We are 19 days into the New Year, which means a lot of people may have already given up on their new year’s goals for a healthier year.
In Get Fit, Get Healthy, Michelle Dunaway brings us to a life changing program in Kalkaska.
"I wanted to offer a place where people just felt comfortable walking through the door with no judgment to come here and have fun and continue to find something that they love to do," says Nickey Torrey, owner of Life Fitness.
Loving a workout, it is possible. The people at Life Fitness in Kalkaska are proof.
"In this journey, it’s not about what we’ve lost. It’s about what we’ve gained, the friendships here. We are all in the same place," says Jennifer King.
But you certainly cannot overlook what some of these people have lost.
Jennifer started taking classes with Nickey about two and a half years ago when she was teaching in her pole barn.
"When I started I was 87 pounds heavier," says Jennifer.
Harley Wales says, "A year ago, second week of January, I stared coming here with two friends. They say, ‘Hey, you gotta come, it’s fun!’ So I came down and I came to a class, and that was 50 pounds ago."
Harley’s one class is now 5-7 classes a week.
"To watch the sizes go down, me go down and my friends sizes go down. There’s quite a group we call ‘the tribe’ and we all stick together, we have each other’s backs,” says Harley.
For Harley, it’s changed his life, and others.
"I feel like I’ve been given my life back, honestly. Not only can I do things I couldn’t do before, but as simple as the job that I have. I work in long term care, so having all that energy is great because I get to give to people that don’t have it," explains Harley.
It’s a feeling Nickey loves to share, because she’s been there too.
"About three years ago I was 60 pounds heavier than what I am now. I knew I wanted to do something to change, so I stared doing an at-home program in my house and I fell in love with it," says Nickey.
Today she and the other instructors teach several classes a week from Piyo, a combination of Pilates and yoga, to pound, a fun class using weighted drum sticks.
"It’s my passion. It’s changed my life so much. I just want to continue to give that back to our community," explains Nickey.
Giving her community the tools to make a difference in their own story.
"Everybody has their own success story, whether it’s coming out of depression, or whether it’s losing weight, or whether it’s coming off some sort of medication. Everybody has their own story, but they all continue to amaze me and I’m so proud of them," says Nickey.
Because they all agree, the first step is the hardest.
"Took me a good three or four weeks before I actually had the courage to walk through the door," says Jennifer.
Harley adds, "There’s none of that gym-timidation here. It’s very welcoming, and once you come and you do it and you feel what you can do, come back and do it one more time."
From getting in the door to making it a habit, fun is what keeps people coming back.
"You don’t have to hate working out. We’re here to help you fall in love with it again, or for the first time ever," says Nickey.