What you just watched was our 4:15 superstar, Ruth Littlefield, deadlift 165 pounds. I'll never forget the day Ruth started with us. Her biggest concerns were getting up and down off of the floor, kneeling, being in pain and just sick of feeling icky! Ruth has been training with us for almost a year (it will be a year in June!) during that time she has gained SO much to include knowledge, strength and confidence. It has been a coach's DREAM to watch this woman transform herself from the inside out. I am so proud of this woman right here and I am absolutely delighted to share her story...
In the fall of 2016 I started Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Through that work, I focused on mindfulness and awareness. My therapist took me through a process to help me identifying what I value in life. The values that were calling out to me where self-care, connection, courage/bravery, humor, creativity, curiosity and contribution. In order to move towards the things I valued, my therapist had me identify what I could do that would help me move towards those things and to be aware of what was moving me away from them. I was extremely sedentary, overweight, with high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, asthma and other ailments. Engaging in physical activity, especially movement that built my strength, flexibility and cardio would allow me to move towards all of my values. The challenge though was that I had never liked exercise, I had a pocket full of excuses, I was uncomfortable in gyms, and I didn't know what I needed to do to be successful. But my therapist encouraged me to be brave, so I checked out a variety of places and programs hoping I could find a place that was a good fit. I tried a Vinyasa yoga class that was not customized and way too advanced for me. I looked for a personal trainer but had no idea what to look for or how to approach it. Finally, two of my co-workers told me about Get Fit NH. One has been coming here since it started. The other friend was newer to it and had lost a lot of weight and gained a lot of strength. So I decided to check it out. It took a while for a class slot that worked for me to open up and I was SO nervous the first time I came to a session in June of 2017. Everyone here, from the coaches to the trainees are so friendly, encouraging and non-judgmental.
When I started, I didn't know squat about exercising and I had no confidence in my abilities. I have learned that through my commitment to the work and the right supports (thank you coaches and all my co-trainees), I have the capacity to change. It takes effort, patience, and a willingness to celebrate small changes while not being discouraged by set backs.
The biggest surprise since beginning training is that I actually love working out now! That is a bonus I never expected. My favorite saying when I'm in session is "I just DID that!". At first, getting up and down off the floor was almost impossible. Now I do it relatively quickly and without my knees screaming, although I am still not terrible graceful. I just got to the place where I can bench press 40 pounds and dead lift 165 pounds (check out the video of me being "strong like bull!!!"). I feel so much better in so many ways. Simple things, like being able to reach my shoes laces and walk places are so improved. My Cardiologist says my cardiomyopathy is significantly better and that is life changing. When I think back to those values I identified, Get Fit NH is definitely making it happen!!!
No, Ruth...YOU are definitely making it happen. Thank you for choosing to train with us and thank you for being a valued piece of the Get Fit NH family
The spotlight is shining bright on Michelle today! I asked her to share her story after she came in one day totally psyched about trying on a pair of jeans that had been sitting in the back of her closet. She hadn’t worn them in a while and was nervous that they may be snug, but when she tried them on they not only zipped but they were LOOSE! She was ecstatic and rightfully so. It has been our pleasure to watch Michelle’s confidence unfold. Top that with results and she is a happy camper. I am SO glad you walked through our doors, Michelle. We are the lucky ones! Here is what she has to say!
What did you seek out Get Fit NH?
My 51st birthday was looming and I pretty much failed at "fabulous and 50" and I knew I had to take action. I had belonged to a class that met x2 a week at 6:00 a.m.. Due to my work schedule, I found myself missing it more often than not. I had a membership to Planet Fitness but I couldn't get motivated to go. I had seen ads for Get Fit previously and had inquired. I received a call from Coach Nancy but never followed up. (See a pattern here?!) But I remained on the contact list and late in August, I received an advertisement for a 28 Day Metabolic Reboot for $99. Of course I was convinced it would a bait and switch situation where after the 28 days there would be an exorbitant rate increase but I thought I would try. Coach Nancy promptly called and set me up with a Coach. Coach Adam did my orientation and got me setup with my MyZone monitor and I started my 28 days in September. I really like the fitness test that was done prior to starting. This was done to ensure I was working at my capability level and would avoid injury.
What did you learn after your first 2 weeks?
