Our Spotlight Member this month is Mena! From the first day we met her, Mena has jumped in to every challenge and pushed herself to learn new things. Her enthusiastic energy is an inspiration, and we just love having her in our Breakthrough family! We talked with her the week before her first powerlifting meet and here is what she had to say:
BREAKTHROUGH: Mena, thank you so much for sitting down and chatting with me this morning! I wanted to talk to you because I just love the “go for it” energy you have… You first came to Breakthrough for a community yoga class we were doing, and we were talking about a challenge that was going to be starting in a couple of days. You pretty much immediately said you wanted to join the challenge and wanted to join the gym. So, what made you want to do this in the first place, and jump right in to doing challenges?
MENA: I was ready for it. I didn’t really exercise or work out and be consistent in any way for about two years, during the entire pandemic. I’d been just doing my normal walks and going into the gym at my apartment building to do some workouts, but I really needed something different. And I was looking for something that was goal oriented so that I could feel accomplished again… to feel like I could accomplish something.
BREAKTHROUGH: It was the right place at the right time.
MENA: Yeah, it definitely was! I was just ready to get into something again.
BREAKTHROUGH: Well, it was awesome! I was like who is this lady? She is signing up and wants to do the challenge and wants to do everything right away! It was great!
MENA: Ha, ha!
BREAKTHROUGH: Like I said, I love the energy that you bring! So now that you have been training for…
MENA: Four or five months.
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah. So how are you feeling?
MENA: I feel great! I am really happy that I have gotten back into training, and for trying all these different things. I’ve noticed that I am stronger than I thought I was, I think. I’ve never lifted anything nearly as close to this before. And I am proud of myself.
BREAKTHROUGH: Yes, you should be! So, a lot of this stuff is new for you then? Some of the Powerlifts?
MENA: Yeah definitely! I think when I was going to another gym before, I had a trainer but just for a few days. When I was left on my own, I could do the things on my own but still had a little bit of fear of trying certain things. I just like the vibe here a lot. I feel like I am learning so many things and, also, form is such a big important thing for me, making sure that I am not injuring or hurting myself. That is what was stopping me before from trying things like a back squat or deadlift. I had the wrong perception of it, I guess. I thought I could just never do something like that. But I don’t know, coming in here and seeing people of all different ages doing all these things inspires me and motivates me. I feel like, if they can do it, I can too!
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah, for sure! I agree with you. It is something that can make you nervous to try on your own. So, it is helpful to be in a group with other people who are also doing it. And you do need to have a coach watching and making sure that everything is ok, and you are not going to hurt yourself. It’s good to know that there is something that was scary before and that now is less scary. Still a challenge…
MENA: Yes, it is still a challenge…
BREAKTHROUGH: So, this Saturday… have you ever done anything like this before? Like competing in a powerlifting meet…
MENA: No. I have never done this before! No! This is completely new to me.
BREAKTHROUGH: This is new uncharted territory! Are you excited?
MENA: I am excited!
MENA: I love to try new things!
BREAKTHROUGH: I can tell! Ha,ha!
MENA: Ha, Ha!
BREAKTHROUGH: Awesome! OK, another thing that we like to ask people is what is your why? What’s the thing that motivates you to try new things and to stay on this path of doing stuff that is a little scary, but you are going to do it anyway!
MENA: Just the sense of accomplishment at the end of it. You know, I doubt myself a lot, most people do, but I just felt like - I can’t really do that. I was finding myself falling into that a lot before starting here at Breakthrough. It felt unmotivated and you know, “I don’t know if I can do that.” So, I am really looking to meet goals and make myself feel, or know that I can accomplish these things.
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah! I’m sure that you find that is true in your life outside the gym too, right?
MENA: Definitely outside the gym too. I think having this has also helped me to see things a little bit differently also outside the gym. Every time I leave here, especially at 6 in the morning, I feel so energized and ready to go. I feel motivated to try things, even different things outside the gym.
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah! That’s cool!
MENA: And meet new challenges outside the gym! Ha, ha!
BREAKTHROUGH: Yes, I love it! That’s what it is all about! What we do in here should carry into the rest of your life. Its not just about what we do in the gym. It’s about the whole person and your whole life. Anything else you want to share?
MENA: I love the vibe here. I like meeting new people, and like I said, I love to see people of all different ages doing all of this. This is what I say motivates me to keep coming back here. If they can do it, I can too! I‘m just ready for the next challenge. Ha, ha!
BREAKTHROUGH: Exciting! The next challenge is Saturday!
MENA: Yes, it is!
BREAKTHROUGH: And I am excited to see what you are going to do.
MENA: Oh yes, I am ready for it!
BREAKTHROUGH: I know you are, and it’s going to be awesome! Thanks, Mena!