sleep – Lack of sleep can lead to mood swings, decreased productivity, lowered immune function and sleep shopping (you know when you are so tired and you purchase items online that you have no recollection of actually purchasing the next day like a giant blow up unicorn sprinkler…no regrets). Getting enough sleep each night will ensure that you are your best self for the holidays and also prevent you from biting everyone’s heads off.  Trust me, your family and probably your co-workers will appreciate it.
  • Be Mindful – Did you know that diet and exercise are only 50% of the equation to weight loss? In addition to diet and exercise, you need to make sure you are moving (more on that below) and that you have a positive mindset.  Mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga require no special training or ability and they have been scientifically proven to improve physical health, reduce anxiety and enhance happiness.
  • Keep Moving – It’s great to exercise, but it’s even better to make sure you are staying active and moving throughout the day. What’s the difference?  Exercise is a type of movement with a distinct goal – burn fat, build muscle, get faster, get stronger or train longer.  Movement is just what you do when you are living life.  We are built to move.  Go for a stroll and go shopping at Peddler’s Village, take the stairs instead of the escalator at the mall or simply go for a walk with the dog or your family (whichever one you enjoy more).  Aim for 10,000 steps per day which equals about 2 hours of movement.
  • Give Yourself Grace – Hey, it’s the holidays. It’s crazy for everyone.  Don’t beat yourself up about it.  Now is not the time to get all judgy on yourself about not having the perfect health routine.  You may indulge a little bit more or your workout routine may be slightly off this season, but don’t stress yourself out.  Chronic stress can actually be harmful to your health and forces your body to pile on fat especially around the middle.  Give yourself permission to be kind to yourself and give yourself some grace. 
  • Get Support – Are you feeling overwhelmed and need some guidance on your fitness goals? You are not alone on this journey.  We are here to help you.  Make a free appointment with a wellness coach.  That’s what we’re here for – to help support you in your goals towards better health.  You can schedule your appointment at any time by calling your preferred club location.
    Doylestown – 215.794.3700; New Hope – 215.862.2200; Warrington – 215.918.5900

How To Eat Healthy When Dining Out

As we enter into the holiday season, you may find yourself not only partaking in holiday cheer at home, but dining out more than usual as well.  Americans already dine away from home nearly three times more than they did in the 1970’s and this increases during the holiday season.  I ask clients not be a statistic during the holidays. The average weight gain between Halloween and New Year’s is 7 pounds.  One of the ways you can avoid this and start the New Year off a bit healthier is to practice “dining out techniques” that will allow you to enjoy yourself without feeling uncomfortable or unhealthy.

Like anything else, following “healthy” dining out techniques gets easier with practice. See how many you can implement not only during the holiday season, but all year round.

Prepare for success. Pick the restaurant based on your research and know where you can get fresh, healthy, lower calorie, low fat meals.

Look up the menu and nutritional data before you go. Knowing what you are going to order before you get there will help.

If you know you are going out to eat, don’t skip other meals, but eat less to prepare for your restaurant meal. Shakes can be a “decision-free” meal option.

Have a high-fiber snack before you go to curb your hunger. Try something like an apple, carrots, low-sodium vegetable soup, Triscuits.

Decide in advance what you will splurge on and what you can do without.

If you drink alcohol, keep to wine or light beer. No sugary drinks. You may want to skip fruit during the day. Alternate drinks with water or sparkling water.

Put off ordering a drink until you have food in your belly. If you drink on an empty belly, you’re likely to forget about your intentions to eat healthy and rack up 1,000 calories.

Skip the bread and chips. This could be 300-500 calories before you get to your meal.

Share apps. Make sure there is something for you. Try shrimp cocktail, edamame, veggies, mussels marinara.  No potato skins or Buffalo Wings (approx. 200-250 calories/piece)!

Order salad dressing on thr side, or just use plain oil and vinegar. Go light on the oil. No Ceasar dressing!