I was definitely a bit shy and apprehensive the first few classes but the Coaches made me feel welcome. By the end of the second week, I was definitely hooked and having a blast! And I was already feeling better! Energy levels were improving and I was sleeping better. And I recruited a friend to join as well!
What results have you seen so far?
Well, this is definitely the best part! Besides having more energy and sleeping better, I am stronger and I am down a jean size! I feel so much better about myself and can't wait to see the continued results in 2018!
What keeps you coming back?
Besides the physical changes, it's the Coaches! They are awesome! During class, they always ensure my form is correct and they are always providing encouragement! They know everyone by name and they make the toughest workouts fun. And, I am challenging myself by making sure I go x4 a week. Life does get in the way at times and that's not always possible. Then I receive a reach out from Coach Meagan making sure all is OK and my motivation soars! I'll be honest, I need the push. Lars, Adam and Brian are awesome too - let's face it - you need to laugh a little to get through it sometimes! It's also the other members. It's a non-judgemental environment and I love the way others encourage one another. GetFit has definitely been a "fit" for me!
Keep up the hard work, Michelle!
At Get Fit NH we have many different training times during the day. They range from bright and early to hit training on the way home from work. The people you see at Get Fit NH are as different as different can be as well. From almost 20 and just starting college to Grandpas and Grandmas who retired after a full career.
But there is a group at Get Fit NH that is often referred to others as “one of those people”.
‘Those People’ are the ones that wake up bright and early and get into Get Fit NH for a 5am training. Petra is one of ‘those people’. Petra is one of ‘those people’ 4 days a week.
Yet, I know we would have a consensus that Petra makes it just a bit easier to roll out of bed on a cold day to get to Get Fit NH. She is cheerful, chipper, and sometimes just giddy at that hour. She reminds me of the energizer bunny.
In November Petra competed in the Ski Erg World Sprints. She was thrilled she finished the challenge. It is now a spark inside of her to compete next year. In fact she is training now for it. She has a goal in mind. Here is her plan, she comes in a bit earlier- imagine that- to ski 1000 meters.
I asked Petra to give us some background into what drives her to be one of ‘those people’.
Hey Petra, why did you start coming to Get Fit NH?
“My doctor instructed me to lose 20 pounds and I knew I could not do this on my own and would need all the help I could get.”
After your first 2 weeks, how did you feel?
“That I am totally out of shape and that the only way to change it is to stick with it and thanks to the support I am.”
How do you feel now?
“Due to all the travel for work during the first half of the year I was not as successful in coming every day; BUT--since July I am. Now it's December and my body feels great. I can feel and see the subtle changes and I can feel the strength in my arms and legs when doing yard work. Feeling great has taken away the emphasis on losing the weight. Watching not only what I eat but more so how much I eat and continuing training at Get Fit NH will help me achieve the goal of losing the weight.”
Overall how would you describe your experience at Get Fit NH?
“Get Fit NH and the 5am group makes exercising fun and I look forward to going. I thoroughly enjoy the group and the dynamics. Some days I do better with the exercises; some days I do not. What is important is: going and being there. To think how happy we can be at 5 in the morning! (Granted, it takes a cup of coffee and about an hour before for me to wake up … but, after the 5 am class and after catching my breath … I have energy like the energizer bunny!”
Honest and true ‘those people’ love Petra at 5am and so do I. Thank you Petra for being part of the Get Fit NH family.
It has been about three months being here at Get Fit NH. The work ethic I see daily from everyone that walks in the door has been amazing! No matter what the time, day, or location I am at everyone is always working hard! It is truly inspiring for me and has helped light a fire back in me!
With all the hard work I see I would like to take a moment to shine a spotlight on Melanie Kenney! Melanie has been super consistent making her training, is always in a good mood, and is always up to any challenge a coach throws her way! I was able to talk to her about her experience with Get Fit NH so far to see how she is feeling! This is what she had to say:
What brought you to Get Fit NH?
My good friend who trains at GetFit recommended it to me. Her and I used to work out together at another gym when I lived in town a few years ago. After I moved up north, I fell out of the routine of going to the gym. When my friend heard I was moving back to the area, she was quick to recommend this gym!
What changes have you noticed since starting?
I have noticed a big change in my stress level. Being a teacher is a tough job because it doesn’t just end when you walk out the doors. You are constantly thinking about lesson planning, meetings, how the day just went, how tomorrow will go, the kiddos and their home lives, everything!! Being able to take an hour of my day to just focus on myself and the training helps reduce and manage my stress levels. It’s been such a positive part of my routine throughout the week!
