Breakthrough Spotlight – Tanya

Our Spotlight Member this month is Tanya! In her interview, Tanya shares about staying consistent in recovering from injuries, finding inspiration in her training partners, and the importance of taking care of yourself so you can take care of others.

BREAKTHROUGH: Thank you, Tanya, for chatting with me today.

TANYA: Oh, thank you for asking!

BREAKTHROUGH: It has been a few years now that you have been training with us. And one of the reasons why I wanted to talk to you is because you have gone through some surgeries and different things that you have had to recover from. But for the past year since you have come back from those surgeries, your consistency, the way you show up; it’s just amazing. And I love seeing that. Especially because I know how hard it is when you have been through something like that, when you’ve had to recover from injuries and surgeries. I wanted to have you share some of your story with us because those personal stories are so powerful. So, tell me a little bit about how you were feeling.


TANYA: Well, after the pandemic I was having a really hard time, and then I had to have the surgery. I was feeling emotionally very isolated. Part of this is just being a part of a small community that I look forward to showing up to.


TANYA: But also, this is the first time that I think I have been this consistent and I have been working out since I was probably fifteen years old. Like Jack LaLanne with my mom!

BREAKTHROUGH: Ha, Ha! Yes! I love it.

TANYA: I was doing the whole aerobics and kickboxing and everything, and then I started getting hurt. The first thing was my back injury. I broke my back and I had to recover from that. And that caused me on-going pain. I would go to these trainers; these classes and I would get into the competition of others or myself or them pushing me. And then I would get hurt. So, coming here, first of all, I just feel really safe. I feel like you guys are really looking out for me and watching, but not in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable or judged in any way. It’s just a very secure, safe place.

BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah! That means a lot!

TANYA: I love that you guys are flexible so when I do have a flare up, because I also suffer from lupus, and when I have that flare up, I can change days or make up days. That is important to me.

BREAKTHROUGH: Of course. It is important to be flexible with yourself when you are dealing with chronic things that are going to flare up from time to time. It’s important to have that flexibility with yourself and say, you know what, I can’t push it today. I need to take some extra time for me today. So, I also really love that you can do that for you because that is not the easiest thing to do.

TANYA: It’s not! It’s not!


TANYA: It’s not! And I love when I come back from having a flare up and I want to go all in, and you guys are like, ok let’s take it a little easier. You know.

BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah, and it’s a difficult thing to balance.

TANYA: It is!

BREAKTHROUGH: But you do a really good job of doing that.

TANYA: Thank you so much!


BREAKTHROUGH: It’s inspiring! The other thing I want to ask you about is how are you feeling after having shoulder surgery? You mentioned about your back so making sure your back feels good is something that we are always keeping an eye on. And then most recently, it was your shoulder.

TANYA: It was my shoulder, and I have to tell you that I forget that I had surgery, you know! I am 55, going to be 56, so I think I get regular aches and pains, but I really have not been in pain since I have come back. That is huge!

BREAKTHROUGH: That is huge! And I remember when you first came back, you were using 3-pound dumbbells. And that was just for floor presses. And now you are doing floor presses with 8 kg! That is 18 pounds. That is a huge stride in a relatively short period of time. It is just really exciting to see!

TANYA: It is exciting! It is all about my strength. I constantly want to be stronger, and I feel stronger!

BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah! And I also know that you are someone who does a lot to take care of other people, too. So, it is important to have that balance when you are someone like you, who does a lot to take care of others, that you are also prioritizing yourself.

TANYA: Yes, I am a leader in my community, and I just recently did a retreat for 10 women, and it is so great to lead by example. And one thing I that I am really trying to lead, is how important it is to take care of not only your mental health but also your physical health. I was also so happily surprised by how strong I was after all those hikes this weekend!


TANYA: That felt great!

BREAKTHROUGH: As you just said, I think that is the most important part of what we do in the gym is all about how we can live our life outside the gym! So, for you to know that you can show up and be a leader, able to take people on these hikes and know that you will be fine… Knowing- I can do this! I am strong; I can take care of these things. That’s what it is all about. That’s what training is all about! And it is exciting to see that.

TANYA: It is exciting, and I can’t wait to for ski season to come because I feel like I am going to be better than ever. My whole body is strong!


TANYA: And that takes a lot of body strength.

BREAKTHROUGH: Oh my gosh! Yes! The last thing I want to ask you about is what is your why? What is the reason the deeper reason that you prioritize taking care of yourself?

TANYA: Well, the why is when I got diagnosed with lupus, I went in for help from the doctors. They said that the biggest thing that you can do is to find an exercise that you enjoy. An exercise program, and just keep moving your body. Make your life all about your remission from lupus. And so, this is my why. This is why I really do it. You know, my body has got to last a little longer…

BREAKTHROUGH: Yes, you have adventures to be had!

TANYA: Right! Right! And I am so excited that I found something that I enjoy doing. It’s not a chore. It doesn’t feel like medicine going down. Ha, ha!

BOTH: Ha, ha!

TANYA: So that is my why.

BREAKTHROUGH: That’s great! I love that!

TANYA: And I just want to say that there are so many women that I look up to here at the gym who are older than me and I see how strong they are. That really inspires me.

BREAKTHROUGH: It inspires me too! And I tell them, I just want to stand next to you so that any of your cool strong vibes can rub off on me because it is amazing. They are the best!

TANYA: Yes, they are!


TANYA: Yeah! And that is another why. I want to be like them and stay strong.

BREAKTHROUGH: Me too! Alright Tanya, this was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. We appreciate it, and we appreciate you!

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