Breakthrough Spotlight – Christine McDonough

Our Breakthrough Spotlight for March is Christine – a true hero both in the gym and out of the gym! She talks about the power of doing something positive to help others, and the power of taking care of yourself so you can be there for others!


BREAKTHROUGH: Thank you, Chris for being our spotlight member for March!

CHRISTINE: Oh, thank you.

BREAKTHROUGH: First of all, we have to say thank you so much for being the driving force behind getting so many of our members vaccinated. And helping people get through that process which felt a little overwhelming for a lot of people. I know most of our members who are 65 and up are now double doses, good to go. And that is because of you! So, thanks for helping with that!

CHRISTINE: Well, it was my pleasure and, after all the craziness of this year at the hospital it was a wonderful distraction to just focus on making joy for people to get them these appointments. I ended up making close to 500 appointments for people to get vaccinated.

BREAKTHROUGH: Wow! Oh my gosh!

CHRISTINE: Yeah. Ha! Ha!

BREAKTHROUGH: And that is not your regular job…

CHRISTINE: No. I am the lab supervisor with a lot of seniority at Northridge Hospital, so I was part of the vaccine committee because I have a lot invested there at the hospital through the years. So, I was involved and getting people appointments, but you know I didn’t find all the people. People were out there of finding people for me, including my mother who helped, here and at Prince of Peace Church, and her quilters guild, etc. Other people were kind of doing the same thing.

BREAKTHROUGH: Well, it was a team effort, and it was great to have you on our team!

CHRISTINE: Ha, ha, I know. It worked out really well!

BREAKTHROUGH: And you are right. It is such a great thing, after a year of stress, to feel like you are doing something that can finally make a difference for people…

CHRISTINE: Yes, right, right.

BREAKTHROUGH: And not just being the bearer of bad news all the time.

CHRISTINE: It’s stress relief for them and then for me because it was something real positive. So yeah!

BREAKTHROUGH: And that has been a big thing for us, too, around here. We know we can’t solve all the problems that are going on in the world right now, but we can at least be a place of stress relief.

CHRISTINE: Right, to help in our own pocket of the world!

BREAKTHROUGH: Exactly! So, I know exercise is a big part of that for us of course… and having that community where people can have a place it is not just inside their house to go, that is safe and where they can do something positive. Do you feel like training has helped you a little bit through this time as well?


CHRISTINE: So when I came to you guys, it was probably three years ago, I am thinking…

BREAKTHROUGH: Yes, that sounds right.

CHRISTINE: Yes, three years or so. And it was – because my career has developed into a leader role, so I am on my feet a lot less. I was not taking as many steps every day. My mother was coming to you already and she convinced me. By having those appointments every week, it was a goal to help me get back in shape. As a young person I was very active. I was in sports; I backpacked; I did all these things. And then as I aged I had less and less time. I was making that time and it was going very well. I was getting very strong and then COVID happened. And I couldn’t really keep up with it during the surges.

BREAKTHROUGH: Well, you had a lot of responsibility!

CHRISTINE: Some of it was the shut-down, but a lot of it was what I do for a living.


CHRISTINE: And then the stress was incredible. I was like everybody else in the country. I was not eating right – before, we had a really good diet. Then, we were “whatever” eating! Like today might be the last day of my life. You know, I wasn’t thinking about that anymore. I was just eating, going to work, working long hours, and I kind of lost some of the gains. It has been nice now to come back here, refocus, and wrap my mind around it. I was surprised that I was still really strong. I have some kind of strength, but I’m still building back other things.

BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah, usually we can maintain strength a little bit better, but then stamina, endurance…

CHRISTINE: Endurance, yeah!

BREAKTHROUGH: … that type of stuff we lose a little more quickly.

CHRISTINE: Yeah. So that is coming back and now we are trying at home to get back on our better diet and feeling good. Yeah!


CHRISTINE: Feeling good about it.

BREAKTHROUGH: You should! It’s hard! It is so hard to crawl out of that routine of being overwhelmed and having so much on your plate and say okay now I need to switch it up and take that time for me again. So good for you!

CHRISTINE: Yeah, my family is supportive and….this has… it has been a ride! Ha, ha!

BREAKTHROUGH: Ha, Ha! That is for sure! So, then, we always like to hear, what is your why? What is the thing that motivates you to come out of that hole and take care of you?

CHRISTINE: Well, I think why is… I guess it comes down to my family. I want to stay healthy for my family. Sometimes I felt like I don’t know how I can. I was feeling a little lost sometimes. I don’t know, it is hard to explain. I want to be there for the people I care about. I want to live to be old. I want to be there for my kids like my parents are for me. I hope I can be there for them. The only way I am going to do that is to take care of myself. Be physically fit and lose a little weight. You know that whole big health picture. I know I can do it; especially now that I am less distracted with the “other thing.”


CHRISTINE: It kind of became the big negative!

BREAKTHROUGH: Dealing with everything you’ve dealt with, and what we’ve all dealt with during this pandemic has been an extreme challenge and sometimes all consuming. But, you are right – longevity is an amazing why! And wanting to be connected to your family and be as healthy as you can for as long as you possibly can is a huge why! A why that a lot of people can relate to and also feel that same way!


BREAKTHROUGH: That is great! Thanks for sharing, Chris, we sure appreciate you!

CHRISTINE: Thank you! I appreciate you too!

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