Our Breakthrough Spotlight Member for April is Mary Laccinole! Mary always brings a positive attitude and unstoppable spirit to her training, and she has accomplished so much in the two years she has been training here at Breakthrough. Her smile brightens the gym every time she comes in and she is a wonderful training partner to her fellow gym members!
BREAKTHROUGH: Thank you so much for being our spotlight member for April, Mary. It is really exciting that you are coming up on two years, now. So, tell me how you were feeling before you joined and got going with us.
MARY: First of all, I love being here. Thank you so much. Two years! It has just zipped by. I have just had a great time.
BREAKTHROUGH: Oh good!
MARY: Before I came here, I knew I was getting old and I was really feeling it because I have arthritis and all that. I knew I had to do something. I thought, well, I am going to spend some money on myself first. I thought the first thing I am going to do is start getting my hair done every week. So, I did that for three weeks. Haha! And that was a real disappointment because you spend all this money and the next day you look like heck again.
MARY: So, I thought I am going to really apply myself and find a spot where I can make myself better. I knew my friend Ann was coming here, and she was having so much fun with her kettlebells and talking about it all the time, and she had lost weight. So, I thought this will be something. I will try it. So I tried it! And it was very difficult at first. I am not going to deny it. I took a whole lot of naps after the first few months. Haha! Because when you get older and you haven’t really prepared, it is hard.
BREAKTHROUGH: Sure, it is hard to start.
MARY: Yeah, it’s hard to start. But then you get into it. That is what I have tried to do.
BREAKTHROUGH: Great! What was the turning point for you? What made you feel like you were ready to try this?
MARY: I just had a feeling I didn’t want to be an old person that can’t get around. I want to keep moving. I like to do things. And I got the feeling – well, I have had two hips surgeries, a knee surgery – all this stuff, so I just want to keep moving. The biggest thing is I didn’t want to be a burden to my family when I get old. I don’t want anybody talking care of me. I want to take care of myself. I want to take of my family like I have been all along and not the reverse.
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah. Exactly!
MARY: So that was kind of the turning point. I just needed to face the fact. I am down at the end of my eighth decade. So, there is no denying – you are getting there.
MARY: That is really what did it. I started really thinking about it. I have always been a big walker. You know, walk in the morning before breakfast. And I think that has been good for me, but it is not enough. It’s really not.
BREAKTHROUGH: Well, especially dealing with things like you have talked about… when you have had surgeries and things that you have to recover from. You need a little extra guidance on how to keep rehabilitating and getting stronger.
MARY: I needed an expert’s help. And that is just what I have gotten here!
BREAKTHROUGH: We are so lucky that you trust us to be your people.
MARY: Well, this is a great place. I love it so much!
BREAKTHROUGH: Well, we love you too! Also, I wanted to chat with since you did such an amazing job in our Best Life challenge. You had a goal to lose weight, and you lost 2 inches from waist and hips during the challenge!
MARY: I did! Thanks!
BREAKTHROUGH: That’s really great! So, what helped you succeed with that?
MARY: Well I tried it last year and I got the flu twice. So, it didn’t work out. Even though I got some of the training. I got sick and just couldn’t do anymore. And this year I was really anxious to get into it. And I knew I needed to lose weight because I have been told by my doctors that it is necessary. Keep your blood pressure down, especially with arthritis and knees and hips and all that. So, I just decided it was time again.
BREAKTHROUGH: You applied yourself, for sure.
MARY: I really, really enjoyed your program. I really learned a lot about what to eat and how to eat and when to eat. It was just a natural thing. It was good for my husband, too.
BREAKTHROUGH: Oh, good.
MARY: He does eat sweets and stuff too, but he has really backed off on the carbs and all that along with me. So, I did, I lost weight when I was in the program. I lost about 8 pounds. And I have continued to lose weight. I am really working on this stuff.
BREAKTHROUGH: I was going to say, it has been about a month since that challenge wrapped up, and I haven’t seen you slow down at all. You are just continuing with it.
MARY: No, I am really working on it.
BREAKTHROUGH: That is great!
MARY: And I will probably always have to because I like to eat.
BREAKTHROUGH: Well, we all have to be mindful of what we are eating. No one gets a free pass to eat whatever they want. We all have to do it.
MARY: When I was young, I had a free pass. I could eat anything, and I was kind of naturally thin. And that was great. But over the years, it doesn’t work anymore.
BREAKTHROUGH: Exactly. Life kind of changes and we have to change along with it.
MARY: It is a wonderful program. It fits right in with the exercise. It is just a good thing that you are doing here.
BREAKTHROUGH: Awesome! I am so glad. Glad to hear that it has been continuing for you. Aside from all that, how are you feeling otherwise? Aside from obviously losing weight, which is great, what other things are you feeling?
MARY: I feel so much better than I did two years ago. There is no comparison. I feel more confident, first of all, that I can face this getting older without having any problems. I feel strong. I am going to keep working on it, of course. I think getting old is kind of the opposite of growing up. Ha ha! It is kind of growing backwards. I mean, you have to keep working at it.
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah, you do.
MARY: So I am going to keep working at it. I feel really good. I can endure. I can walk more than I used to. I am stronger I used to be.
BREAKTHROUGH: It is probably not knocking you out as much where you have to take huge naps anymore.
MARY: No, I take a nap once in a while, but coming here doesn’t wipe me out like at first.
BREAKTHROUGH: When it is new, it is a big adjustment.
MARY: Right. I have never trained this way before. When I was young I spent a lot of time on Muscle Beach, though, watching people.
BREAKTHROUGH: Ha! You should have been out there!
MARY: Oh, no! My brother and I would just stand down there and watch and be fascinated with people lifting weights. And now it’s fun to be around it again.
BREAKTHROUGH: You know, you are never at a point in life where it is too late to get started.
MARY: No! That is what I tell people. I feel really lucky that I can come here. Some of my friends would really benefit, I think, if they come here. Who wouldn’t?
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah! I agree! Ok, last question. We like to hear your “why.” You have already shared some of things that motivate you. But everyone has this deeper purpose for why they prioritize their health and fitness and what that really means to them. So, do you have any insight about your “why” you would like to share?
MARY: Why? Mainly to beat what is coming up to me… with the old age thing. I want to be able to feel my best. But another thing about coming is that is real important is that it is fun to be around young people. Let me tell you. It is so pleasant. I have lots of friends, and I love them to death. But they are in a whole different place… And so, it is nice to be around young people. The other day when I was in here and all the group was coming in for the competition that you are working on. It was just alive with motivation and enthusiasm. You could just feel it! People were excited and anxious to get going. There was a real team spirit. I just loved it.
BREAKTHROUGH: And you can’t help but get caught up in it! And feel like you are a part of it, too
MARY: Right. It looked to me that everybody was having so much fun. It is really a pleasure to see that and to feel it.
BREAKTHROUGH: I think that definitely being around people who are different than you, whether they are younger, or older, or they come from a different background than you, you can’t help but grow from that and be a more inspired and lively person. I think that’s great that you can feel it here.
MARY: Exactly! Totally, I can feel it. Every day, I can feel it! I just hope we can keep working together for a long time! I love working with you and Caleb and RT. It has been a lot of fun. Thank you.
BREAKTHROUGH: Good! We hope so too. We have no plans to go anywhere anytime soon! Thank you, Mary!