Consider ordering off an appetizer and a side dish instead of a full entree.

If you order a main entree, you may need to divide your meal in half (on the plate) immediately. It is extra important to pay attention to serving sizes when eating out.

Split an entrée with a friend or loved one.

Don’t let people push you into eating things that are bad for you. Be proud to be an example of eating healthy. You may encourage someone else.

Main Course – think broiled, boiled, baked, steamed or grilled. Not crispy, sautéed, au gratin or fried.

Remember that the leaner a protein in its natural state, the more calories and fat when fried. No fish-n-chips.

If you are stumped, order grilled protein and a double order of steamed vegetables.

Enjoy your company. People often lose site that they are dining out to enjoy the company of friends and family. Make that the priority instead of your meal. However, you should still order something that you will enjoy. Be satiated by multiple senses – vision, sight and taste.

Opt for fresh berries or fruit salad for dessert. To opt out of dessert, order a warm beverage to keep your hands busy while others enjoy their desserts. You will be less likely to pick at the high calorie, high fat desserts that others have ordered.

 

Lastly, keep in mind that healthful eating in not about being “perfect”. If you get carried away, hopefully on really good food that you can’t get all of the time, don’t sweat it. One night of over-indulgence won’t rack up lots of pounds. Just be sure to get back on track the next day.

Cheryl Watkins, CHHC, Nutrition & Wellness Counselor, Doylestown.

*Members, did you know that you can schedule a free wellness appointment at any time?  Get fitness and nutrition tips, a review of your current program, a free Inbody Analysis – or just great conversation!  Call or stop by member services at any location to check availability.

Injuries Can Have An Upside

There’s no predicting when injury will occur.

It happened in about half a second. My knee extended too far forward in a lunge and I felt a little tug in my calf that quickly gave way to a feeling very like a ‘charlie-horse.’

Almost an hour later when I went to walk out of class, I knew it was much more than a cramp. Later that afternoon, a doctor in the urgent care told me that I likely had torn my calf. A subsequent MRI showed ‘longitudinal tears in the medial head of the left gastrocnemius.’

Even with this relatively minor injury, I was looking at almost 4 weeks out of classes. Anyone who knows me will realize that this is a HUGE blow, and likely more of a shock to my body than the actual initial injury (I teach or participate in 10+ classes a week . . .) .  I’d be lying if I didn’t have some moments of panic.

Michael, post-recovery, teaching Group Active in New Hope

Injuries can create fear, doubt and other negative thinking.

“Will I gain weight? Will I instantaneously become less fit? Will my class participants be OK?”    I’m not necessarily saying those moments of panic were rooted in reality. But they were there!  I could have (and have in the past,) let an injury get me down. I could have let what I CAN’T do lead the way. I could have said “well, you can’t spin so working out isn’t possible.”

I am lucky, though, to have access to a great group of fitness professionals, and after talking to a few of them, this injury started to become less of a setback and more of an opportunity. I decided to be my own Wellness Coach and navigate my way to something positive.

Injury can be an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.

Instead of focusing on the calories I wouldn’t be burning, I realized I could train in a totally different way. Conversations with my colleague Cameron Crosley (a strength and conditioning trainer) resurfaced in my mind and the plan started to take shape. I have a tremendous amount of cardio endurance, but training cardio consistently can limit one’s ability to build muscle. Without that cardio for a few weeks, I could really dial in a hypertrophic training plan, especially for my upper body.

In addition, I had to look at my diet to make sure it matched this training pattern, supporting muscle growth in addition to fueling (and not over-fueling) my daily activities. While this is something I am always conscious of, a back-to-square-one approach can be both refreshing and eye opening to bad habits that we have allowed to creep into our daily life.

And, of course, friends always come through! My fellow instructor, Beth Pacitti, teaches a WATERinMOTION aqua aerobics class in Warrington and, fully aware that I’d be fiending for some cardio, made me literally dive into aqua fitness!

