Author: Guest Blogger & Ridge Member January H.

specialkI am sure many of you have seen the new Special K commercial that sends the message “it is not about losing weight but what you gain.”  When I first saw this on January 1st it really hit home for me.  Sometimes I get so focused on the numbers that I forget about everything else I have taken away from this awesome weight loss journey.

I began my adventure September 2011 when a friend suggested I check out the 20lb Challenge at The Ridge.  I was skeptical and really had not even stepped foot in The Ridge before.   I didn’t think it was the place for me but being 20+++ lbs overweight I decided I really didn’t have anything to lose.  That first day of orientation I was so scared and nervous. The following morning at the first workout I was shaky and wanted to cry but it wasn’t that bad.  It was actually pretty amazing and it was the first time I have ever stuck with a weight lose program, reached my 8 week goal, and became a “gym rat”.  I will talk with anyone and everyone that wants to hear about the 20lb Challenge and The Ridge.

After the Challenge was over, in 2012 a gym friend suggest I try Zumba.  Zumba?!  I don’t dance.  I can’t do arms and legs at the same time and I have no coordination.  I remember being so nervous and scared the first time I walked into Ruth’s Saturday Morning class.  What are they going to think of me?  Will I get in people’s way?  Very silly because really no one cares.  Everyone is there to exercise and have fun, not to judge.  Then I went to Tara’s Cardio Party class.  I had heard about Tara’s intensity and how crazy her class can be; I was scared but I did it anyway.  It was crazy but crazy fun!  I was really awful but I had so much fun it didn’t matter.  With practice, the steps come, and the workout is amazing.  According to my heart rate monitor I can burn anywhere from 450-700 calories in the hour! I have the best time whenever I go to CP on Tuesday and Thursday with Tara and then I always try to catch Ruth’s class downtown on Wednesday.  These ladies are just two of the amazing team members at The Ridge.

Now it is 2013 and I started it out with a bang.  My good friend Wendy (my first gym friend) and I took Cross Country Ski lessons for the first time.  Again I was a bit nervous but it was so much fun.  I look forward to many more outings.  In the last 18 months I have really been trying to get out of my comfort zone.  Trying new things has been amazing and I really have nothing to lose.  I also decided to try a new program.  I LOVE the 20lb Challenge and the trainers (Josh and Krista) but needed something different.  I had my first day of Lana’s Boot Camp yesterday and it was tough!  I am tired but looking forward to tomorrow and everything the next six weeks has to offer.

Last week at 6:30 a.m.  I was scared yet again.  I was a little shaky during my short drive to The Ridge.  I was on the way to my first swim lesson with Mary.  I am nearly 35 years-old and have never had a swim lesson.  I am self taught, which equates to I can prevent myself from drowning in a pool.  I can flail around a bit and convince myself I am swimming.  I need technique and I need to know how to breathe.  I walked into the pool area and actually had that lump in my throat, a little tear in the corner of my eye, but I just took a deep breath and everything was alright.  Mary was just as amazing as the rest of the staff at The Ridge.  I am very excited to get back in the pool and practice what I have learned.
I just wanted to share with everyone all of the GAINS I have gotten as a result of that first day I stepped into The Ridge.  I am going to stop worrying about the losses and really focus on the gains.  The number one thing I have walked away with is that it is ok to step out of your comfort zone.  It has brought more happiness, better friendships, and more opportunities to my life then I could have ever imagined.