It Took Hard Work and Dedication to Completely Change My Lifestyle

“After I graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 I knew I needed to make changes when it came to my body and my health. I had never been a gym person and did not imagine myself as someone who would like working out.

During high school I played lacrosse and tennis until a complicated wrist injury took me out of all activity for two years. I spent most of the time in either a splint or cast so I was continuously losing mobility and strength. It got to the point where I could not even open a water bottle.

After visiting three hospitals, doctors finally figured out I had two torn ligaments and I underwent a four-hour surgery to repair them. By the time I had recovered and completed the months of occupational therapy it was senior year and all my attention shifted to getting ready to leave for college.

While I was at school I kept telling myself that I would go to the gym and start getting active again, but never did. I kept prioritizing studying, friends, and my sorority over my health and well-being. During those four years I ended up gaining around 40 pounds and it was something I was extremely embarrassed about. Being overweight made me not want to go to a gym because I feared that I would be judged for it.

When I graduated in 2016 my mom convinced me to join the River Valley Club. She had started working with a trainer earlier that year and assured me that I would feel comfortable at RVC. In June 2016, I signed up and made my first training session appointment with Tom Cardew. The training session was the hardest workout I had ever done and I was so sore it hurt to move, especially walk. Although I was still sore the next week I was determined to keep going back to each session.

Now in 2018 I have been coming to RVC for almost two years and have continued training with Tom three times a week, only cancelling one session ever. The progress I have made in the two years is astonishing to me. I went from barely being able to hold a 20 second plank to now holding one for two minutes. I also went from having to do assisted lunges with the TRX ropes to now doing barbell reverse lunges with 145-pounds.

I have lost 60 pounds, 10 inches from my waist, four inches from my arms, and almost 12% body fat. I have also purchased an entire new wardrobe since dropping four pant and shirt sizes.

My life has completely changed for the better and I have the support of my friends, family, and trainer Tom to thank for it. Tom has made me realize that working out can be fun and helped motivate me to keep coming back. He has pushed me to what I thought would be my body’s breaking point and kept making me work. I’ll even say thank you for making me do my least favorite exercises, step-ups to a reverse lunge, sliding mountain climbers, and stairs.

When I traveled to London and climbed up the 528 stairs of St. Paul’s Cathedral I looked back at all the stairs and step ups and for a split second, appreciated them. I also want to say thank you Tom for giving me the confidence I never thought I could have with working out. I now feel that I could walk into any gym and be comfortable using the equipment; which will be helpful when I move back to UNH in the fall to finish up my Masters degree.

When I started this fitness journey two years ago I never imagined that I would achieve these results. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to completely change my lifestyle and I am proud of everything I have accomplished.”
Lindsay Gross

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What our members say

 Jennifer Packard
Jennifer Packard

Whether you’re just starting out, trying to get back into a routine, or are feeling frustrated with your current regimen: Your fitness journey is your own. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

 Terry Hall
Terry Hall

‘Can’t’ is no longer in my vocabulary, and I have a sense of pride in my ability to work toward a goal and not only achieve it, but often exceed it.