According to Marlene, “last December I had an epiphany. I started watching others who were making real changes in their body and observed what they were doing. I was in a rut and didn’t even realize it! I had been working out consistently for years, but did the same machines – cross trainer or Stairmaster. I was not pushing myself. My workouts were more like — doing my time. I was sweating but I wasn’t doing interval training, using a personal trainer or doing enough variety of exercise and I had plateaued. I connected the dots for myself and thought, I can do this.”
Marlene saw the announcement for the Personal Fitness Challenge starting in January. Marlene thinks she was one of the last people to sign-up because she was so fearful of getting out there, doing something different, even facing the scales and being weighed. “I was a fat kid and my weight has fluctuated as an adult reaching a high of 172 pounds,” said Marlene.
Marlene also said that the season timing of the Personal Fitness Challenge was perfect, The post-holiday slump often derailed by best intentions and I knew I needed to get off my routine– I needed to become more social and break out of the mold I had created and challenge myself!
According to Marlene, “It was time for change. At some level I think we all know that, it is just a matter of facing it, recognizing it and doing something about it. It far exceeded my expectations!”
During the first week of January’s personal fitness challenge, Marlene thought she could do more and hired Rob as a personal trainer. Matt, Sarah, Alex and Rob are wonderful – never taking excuses and pushing me.
Marlene said, “I didn’t realize I loved to be pushed. They said do this and I would do it and try for an A+ feeling. The whole experience superseded my expectations. I have discovered so many new things about myself. I had to get off my one machine – being in a rut. Getting outside my comfort zone and taking on this challenge shook up a lot – for the better. I am happier, more creative, more energized in all areas of my life. I never knew Power Fit class with Joe was so much fun. I LOVE the classes in the Small Group Training Room. I am with very fit men and women and I push myself harder.”
Marlene had dropped 10 more pounds during the challenge and won the award for the greatest improvement in bench-press. This was her first time to win anything athletically! Plus she expanded her community and met many new, like-minded people. Connecting with younger people also inspired her. Participating also took away the stigma of age, pre-existing conditions and fear.
Growing up in Iowa on a farm, Marlene was not encouraged to exercise. Several of her relatives struggled with heart and health issues with a shortened life. Not Marlene! A healthy active lifestyle was something she had to create for herself.
Marlene, her husband Rick and children Mike and wife, Stephanie, Marcus, Madeline and Lexi have always been a fitness family. In fact, Rick and Marlene met when they joined Denver Sporting Club as singles in the eighties and not too long after, became marriage number 13 at that club. In 1987, they became Charter Members at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club. Marlene was pregnant with their first child at the time.
Marlene shares how Greenwood has meant different things throughout the years to her:
- When the kids were little they would stay in Kids’ Club which gave her my hour of peace
- Her husband Rick would take them in the evening to swim and Marlene could have her quiet time at home. Rick and the kids have many fond memories of that time together, jumping in the pool, exercising, playing basketball
- When her kids were on sports teams, they would use GATC to supplement their workouts
Marlene’s kids are now out on their own, but they still enjoy coming here when they come home to visit
Marlene’s attitude is her family health history is not going to get her; she is going to get it! Marlene says, “I sometimes see people here struggling and I hope they stick with it. I changed my habits and eating and pecked away at it – slow and steady. Not only with exercise but giving up sugar one day at a time. I got down to 110. If I can do it, anyone can do it!”
Marlene has had her own interior design firm since 1981. One of the residences that she designs will be featured soon in Colorado Expression Magazine.
Marlene also says, “I consider it a really good day if I have connected with all six family members and I work at that. I also enjoy reading and going to the art museum but my time at GATC, is my core, my grounding. I get away from business and at the same time have my best ideas while working out. The endorphins are in overdrive and I get this creative burst.
I see myself and my body, as a sculpture. I am able to sculpt it to what I want. I want to be active and fit.”
What is Marlene’s next challenge?
Marlene says, “I bench-pressed 100 pounds and now my goal is 110. Rob is helping me build upper-body strength. I have never been able to do a pull-up and I did it for the first time last week in PowerFit class. I just couldn’t believe it. This week I did TWO pull-ups! It is only just the beginning.”
Are you ready to start working out? Visit GreenwoodGuestPass.com to receive a three day pass!