Here is Victoria’s Story…
I walked into F3 2 months after moving to Carmel. It was our 3rd major move in 3 years. From California (4 years), back home to Michigan (almost 2 years, two cities), then, a too good to be true, job offer to Indiana. My older daughter just turned 3, and my younger daughter was 3 months old. I was the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life, and the most overwhelmed.
Every time we moved, I would have to start over, find a new network, new friends, etc. It was never that hard for me, I had a sales background and could talk to anyone. In the past, I found my best friends came from the place I worked out in. In California, I started working at lululemon and a barre studio. Lululemon came and went and I went to other endeavors but I stuck with the barre studio. Starting at the front desk, and eventually teaching. My plan was to do just that here in Indiana. Prior to moving, I had secured myself a job teaching and couldn’t wait to get back to it.
It didn’t go as planned, having two kids and no access to easy child care, made it nearly impossible. We decided it would be best for our family for me to stay at home full time. It would be the first time since I was 12 I didn’t earn money. My dad had a medical supplies business that I would work at after school sometimes, and almost full time during the summer. It was a different kind of life being stay at home, but I knew I needed some kind of fitness and I decided to try a different type of barre studio that had childcare. Almost every single class I would be pulled out because my daughter was fussy for whatever reason, and was forced to end my workout early. I was beyond frustrated, and found myself counting down the days until my month was up, while watching the number on the scale continue to climb.
A friend from California, who was also relocated here encouraged me to try F3, the workouts were tough, the had a TRX (which I would go to the headquarters in San Francisco), boxing, and most importantly child care. I’ve done a lot of boxing in the past, so I figured if all else failed, I’d do the boxing and then try somewhere else.
I’ll never forget my first class. I was standing at the reclaimed wood desk, filing out paper work and watching all of these beautiful women walk in. They were fit, happy, smiling. At first I was intimidated by them, I didn’t fit in. I dropped my daughters off and all of the kids looked happy. Ms. Karen was holding a baby, rocking her. There were so many toys and games in the room, and I felt ok as I left their little faces in there. Hoping I could make it through the workout.
Brayden gave me a run down of everything. I was partially listening, mostly just staring at all of these fit bodies, and I figured if this is what they were doing to look like that, it’s what I needed to be doing as well. We started running up and down the turf, I hated running, then into high knees, jumping jacks, etc. I couldn’t remember that last time both of my feet left the floor at the same time. TRX “warm up” everyone was in sync, I just tried to keep up, and was ready to be done. In the spinning room, all I could see were legs flying, and mine were going so slow. Then we went to circuits and I was told to plank one of those big birthing balls and this guy was going to kick the ball. What? Ok, I thought, I can do this. And I did. At the end of class, I was covered in sweat, my lungs hurt from being fully expanded, and I was smiling. I felt less stressed. I remembered what it felt like to get worked, and how much I needed it to control my stress levels. I went to pick up the girls, they were smiling, no one was crying and I completed the entire class. I went home, exhausted, my lungs were going to fall out of my body, but I was infatuated.
The next day, I decided to go to boxing class. I couldn’t believe I wanted to do it again, my muscles were sore, but I knew they would make it. My body responded accordingly. My muscles remembered the moves. Every punch, I felt better. The stress of my daughter’s tantrum over her shoes went away, the pure exhaustion of getting up multiple times a night with the baby, gone, the stack of unpacked boxes didn’t matter. All that mattered was that I felt, for the first time, since that positive pregnancy test, like myself. I recognized this person. She was fierce, and in control of her life, she knew mental toughness was what mattered because your body will always give up last. How did she go so far away from me? It was at that moment, I made a decision, I had already decided to lose the weight, this decision was bigger: I decided to find myself again.
For the next month, I went to class 4 days a week. Every class I improved, I got stronger, started to lose some weight, and felt better. About a month and a half into my new routine, my dad went to the hospital for emergency back surgery. He came out of anesthesia delirious. It had accelerated his dementia. We spent Christmas Day in the ICU, I was holding my dad’s hand and he had no idea who I was, or any one else in my family was. It was devastating. We had to go back to Indiana. I couldn’t help take care of him. I couldn’t rotate shifts with my mom and brothers sitting with him. I had to take care of my family. I fell into a roll of peace keeper. Talking to everyone about his condition and how they were handling it. Talking to doctors for my mom, because she wasn’t strong enough to hear the answer. He finally headed to a nursing home and started to get better. I can’t tell you what happened in those months. F3 was the only thing holding me together. I let out my stress there, only to be confronted with texts and voicemails when I was done. I was struggling to eat and sleep. I had a level of anxiety I didn’t even know was possible.