The disruption hasn’t been easy but it’s been helped along, not only by my colleagues at Cornerstone, but also by the members! Because I didn’t let my injury keep me benched, my workouts are accompanied with well-wishes and smiles! It’s more than enough to make me work harder outside of my comfort zone.

Michael in the ‘always welcoming’ New Hope Wellness Office

As a Wellness Coach, I meet with members almost every day who are dealing with an injury or a setback. By showing up, they’ve made the decision to make a change! It’s my job to connect them to the resources they need for success! Our Wellness program isn’t just for when you join! Wellness at Cornerstone is a resource for all of our members who experience or desire a change! As a true fitness community, we all have the opportunity to contribute to each other’s success. I’m thankful that the community was behind me as I dealt with my own injury, and you should know that the entire Wellness team is behind YOU as well!

Schedule a free appointment with any of our wellness coaches at any time by calling your preferred club location.

Meet one of Cornerstone Doylestown’s seriously strong, and seriously decent, lifters.

Meathead. Lunk head. These are just a few of the pejorative terms used to describe weight lifters.  For many people, the perception of serious weight lifters is based almost entirely on old-fashioned stereotypes – a sense that they are narcissistic gym rats who grunt and groan their way through the fitness floor annoying others by dropping heavy weights and monopolizing certain pieces of equipment. The fact is – weight lifters get a bad rap.  They are no more likely to be rude, inconsiderate of others or full of themselves than any other group of fitness club members – be they long distance runners, soccer players or the casual gym goer.

Connor O'Hanlon

Recently, I sat down with Connor O’Hanlon, one of a group of dedicated weight lifters at our Doylestown location and walked away deeply impressed with this intelligent and serious young man.  Connor graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in accounting with a Certificate of Real Estate, both from the Smeal College of Business. Currently, he’s a real estate salesperson at J Carroll Molloy and the conveyancer for South Main Closing Services.  He’s also a competitive powerlifter, an Esports Coach at Delaware Valley University and a strength training coach for young people ages 7 through college age.  As if he didn’t have enough on his already full plate, Connor is also running for Township Supervisor in Doylestown.

Connor O'Hanlon

Quite frankly, I was impressed that Connor is able to stick to his fitness routine despite the other demands on this time.  Powerlifting is a serious sport that requires commitment and dedication. Connor competes in the squat, deadlift and bench and trains regularly to remain competitive.   But, as a seasoned athlete (he played football in high school and started competing in powerlifting as a sophomore in college), he’s used to making time for working out. 

Serious Equipment for Serious Lifters

I asked Connor why he chose to train at Cornerstone.  One reason, according to Connor, is that our Doylestown location has made a commitment to serious lifters by investing in the equipment they require to train – specifically brand new power bars, specialized plates that are calibrated to the precise weights required by competitive lifters and a weightlifting platform that softens the sound when weights are dropped after a lift.

Connor preparing to lift in competition.

Camraderie and Support

The second big reason is the camaraderie and support that he’s found among a group of other like-minded serious lifters.  They possess a depth of knowledge that comes with competing that they happily share with each other – and any newcomers who want to learn about power lifting.

Connor at competition.

Connor and his fellow lifters train hard, but respectfully of others, proving that those old stereotypes couldn’t be further from the truth.   To learn more about Connor, CLICK HERE. You can check out Connor doing a few lifts HERE and HERE.

 

Suzanne Is Living Proof That Age Is Only A Number

“I still love to run even though I’m now in my late 70’s”.

I’ve been an athlete my entire life. It seems unusual, but I still love to run even though I’m now in my late 70s. I bike and do yoga and I truly believe it keeps me young. Many people are surprised when they find out how old I am but I know it has a lot to do with my commitment to health and fitness. As a mother of three, my children are also athletic and they support and encourage me. One of my daughters has run several marathons and is hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which my older brother ran in his 80’s!

