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FITNESS

November 10 // R E N E   G O N Z A L E Z

Can you tell us about your most recent fitness accomplishment/milestone and how it felt to reach your goal?

I have always been into fitness and body appearance for my personal choice my whole life. It really got serious when I joined the Army back in 2004. After competing in bodybuilding for a couple years, I decided to focus more on my military career. After 16 years in the Army married with 3 kids, I still have managed to stay fit. They are my supporters in life. Fitness is a way of life for me. Going to the gym has been my outlet of my daily life and dealing with prior combat stress. Bodybuilding has always been my foundation for all my goals. I do not compete any longer compete but I still train with the same mentality. Within my bodybuilding workouts, I create short personal goals that push me and allow me to modify my workouts and never keep them the same. I am not trying to look like anybody else. I want to be my best self. It feels great knowing that my goals are been met every day. Reaching a goal is not a sprint but a marathon, consistency and dedication will get you there. Today’s soreness is tomorrows gains.

How did you stay active during quarantine?

It was really hard in the beginning because I didn’t have a choice. This was going to be the so called “new normal.”  They always say train/workout with weights and since I did not have any at home, I had to adapt and modify my workouts. I have been to many physical therapy sessions in past and I decided to integrate resistance bands in all my workout routines. I can definitely say after a couple months of using the bands definitely started noticing the benefits behind it. Got great workouts and it helped a lot to recover from prior injuries from lifting heavy weights and military deployments.

What kind of workout describes your personality the best?

For me, it has always been bodybuilding workouts. It is art to push your body to unknown limits to get results that transform your mind and body. 

October 10 // G I N G E R   J A I M E

Can you tell us about your most recent fitness accomplishment/milestone and how it felt to reach your goal?

I have been in a cycle of losing and regaining 10-20 pounds for years now. Needless to say, I was tired of the roller coaster. I decided early in 2020 to give myself an entire year to reach my weight goal instead of trying to crash diet to lose it quickly only to return to my normal eating habits and gain it back – thanks to a mindset shift towards my approach to nutrition/diet from health experts via my daughter (a personal trainer). When we were all quarantined and I heard people talking about packing on the quarantine 20, something inside me clicked and I refused and made a decision to not come out of quarantine with more weight to lose than when I started. I became intentional about paying attention to what I was doing, eating and thankfully was able to come out of quarantine 20 pounds lighter and closer to my goal instead of further away. It feels amazing!! A constant internal stress that used to be there is gone!

How did you stay active during quarantine?

Daily walks and resistance training with home weights and bands 5 days a week.

What kind of workout describes your personality the best?

Swimming which is also my favorite way to workout.

Swimmers are adventurous and courageous, with a bit of positive impulsiveness that can rear its head. They stand up for what they believe in and always root for the underdog. They are inwardly intense, but outwardly cool, calm, and collected…for the most part. LOL!

September 10 // A J I A  J A M E S

Can you tell us about your most recent fitness accomplishment/milestone and how it felt to reach your goal?

My most recent fitness accomplishment will be working out consistently every day, two times a day. Being that we are in a pandemic, it is very easy to get off track, but I am happy to say that I pushed through to reach my goal. It feels really good to have achieved this goal because for quite some time I’ve been focusing on trying to be consistent. I will be playing Division I basketball at Saint Peter’s University in New Jersey which has also pushed me positively to stay on track to be in the best condition possible when I arrive on campus.

How did you stay active during quarantine?

During quarantine I stayed active by purchasing a membership at Jeff Rouse. Prior to the re-opening, I stayed active by working out, playing basketball, and running at home.

What kind of workout describes your personality the best?

I have a very extroverted kind of personality so a workout that would best describe my personality would be any kind of basketball group workouts and circuit workouts in the weight room with my music playing.

I also made so many friends while being a member of the Jeff Rouse Swim and Sport Center. My experience has been great! I will definitely be back during college break!

August 10 // J O S H U A   P O T T S

Can you tell us about your most recent fitness accomplishment/milestone and how it felt to reach your goal?

Last summer I decided to make fitness my number one priority in order to be a better example for my 5 children. My main target for weightlifting was to be able to bench press 315 pounds. I am so excited to say I beat that goal and recently bench pressed 335 for a one-rep max and 315 for a set of 2.

How did you stay active during quarantine?

During the quarantine just like everyone, I was faced with the challenge of continuing the gains I worked super hard for. I ended up getting much stronger and leaner during that time. I did this by improvising, something I learned as an active duty Marine. I did lots of push-ups, pull-ups, farmer carries (paint buckets filled with stuff), box jumps, bodyweight squats, dips, various lifts with the few weights I have. I also did runs, both sprints and hill work. I put in about 2 hours of PT time a day no matter what.

