“A Supportive Environment”

I’m the oldest of five from an immigrant family. I was never a person who was “athletic” in high school or college just because education was such a focus for my family. I ran cross country during junior year in HS and that was about it. My outlook on life changed when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease when I was 19. Post diagnosis, I had 2 major debilitating episodes of my illness that resulted in a couple of extended hospital stays & short-term disability stints in my early-mid 20’s. So, I started to really assess my wellness and health and I became dedicated to being active and moving. Through the years, I’ve done Pilates, gone back to running 5Ks, been a hard core ashtanga yogi & a long distance cyclist. But I’ve never really worked on strength training, nor was I ever one to commit fully to going to a big box gym and doing “gym” things. Well, that thinking all changed when I got my bone density test results back from a routine appointment. I had low bone density (osteopenia) at 34 even with all the activity I was doing. That was shocking.

To be honest, the first reason was that my daughter was almost 2 and I was still carrying around the leftover baby weight in weird places. With her I had a c-section and that seriously messed up my core. Secondly, it was to address my osteopenia. It was only going to get worse as I grew older & my mom has osteoporosis. Also, my career in technology was starting to take a toll on my body. I was starting to feel pain & discomfort in my hands and arms from all the computer work I’ve been doing for 20 years.

While I’ve never been a person who had to worry about weight, I was bothered by the extra baby weight I carried and the number that was staring back at me on the scale. In the four years I’ve been a member my overall weight has increased by 15lbs (pre-child), but I feel stronger & better than I’ve ever felt. I haven’t change pant sizes & I feel like I now really fit my clothes. The number on the scale doesn’t even faze me anymore because I know that my body looks & feels better.

I’ve also made significant gains in strength. I used to be what yogis called a “Bendy Wendy” because I had no strength and what’s worse, stability behind my muscles. Also, I’d like to think I’m helping to stave off my osteopenia diagnosis which is TBD until my next Dr’s visit. My hands and arms are better, but I am working slowly to strengthen the areas that support these muscles & nerves to lengthen the time it takes for pain to appear from overuse.

The whole staff at Human Form really considers your body’s needs & limitations. Four years ago, when I was shopping around for what to do next in taking care of my body, I didn’t want to do a big box or CrossFit because I knew that there wasn’t going to be someone that was going to check up on me, ask me how I was doing or correct my form. I came to this place afraid of weights and not knowing a single thing about weight training. Never in my time here did I feel stupid for not knowing what I was doing. 

It’s not inherently competitive here like other places. We do like to push each other and we pretend to compete. But I’m not here to PR (personal record) every time I go, or I’ll be upset. It is a very supportive environment here.  

The is such a strong community here. People of all ages and walks of life come here and work hard at their own level.

I am in awe of the individuals that come here:
– to lose weight or be healthier
– are my parent’s age & up
– that are not gym people
– that are here to work through injury or illness

For all of us to find a place that accepts us for where we are physically is a gift. Thank you, Michelle & Stephen, for creating this place.

Amanda Vu
Columbus, OH

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