What have some of your favorite thing been?
I love the individual attention that the coaches offer. Now that I’ve been training there for a couple months and the coaches have gotten to know me, I love how you all push me! Whether that be by switching out my weights/bands or by modifying the exercises. This is something that was not available to me at the gyms I used to go to.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of how dedicated I’ve been to the training. I try so hard to make sure that I make all (or mostly all) of the classes. It’s part of my schedule and I make sure that it’s a priority.
What would you tell people who do not go to Get Fit NH?
I would recommend GetFit to anyone who was like me and needed the accountability factor. When I was paying for a basic gym membership, it was so easy for my to rationalize not going or putting off a workout. Having a specific class time and coaches who are just as invested in your training as you are helps tremendously! I look forward to seeing the coaches and the other people who train at GetFit!
Way to go Melanie! Consistency and hard work every day is such a strong building block to success! This is a spotlight well deserved!
Did you catch that? Don has done the 48 4,000 footers twice. There is no doubt that once Don puts his mind to something, there isn’t much that will hold him back.
He has a sense of humor that tends to sneak up on you. I emailed him the day he climbed Mt. Isolation. This is what he wrote me back: “Thanks for the note and your concerns. I am OK, just schedule challenged. Yesterday I spent 14 hours climbing my last 4000 footer which made me miss class (I was going to wear my Tu Tu on the hike but my backpack got in the way)”.
As his coach, I didn’t need to learn about his climbing 48 different peaks twice in his life so far to know that though. He has tackled getting to his goals in the last year. When he first came to Get Fit NH he wanted to a.) lose some weight and b.) increase his ability to be active at a higher level.
In less than a year he has done just that. In his first six months he lost the weight he had desired. HIs goal for the summer was to maintain his weight while he had a bit more of a relaxed mindset and traveled. He did just that.
Don has also accomplished gaining more energy to do more - hello, 48 peaks!
I want to take this time to say congratulations to Don. Being a member of the 48 Footer club takes dedication, time, energy, and grit.
The 5am crew asked Don if they could go hiking with him on his next hike. He said; “Sure, I’m going Saturday.”
Keep Making It Happen!
Honored to be his coach,
The one and only Deb Kaitz! I asked Deb to be in the spotlight because for 8 years she has been consistent, she works her butt off, she is competitive, she is strong, she is supportive and she keeps us on our toes! I would say Deb is one of the top 10 most competitive people in the gym. We love that about her! Her story is fun, because we weren't all here when she started to see how far she has really come. This woman never turns down a challenge and she rocks her goals. I am so proud of her and she is a true joy to coach! Here is what she has to say...
"I had actually read about Get Fit when it first opened. I was hesitant to do it because I knew I needed to commit and for me the timing just wasn’t right. When they opened in Concord I thought I would give it a try. They had the two week free trial but I also made sure I was going to commit to giving it a good trial so I prepaid for the following month. 8 years later I am still going strong. In my 8 years I have never missed a day of class just because I didn’t feel like going. For me this is the first training/exercise program that I love. I never get bored as it is ever-changing. Unlike when I was at my other gym. I would go walk on the treadmill and maybe lift weights but never saw any differences in my strength or endurance.
When I started at Get Fit I had really no upper body strength to speak of. I remember when we used to do testing in class. When we did the pushup test I got 0. I couldn’t do a pushup and in my life I had never been able to do one. Determined to get one I worked on this. And by the second testing day 3 months later I could do more than one pushup. When we moved into the “new gym” that had a pull up bar - again I couldn’t do pull ups but again I set a goal that I would get one pull up by the end of the year and I did. I have always been strong willed and if I set a goal I don’t like to fail. I feel like I set reasonable goals for myself and have been able to hit them. In the most recent movement challenge I set myself a goal of 50 movements during the month. I looked at what we had to do, did the math and knew exactly what I needed to do to reach that goal. The results for me can’t be measured by my weight because I think I weigh exactly what I did when I started. My results are measured in my strength. I play golf and had to relearn all my distances since joining as each club hits so much further. I am excited to say my Iron’s go about 40 yards further than previously. The other benefits for me would be my skiing improved dramatically and I can climb hills on my bike so much better than before training. If you are going to try it, commit - buy a month. 2 weeks free trial will make you sore from muscles you haven’t used, but too short to see results. COMMIT!
