Our Spotlight Member this month is Rich! In his interview, Rich talks about the importance of having support, the positive impact physical activity has on mental health, and how training can help you do tons of cool things that make life rewarding!
BREAKTHROUGH: Thank you, Rich, for talking to me this evening.
RICH: You are very welcome, Kati.
BREAKTHROUGH: Let’s start by hearing what brought you in to train with us in the first place. It is almost a year, I think…
RICH: That long? Really?
BREAKTHROUGH: Yes, I think 11 months. So, what first brought you through our door?
RICH: My wife did. She was here for a good year first. And she raved about it. She knew I had been saying I need to get back to a gym. I had been working out by myself in my home gym, trying to do my own thing. And I just found that the number of reps, and the variety of the exercises I was doing just kept decreasing and decreasing. I was not holding myself accountable. And I need that external motivation. I need to be with people. Right? During the pandemic, I had a friend, I was able to pay him; he needed the work because he was a trainer. He was out of work. So that was cool. We did it over zoom. But then he went back to work. And then I just kind of did my own thing for a while. And then, I was getting spasms…
BREAKTHROUGH: In your back?
RICH: Yes, and just my general fitness level was slowly degrading because I was trying to do it by myself. So finally, it just got to the point where I am hearing her rave about Breakthrough; I am seeing her having this great experience. She’s always talking about it. And I am like, okay, okay, I am going to go. I need to be in an environment like this to get maximum affect.
BREAKTHROUGH: Well, I think a lot of people were in that same boat over the pandemic. We sort of found a way of making things work for a time period, but trying to do things on your own, or over zoom only takes us so far. I was so glad when we could start seeing people face-to-face. You don’t recognize how much you really need that. How much of a difference it makes. I know a lot of people can relate to that. So, now that you have been with us for about a year, what do you notice? What things are different?
RICH: I am stronger. I am more mobile, and my stamina is higher. I can just feel it all around. My core is stronger than it has been in ages.
BREAKTHROUGH: That’s good. That’s very good news, especially because you talked back pain issues and concerns. Strengthening the core is massively important!
RICH: Yeah. I feel strong and healthy.
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah! That’s how we want to feel.
RICH: Exactly right!
BREAKTHROUGH: I think it is always cool to hear how you notice your strength, and the way training impacts things that you do outside the gym. Are there things outside the gym that you notice?
RICH: Yes, it was ski season when I started, I think…
BREAKTHROUGH: Yes, I remember that Caleb called you to set up a meeting because Tanya said you were driving back from Mammoth and would have time to talk since you were in the car.
RICH: Right! This season my stamina is better at altitude. I am not sucking wind in the same way. And I am taking longer and longer runs. I can engage in fast and high engagement of muscle control for longer periods, and I haven’t stopped to take a breather. Hiking - just being able to zoom up mountains or with my bike. And you what – gigs, when I am playing music… It is way more physical than people realize.
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah, I know!
RICH: It can be very tiring, so being able to get through a set with room to go is a cool thing. You know, I stand in a certain way when I am playing so my thighs tend to be really engaged. Right?
BREAKTHROUGH: Totally! It’s high energy! I was hoping you’d talk about playing music because, of course, we expect that you are going to get better at the sports you do outside the gym. But we know you also are a guitar player, and we have gotten to see your band… Just so our readers know you play in an Iron Maiden cover band…
RICH: Check this out. There is a song called Fear of the Dark…
BREAKTHROUGH: Yes, I know it.
RICH: You know the song, Fear of the Dark?
BREAKTHROUGH: I sure do! Come on, I’m married to Caleb.
RICH: Well, the band, “pogos” during part of it. The band is playing double time and jumping, so we do the same thing when we play the song. And that can suck the wind right out of you while you are playing at the same time. So, I notice it in moments like that. I’m looking at the band and they are dying, but I can keep going. No problem!
BREAKTHROUGH: That is my favorite part of training - recognizing that there are those things that you want to still be able to do that have nothing to do with the gym, and you expect to be able to do them. And because you train, you can do them. I want to be able to keep doing those things that we took for granted that we did in our 20’s.
RICH: That’s right!
BREAKTHROUGH: I want to be able to go to a concert and rock out all night. I want to sing my heart out and not get tired. I want to be able to do all that stuff that seemingly has nothing to do with the gym. But it totally does! So, I love that!
RICH: I want to keep doing the stuff that I love to do. I am active. The things I love to do are very physical and I don’t want to stop doing them.
BREAKTHROUGH: You are high energy!
RICH: Some people say hyperkinetic!
BREAKTHROUGH: Ha, ha! It’s good! OK, the last thing I want to know is what is your why? Why do you prioritize taking care of your health in this way? What keeps you motivated?
RICH: Well, I think a part of it is some of things I have already said. There are things that I love to do, and I don’t want to not be able to do them because they are what make life really fun for me. I would say that I want to stay fit and healthy. My father is pretty spry; he is 83 years old, and he’s been pretty active. And I want to live well into my 80’s and 90’s, God willing I make it, and at as high a level of health as possible. I see my peers around me who did not take care of their health, and sometimes you hit a point where it gets really hard come back.
RICH: And I guess that same why really started when I was 42 or 43. Somewhere around there where I was feeling like things in my body weren’t working right. I was getting very sedentary; I was getting very lazy. And I thought this is just not ok. Sucking wind on a hike, whatever. Also, the mental health benefits of training are important to me. I am prone to stressing out and I have to put that into something like this.
RICH: I have to relieve stress. Like all the time! I am constantly having to open the valve. And this does that. I really believe it is a big part of mental health for me.
BREAKTHROUGH: Massive! It is massive part of mental health. It is hard to get to the gym when you aren’t feeling in a good head space, but it will help if you can just show up. I posted on our social media yesterday you are just one training session away from a happier mood. That is really the truth!
RICH: Actually, I came in here today chewing on some stuff. And it is lot better now.
BREAKTHROUGH: Oh, good!
RICH: I’ll chew on it later!
BREAKTHROUGH: Ha, ha! Well, that’s the thing. Some of these things aren’t going to go away, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t take care of ourselves in the meantime. Physical activity can relieve stress in a way that is healthy for you instead of just continuing to chew on stuff and not getting your workout done. And that makes you feel better knowing you did it. Checked it off your list and you did something for you!
BREAKTHROUGH: That is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing all this cool stuff, Rich!