Nancy S. is the ultimate team player. Anyone who works out with her will tell you, she brings incredible energy and intensity to everything she does. Each training session with Nancy involves even more laughs, more jokes, and more solid high fives than our usual classes. But Nancy’s light wasn’t shinning as brightly when she first came to the gym. As a former college athlete and runner, she was used to pushing through the pain and injuries to keep competing. But the wear and tear had taken its toll. She’d been suffering for years with chronic pain, and having lost her mobility to injury and weakness, she was in a difficult place and very close to getting a hip replacement.
As she puts it, she was in no-man’s land. She had always prided herself on staying fit and had tried everything to maintain some semblance of the active life she’d loved. Nancy had tried other gyms in Stamford but didn’t find the right fit for her needs. She’d go to the gym and do things on her own or go spinning with a friend, she even tried cross fit for a month but found it was beyond what she could do at this point in her life.
“I wanted to be active, I needed to stay fit, and I was struggling to figure out ways to do that in my 50’s. My body had gotten weak and I needed a way to get back my core strength.”
She came into the gym not sure what to expect. At first she worked one-on-one with Carrie our head personal trainer and focused on getting as strong as she could before needing surgery.
“When I came to the gym I was having trouble just getting off the floor. And for somebody like me, that was humiliating, to say the least. I was incredibly frustrated.”
Nancy was dealing not only with chronic pain, but the emotional impact it was having on her daily life. She was used to going on long runs, hiking on the weekends, and going on active vacations with friends and family. But she couldn’t do those things anymore. She would get nervous just walking down the stairs because she never knew when her hip would go out.
At first coming to the gym and adapting to a new approach to fitness was challenging for Nancy since she was used to pushing through the pain. But she soon realized she could continue to get stronger by working around her injury not through it, “One thing that I’ve learned is that there are alternatives, there’s always something you can do.”
Post hip replacement surgery and Nancy is getting her life back. “I feel like my old self again. I’d forgotten who that was.” It wasn’t easy but Nancy was back in the gym in no time. She credits her success to being able to get some strength back before her surgery and her determination in rehab. “Carrie was very sensitive and understanding but also very professional in the way she addressed my particular needs relative to my limitations.“
Now Nancy is the hit of the party- every training session here is like a party- and people who have never trained with her before always comment afterward how much they enjoyed her presence and positivity. I asked Nancy where she sees her work in the gym paying off the most in other parts of her life:
“I feel like I’m getting my strength back, which makes me feel more vibrant and more alive. I have more energy and self- satisfaction. Overall, I’m happier with myself and where I am with my life. I absolutely feel that the gym helped ground me, at a time when I was unable to do that for myself. That was an unbelievable gift.”
I asked her about our community and what she likes about coming to train with us, “I love showing up and instantly feeling a sense of support and camaraderie among my workout friends. It’s a safe environment where I can be myself, and it lifts me up. ”
Nancy also shared about something that struck a chord with her from one of our training sessions, “You said it one day and sometimes I play it back to myself when I’m trying to wake up for the early morning workout and I’m exhausted from the week, or work, or being out with clients or just life; it’s ‘just get your feet on the floor.’ And I’m always so happy I did.”
And that’s the power of a positive community. Where everyone inspires everyone else and no one is left behind. It’s something we take seriously at Organic Fitness because there’s enough negativity and competition out there, we want to be a place where people come to get motivated and be a part of something bigger. And Nancy embodies that message every day.