Positive Lifestyle Change: Rick’s Story

“Like any big lifestyle change, my decision to work with a personal trainer was the result of a combination of external events and an internal realization that I was at an important juncture in my life.

An early season ski crash on alpine touring gear that resulted in an injury requiring surgery, which was not the consequence of a lack of skill but rather of insufficient conditioning and strength, ended my ski season on the first run of the year. And an impending ‘milestone’ birthday brought me the realization that the quality of my life going forward would largely be determined by my making a commitment to a dramatic change in certain aspects of my health and fitness routine.

I had already begun working on weight loss while recuperating from my ski injury through a focus on diet, but the only exercise I was getting on a regular basis was walking. In late February, my two daughters were in between the ski racing season and the start of crew at HHS, and they asked for some personal training in order to prepare for their season of rowing. ‘Why don’t you try it out, too,’ my wife Phyllis suggested.

When I arrived at RVC, committed to a month or two of personal training and did my fitness consultation, I could barely do ten pushups, hold a plank for thirty seconds or jump higher than a few inches.

Fitness Consultant, Chris Acker, was completely non-judgmental, sympathetic and understanding, and he took the time to listen to my concerns about making the financial commitment and the importance of making the selection of a personal trainer who was going to be the best fit.

Chris gave me some personal history on the trainer he thought would work best, and I had the incredible good fortune of being matched with Lochrane Gary.

Walking into the gym to meet him that first day, I did not know. I had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting myself into.

What I did know was that Lochrane had personally succeeded at doing what I was setting out to do: a radical transformation, the conversion of pounds of fat into lean muscle, and a dramatic increase in overall fitness and strength.

I could rely on the confidence that if he had personally succeeded, he surely knew the way forward. And it turned out that he was cool with either name.

We started with basic, foundational movements. I had not stretched in 20 years. Just touching my toes was a challenge. I was creaky and weak. And the fat. Oh, so much fat. Where the hell was all of this fat going to go? But Lochrane had a plan.

Three days each week at 8:00am, I came prepared to be challenged. I picked up some tiny weights. They felt really heavy. I ran, not my favorite. I did hundreds of sit-ups, V-ups, burpees, wall balls, rode the assault bike. The assault bike was horrible. I sweated buckets. Front squats, dumbbell rows, ring rows, wheelbarrow carries. Pushing the sled.

I had an out of body experience, looking down on myself from the CrossFit Gym ceiling: “Who the hell is this guy?” I wondered. “That can’t be me.” But it was, and Lochrane had it all mapped out, was there urging me on, encouraging me to work hard and never give up.

And every day was different — in six months we have never done the same work out twice.

A month turned into two months, into three months. Chris Acker invited me back for a second consultation, into what had previously been the “room of shame.” We went through the drills, and the improvement was unbelievable. After two minutes of holding a plank he told me to stop. “I can go longer,” I said.

My pant size had dropped four inches. My legs were beefier. I could actually see some of the muscles on the side of my stomach. I could jump two feet straight up into the air. And I felt great.

Having an expert by your side when you’re undertaking any particularly difficult or new endeavor is essential to success.

The depth of knowledge that Lochrane brings to the process – a journey that I am still undertaking – anatomy, physiology, nutrition, human behavior and psychology – combined with his own personal experience, has contributed to the outstanding experience that I have had and the excellent results I have achieved in a relatively short amount of time.

I could not have arrived at this point without him.”

Rick Higgerson

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Vijay Govindarajan

Places like RVC are important for the future of healthcare in this country. For me, training is not a cost; it is an investment with huge returns.

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Wendy Mikolyski

RVC has introduced me to some inspiring and great people. Encouragement from friends I have made at the gym and instructors has significantly contributed to my success.