“Wow! You’ve kinda let yourself go.”  This was my thought as I looked in the mirror, September of last year.  Don’t get me wrong, most people looking at me wouldn’t have really had the same thought. However, They wouldn’t have looked at me and wondered what my workout routine was either.  I had been an official member of ECA for a couple of months by then, but had mostly been paying just for the privilege of saying I belonged to a gym.  By September, my life, which had been fairly tumultuous up to that point, had settled down. I was ready to get serious about getting back in shape.  So, I made the choice to sign up for some personal training sessions, knowing a sure-fire way to get myself to the gym was to have a responsibility to someone else.

I started working with Dylan, and it was one of the best things I’ve done for myself in years.  Meeting with him three times a week started me down the road to fitness, and I began to feel better than I have in a very long time. I found myself coming in to the gym on days I didn’t have an appointment.  It wasn’t long before I began to see some real results. I lost about six pounds in the first three months and people began asking me, not IF I worked out, but HOW OFTEN. It was a good feeling. Then, Dylan forced me to sign up for the ECA FitChallenge 2016. (Ok….forced is a strong word but it was strongly suggested).

I thought I had been working hard before, but I was SO wrong.  I changed my diet around, added more cardio to my workout, and began to lift heavier and heavier weights.  In eight weeks, I lost another eight pounds, while adding almost nine pounds of muscle, which, I’m told, is not an easy thing to do.  I don’t know the ins and outs of that kind of thing, but I do know that I’m stronger than I’ve been in years. My energy levels don’t spike and crash throughout the day like they did. My knee, which has been in nearly constant pain for about three years doesn’t hurt anymore, and I’m beginning to be able to play some of my favorite sports again.

I know my story isn’t, necessarily, as inspirational as many.  I didn’t have horrible health issues. I didn’t have to lose 200 lbs in order to be able to live a normal life. I have so much respect for the people, with those types of stories, that I’ve met in my time at ECA.  They are an inspiration to me. Compared to them, I feel like a vain, whiney little child, but, everyone’s experience is their own. I guess it doesn’t really matter what motivates me to take care of myself. Whether it’s life-or-death, health, or vanity, the results are the same:  better health, better quality of life, and greater self-confidence.

Member of our Everett club // Rusty Gebhardt

*Results may vary from person to person