A discussion on our Facebook page last week resulted in some interesting member feedback. I asked what kind of information you would like to see featured. Among other suggestions, many members mentioned healthy eating tips and recipes, staff profiles, and member success stories.
The club puts a high value on input from members, and as a result, you’ll soon see many of your suggestions included in our daily social media output.
And here’s a little Spoiler Alert for Meet Me at Midtown readers: Midtown’s new website is launching soon, and it is an homage to you, our members.
Your photos, your goals, your fitness triumphs, and your suggestions for improving your member experience take center stage.
We’ve also included additional ways to stay connected to the club via new social media channels. Watch your inbox. Details are coming!
Taking center stage today, though, is new member Kathleen Hermann. Her success story captivated me because it’s one I hear so often from my new-mom friends. It’s also a story that mirrors my own from a year ago.
Here’s how joining Midtown changed Kathleen’s life:
When I was pregnant with my first child five years ago, I started the phase of my life called “waiting until.” Up until then, especially through college, it had been “living in the moment,” whether that meant meeting someone in five minutes to rollerblade along the beach while sipping cocktails, skydiving, or climbing a high peak.
However, by midway through my first trimester things had drastically changed. I had just finished my last Division I Collegiate cross country season and was living as an expecting newlywed, no longer doing much of anything except taking frequent trips to Pottery Barn Kids and scouring through baby name books. This all took precedence over trying to maintain any level of fitness, which had until recently been such an ingrained part of my life. Pregnancy, in my mind, was the excuse I needed to finally lie around and eat high caloric foods, mostly topped with chocolate.
“I’ll wait until the baby is born,” I promised myself. “Then I’ll get back in shape.”
It turned out that “waiting until” extensions were easy to make. Soon I was waiting until I was done breastfeeding. Then waiting until I had a solid night’s sleep. Waiting until we settled in the new house. Then waiting until my second pregnancy was over. Suddenly five years had rolled by, and I had just finished my most recent “waiting until” extension: waiting until we had settled in our new city of Rochester, as my husband pursued the last chapter of his cardiothorasic surgery training at Strong.
As I unpacked the last box in our newly rented house, I wondered about the next obstacle I could place in front of myself to justify lack of fitness. Certainly most people would understand that I needed to allow myself to wait until my husband’s training was finished, I reasoned. After all, he was working 14-hour days and poring over medical texts the rare times he was home. I was alone with no family or friends and two young kids not yet in school. The baby jogger would be awfully heavy to push.
I don’t know what the catalyst for change was, but one idle Tuesday morning I decided I couldn’t keep “waiting until.” I couldn’t keep waiting for some big event to happen before I changed my life.
If I was always waiting for something else to change, I would never change myself.
I knew I wasn’t living life to the fullest unless my body was healthy and happy. I just needed a good place to give me the support and motivation I needed to pursue my fitness goals.
The moment our member representative gave me the tour, I knew that Midtown was such much more than just a gym or YMCA. When she brought me into Kidtown, I was amazed. Where were the herds of crying children all penned into too small a space, as I was accustomed to in my gyms of the past? This place was spacious! And clean! And no one was crying! The associates were all smiling. What a relief to not have to shorten my workout due to “mommy guilt” and to take my time knowing that my kids were actually having fun while I did so.
The yoga studio also blew me away. The one missing aspect of my fitness in the past had been flexibility, relaxation and body mindfulness. I found it hard to “center myself” in a noisy gymnasium under bright fluorescent lights and thus had never tried any yoga. The moment I stepped in Midtown’s studio, I felt like taking centering breaths and getting in downward dog. What a peaceful place to rejuvenate, strengthen, and realign my body. More than just a gym, Midtown seemed a place concerned with whole living: body, mind, and soul.
I began eating at least one meal a day at Midtown, enjoying the cleansing feeling that eating real, whole foods gives. I worked out everyday and even looking forward to coming. Sometimes I enjoyed the variety of cardio and weight equipment, other times I took a class or worked out in the water. I joined a TNT class and actually learned how to play a sport I had always thought was beyong my coordination skills. I decided not to focus on weight loss or counting calories, but instead just enjoy the beneficial feelings that come from getting healthy and strong. It was an unexpected bonus that I have happened to lose 9 lbs and win my age group in a recent 5k.
In the short period of time I have been a member, my journey at Midtown has been one of self-transformation and discovery. For many Midtown members, working out isn’t just about looking good in a swimsuit (though it can be an added bonus.) In fact, there are members of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Belonging to Midtown is about the potential for improving life.
Being greeted by the staff, socializing during tennis and events, and chatting with other moms at the pool took away the isolation I felt as a stay-at-home mother in a new area. Being healthy has changed everything. I have more energy with the kids. I take them more places. I cook healthier meals. I sleep better. My mood is better. My marriage is strengthening.
I love that my children are learning to see exercise as the norm and not the exception. “How many miles did you do today, Mommy?” my oldest asks as she skips along beside me on our way to the car. Working out on the great lawn in an MXT class as the sweat drips down my face, I am overwhelmed with the visceral feeling of being alive. “You are stronger than you think. You can do this.”, the instructor, Vinny, reminds us.
And I can do it. The ability to draw deep and pull something from inside myself results in a confidence that manifests itself in all areas of my life.
For an overstressed, overtired, overextend mother, there are few other things that rival the delicious feeling of a workout. Finding the time, energy and inspiration to get out the door to exercise is made so much easier by Midtown. As a mom, I had to make the choice that my mind and body are valuable enough to take time for myself. I can only hope that I am setting the example for my girls to grow up with their own self- renewing form of exercise, to give them a fierce sense of independence and confidence to strengthen them through the self-doubting years.
After a training session at Midtown, quiet meditation in the hot tub, and a delicious meal, I walk with a bounce in my step to pick up my kids. On the way out of the locker room, I usually glance in the mirror one last time, into the eyes of a woman who looks refreshed, proud, and eager to approach the day’s next challenge.
“There you are,” I think to myself.
Have a Midtown success story you want to share? Send me an email and you might find your story featured on our blog.