Doylestown member Suzanne Nesi, Personal Trainer Tracey Kling and Suzanne’s daughter Anne Kathryn Bromm.

Setting goals, training and persevering are the keys to success.

This month, my daughter asked me to join her in the Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon, and I accepted the challenge. But I knew I needed to be prepared, which is why I asked my Cornerstone Personal Trainer, Tracey Kling, to help me. Tracey was fantastic; she guided me through a training regimen that allowed me to compete in this race. I’m sorry to say that one day while running early in the morning, I misstepped and fell. Luckily, I caught myself, and the injury only affected my hand.  It was serious enough to require a splint and rehabilitation, but Tracey kept me on track and my training wasn’t interrupted.

Support makes a difference!

September 15 (the day of the half-marathon) dawned bright and beautiful but did get hot, and in all honesty, despite my preparation, it was a challenge. It was tempting to quit. But my daughter ran with me and Tracey came to Philadelphia to offer support and encouragement! I’m proud to say I finished first in my age category and I am so very grateful to Tracey for helping me achieve that feat!

Cornerstone has been a huge source of support and friendship and I am very happy to be a member!

Suzanne and her trainer, Tracey, hitting the road.

How Meal Planning Can Help You

Image courtesy of https://veganliftz.com

It seems like once we flip the calendars over to September, not only are we saying goodbye to summer, but we are saying hello to our regular routines and schedules. September means back to school, no more BBQs and parties every weekend, and back to reality. This is what makes September the perfect time to focus on your health. As boring as it sounds, having a routine is what makes most people so successful. When you have a plan, it makes hitting the gym and making healthy food choices so much easier. This is why so many people do weekly meal planning to stay on track. Meal planning keeps you organized, can help you stick to a grocery budget, and can help you make healthier food choices throughout the week.

What Is Meal Planning?

Meal planning means exactly what it sounds like…having a plan for your meals each day. It can be as simple as keeping a list in your head of what you want to make for dinner each night, or it can be as detailed as you writing down what you plan to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.

If you’re new to meal planning, I recommend starting small. Start by planning out your dinners for the week. Dinner tends to be the hardest meal for people because evenings can be so hectic. And if you don’t have a plan, the fast food drive-thru starts to look really appealing.

How To Get Started

Getting started is really easy! Grab a pen and paper and start thinking. If we continue with the dinner example from above, then sit down and write out what you want to have each night for dinner. Then think about the ingredients that you need in order to cook each meal. Check out your kitchen for things you already have on hand, and then write down whatever you will need to buy at the store.

Once you have your grocery list ready, you can shop with confidence knowing that you will have all of the ingredients on hand to stick to your weekly meal plan! Once you have all of your groceries, now you can sit back and relax knowing you have a plan for the week. The key is now making sure you stick to it!

Tips For Success

Having a plan is only helpful if you actually stick to it. I always recommend choosing meals that fit into each night’s schedule. For example,  if Monday nights are crazy in your house, maybe choose a meal that cooks all day in the Crockpot, or a one-pan meal that cooks in the oven while you help your kids with homework. Don’t choose a brand new, complicated recipe for a night that is busy.

With that being said, plan for leftovers! There’s no need to cook every night! If you know there is one night that is pretty slow in your house, make that the night you cook double. Then the next night you don’t even have to worry about cooking.

Once you’ve mastered meal planning your dinners, you can take it to the next level by planning out your other meals too. While meal planning might sound time consuming, it actually helps save you a lot of time during the week! It can also help save you a lot of money by cutting down on the money spent out at restaurants. Give it a try and I bet you’ll be happy with the results!  

Blog courtesy of Morgan Fink, Trainer, Instructor and Wellness Coach in Warrington.

Have questions about fitness or nutrition?  Feel free to make an appointment with the Wellness Coach at your preferred location.  Stop by or call Doylestown (215-794-3700), New Hope (215-862-2200) or Warrington (215-918-5900).

