Crossfit Crossfit Naperville

One Day At A Time

Friday, July 05, 2013 Sophie Magdalena

One Day at a Time! 
By: Justin Wilhoit

About a year ago, a spirited woman named Amy walked through the doors of our gym wanting to simply lose weight.  What she didn't know was that she was going to get way more.  I mean, exponentially more than she asked for; whether she wanted it or not.  

At the start of Amy’s training, she often made excuses, moaned, bitched, cussed, hated every second of training, hated sweating, hated me, hated the burn in her muscles and lungs, she pretty much dreaded the one hour training session at the gym. Then, an amazing transformation started to happen; she began thanking me for my help. 

Sometimes this act of positive acknowledgement occurred directly after her workout, other times she apologized by email…"sorry for acting that way and cussing at you, I didn’t mean it"…"I am proud of what I did and what you pushed me to accomplish, thank you”…She was having a hard time believing in herself and believing in me as a caring, professional trainer that would endure her spirited personality and her continuous struggle through training. 

One notable struggle occurred about a week into our one-on-one training sessions when Amy was very adamant about weighing herself on the scale.  The first time she mentioned the scale, I casually told her that the scale plays no role in her training.  The second time she brought up the scale I was a bit sterner and reinforced the fact that numbers on the scale do not matter.  The third time she brought up the scale I was very close to firing her.  The office door was closed, she was free to leave just as well as she was free to stay, as long as the scale was out of her vocabulary that is.  Shockingly, Amy got the point about the scale AND the underlying point that her trainer was in fact going to be her trainer.  She finally understood that someone else, still a stranger at this point, was looking out for her best interests. 

One day at a time! This is what she was to focus on, living her life ONE-DAY-AT-A-TIME.  Life is going to happen regardless if we are worrying or not, whether we are positive or not, whether things are good or not.  Worrying about what a scale reads each day/week/month was insignificant to her goals.  She needed to focus on a positive mind-set, getting to the gym 3-4 times per week, and fueling her body correctly.  These were some of the simple goals she focused on each day and she did, she made herself a priority and took action.  As a result of her step towards massive action, the results began to show even though she was reluctant to admit it at first.

Members of the gym started recognizing her success on a frequent basis. “Looking good Amy”…“Amy you are truly an inspiration”… these are just a couple of the daily acknowledgements she was beginning to receive because of her persistent pursuit towards her goals.  She made up her mind that she was going to change her life.  Taking action, never looking back, and taking things one-day-at-a-time was always a part of our training session in one fashion or another.   

Amy began setting personal records on both her strength and conditioning workouts each week.  Consequently, her clothes started fitting better.  In fact, her clothes started falling off of her.  



The scale didn’t matter anymore; it was now just an insignificant number.  

Her life was getting better, her health was getting better, she was doing things she was unable to do for years.  Confidence, another side-effect of her training, began to uncover itself.  Training sessions were progressively more challenging and I often heard about it in the form of many F-bombs!  We are doing what? I’m not doing that.  F-that!  This was all part of an entertaining training session with Ms. Amy.  She was taking her mind and body to places that she had never gone before.  Mentally and physically she was forging the new Amy.

In addition to all of her personal records, and more importantly, Amy said she is “proud of her accomplishments”, and of the new direction her life is headed in.  Records must be kept, so after her second or third time on the scale in one year’s time, she is down 100 lbs! Outstanding!  Amy earned every bit of her success through discipline, putting in the work, and simply walking through the gym door each day. 

With all of that said, the number 100 does no justice for the path that Amy has traveled over the last 365 days.  Many days were a struggle and it was by no means easy.  Amy no longer thinks of her success or lack thereof in numbers, she is empowered to be fit, healthy, and continue to experience what she says is a “high of pride I get after a CrossFit workout”.  She now realizes that fitness and health is a continuous journey that she will be on the rest of her life.  We often butted heads and had frequent counseling sessions to keep her progress train on the tracks.  However, our goal was the same.  Our training mindset also became the same: if the mind is right-the body will follow, do the best you can today, do not worry about things you cannot control, take each day for what it is-one day, not to resort to negative self talk, to enjoy ourselves and those around us today, focus on what will move us forward today.  Live, just live, One-Day-at-a-Time.

Quick snapshot of the Athlete-Trainer relationship: 

Here’s a glimpse into a year’s worth of training:  approximately 185 training sessions, roughly 125+ emails/texts discussing the following: schedule, family, life events, nutrition, holistic mind-body approach, accomplishments, pitfalls, meal ideas, food log counseling, continuous education/inspiration/support/encouragement/guidance, lots of “tough love”, work-life stories that verified her progress, training log progress, personal success stories, and most importantly the many new things she was doing because of her new level of fitness. 

Each training session lasted about an hour and looked something like this: 10 minutes of general warm-up, 10 minutes of mobility, 10 minutes of skill building, 10-15 minutes working on strength, 10-15 minutes of conditioning, and a 5-10 minute cool-down stretch/mobility session. 
All training sessions were held at CrossFit Naperville.  As a part of her experience, Amy unexpectedly found a community of people that were supportive of her goals and held her accountable each day.  A few months back Amy told me, “I didn’t expect everyone to be so supportive, I almost didn’t come in”.  Well, Amy, we are all very glad you did!  You have lifted the spirits of many close to you and have become an inspiration to more people than you will ever know.  Here’s to continued success ONE-DAY-AT-A-TIME!

This full article is featured in the Half Stack Magazine Digital Print Summer Issue.  Click HERE for this article and to read up on other great articles pertaining to books, music, fashion, and more... 



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