8 years strong! Can you remember what you were doing 8 years ago? She is one of many who have been here for over 8 years and we are SO lucky to have these people train with us. Thank you, Deb for you incredible commitment and fantastic competitive "can-do" attitude. You are a rockstar!
Today the spotlight shines on one of the Symmes, and this time the honor belongs to Riley. Riley has been an extremely dedicated and hard working student who always pushes himself during class and barely misses a class. Enough from me, read below to see what Riley has to say about his journey.
"Why did you choose Get Fit NH?
I joined Get Fit after a bit of peer pressure what from what seemed like the entire rest of my family who was already participating. I've never considered myself a big "working out" person even though I love to be outside and be active. I discovered that it was becoming harder for me to enjoy those activities as much as I once did, and that was enough to get me over the ledge and join.
What changes did you notice in the first few weeks?
I didn't notice too much physically right off the bat, just that I seemed to have more energy in general during the day. Sometime during the first month I was there, I went for a small hike and noticed that instead of getting winded fairly quickly I was just able to cruise along with very little issues.
What outside of Get Fit NH has become easier since starting?
General fitness and recovery has changed drastically since starting Get Fit. I can easily go out and do an activity such as skiing 2 or 3 days in a row and feel pretty positive that I won't get too sore or be too tired to go out the next day.
What are your goals?
When I started at Get Fit one of my main goals was to get in shape for ski season, before the season actually started. I has purchased a season pass and I wanted to take full advantage of every day on the mountain-not stop every couple hours to take rest. I didn't quite get to where I wanted to be before the season, but it didn't take nearly as long as it had in the past for me to get into the shape where I could ski a full day or two start to finish.
My goal from here is to continue to build on that progress and have an even more fun season than the last...as long as we get some snow. I also just want to continue to be a little healthier than the previous month, although I am under no illusions that its now football season.
What is your favorite part of Get Fit NH?
My favorite part about Get Fit is the accessibility. It is not far from my home or work and I know exactly how long I am going to be there each day. The multiple class times make it easy to fit into the week, regardless of what else I have going on. It really gives me very few excuses to not make it to a class everyday, and I'm not sure I would have been able to consistently keep up otherwise.
Great job, Riley! Keep up the hard work!
I’ve been waiting to do this spotlight for months. The mix of two moms, who run and own their own businesses, it can get tricky. Amy and I have that in common. I am fortunate to have Amy in my life. She provides a calming presence for me at Get Fit NH but also with her love for helping the human body work as it should. Amy owns Chichester Massage. I was able to turn to Amy for help many times but the most significant was when my daughter had Lyme. A 10 year old should not ache from head to toe. Amy was able to help Karalynn when she (and I) needed it most.
Amy tells her own story here. Two sides of the same coin. She tells how Get Fit NH helped her when she needed it most.
"I started training at Get Fit NH after meeting Dean and Nancy in a business referral group that I had joined to promote my business Chichester Massage. As a massage therapist, their integral training program made sense to me combining cardio, core, strength/resistance exercises to maximize the potential of your muscles. The best way to refer someone to a business is to try it yourself so I decided to give it a go. I did not struggle with maintaining my weight but I became winded very easily and felt pretty weak so my goals were to improve in those areas. I remember being very sore in the beginning but also excited as I noticed my energy increase, endurance and strength develop so everyday activities were easier.
At age 38 I felt like I was in the best shape of my life thanks to Get Fit NH and then I became pregnant. I was worried that I would lose all I had gained but I soon realized it was the best thing to set myself up for success. Despite my age my doctor didn’t consider me “high risk” because of the shape I was in and the training actually prepared my body and the baby for the birth process. I trained until the day before I had my daughter, with modifications of course, but I believe that had a huge impact on the ease of my pregnancy and getting back in shape post baby.
These days I struggle with balancing the responsibilities of being a mom, wife and business owner but my main goal is keeping up with my 5 year old (who is starting kindergarten, yikes!) and being a good role model for her with healthy eating and exercise. Since there never seems to be enough time in the day I have found meal planning to be essential these days. Nancy’s crockpot workshop and all the sharing of recipes for meals, smoothies etc have been invaluable and have taken me out of my comfort zone to try new foods. I love the support and encouragement from Nancy and the 9am ladies. Even when training is challenging there is lots of laughter. Get Fit NH has been a wonderful asset to me both personally and professionally. I have been a massage therapist for 20 years and keeping my body strong and healthy has contributed to the longevity of my career.
