Hi. My name is Ann Joseph and I would like to tell you a little about IFAST and what this premiere gym in Indianapolis means to me.
In November of 2009, I was challenged by a couple co-workers to run the Festival 500 Mini-Marathon. Having turned 40 and not being able to jog ¼ of a mile without gasping uncontrollably for air, I stubbornly accepted the challenge. Using my treadmill to condition for the next four months, I worked my way up to being able to jog for two hours straight. I was feeling great, very proud, and ready for that mini the first weekend of May. In March, I decided I needed to get jogging on pavement and experienced my first set back. I started to have some serious pain in my left hip and groin. This pain, along with being diagnosed with breast cancer that April, was a major setback. For the duration of my training I didn’t jog over five miles at a time.
The mini came. I ran. I felt great…until about mile eight when I started to feel the most horrific knee pain in both knees causing me to run/walk the last five miles. When it was over, I could barely walk. I crossed the finish line, hobbled to my family, and limped immediately to the car. I almost asked for a police escort because we were parked so far away. I couldn’t walk! I experienced horrible pain for days and weeks to come; pain I never knew existed. BUT…I did it! J
After spending the rest of my spring, summer, and fall nursing my knees and hips back to health and having doctor appointments, surgery, and radiation treatments, I was once again challenging myself to take on the mini in the spring. I started training and almost immediately experienced hip and knee pain. My “running coach,” co-worker, and friend, Brian, would listen to my woes and started telling me about these “fantastic” people who owned and operated this “fantastic” gym in Indy. “These guys are experts…” and would be able to get my body fit, strong, and ready for the mini in May. The running was up to me but getting my body READY to run…able to run…would be in their hands. Having the injuries from last spring and having my radiologist highly recommend strength training as a way to combat osteoporosis (as I was experiencing surgically induced menopause) I decided visiting IFAST was what I needed to do.
In January of 2011, I went to see Bill at IFAST for my first assessment. Little did I know, running would soon be a thing of the past and strength training, guided by the remarkable IFAST team, would change my life.
Ya know, when I went into IFAST, I thought…”I’m in pretty decent shape, not too over weight, look decent, etc. Let’s figure out what’s going on in my hip and get it taken care of.” Well, I basically found out I had no muscle. J Thinking back about that first assessment makes me cringe — my lack of posture and body control, limited range of motion, and more. It was very evident after my assessment that not being able to run was the least of my concerns. My body shouldn’t have even been thinking about running! So began my journey with the IFAST Team…Mike, Bill, Zach, and more.
Poor Zach…I was added to his case load and for the next five months, he had to endure through teaching me proper positions and moves that my body had never experienced. After 41 years of moving and breathing as it wanted, my body was disagreeing with what the IFAST Team wanted it to do. Visiting the gym three times or more each week, it didn’t take long before I started to notice a change in my body. Not necessarily a big weight change, although a handful of pounds did come off, but more in my abilities. Gym tasks that were extremely challenging and needing modifications became more fluid. I was starting to see my strength grow and inches started to come off my stomach, thighs, and most importantly my glutes! One of the best revelations was when one day I noticed my hip pain was gone. I don’t even know when it happened. It was just…gone.
Due to my focus on getting strong, I had not been running. This was also because after Bill assessed me in January he said, “STOP RUNNING! Your body is in no condition to be running!!” I was still signed up to run the mini and decided I would walk / run so as not to reinjure myself and just have a good time. I ended up finishing the race, beating my time from the previous year, and could walk, talk, and enjoy myself after the race! The BEST Bud Light I have ever had!! I didn’t have ANY knee or hip pain at all! It was AWESOME!
So, here I am. Two years later. Running is something I now do on a whim. I’ve taken off about 10 pounds, have dropped two clothing sizes, and most importantly, have muscle. That’s right…I have MUSCLE! My body moves now…really moves. Simple household tasks come with ease. I get compliments on my arms!! I feel very good and the best part is, I know through IFAST there will be opportunities to feel even better!
There is so much about IFAST that makes me happy. It really has become my “Me Time” where I can get away from work and focus on taking care of my body. What makes me the happiest is that IFAST treats everyone individually; individual programs, body composition assessments, reassessments, and friendships. I know my workouts are designed for me based on my abilities and goals. Zach is always watching…sometimes even when I don’t want him to be:) He takes so much care with all of his clients and knows us so well! My strengths, weaknesses, gym insecurities, and body goals are important to him and he does all he can to nurture and guide me along the way. Every program is for me, pushing and challenging me to give my all. The confidence I have gained in myself from this individual treatment is immeasurable.
I cannot fully or fairly put into words the benefits that I have achieved from my membership at IFAST. I have gained so much! Confidence in myself, an inner love of my body, pride in my accomplishments, and a desire to do more are just a few benefits to name. Not to mention, the wonderful example I am showing my daughters about taking care of their bodies. My 15 year old has been training at IFAST for almost a year now and I hope to have my youngest start soon. I have so much trust and faith in the IFAST way because I have seen and felt the difference. I have come so far, but also know there is more to learn and more goals to reach. The best benefit to all of this is I know I am doing what I can control to ensure a fit and active life as I roll through the next decade of my life. To Mike, Bill, Zach and the rest of the IFAST Team…BRING IT ON!!