Nina's Story: From Rower to Instructor

What happens when an athletic young woman finds herself overweight and out-of-shape? What does she do to get back into shape? And, how does this ultimately lead her to become a fitness instructor? Here’s my story of that journey.

I’ve always been an athlete. My two older brothers had me walking at nine months old and playing sports soon after. I played and loved every sport under the sun. It wasn’t until I went to college that my active lifestyle stopped. Playing intramural sports wasn’t enough to counteract all the poor food and drink choices I made in college. My weight and my toned body went out the door. By graduation I was 30 pounds heavier than I had ever been. And, the most self-conscious I had ever been about how I looked.

After graduation I started my teaching career. I always wanted to become a teacher because of my desire to help and inspire others. But how could I do that if I couldn’t even take care of myself? In my second year of teaching, a student told me about Soulcyle suggesting I would enjoy the spin classes. I was extremely reluctant to try something new so it took months before I finally decided to try a class. Lesson learned - don’t be afraid to try new things! That class, a little over four years ago, began my fitness journey. Thanks to Sydney Miller, my Soulcycle instructor, I started spinning at least twice a week and became motivated to embrace the healthy and active lifestyle I knew my body needed and deserved. During my four years of spinning I lost the 30 pounds I gained in college. And, I got my body back to where I wanted it to be. Or so I thought where I wanted it to be.


That was until I found Current. From my first class rowing at Current I was hooked. It is unlike anything you’ve done before. Like other studios, there’s great music, supportive coaching and a candle-lit vibe. But it’s the choreographed rowing moves that make the workout so incredible. Within a month I noticed changes in my body I had never seen before from any class or sports activity. I HAD ABS!!! The definition in my abdomen and arms was apparent, so much so that people were noticing. My confidence went through the roof and I was even more determined to push myself to see what else I could do with this transforming body of mine.

Now for the most “current” chapter of my fitness journey. One day while chatting with other rowers after class, someone asked me when I was going to become an instructor. I laughed because I had never thought about the possibility of becoming an instructor. Then, after a few more people asked, my instructor Ally Berlin sat me down and told me she wanted me to go for it. I was really flattered that other rowers wanted me to teach classes, yet to have someone I respect and admire as much as I do Ally, tell me that I’m good enough to do what she does, left me speechless. She is a naturally caring and generous person and her promise to be with me every step of the way is still going strong.


From my first class I connected to the people I met at Current. During my transition from rower to instructor I’ve learned I’m stronger and more resilient than I ever thought I could be. And I realized I have the most supportive team behind me – not just my family and friends, I have the entire crew at Current.

It’s hard to put into words what being an instructor at Current means to me. This ass-kicking workout changed my life so much that I want to teach it to others. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in my entire life and I’m proud of my accomplishments. Being a teacher fulfills my desire to help and inspire young people. As an instructor at Current I will inspire my “crew” to embrace a healthy lifestyle and know there are no limits to how far you can push yourself. I am beyond excited to share my love of Current and to bring my unique energy and athletic skills to my classes.







How I Lost 40 Pounds

My name is Maggie. I am 55 years old and my husband and I have four grown children. I’d like to share my story of how after years of workouts that didn’t inspire me, rowing classes at Current changed my body and my lifestyle. I’m not a fitness expert, a health nut, vegetarian or exercise expert. I’m just a middle-aged woman who found a way to change my body and live a healthier life. I’ve lost a total of 40 pounds this year and I plan to lose another 10 to 15 pounds in the new year. My doctors are amazed and I am too!! This is the story of how I did it by rowing at Current. It is the secret to how I changed my body.

Several years ago I had open-heart surgery. I was at the lowest point in my life and did not think I would make it. Emotional eating took over and I gained the most weight I’ve ever gained without being pregnant. I realized I was not able to climb up stairs without being tired and winded. I was a yo-yo dieter for years and I had tried several workouts including running but nothing seemed to work for me. Then this past spring my youngest daughter became engaged. Someone took a picture of us and I was in total disbelief at how much I had really let myself go. To be honest, I was kind of embarrassed and all over the place with my feelings and emotions. I realized my weight gain had affected my physical and emotional health. I began to think about what my life would become, especially as I grew older.


In May 2017 stepping on the scale made me realize it was time for a change. I thought about my youngest daughter’s wedding. I decided I was no longer going to take a chance with my heart or my overall health. I had taken classes at Current before but starting that month it wasn’t “just for fun” anymore - I needed a real change. I started buying packages of classes and committed to taking classes consistently. I began making new friends at the studio, and even inspired co-workers from my law firm to join us. We fell in love with Current and the results!