One day, I saw a new boxing class on the schedule. I went to it, but was the only one there, the instructor thought it started the next week. Mark, the owner, said he would personal train me. He asked me why I joined and what I liked about F3. I remember telling him I couldn’t believe this place. It had the latest trends in fitness, it was so challenging, yet supportive and fun. It was a gem, and without the childcare I could not be there. It told him about my dad. I was so guarded about the subject, unable to speak the words, risking a melt down with a stranger. He listened and said he was sorry I was going through it. I quickly changed the subject, and asked him about how he got his start. He was a true entrepreneur. Someone who thought big. Made things happen. He was everything I admired in my dad. Everything I admired in myself. I went home after that, and my husband was home early from work. Himself frustrated with the situation, he said to me, the things happening with my dad, were not my fault. I couldn’t do anything about it, and I was missing my life. I wasn’t present. I was in my head. I was missing my girls grow up. I needed to decide what to do. Either go there and help my dad, or live the life I created here. It changed everything.
I started to be present at the gym. To see what actually was going on around me. To push everything that was in my head out and focus on me, why I was there, and to actually talk to other people there. I stopped comparing myself to everyone else, and started to actually listen to what I was being told and tried my best to get into the right form. After each exercise, I let it go, it was over, it didn’t matter anymore. There was a new challenge to conquer. It didn’t matter if I was tired or sore, it was over, I was going to do the next thing the best I could. I gained more strength, and felt even better.
Pete, the boxing instructor, asked me to do mitts with him. It felt so good, just talking to Pete about boxing re-ignited my love of boxing. I decided to do mitts with him for a half an hour after class for a few weeks. I got to know him a little better. He was so kind, and honest. He always talked about his girlfriend, Julie. When I learned who she was, I would notice her with the other clients in class. She was the kind of person I wanted to be around. She was so fit, had such a great energy, but yet, I was intimidated by her. I wasn’t ready to make friends yet.
Slowly, the network started forming and my dad started to get better. In mid-February he came home. He started to get his memory back, and everyone’s stress levels went down. I felt more like myself then ever. I started to get more confident and have more energy. I started to cut negative things out of my life and focus on the positive. I became more patient with my children, enjoying the age they were in, not wishing for them to grow out of it. I started being a wife again to my husband. I figured out a routine, and started to embrace my new roll. I decided to start taking care of myself again. Wearing pants with buttons, doing my hair, and started a new skin care regime. I asked people at the gym about what doctors to go to, where to buy clothes, etc. My clothes were getting looser, and my confidence was growing I started setting up little goals for myself. I stopped weighing myself, and focused on a new lifestyle. I started eating more, and drinking green smoothies in the morning instead of skipping breakfast. The weight started to fly off.
I went home for a wedding and baby shower, everyone was shocked at how I looked. I didn’t realize the big change that I had made. My mom sat me down, and told me she hadn’t seen me like this since before I got pregnant. She was so happy to have me back. I had stopped complaining about my life, and started to take charge of it. She asked me what I was thankful for, I hadn’t really thought about it. I was thankful for so much. My dad was getting better. My husband was the best, and I had two really great kids. She said I was so lucky, I had created such a great life, I should let people know how much they meant to me. A great reminder to stop and notice the little things.
When I reflected on what I was actually thankful for, it came down to coming to F3. No, F3 was not responsible for my weight loss, I was, but at the end of the day, I couldn’t have done it without them. Most importantly, the childcare. Without childcare, I could not go to the gym. My husband went to work too early, and by the time he got home, it was too late. Without having childcare, I’d lose that hour to myself, my recharge, my social outlet. my release. Then it came down to the workouts itself. I couldn’t have pushed myself like the trainers had. I mentally could not think I was physically capable of it. I could not have thought of the exercises to do to get the results I was getting. Yes, I was paying more compared to what my husband was paying at a corporate gym, but what I got back was priceless. I got my life back.
I had tried to get my husband to come with me for months. I wanted him to experience what I was, understand what I was doing. He went one time, and said the classes weren’t for him and refused to go. I finally got to get him to go again to a smaller class. He signed up for personal training with Mark. We were on the same page now. We would talk about the workouts, the pain, and I started to see my husband differently. I always knew he was smart, and strong. He did all these things on his own, and achieved such great things, pushing himself to his max, all on his own. It was incredible, but now he was getting pushed by Mark, and he excelled. I could understand what he was doing, because I was trying to do the same thing. Things I didn’t even know he was capable of, it was amazing. I was so proud of him. I realized I learned how to be mentally strong from him, how to keep going even if you’re tired and it’s the last thing you want to do. I fell in love with him more.
