Our Female Athlete of the Month for February is Allison Waldman! Allison deserves all the fistbumps for recently accomplishing her 1000th workout at FitTown Jupiter! She has had an incredible transformation in her 4.5 years with us, and most of her change can't be seen by simply looking at her.
Allison has had one of the biggest mental transformations we've ever seen in our 8 years of existence as a gym. She is so dedicated to challenging herself that she took on a 1000 rep challenge as she hit 1000 workouts, doing 100 reps of movements in her final ten workout countdown to 1000. She purposely did movements she formerly despised like burpees and wall balls. She still doesn't love them, but isn't afraid to take them on.
Allison has inspired us as a gym to take on a new endeavor, training our member's mental health, as much as their physical health. It's our goal to help our members build the character, the foundation, that supports a truly healthy lifestyle. She has been an inspiration to us and will be an inspiration to you too when you read her story on our blog.
Thank you Allison for being a tremendous part of our FitTown Family over the years. We are honored to have been a part of your journey and can't wait to see what the next 1000 workouts has in store for you. We are so proud of all the hard work you've put in!
Tell us a little about yourself. Give us a brief background on what has made you you? How’d you end up in Jupiter? What do you do for work?
I am originally from New York and moved down to Florida in November 2001 to be close to my parents when they retired to Florida. I am a Licensed Community Association Manager, and I currently manage a high-rise building on Flagler in West Palm Beach.
What makes me who I am? I spend a lot of time in reflection, and introspection so I can make choices that are for the highest good for myself and others. That’s not to say I don’t make bad choices or mistakes. I have to call myself out on my stuff, and I own it! Every experience, good or bad, builds you and prepares you for something greater in life. I choose to learn the lesson, grow from the experience, and share my story to help others who may be facing a similar challenge.
What’s your athletic past and what were you doing more recently before coming into FitTown? Can you tell us about that first experience starting at FitTown with the New You challenge?
I’ve always exercised throughout the years. Yes, I grew up with Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons, and good old Jazzercize. Right before finding FitTown, I was working out at another gym. I was a few months away from turning 50, and I was struggling to take-off weight. I just had this horrible thought that I would never take off the pounds because of my age. One day I saw a Facebook post about the 6-week program “New You” and they were looking for ladies to sign up. I remember thinking “Just go and talk to them, you have nothing to lose”. I sat with Tony and talked about the program and my goals, and I spent time watching the class that was in session. There wasn’t anything in that class that looked too difficult, and I can do anything for 6 weeks. I signed up that day and was extremely excited to start. Something just felt right. After my first class, I said “No wonder I wasn’t seeing results in my workouts… I’m doing it all wrong.” The workouts were challenging but never boring, and I was immediately hooked. In 3 weeks, I lost about 10 pounds, and by the end of the six weeks, I was down a couple of sizes. That was 4.5 years ago!!
With all you know now, what advice would you give that Allison to help her on her journey?
Be kind to yourself, remove the negative self-talk. Be open to feedback and coaching, and make changes accordingly. Trust your inner voice or instinct, it will never let you down. Be patient with yourself and the process. It is not about arriving at the destination, but enjoying the journey and the paths you take along the way. You can always start over; it’s never too late. Always have fun and laugh as much as you can.
Do you have any memorable or funny moments at FitTown you'd like to share?
One of the most memorable was the first time I did a rope climb. I remember the last class of New You, Andrew was showing us how to climb the rope and he said we would all be climbing one day. I couldn’t even climb the rope in elementary school gym class when I was 8. I’m so afraid of heights and there was NO way I would EVER climb the rope. One day in class we had rope climbs in the WOD, and I was determined to get to the top. I didn’t make it happen and I was so disappointed, because I knew I was close. A group of us stayed after class to continue to try, and I just knew I was going to get to the top, and I did. In that one moment I learned so many lessons. I learned to face your fear and do it anyway. I learned that so many obstacles in life are the ones we put in our way. I learned never say never. I learned to believe in myself and my abilities the same way the coaches at the gym believed in my abilities.
What’s something about you that others may not know about you? Any special talents, hobbies, or interests?
I collect crystals, rocks and minerals. I have over 700 specimens that I have been collecting over the years. Mother Earth never ceases to amaze me with Her creations. I can spend hours looking at the structure and formations of the crystals, and I am in awe that these specimens formed millions of years ago. It’s even more amazing when they analyze the composition of a crystal, and the elements that make up that crystal are not yet known to us. I am pretty much a rock geek.
What positive physical progress would you like to brag on about yourself? (If you have any "before" pics you'd like to share to contrast with you now that's always fun to see.)
I also did my first 5K in 2019, and I came in 10th in my age group out of 45 women.
2020 was the first year I did full Murph and finished under 60 minutes. I always had a partner or I did half-Murph.
As I approached my 1000th class, I decided to add a little challenge to make it more fun to hit that milestone. I called it #1000to1000. I selected a different exercise movement for the last 10 classes, and did 100 repetitions, so by the 1000th class I would have done 1000 moves of 10 different exercises. I even selected movements that rank about as high as having root canal without anesthesia: wallballs and burpees.
What is a belief, motto, or maybe even a habit that you live by to live a positive, healthy life? What keeps you going on those tough days?
“Everything happens for a reason.”
I take the time to quiet my mind and look for the reason, because it is always for my greater good. I have faith that everything is as it should be, and I know I will be okay.
On those tough days, unless I am physically sick, I make sure I get to the gym. I always feel better after a good workout.
What advice do you have for the person who has heard about FitTown but is reluctant to begin?
When I talk to people about FitTown, one of the biggest things I hear is that they are not ready to do the type of workouts we do in the class. They are intimidated and feel like they need to get in shape before they start a program like this (kind of like cleaning the house before the housekeeper comes because you don’t want them to think you are a slob).
I just tell people, "you start where you are." You are not expected to jump on the rig and do toes to bar your first class or jump to a 20” box, or get a muscle up. FitTown is made up of people of all shapes and sizes, all ages, all skill levels. Every movement can be modified to your skill level, and strength. Throw out your preconceived ideas of what you think it is like within the 4 walls, because what you think and what is fact are very different. Then I offer to have them join me for a BeachFit class to try it out.
What do you love most about FitTown Jupiter?
The people and the family-like atmosphere. The workouts are challenging, and to have so much support from the coaching staff and fellow athletes makes a huge difference. When you hear the cheers from the people around you, encouraging you to keep going, and then celebrating when you accomplished your goal, you can’t help but want to continue to be a part of this amazing community.
Please feel free to add any other advice, tips (how to love wall balls), or anything else you would like to share about your journey :)
I ask myself, will I ever really love wall balls or burpees? Probably not, however, what I do love is to challenge myself and prove to myself, how mentally and physically strong I am. So, after I voluntarily did 100 wall balls and 100 burpees for my #1000to1000 challenge, I can honestly say they still suck, but I WILL do this challenge again so I CAN BEAT MY TIME! It really doesn’t matter if I hate the burpee or the wall ball, because I will love how I feel when I get stronger and faster and when I say to myself “Take that!”