 

Yes!! I’ve finally found a workout I want to do instead of have to do. A class I look forward to, which brings me lots of laughs and endless fun. It’s not just the music and instructors that will inspire you. The candle-lit vibe and the positive atmosphere are electric! You work your upper body, your lower body, your legs, your arms, your back - you name it. Think about your abs. My favorite. With their custom “boats” you are literally doing a ton of sit-ups in all different positions for 45 minutes!! Trust me, you will come out warm and toasty and sweaty and you will have no regrets.

The adrenalin is like a high that doesn’t disappear when the class ends. Not only do I wake up feeling fresh and sharp the next day, but I have a sense that I can take the day on with gusto. I have an inner calm while my energy is supersized. I feel healthy emotionally and physically and this helps me eat less and make healthy food choices. My expectations have been surpassed beyond my imagination. Needless to say, rowing at Current changed my mindset and life. I’m happy and my husband loves the new me!


My weight loss was not overnight. 40 pounds takes time and effort. As I said, I began coming twice a week starting in May. That is a total of 7 months. The weight loss has been slow and steady. But unlike my experience with other workouts, I have not experienced a plateau since I started rowing at Current. So come get healthy, come get fit, and come get a different way to lower your stress levels. Press harder after a day filled with a stressful boss. Sweat it all out! Replace it with a peaceful exhale.


Make a commitment to yourself and join me in class in 2018 when I will be on a mission to lose those last 10 to 15 pounds. Current is a family and we are all in it together!

Let’s share a happy and healthy new year,

Maggie




Instructor Ally’s Inspirational Story

On November 24, 2014, I had a stroke. I was 23 years old. Yes, really a stroke. At 23 years old.

I realized I was foaming at my mouth a little while was washing dishes. Thinking I must have been daydreaming, I wiped the spit away. I then picked up my phone and asked Siri what the weather was like, but there was just one little problem - I couldn't speak. Some sound came out of my mouth but it definitely didn't sound like English. I decided to give it one more try. The same thing happened. I couldn't speak. Just a sound came out, kind of like a mumble. I decided to unlock my phone to call my boyfriend, but I couldn't. It was like my brain knew which numbers to tap on the screen but my fingers weren't cooperating. I didn't know if it was real life, or if I was in the twilight zone. After what felt like a billion attempts, I called my boyfriend and tried to tell him what was happening. Having worked as an EMT, he knew it was a stroke, but of course he didn't tell me. He told me to go to Urgent Care and he would meet me there. It wasn't until I was around the corner from Urgent Care that I realized this was really happening, so I then had a panic attack. I then (somewhat) pulled it together and went inside. Tears streaming down my face, not being able to speak, yet struggling to hold it together, I tried to sign in but I had one problem, I couldn't write. Not knowing what was wrong with me, they sent me to St. John's Hospital, where a doctor told me that I just had a panic attack. Granted by this time my symptoms weren't as severe... but still. The next morning I went to Methodist Hospital where a neurologist there admitted me, and the testing began. About two days later, an MRI confirmed that I had a stroke.

Physical, occupational, and speech therapy, became my full time job. Then, a few months later, out of the blue, I fainted in the shower. Luckily I called out to my boyfriend and he caught me before I banged my head. To give you a visual, he said he felt like he was looking at my corpse. It doesn’t get scarier than that. Back to the hospital I went. The timing was perfect since they had just received the results from my heart monitor I worn for a month (man those blisters from electrodes on your skin are no joke!). I had atrial flutter, which fancy name for abnormal heart rhythm. For the record, this was caused by my hyperthyroidism several years earlier, which is hereditary. Anyway, they did this super cool procedure (atrial ablation) to fix it. After the procedure my doctors decided to put a little chip inside my chest just under my skin that monitors my heart - and I still have it inside me today.

My recovery taught me several things. But I think the most important is learning how much my body LOVES me. My body and brain worked so hard to recover. Your body is your temple, so damn right you better spoil it. Spoil it with a very healthy lifestyle and self-love. The first time I actually ran after my stroke, I cried. The first time I was able to walk down stairs without holding onto the banister, I cried. The first time I walked on a treadmill normally, I never wanted to get off. When I workout and feel like I can't go any harder, I think of these things, and damn right, that's when I push myself and go SO hard.

Yes, it's disgustingly cliché to say this, but I do believe everything happens for a reason. Not sure WHY I had a stroke, but I do know it's made me a hell of a lot stronger. My passion for fitness and health most likely wouldn't be the same.