Being Fit Isn't Just For Other People

Kathy joined Bomb about two years ago. At the time, she had been suffering from back pain for about five years and had just received a diagnosis of early osteoarthritis.

Her discomfort was very persistent and the reality that it was worsening and beginning to prevent her from doing much more than getting through a day of work and parenting was frightening. It had her wondering about her future.

Would she ever be able to take dance classes again? Would she be able to carry her grandchildren? How long before she’d lose her independence?

With these kinds of terrible thoughts in her head, Kathy decided to take action. She instinctively knew that she needed to strengthen her muscles so they could carry the load that her joints were failing under. And so, she hesitantly joined Bomb.

Kathy and I knew each other before she joined and I remember the first time I saw her at the gym. She told me that she had never been interested in fitness and didn’t think she’d like it much, but she kept coming anyway.

And in a classic case of fake it till you make it, Kathy started to find herself (gasp!) enjoying her workouts.  And even better, her back pain started to melt away!

I think it was about a year after she joined that I realized how strong Kathy had become.  It was another few months before I realized I should share that feeling with her and her reaction was a combination of pride and surprise.  I don’t think she really recognized how far she’d come.

She said she hadn’t even really realized that she had achieved muscle definition until someone else pointed it out to her.  When we chatted for this interview, she told me that she never thought she was someone who could be a strong person and that it took her a good long while to realize that she had become one.

Before joining Bomb, she would see other fit women and immediately brush aside any idea that she could be fit too. It’s something we really connected on because for most of my life, I felt the same way.

And, not to make this about me, but the feeling you get when you stop relying on others to lift heavy things is pretty incredible.  And it’s not really about what you can lift in the gym.  It’s about self-sufficiency.

It’s carrying all your groceries in at once.  It’s shoveling the snow yourself instead of relying on your partner.  It’s volunteering to help your neighbour move their couch.  And it’s about moving through your day with the confidence that you can handle whatever physical task is going to come your way.

So, how did Kathy do it?  The recipe isn’t too complicated.  She adopted a simple philosophy of “sign up & show up”.  Signing up is the easy part, especially because in Bomb, she found the right fit for her. Showing up is a little harder, but when she’s feeling tired, she reminds herself that she’ll only regret NOT going.

And it turns out, that when she shows up, she’s intent on learning and improving. By that, I mean she’s never worried about what others in the class are up to.  She focuses on her form.  She pays attention to corrections, asking questions if she’s not sure she gets something.  And she works to the best of her ability, every class. And the results are undeniable.

Kathy is officially a powerhouse who’s always up for another fitness challenge.  Most recently, she started taking Kevin’s Beast class and is loving how it feels to lift a barbell.

What I love most about Kathy’s story is seeing her progress from thinking she couldn’t be fit to wondering what else she is capable of.  Being fit is not just for other people.  It’s for anyone willing to sign up and show up with an open mind and good intentions.