A Couple Shares Their Love Of Tribe Team Training

Recently, I had the great pleasure of speaking with Sean and Jackie Wise, members of our Warrington location, after some of our staff members mentioned how impressed they were with this dynamic couple. Since research has shown that working out together is not only a great relationship booster but also a terrific way to reinforce healthy habits in one another, I was curious to learn their story. 

Sean and Jackie have been Cornerstone members for about 2 years.  With two little ones (now ages 1 and 3) they were initially drawn to our Warrington location for its high quality childcare.  So, they joined and started working out on their own.  After the birth of her second child last summer, Jackie was feeling frustrated about her inability to lose the “baby weight”.  That’s when she noticed other members leaving a Tribe class.  They were sweaty – and she was intrigued!  Noticing a sign advertising Free Trial Week, she signed up for a free TribeCORE™ class and liked it enough to sign up for a full season.

Participating in Tribe has been life changing.

According to Jackie, “it was great, but challenging.”  In the past, she said it felt hard to stick with her workouts given the demands at home with the kids. But, by signing up for a season of Tribe, she felt it kept her accountable. And better yet, knowing that her kids were being well cared for, she could enjoy these workouts guilt-free.

After taking Tribe for about a year, Jackie convinced her husband Sean to give it a try.  He signed up for season 7 of TribeFIT last November and hasn’t looked back. Since that time, Sean has lost 18lbs and gained muscle mass.  He says that Tribe classes give him “a lot structure, help with adherence and also influence you to be healthy throughout the week because you want to eat better to support your workouts.”  Jackie feels that Sean is a much happier person because his workouts help offset his stressful job.

A results-oriented, professionally supervised program makes all the difference.

Both Jackie and Sean stressed that they enjoy being constantly challenged and that they appreciate the regular re-assessments built into the program so they can measure results.  Both also feel that there is a huge difference between doing a program designed by trained professionals versus trying to figure one out for yourself.  Tribe is results-oriented and, according to Jackie, it really works.  “I love how strong I feel. I never felt myself as strong before.” Finally, both agree that Tribe has been great for them as a couple.  They share their thoughts on their workouts and love having something in common that they can focus on as a couple apart from the kids.

This year, Sean joined with two fellow “Tribers” and competed in his first Triathlon. Even though it was a long term goal, he says he wouldn’t have done it if not for Tribe because the training physically prepared him for a successful event. Since then, both he and Jackie have made good friends with their fellow participants and often do things together like go on group bike rides.

It’s an investment in health and community.

Sean sees Tribe “as an investment.”  Both he and Jackie consider it worthwhile since it’s a systematic approach to exercise under professional supervision. Sean said, “If you go to gym on your own, you might experience some results.  But you won’t experience the progressive and serious results that you get when you do a Tribe workout.”

To people who might be a little intimidated to give Tribe a try, Jackie has a message.  “I walked in 3 months post-partum and in bad shape from both before and after my pregnancy.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I ran.  But my Tribe coaches kept telling me to do what I could and that tomorrow, I would be able to do more.  The other participants were supportive too.  They were beginners at one time as well.  They helped me hang in there. The community aspect is great.”

Season 6 FREE TRIAL WEEK starts 9/16!

Ready to give Tribe a try? We offer CORE, LIFE and FIT classes Monday – Friday at our Warrington location. For class description and program policies, CLICK HERE. To sign up for a free class, CLICK HERE.

Help Warrington Personal Trainer Alyssa Virginio Support Unite for HER.

Alyssa competing at a Spartan event.

Two years ago I began my journey of becoming a Cancer Exercise Specialist. Since then, I have had the privilege to work every day with some of the most inspiring people. They have taught me that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. My clients never back down from a challenge. They continue to push themselves though any adversity life throws at them.

My clients inspire me.