As a massage therapist I would like to share some of the ways massage therapy can benefit you especially when you are exercising regularly.
1. It enhances your post-workout recovery
You spend your time tightening and toning your muscles as part of your workout but muscles need to recover and be lengthened out again to restore flexibility and perform at their best. A therapeutic massage helps loosen up your muscles allowing you to recover from the impact better and faster than you normally would.
2. It soothes the pain of sore muscles
Your muscles can really ache after an intense workout but massaging and stretching them can help work out the knots, flush out the toxins that contribute to the "ouch" factor and get the blood flowing again so they don't hurt so much.
3. It makes your muscles work better
Regular exercise not only puts a strain on your muscles, ligaments and tendons, but also connective fibers under the skin known as your fascia - which help the muscles work smoothly and efficiently when they're in good shape. The fascia can get really gunked up with repeated exercise and that makes it harder for muscles to slide past each other easily. Massage helps by loosening up those fibers and releasing restrictions so the muscles are doing what they're supposed to with much less effort.
4. It helps you feel better, mentally
You have been working hard and a massage is a healthy way to reward yourself. Not only does it feel good but studies show massage lowers blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels proving it to be an excellent stress reliever.
Fitness is all about meeting new challenges as you work to improve your physical and mental well-being. As part of a balanced program massage can help you get to where you want to be."
Don’t forget as a member of Get Fit NH you receive 10% off at Chichester Massage!
It might not be recovery week but don’t wait to take advantage of what massage can do for you.
Thank you Amy for all you continue to do,
I recently had the opportunity to train in Epsom and then had an opportunity to coach in Epsom. I had to put the leader of the pack in the spotlight after observing this community. Epsom has something special about them. They are a smaller, more close-knit community. They are hard workers and pushed by the one and only Coach Nancy. While I was training in Epsom she pushed me (a fellow coach) harder than I would have pushed myself. Everyone needs a coach and she is a very special one.
While I was coaching in Epsom I asked the 3 morning classes to finish the sentence and here is what we got...
9AM Epsom: Coach Nancy helped me to achieve...
6:15AM Epsom: Coach Nancy taught me how to....
5 AM Epsom: My favorite part of training with Coach Nancy is....
I can tell you that as a coach myself these are exactly the answers we strive for. This is our mission and our purpose. I am proud of Coach Nancy for making 100 students feel this way each and every day. Thank you for giving me something to strive for, Coach!
Keep making it happen,
I am shining the spotlight on my mom this month (shhhh, she doesn’t know about it). I will admit that this is not an easy spotlight for me to write. Other than the typical joking and getting frustrated from time to time, I play a lot close to the vest. That tends to make it difficult to write things like this when you aren’t used to saying a lot of super sentimental things. However, I felt I really needed to write this at this time.
The first thing I want to say is just how extremely proud I am of my mom (for anyone who doesn’t know, its Denise at 6:45, but again shhh!). She may not say it to other coaches, but I know that we differ greatly in our feelings about exercise. I have always loved it and ended up making a career out of it, or at least am on my way to doing so. But she has not always been so fond of exercise. She originally started Get Fit NH as a way to build up strength and lose weight to be able to handle going to the Grand Canyon. Since starting though, she has accomplished a ton - in the weight she has lost, her attitude towards eating better and exercising more, and just overall doing things I know are outside of her comfort zone.
The fact that I see how much she has accomplished is the other reason that I needed to write this, because I know on some level she doesn’t give herself the props she deserves for doing it. I make the joke a lot to Coach Meagan about this when I say “can you tell we are related?”. I too have trouble seeing progress in my own life. Its one of those weird paradoxes where I can see it in others but never in myself. I know that she is the same way, not willing to give herself the credit for what she has accomplished. I know its out of being humble and not realizing how far she has come. I know I don’t see something in myself until someone else tells me they noticed a change, that’s the only way I really realize it.
So I just want to say again how proud I am of my mom and all she has accomplished here. I'm proud that she took the step in the first place to join. Also a thank you to the great class at 6:45 where everyone always treats her so well, and the coaches that also do and continue to tell both of us, no matter how stubborn we are, that we have accomplished a lot.