In April of 2004, Bob Kinsella suffered from his first heart attack. He experienced unbearable chest pain, shortness of breath, tunnel vision and uncontrollable sweating. As a result, when Kinsella experienced only slight chest pain with no other symptoms about two months ago, he attributed the discomfort to indigestion. To his dismay, he unfortunately discovered that instead, he had suffered from his second heart attack. “I was stunned,” he said.
However, he brightened when the doctor told him that if Kinsella hadn’t been consistently working out and eating a mainly organic diet, which he had been doing for the past two years, the results might have been extremely different. “My doctors told me that if I hadn’t of been doing what I was doing, I more than likely would have been dead,” he said.
He began working out and eating healthier after his family gave him a gift certificate to participate in the 90-Day Challenge at Big Vanilla. “It was an ‘intervention’ is what my family calls it,” he said. At first, reluctant to participate in the program, “after two weeks into the challenge I was hooked,” said Kinsella. He has now participated in the challenge five times.
The 90-Day Challenge places members onto teams and requires members to take a specific number of Group X classes and education wellness programs. “It introduced me to a lot of different activities. With different stuff you don’t get bored and there’s lots of fun stuff to do,” said Kinsella. Before the challenge, he was sick of his normal fitness routine of, “Get on a treadmill and read a book, get on a elliptical and read a book — that gets old real quick,” he said. The different classes exposed him to an aspect of fitness he was unfamiliar with before — that working out could be fun.
The camaraderie of the program is what keeps him coming back. “It’s the sense of community — it’s not just the 90-Day [that keeps me motivated].” The team atmosphere creates a system of accountability that makes the 90-Day Challenge effective. “It plays into people’s need of belonging and acceptance,” he said. “We’re all progressing in this.”
Kinsella’s experience shows that it’s never too late for members to start working on getting healthier — and for Kinsella, he believes that attitude saved his life. “You can very well claim that the 90-Day Challenge saved my life. I’d agree with that full-heartedly,” he said. “I wish that I would have exercised long before so I didn’t have to go through something like this, but it’s never too late to start. Just go do it.”
A month after his second heart attack, Kinsella is back to his normal fitness routine, working out at Big Vanilla five to six times a week.
Do you have members that feel discouraged? Sometimes it’s tough for members to get and stay motivated, and some may feel as if it’s too late for them to get in the shape they’ve always wanted to be in. If so, preach the mantra — “It’s never too late to get fit.” Use the success stories of other members that grace your club to encourage your members to persevere through their barriers!
By Rachel Zabonick