Working with the Cancerfit program at Cornerstone Clubs in Warrington has allowed me to become a huge part of my clients’ recovery process. Staying physically active has helped them to grow, both physically and mentally. My clients now live life stronger than before and feel that they have regained control of their health and happiness. I have been participating in Spartan Races since 2015, and I believe the races embody the same drive as the clients that I work with. Spartans believe in changing your frame of reference and transforming your life. Spartan’s laugh in the face of failure and continue forward. They welcome challenges and embrace discomfort, and so do the clients I work with. They inspire me to take on my own challenges.

Alyssa at an event (left) & a recent group of CancerFit graduates (right).

Unite for HER serves women with breast and ovarian cancers.

Therefore, as a provider for Unite For HER through the Cancerfit program, I am motivated to compete in my next Spartan Race as a fundraiser for this amazing organization. The mission of Unite for HER is to bridge the gap between the medical and wellness communities by funding and delivering complementary therapies that support the physical and emotional needs of those with breast or ovarian cancer during treatment and beyond. They educate women and the community about the role played by healthy lifestyle choices in the prevention of disease and the promotion of wellness.

Please help me support this worthy cause.

I’m am using my next Spartan event to raise money for Unite For HER.  Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate 1 cent or $100, every penny counts. Donations can be made HERE.

Alternately, you  can donate in person at the Warrington location of Cornerstone Clubs. Thank you for your support and donation in the fight back against cancer.

“Be active. Be curious. Be human. We are unbreakable. We are strong. We are Spartan.”

Race Information: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA; Saturday, September 21st 2019

 

Why Diets Don’t Work

 

I don’t know about you, but summer is here and I have not achieved my summer bod goals “yet”.

Despite countless hours spent here at Cornerstone!   I am working out like crazy, taking classes, training hard with my girl, Lisa, eating healthy, and limiting alcohol (ah hem).  Like so many others,  I start stressing…  Holy cow, I have to wear a swimsuit, in public, in X amount of time!!!  In full panic mode, I start researching… what can I do in the next couple of weeks?   Then I regroup, because deep down I know that fad diets, yo-yo dieting, and  so called “miracle” pills DO NOT WORK – at least not in the long term!

In fact, research shows that 95% of the population will regain the weight they lost after choosing these diet methods, while two thirds of those people actually gain more than they originally had intended to lose.   And if you’re like me, at some point you feel like you have tried them all!!  Atkins.  South Beach. The Zone.   I’ll try one of these thinking it will give me a jump start, maybe help me lose these last stubborn 10 pounds.  This time, maybe this one will REALLY work!! 

To be honest, they all have been proven to yield some weight loss BUT they can be harmful  and are most likely not providing my body with the essential nutrients I need.  Moreover, they often lead to weight cycling (lose weight, gain weight, repeat) which is more harmful to our bodies than actually being at a heavier weight.  Most of us are more likely to return to an unhealthy eating pattern as a result because we did not learn how to eat healthy while following these diet plans. 

Recently, we are hearing more and more about the Paleo diet which is focused on eating  lean meat, fruit, vegetables and nuts, but will the lack of grains and dairy have a negative impact? Where will my body get necessary calcium?  The Ketogenic diet,  which encourages high fat consumption to put our body into ketosis thus mobilizing fat for energy, is also currently very popular.  Can our bodies sustain eating like this long term?  How will these diets affect our hearts, our kidneys, (our wallets, too!)?  Deep down, I know I have to consider plain old cutting back.  But remember, overly restrictive diets can take all the pleasure out of eating!  Food is to nourish our bodies and that is something we all tend to forget.  Food is not the enemy.  I need to remember to enjoy what tastes good to me and not deprive myself –  the goal is to think about portion control and moderation.   I know I need to keep in mind that skipping meals or starving myself is never a good idea!! 

I guess the take home message is this:   create  a healthy eating plan for YOU!!  This plan will become your lifelong program for everyday good health.   A good rule of thumb in the weight- lose game is to  eat healthy and exercise more! 

