The Gym For All Stages and Ages in Life.


My Gym story starts back in June of 2015.  After having the 2nd of my 3 children late in life I knew I needed help with my fitness goals.  I had the pleasure of working out with Utina and Thom in the past and felt very comfortable. So I joined them in the "garage."  


My first goal was to feel comfortable in my wedding dress in three short months. I was able to trim and tighten some areas for my wedding day but knew I had a LONG way to go.  I started running more with the gym family as we practiced for team events.   


Then in August of 2017, I was expecting my 3rd child at the age of 41. I knew if I stopped now I would lose all my progress.  I confided in Utina and she was willing (with Dr.'s consent) to help me scale my workouts so I could continue (I think we made Thom a little nervous at times). We had our list of things and times frames of when and what I couldn't do.  We modified box jumps to step-ups, push-ups to planks, etc. I monitored my heart rate to assure no stress on baby and drank lots of water during workouts.  And if something didn't feel comfortable I stopped. I continued running through my pregnancy and did a slow 5K at 37 weeks. My last gym workout was at 38 weeks just 10 days before going into labor, we included other gym members by duct taping med balls to them to give them a similar experience .   My total weight gain at delivery was 1/3 of my prior pregnancies, only gaining 22 lbs and feeling stronger and healthier than ever before. Along with feeling great after my C-section of a 9lb 9oz healthy baby I also noticed my recovery pain and time was decreased due to the strength my body had.


After my incision recovered and weight restrictions were lifted, I returned to the gym in the summer of 2017 along with my 14 year old daughter. Ashleigh had seen what the gym had done for me and is now a member as well.  It is great watching her learn her strengths and weakness. Developing a fitness lifestyle at such a young age and the importance of taking care of your body is a life lesson well learned. And I hope she learns that you are only given one body and it's your choice what you do with it. I will someday reach all my fitness goals thanks to the encouragement and time that Utina and Thom have put into me.  Their positive attitudes and great personalities have made it my lifestyle to get and stay in shape, more than a just going to the gym.    

My Fitness Journey

Gwen Carley

After letting myself “go”, I had been contemplating joining a gym for several years.  Of course, telling myself that I wanted to lose some weight first. I was considered obese, had Type 2 diabetes and suffer from arthritis.  In July 2016, I had left shoulder surgery. In February 2017, I had right shoulder surgery. I knew then that something needed to change, so after completing physical therapy, at the age of 53, I called Utina and asked about joining the gym.  

I was so nervous my first day at the gym.  Utina took me through the stretches, (which I thought was the actual workout) then warm up, and finally a workout.  I was exhausted! I remember trying to do sit ups, I couldn’t even do one. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I was taught to do a dead bug instead.  That was 10 months ago, I was recently able to complete 100 sit ups. I was so excited when I was able to do my first sit up, I cried, and then I called Utina to tell her the good news!  It was the best day ever!

It hasn’t always been great, there are also challenges.  One of the biggest ones is remembering not to ignore the pains.  If something doesn’t feel right, I have to modify my workout. The thoughts of self-doubt come creeping back in, and I have to remind myself that I am 20+ years older than others at the gym and I don’t have to keep up.  I enjoy staying focused on myself and my movements and am very pleased with finishing every workout.

There was a time when I was unable to get up off of the floor without using furniture or asking my grandson for help.  I can now get up easily by myself without help. I am able to open my medicine bottles now without pain in my hands. It is amazing the progress that I have made.  

I attended a nutrition class at the gym.  Where we learned about healthy eating, and also about setting reasonable goals.  My first goal was getting away from processed food. It was a struggle at first. It is now easier.  I still have “cheat” meals, I am just really careful with how much I eat and make sure to follow my nutritional plan carefully with my other meals.  I am a stress eater, I have given myself other options besides food when I am feeling overwhelmed. I will instead pick up a book, go for a walk, ask my grandson to play cards or board games.


Outside activities are now part of my routine.  I bought trail bikes for myself and my grandson.  We enjoy getting out and experiencing the trails and nature.  I wouldn’t have imagined getting out there. My love of fitness is now passed to him.  He too works out at the gym in between sports activities during the school year. This has been a positive experience for us both.  Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for the love and support given to me by my fellow gym mates. This has been the best thing I have ever done for myself and I wouldn’t change it for anything.