Breakthrough Spotlight – Stephen

Our Spotlight Member this month is Stephen! In his interview, Stephen shares how making a commitment to yourself can lead to some big changes in how you feel physically and mentally, and to what you can accomplish both in and out of the gym!

BREAKTHROUGH:  Thank you, Stephen, for chatting with me today!




BREAKTHROUGH:  So, it’s been since September that you have been training with us?




BREAKTHROUGH:  Time flies! How were you feeling before you got started? And what was it that brought you to Breakthrough?



STEPHEN:  I was feeling like I needed to do something for myself physically, for sure.  I mean I have two kids and a busy career and all of those sorts of things.  And I was starting to have some aches and pains waking up in the morning, some fatigue, a little bit of weight gain and some things like that. So, I was realizing that I needed to change something about my routine and get involved in something more physical – because my job is kind of sedentary, but my life outside of my job is very active. So, I figured something else needed to happen.


BREAKTHROUGH:  So in the past several months you’ve been training here, I have seen you accomplish some pretty amazing things!  How do you feel? Do you feel different?


STEPHEN:  Well, I definitely feel like I am stronger.  Just day to day stuff is easier.  Any kind of phantom pain – just random aches that come out of nowhere –  I haven’t had that since I started here.




STEPHEN:  So that is kind of the biggest plug for the program here.  That kind of random pain or stiffness has just disappeared!  I don’t have any injury history or any sort of medical condition.  But my general sense of wellbeing physically is drastically better from when I started, for sure.


BREAKTHROUGH:  Awesome! Is there anything that you have noticed in your daily life that is different?


STEPHEN:  In my daily life, I am also feeling better mentally, too.  I have a little bit more focus and I have more energy in the morning to get up and go.  If you had told me I was going to do exercise first thing in the morning before I started this, I would have said there is not a chance in h-ll I going to do that!  I am not a morning person. 




STEPHEN:  So, I think that just shows how much I like doing this that I am willing make the commitment, and willing to get up a little early on a Saturday or Friday or whatever it is to come and work out. I feel like that is something that has been beneficial to me.


BREAKTHROUGH:  So, what pushed you over the edge to say – now is the time when I am going to come and do this?


STEPHEN:  I think it was that feeling that I don’t know why I am hurting right now. And that is a little scary.  I have also seen people that have kind of lost a lot of that strength as they have aged. I don’t want that for myself either.  I was able to do a lot more things when I was younger, and I still want to be able to do those things or even new things with my kids as they grow up.  And also, for myself.  I kind of prioritize a lot of other people whether it is work or my kids or those sorts of things.  Yeah, I do this for myself, to feel better about myself.


BREAKTHROUGH:  Yes! Now, I know that in the gym you have accomplished some pretty amazing things.  Like I am excited to see your deadlifts today!  What are you doing now?  170 last week? 




BREAKTHROUGH:  Just a few short weeks ago, you had never done any at all!




BREAKTHROUGH:  And chin ups!  You can now do chin ups for several reps.  Has there been anything that you’ve accomplished in here that surprised you or that you weren’t expecting?


STEPHEN:  Honestly everything kind of surprised me…




STEPHEN:  :  … because I have zero gym history. I’ve never been someone who did a structured workout at all. Any sort of activity I did was kind of recreational, whether it was hiking or recreational sports.  Honestly everything is a surprise to me. I mean yeah, I think the chins up is a big one.  I knew I had one in me, but to get it up to 3,4,5 is pretty huge!





STEPHEN:  But yeah, everything about it, honestly, has been pretty surprising!


BOTH: Ha. Ha!


BREAKTHROUGH:  A pleasant surprise?


STEPHEN:  A pleasant surprise, for sure!


BREAKTHROUGH:  So, the other thing that I always like to ask people is what is your why. When you talk about how you would never see yourself as a morning person, getting up and doing this…  What is the thing that gets you up and out of bed? 


STEPHEN:  I think its three things.  My why is for my long-term health.  I mean, I just turned 40, so I kind of feel I need to focus more on my health.  So that is big one.  Another one is for my family, for my kids, and my wife so that I can be as healthy and active with them as they age, and they do new and different things as well.  And the final one is for me. Like I said earlier, I need to kind of prioritize myself and my health – no one else is going to do it for me.




STEPHEN:  And I matter too! So, I think it’s those three things that get me out of bed to do this two or three days a week.


BREAKTHROUGH:  Yes, awesome!  So many people have a “why” where their focus is someone else, and I think it’s really important to have yourself as part of that. 


STEPHEN:  For sure.


BREAKTHROUGH:  If you are not taking care of yourself, if you are not doing things that make you feel good, then how can you possibly take care of anyone else?  But it is not just taking care of other people.  It’s also like – hey I was brought to this planet for a reason!  To be awesome! So why shouldn’t I be just as awesome as I can be?  I don’t know.  That sounds a little selfish, but I think it is a healthy thing.


STEPHEN:  No, if you can take care of yourself, and prioritize yourself, you are only going to be better for the people that you care about, and be around to do it.  It goes hand in hand.


BREAKTHROUGH:  So, selfishness can make the world a better place!


STEPHEN:  For sure


BREAKTHROUGH:  I think. And you can quote me on that. Ha,ha!


STEPHEN:  Selfishness leads to selflessness.  There you go!


BREAKTHROUGH:  Yes!  That is better way of saying it.  We will take it from you! So, anything else that you want to share?


STEPHEN:   I think a big thing is that everyone here has been so helpful and supportive. Truly all the coaches here are just great to work with.  I couldn’t be more pleased.


BREAKTHROUGH:  That makes me really happy!  We really want this to be a place where people feel welcome and comfortable.  Where they can try things that they maybe might not have tried on their own and have that support system – not just from the coaches but everyone around. Everyone in our community is an awesome person. That’s really what it’s about.  Having another awesome place to go in life where you can connect with awesome people.


STEPHEN:  Indeed!


BREAKTHROUGH:  Thanks, Stephen!  I really appreciate it!

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