~ Kristen Fredericks, Wellness Coach, Cornerstone Doylestown

*As a member of Cornerstone, you are entitled to a COMPLIMENTARY Wellness visit!!  This includes our new InBody body composition analysis, a functional assessment and a comprehensive individualized Wellness plan for your journey in health here at Cornerstone.  Schedule your appointment by stopping by or calling member services at any location.

 

Kristen and her husband Josh showing how it’s done!

They Call Her “Lightning”

Editor’s note:  It’s been about 6 months since we started the Parkinson’s Program at Cornerstone Clubs.  At this point, we can safely say that’s it’s been a resounding success.  We are thrilled to be able to provide this very important fitness service to an under-served population and felt it was time to start sharing some success stories. So, please read on and enjoy “Lightning’s”  story.

 

“They call me Lightning and I have just celebrated 6 months with RSB (Rock Steady Boxing)!!! I am really proud of this accomplishment, because when I first started, I didn’t think I would attend the 2nd class.  When I first heard that Cornerstone was starting up the RSB program, I was elated!!  My doctor had suggested that I enroll in an RSB program because studies have shown that it is very beneficial for Parkinson’s patients. So very merrily I went to my first class. I had met the instructors previously whom I immediately connected with because their commitment and resolve to RSB was quite evident.”

Lightning’s story begins on a bright October day. As wide-eyed, uncertain boxers began to fill the room, a sense of curiosity started to grow. With speed bags on the wall, heavy bags on the floor and focus mitts placed on the chair, this boxing idea was becoming more real. Just as real as when their Doctors said “You have Parkinson’s Disease.”

Everyone in the room chose a seat in a circle and waited quietly.  The class started with introductions. First up – the coaches, “I’m Bart and I’m a Boxer. I’m Kristin and I’m a Boxer.” One by one, each participant introduced themselves following the lead of their coaches, not really believing their own words just yet.

“1 – 2 – 3 -4! Jab! Cross! Hook! Hook!” Footwork was taught, punches were thrown, and when the final bell rang after 12 rounds of work, a feeling of major accomplishment filled the air. “BRING IT IN!” the coaches exclaimed.  With hands joined together, a cheesy chant ending with “ROCK STEADY” sealed the deal. We had done it. The first workout was in the books.  As for  “Lightning”, she thought it would be her last.

“I found the first class to be very intense, more so than I anticipated and I went home and spent the rest of the day on the couch because I was literally exhausted!  (I did very little exercise prior to this program, hence the exhaustion!!) My enthusiasm was completely deflated and I sadly went to my next class with the intent of quitting.  Kristin and Bart had previously asked for feedback on how we felt after the first class and I told them how I felt.”

Lightning walked in and handed over her gloves. As coaches, we couldn’t let her quit. Not yet. See, we knew that Lightening was a fighter. We just needed a little more time to prove to her that she was a Boxer. After some conversation, she agreed to give it one more shot. And boy did she ever! “ Jab! Jab! Cross!”  Lightening bobbed, weaved, and danced her way through the second class. At the end of the session, each boxer chose their fight name – “Jabbin’ Joe,” “The Stallion,” “The Hurricane.”  Our fierce fighter, who almost walked away, chose “Lightning” because her punches became electric and her smile could light up the night’s sky (her coaches came up with the second part!).

“They convinced me to give it a chance.  I did and here I am today!!!  I cannot express enough my gratitude for their support, for their commitment, their dedication and encouragement.  I have never felt better or stronger and have become totally committed to my RSB and PWR workouts.  Last, but not least, I have met wonderful folks at these classes and that is an extra bonus!!!”

~Kristin McCoach, Parkinson’s Program Co-Director and Rock Steady Boxing Coach (contact Kristin)

For more information about the Parkinson’s Program at Cornerstone, click here.

 

 

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