I signed up for the Snatched in Six Weeks program in June of 2011. During my pre-requisite FMS screen, the first thing that Mark Fisher asked me was, “Why are you here?” Suddenly and inexplicably I was fighting back tears. Speechless. I felt stupid and dramatic at the emotional response triggered by a such a simple question. I finally mumbled, “I’ve never been happy with my body, and I want to change that.” Mark didn’t skip a beat and said, “We will make your fitness dreams come true!” I believed him. And so my journey began.
I realized—later of course—that this moment with Mark was pivotal because it was the first time in my life that I had ever admitted out loud that I wanted to change my body. What I hadn’t shared with Mark was that I had just finished a graduate program at a top conservatory and, while I had a good experience, I felt emotionally broken from two years of predominately self-inflicted pressure and criticism. I also conveniently omitted that during these two years I had stopped exercising and consequently avoided looking at myself in the mirror. I didn’t know exactly what I needed to do to change my body and my self image, but I knew it had to be BIG, and that’s why Snatched appealed to me. Well, that and MFF’s quirky sense of humor, of course. By signing up, I was holding myself accountable for my exercise and diet. No more excuses!
The next six weeks literally blew my mind. I learned more about nutrition and about how the human body works in six weeks than I had in a lifetime. I learned that I had a lot of misconceptions about weight training, especially for women. I learned that I was mentally and physically stronger than I thought. I was embraced and encouraged by Mark—he was the only instructor at MFF at this point—and by the members of my class. I received an overwhelming amount of support from my family, friends, and co-workers. And the tears kept coming. Sometimes I wouldn’t make it past the first five minutes of class. Sometimes it was at the end of class “Who Do You Want to Be Today?” montage. More often than sometimes it was during a Robyn power ballad, I’m not going to lie. But whenever it happened, I let it happen. Total catharsis began to occur in body, mind, and soul. I no longer felt stupid and dramatic, I felt empowered. I embraced a new lifestyle and I embraced myself. I didn’t win Snatched, but I had great results; I lost 11 pounds and 6.5 inches. I was inspired and encouraged to continue on my fitness journey.
Months passed. I continued training. I wasn’t perfect, but for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like I had to be. And remarkably, I noticed changes in my non-fitness life. Ye Olde Trickle Down Effect began to take place, and I noticed my newfound confidence and empowerment worked its way from the gym and into my performing and my personal life too. One thing I love about Mark Fisher Fitness is their belief that fitness isn’t just about lifting weights and eating right, it’s also about your mind, heart, and spirit. I also have to take a moment to express how much I have received from the MFF team. For example, I went back through my e-mails before I sat down to write this, and I have exchanged 215 e-mails with Mark Fisher. TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN! He is an endless font of knowledge and encouragement and inspiration and love AND he has great hair. As the MFF team has grown, my experience has been the same. Thank you Brian, Kyle, John, Staci, Landen, Michael, Justin, and Christy!
June 13, 2012 marked my one year of training with MFF. I’m sure you’re shocked to discover that I came into the clubhouse that day and before I took class with him, Brian Patrick Murphy and I hugged for five minutes while crying. Yep. We’re just like every other gym, huh? I have always kept the intimate details about my life personal, but I made a post on Facebook that day that pretty much sums it up: “Today I’m celebrating my one year ‘Fitness-versary’ with Mark Fisher Fitness. Lost: 30+ pounds, 25+ inches, 3 sizes, unhealthy habits and dysfunctional relationships. Gained: Healing, knowledge, empowerment, confidence, muscle, and the most deliciously supportive, funny, inspirational, and talented fitness family of ninjas. I’m proud to be a feminine woman who lifts really heavy weights, and I look forward to getting better every single day as my journey continues…Thank you. I’m blessed!”
My fitness journey isn’t over. Since June I’ve lost another 8 pounds, hit my first dead lifting goal, and am determined to conquer the pull up! I look forward to a new year of challenges, discoveries, and tears!