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I started my membership with Best Fitness when I moved to the Albany area in May of 2013. My best friend was a member so I decided I would give it a shot. I liked that there were classes included with your membership cost because I had very little motivation to figure out a plan on my own and preferred to have someone tell me what to do. Around two years later, I decided that I needed more structure in my routine, which up to that point was nonexistent. I had some extra income and decided that I would sign up for personal training. This way I would have someone to hold me accountable for showing up to the gym at least two times a week. Ben paired me with Brendan, and I can never thank him enough for that decision.
At our first meeting, we attempted to discuss my goals, which were vague and unimaginative. “Lose weight.” “Tone up.” Blah blah blah. I didn’t have any specific goals in mind, I just knew I wasn’t happy with where I was. I was 5’0”, 133 pounds; pretty average. While I may not have idolized runway models, I definitely possessed a beauty ideal that was shaped by major media outlets and celebrities. I learned some new and challenging workouts with Brendan in our first few months together and he was a great match for me in terms of motivation style and even sense of humor. Later in the summer, 4-5 months after he started training me, he had me try deadlifting with the hex bar. After just a few attempts, I was hooked. The sense of accomplishment, the study of technique, the full-body high you get from that type of lift, it was something I’d never experienced before in a gym. I loved it and wanted to lift everything. I injured my back that winter and had to put things on hold for a bit, but when I got the okay to get back in the gym I knew that lifting was what I wanted to focus on.
I started to follow female powerlifters on social media and discovered the supportive and welcoming community associated with the sport. I was very intimidated, but I wanted to see what I could do to get myself on the road to that type of success in the gym. Brendan nurtured my newfound passion and pushed me to limits I didn’t know I could reach. He knew what I could accomplish better than I did and made a point to get me there so that I could see it too. I started to view myself not as someone who wanted to fit a certain body standard, but as someone who should be strong and confident and bold. My goals shifted from purely external to both external and internal. “Lift heavy.” “Feel strong.” Without the introduction to this new fitness world by Brendan I am positive I would not have progressed in this way.
Last month I moved to California, and I knew that I wanted to keep progressing and delving deeper into powerlifting. I found a gym that specializes in powerlifting, run by a bada** competitive female lifter. Walking in for the first time to talk to someone about the programming, I didn’t feel intimidated anymore. I felt worthy, like I belonged there. I knew that I had a solid platform of skills and technique to stand on, developed for me over 2+ years by Brendan. I’ve discovered my new home here, and it comes with a pack that I never would have seen myself in without Brendan’s ability to see something in his clients that they can’t see themselves. I don’t have the words to express how grateful I am for the guidance, expertise and passion that he puts into his work. My fitness motivation is no longer to look a certain way, but to feel a certain way. Thank you Brendan. It’s time to lift all the things.”