What kind of workout describes your personality the best?

My favorite type of exercise is weightlifting. This fits my personality because I can get really intense for a set of lifts and then go back to being calm between sets. This is similar to my life and even my career. I own a real estate brokerage and things get really intense for short spurts and then I have moments in between where things are calm.

WATER EX

November 30 // K I M   E M I S O N

Can you tell us about your most recent fitness accomplishment/milestone and how it felt to reach your goal?

Completing the recent Halloween 5K benefit race hosted by the Rouse Center. I am strictly a swimmer, so participating in something out of my “comfort zone” athletically was fulfilling.

How did you stay active during quarantine?

My weekly activities included power walking 5-8 miles/day, cardio barre virtually (with Jesse!), and practicing in a Yoga class that I had been participating in daily beforehand.

What kind of workout describes your personality the best?

High intensity, energy, and cardio in the water. Tabata workouts, ladders and cardio blasts keep me motivated. The water is my “happy place.” Swimming and water exercise keep me healthy and fit.    

October 30 // J O A N N   M I L L E R

Can you tell us about your most recent fitness accomplishment/milestone and how it felt to reach your goal?

My most recent accomplishment was getting back to the Rouse Center on a consistent basis. I was so glad when the Rouse Center could open again on June 8th! My goal is to work out on the gym equipment 5x’s a week and attend aquatic classes 3 – 4 times a week. I work out on 7 – 8 pieces of equipment each day and increase the weights over time. At almost 70, I suffer with osteoporosis. Weightlifting is the best way to increase bone density.  Aquatics takes care of my cardio fitness, keeping my heart working and my joints flexible. Sometimes life commitments can be a time challenge, but I consider my time at the Rouse Center an important part of my life and my overall health.

How did you stay active during quarantine?

On October 22, 2019, I underwent knee replacement surgery. After almost four months of physical therapy, I was finally cleared to go back to the gym. Shortly after going back, however, the quarantine hit, and the gym closed. I continued my at-home physical therapy, tried some walking, and worked out daily in our massive yard/garden. Spring is always a very busy time. Quite honestly, I gained 5lbs during my convalescence and another 10lbs during the quarantine. I blame a lot of the weight gain on the pandemic and political stresses that so many of us are going through; however, going back to the gym has helped with the stress and stopped the weight increase. I have no doubt that the weight will come off. The most important thing is my consistent workouts are keeping me healthy!

What kind of workout describes your personality the best?

Zumba describes my personality the best. I love to dance! I love to move to music! At one time I would take 3 – 4 Zumba classes a week, supplemented by step and various fitness classes. But, then my knees started breaking down, and I turned to a combination of a weight workout and water aerobics. I hear there is a Zumba aquatics event coming soon. Can’t wait!

September 30 // S T E P H A N I E   S A N D B A K K E N

Can you tell us about your most recent fitness accomplishment/milestone and how it felt to reach your goal?

My most recent milestone was to get off daily injections of insulin and to lower my A1C that was as high as 9.8 for type 2 diabetes. It took over two years to do that. I am off insulin and my A1C is at 5.2. It was like a heavy weight lifted off my shoulders not taking insulin anymore! I did that through diet and daily exercise. At first, I just counted calories, then I joined Weight Watchers, participated in Water Aerobics frequently, and walked.

How did you stay active during quarantine?

I had a hard time with the exercise.  I did try to walk and do exercise DVDs, but I missed the pool. Land exercises are hard to do every day because my hips and knees are in bad shape. That is why I love Water Aerobics because you feel weightless. I can work as hard as I can in the water without injuring my joints.  So, I was never so pleased than when the pool reopened!

What kind of workout describes your personality the best?

WATER AEROBICS!!!!!! My favorite types are H.I.I.T. and Tabata classes. I also enjoy the deep-water class. I like that you can choose day or night class and that you can fit in a class 6 days a week if you want. I often do two classes back-to-back: what a great workout! It’s a total body workout that is great for your joints. I love all of the instructors, thank you for making it fun and not feel like work.

August 30 // H O L L Y   S U L L I V A N

Can you tell us about your most recent fitness accomplishment/milestone and how it felt to reach your goal?

It’s been 13 years since I was paralyzed, and I still try and do water aerobics about five times a week. It helps loosen up my back and allows me to pursue my goals as an elite athlete.

I started taking water aerobics classes seven years ago when I first moved to Florida to start rehab. I was paralyzed when I was 18 years old from the from the waist down and left with crippling nerve pain after my surgeon made a mistake during a surgery on my spinal cord. I am originally from Maryland and ended up in Florida because my family found a doctor down there who thought they could help me. We had been told for years that my situation was hopeless. That there was not anything they could do for me besides putting me on extremely high doses of powerful pain meds. I was born with a problem with my spinal cord due to my Dad being exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam, and no one really knew how to help someone with so much damage to their spinal cord. 