I finally decided I should make some friends. And reluctantly met a girl from Michigan that two of my friends had introduced me too on facebook. I had gone down this road before. Meeting someone else who happened to live in the same city, that someone happened to know, that I knew, when I was 10. It never worked out, but for some reason decided to give it another go. I met Margaret at the water park. She had two little girls the same age as mine and just had moved here. She was me, before I went on this journey of self discovery. She had lost herself, and given up so much of herself and made a sacrifice for her family to relocate. Leaving a twin sister and a big family and support system behind. I liked her immediately. I finally convinced her to go to F3. Her reaction was the same as mine, intimidated, didn’t belong, didn’t want to go on. But she did, for me. She was determined to make a change, and you could see it in her eyes. She wanted to start doing personal training sessions with Mark. I reluctantly agreed, I was getting the results I wanted without having to do personal training, but desperate for a friend, I committed for her. It turned into my favorite part of the week. It was just the two of us and him. He got to know us, and we got to know him. A different side of the gym. Not a class with lots of people and music to keep you going. But just you and him, pushing you to a new max. He got to know me and could push me harder in his classes. He got to know my daughters, my older one developing her first crush on him. Everyone in my house was talking about Mark and F3. I finally had made a friend. A friend who I just knew would be a game changer. She kept up with me at the gym, and she was so mentally strong, it blew me away. I started to talk to Julie, we became friends too. She admired my boxing skills, I couldn’t believe it, my confidence still in repair.
It’s been a little over a year now. I decided to do an Inbody a few days ago before class, a machine that not only weighed you, but could calculate your body fat percentage, visceral fat, fitness level and how much your individual body parts weighed, a truth detector. Every person who purchased a membership at F3 was subjected to within the first week of starting. I was nervous, but I was in the clothing size I had only dreamed of. I needed to know some facts, figure out exactly what I had achieved. I stepped on the machine and nervously gripped the paddles and waited for the results. I’ve lost 30 pounds of fat. I couldn’t believe it, couldn’t remember that person, but will never forget her, and never want to feel like that again. I’m so thankful to have walked into F3’s door at that moment in my life. It clicked for me, it meshed, and it worked. I have accomplished something that I am proud of. I’ve started to set an example for my daughters. Words are words, but actions are what are followed. I’ve shown them that it’s ok to take a step back from your career to raise children. Children are our future and daughters have a disadvantage. Women aren’t treated the same as men and are held to much different standards. Putting yourself in front of the line is a hard one for any woman, especially moms. Being healthy, eating healthy, maintaining healthy relationships are what I’ve come to value and what I want to teach my daughters. Living in the present, is the hardest of all. Something I’m continuing to work on every day, as the results are life changing.
Looking into this new year, I can only look to a new goal. I asked Mark what he thought. He said you can only get better, and he lives by this. He’s always asking what people think. What he can do better. He continues educating himself on the latest and greatest. Bringing it to his gym. He takes this mentality to his instructors. Creating excellence and accepting nothing less, and that is something to be admired. He’s created something special, and I know that he has an amazing support system. I’ve seen them everyday. Shana behind the desk, knowing every client, then his wife Kelli. She’s related to me about my girls so much, having 4 girls herself. I know her role, she is the spine of the company. I saw my mom do it with my dad. His business survived because of her. All of the back door decisions were made by her, the bills paid by her, the stuff that wasn’t on the surface. Her roll as important, if not more, than Marks. Everyone there welcoming me and others to the gym, training, supporting each other, working together to make the gym something more than a place to sweat. It’s so much more than that to me, and I’m sure many, many others.
Whenever I see new people in the gym I feel an urge to reach out to them. Let them know that my results did not happen over night. I did not look like this when I started. It took time, it took trial and error. Figuring out what worked best for me to achieve the results I wanted. There were days I could have gone and didn’t and I regretted it. I lived day by day, putting one foot in front of the other. Leaning on people to keep going, and being surprised when I did. It took dedication and a will to change. It took trust in the process, and patience. I’m not some kind of super human with extra muscles. I’m like everyone else out there, but I’ve refused to settle and make excuses. I’ve chosen to be happy and take the steering wheel on my life, and I am working my ass off to keep it. I hope to inspire, but mostly I hope that people live their best life. Because if we all try our hardest, take a step back, show kindness to each other, teach our children to be kind and do their best, the world will only get better. I just hope to be a small part of that for the longest I can.
I know it sounds crazy to have this much of an impact from a gym, but F3 is not just a gym, its a small business, it’s a life line to a family and their trainers. It’s a network of people. People from all walks of life, connecting with each other. It’s amazing. I can’t thank them enough, and I can’t wait to see the future of this relationship
CONGRATS Victoria Powers!!
You put in the work, and it shows! If you have a goal— prepping for a wedding, losing post pregnancy weight, training for a sporting event, LIFE, etc.Contact Us!