Cannot say enough about this gal!
I met Dena over a year ago when she walked into the gym in hopes of getting stronger. Little did we know, she was about to embark on one of the biggest fights of her life. I am so proud of her and what she has accomplished and what she continues to accomplish each day! Girl- you are stronger than you know. It has been awesome being your trainer and seeing your progress!!!
But this is her story, so I’ll let her tell it…
When did you first join Edge Body? What caused you to want to join?
I originally joined at the end of July in 2015. I had started to work on losing weight at the beginning of the year – I mainly focused on my diet and cardio, like running and the elliptical, and by July I had hit the point where I was bored with it and didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know how to change my workouts on my own or how to lift weights or do anything else. So I started looking for boot camp classes, tried the free trial at Edge Body, and was hooked. I was at the point where I had lost the amount of weight I had wanted to, so I wanted to work on getting in-shape, learn how to lift weights, and get leaner and stronger.
What was the first meeting like?
Everyone was super friendly the first day I walked in. I didn’t know how to do very many of the workout moves that first week, but the trainers were really good on explaining how to do everything, whether it was your first time or 100th time doing it. I was scared I was going to be the last one done (and many times I was), but it didn’t matter if you were the first or last one done with the workout. The trainers knew me by my first name by the end of the first class, and helped with any technique that I was unsure on.
Were there any obstacles along the way in your journey?
After two months of being at Edge Body – just when I felt I was finally starting to improve – I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of September in 2015. I had surgery in October 2015 to remove the tumor. The surgery required some extensive recovery time. At that point, I realized it was time to put my membership on hold. I had originally planned to have the surgery and go straight back to working out after recovering. I was then told that it was recommended I do four rounds of chemotherapy. I gained 20 pounds between the chemo and recovering from surgery. After chemo, I had a second surgery – the only thing I was allowed to do for 6 weeks was walk.
After all of this, I was finally done with all my treatment and surgeries, but I was back at square one. I had gained back all the weight I had lost in the prior year, I could barely walk around the block without getting sore and tired, my chest muscles didn’t have any range of motion and I couldn’t even lift a 2-pound weight… I didn’t know how to get back to where I was before my diagnoses. After doing some cardio on my own again, I reached out to Missy because I knew I couldn’t do this on my own. I took personal training sessions from Missy, since she knew everything I had gone through, and I knew she could help me in the areas I needed help in the most. After a couple months of some personal training sessions, I was finally at a point where I could go back to my bootcamp classes in October! It had been exactly one year since I had to take a break from Edge Body.
What were the frustrations you were experiencing that led you to seek personal training? That led you wanting to get back into the group classes?
I wasn’t dropping any weight with just the cardio I had started to do again, and I needed help rebuilding my chest muscles after the two surgeries. What I was doing on my own was not working. I didn’t feel like I was ready to jump right back into group classes. Personal training pushed me to do things that I was uncomfortable doing with other people around. If I fell on my face or was unable to do something, no one else saw it. I learned what I was actually capable of doing because Missy continually pushed me to do things I would never have thought I could do at that point.
Were there any reservations about getting started in a program? Anything that held you back?
This was something completely out of my comfort zone. I have never gone to group workout programs or any fitness classes. I’m not very outgoing by myself and I didn’t know anyone. I showed up for the first time in July 2015 by myself – with a lot of anxiety, but I soon realized the environment wasn’t anything to be intimidated by.
When I started again in October 2016, I had the same reservations as day one, just for a different reason. I showed up to that first class unsure if I was capable of doing any of the workout and unsure if I was ready to be back in a group setting doing the same workout as everyone else. Doing personal training in the same environment and with the same instructors as the group classes took some of those reservations away and made me feel more comfortable.
How has Edge Body helped you reach your goals?
The workouts at Edge Body help me keep the weight off when nothing else seems to work. These workouts continually push me to try things I would never even attempt or think of on my own. I am still a long way off from reaching some of my goals, but I’m just getting started again. I can already see a noticeable difference from where I started back at day 1. I’ve lost most of the weight I gained during my recovery AND I can actually do a pushup now!
What type of relationship have you built with the coaches? What type of vibe do you get from the members and gym community?
I feel like I have built a close relationship with Missy. Even after I had to take a break from going to classes, she continually checked in on me to see how I was doing during treatment. Especially after doing personal training, I feel like I can trust her when it comes to knowing what I am capable of doing.
All of the members and other coaches are supportive and friendly too – I have never been to a class where I have heard anything negative or judgmental get said. It reminds me of being on a team, and everyone goes through the same thing and supports one another. I like how laid back it can be – it takes away from some of the intimidation. No one is uptight. I like how the members can joke around with each other and with the coaches.
What were some of the benefits, both physically and mentally that you gained since beginning training?
Technique on how to do things, just doing things in general I would never do on my own, having more confidence while trying things, maintaining a healthy weight.
How did training here help you achieve results? What was different about the process that really resonated with you?
Prior to joining Edge Body, I have never owned or tried to lift anything heavier than a 5-pound dumbbell. These classes push me enough out of my comfort zone to try something I am capable of doing, but would never try to do before, but they also have the options and modifications so that I don’t hurt myself while in the process.
It’s great never having the same workout. Before, my body would get used to doing something, and I would get bored. Here, it is never a boring or dull workout. There’s always an option of trying something new no matter what fitness level you are at.
Would you recommend others that are in the position you were in before to seek training here? If so, why?
Definitely – the trainers are great, the atmosphere is amazing. I was in a place where trying to do things by myself just wasn’t working. You can show up here and the workout is ready for you, all you have to do is put the effort in. There are people in every type of situation and fitness level. I like how the workouts are able to be modified if you have something you need to work around. They want you to be successful.
From left to right: June 2016 after surgery recovery, End of Sept. 2016 after personal training, Dec. 2016 kicking a** on some pushups in class!