My new doctor and physical therapist suggested water aerobics. I started doing water aerobics three times a week and it completely changed my life. My pain started to get better, I started getting movement back in my feet, I had more energy and strength and was able to slowly add other exercises into my daily routine. That led to more movement in my legs coming back and being able to stop taking a lot of my medications for pain. After two years I was able to walk without any assistive devices, I had originally started out in an electric wheelchair.

My most recent and biggest fitness goal that I’ve accomplished would have to be being invited and flown out to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs by the Olympic and Paralympic Committee to train and be evaluated by the national team coaches for powerlifting. It was pretty surreal. When I moved back home from Florida in 2016, I started working with my trainer who got me into lifting. Being invited to train with some of the best coaches in the world made it feel like everything really does happen for a reason.

How did you stay active during quarantine?

I stayed active during quarantine by training virtually with my trainer. My husband and I have a lot of equipment in the house: Gymnastic rings, a rower, a lateral elliptical and dumbbells so we were able to do a lot. I also did Pilates and went on a ton of walks with our dog. So many that he soon got tired of them. 

What kind of workout describes your personality the best?

A workout that best describes my personality would have to be one that involves strength training and cardio. 

GROUP EX

November 20 // J E R E M Y  J O H N S O N

Can you tell us about your most recent fitness accomplishment/milestone and how it felt to reach your goal?

My most recent fitness accomplishment/milestone was successfully completing the stationary bike event for the Army Combat Fitness Test which is 15,000km in 25 minutes. I came in at 18:57. It felt great considering I missed it the first time by 400 meters.

How did you stay active during quarantine?

I did not.

What kind of workout describes your personality the best?

Any workout that challenges me to push through my limits like boot camp or cycle/spin. Whether it’s cardio endurance or strength training, if you’re not pushing it every time, then what’s the point?

 October 20 // A K I K O  T A C H I B A N A

Can you tell us about your most recent fitness accomplishment/milestone and how it felt to reach your goal?

I got rid of my lower back pain. In March, I pulled a muscle and couldn’t walk for a month. Then the shutdown happened, so I did not exercise for four months. I started having a bad backache. After the gym reopening, I started taking two or three classes every week for a month. I’m feeling much better now!

How did you stay active during quarantine?

I did not.

What kind of workout describes your personality the best?

Zumba? I love having fun!

September 20 // D O R O T H E E   L A C Y

Can you tell us about your most recent fitness accomplishment/milestone and how it felt to reach your goal?

I enjoy strength workouts more than cardio. I hardly had any running endurance before Covid. I was a sprinter in high school but never ran long distances. This is one area where I always wanted to improve my fitness, but never really had the drive to do so. Due to Covid & the gym being closed, I started running with my husband because it was really the only cardio option I had. (I don’t like biking or doing high intensity workouts at home by myself.) It took at least 2 weeks until I noticed improvement, and I was able to run longer distances without tiring or constantly cursing my husband out for making me run. 🤣 I’ll never run a marathon, but I’m proud that I actually do enjoy a morning run from time to time and can now last longer than 15 minutes.

How did you stay active during quarantine?

Running outside and long walks with my family. I also used fitness apps that didn’t require weights/workout equipment.  It was definitely a challenge to stay active outside the gym environment.

What kind of workout describes your personality the best?

No idea! I love cardio & strength cardio type of group workouts – AMPD, Tabata, and Cardio Barre. I’m not a Zumba or Yoga person.

August 20 // L I N S E Y   G O W

Can you tell us about your most recent fitness accomplishment/milestone and how it felt to reach your goal?
I started to notice more days than not I was in a slump, both physically and mentally. I knew I wanted to change that and feel stronger. So, I dedicated myself to 4 days a week of group exercise to start. It helps me push myself being around others doing the same. Being around people, even while social distancing, has really helped lift my spirits and keep me sane during these uncertain times. I can feel myself getting stronger, and I feel so much better. I am so grateful for the Rouse Center and all their amazing instructors. A good friend shared a quote with me, “You don’t HAVE to work out, you GET to work out.” That reached my soul. I am really proud of myself for staying committed every week. 
How did you stay active during quarantine?
When everything shut down, I ran a mile 4-5 days a week through our neighborhood and walked another mile in the evenings with my family.
What kind of workout describes your personality the best?
I would say Cardio Barre describes my personality pretty well. As a military spouse and stay at home mom, I need a good amount of strength and balance to take on certain aspects of this lifestyle. Being flexible can help me bear the weight, just like in that class.