Michael R.

Happy Valley, AZ

michael r. spring 2022 finalist

Michael’s Story

I’m a year away from turning 60 and have noticed that many that I know in this age group are hitting a toll booth in life and are now having to pay for some of the poor lifestyle decisions they’ve made over the years in the currency of lifelong medication, irreversible damage to key organs or worse. I had my own scare at the end of last year. In the two weeks before from when I identified this physiological anomaly to when I finally met with a specialist, I rued every poor lifestyle decision I ever made and vowed that I would never take my health for granted again. Thankfully the scare was nothing more than that and the lesion resolved itself over time, but it motivated me like nothing else to be the best version of myself in all the things I do.

I’ve been a member of Life Time since 2005 and have possibly entered more 60day Challenges than anyone else. However, I’ve never finished a Challenge and usually lasted not more than the first two weeks. Typically, I would sign up for a Challenge and, in the weeks leading up to it, live as if it were Marti Gras so I could add some weight before the start of the Challenge. That strategy never got me past the second week of the Challenge. This time was going to be radically different.

In January, I upgraded my membership to a Signature. This upgrade allowed me access to the Normatec Compression Therapy, HyperIce Percussion Gun, the Hydromassage Table as well as being able to participate in the group GTX, Alpha and Utrafit at no extra charge. I wanted these tools to help me meet my goals but especially for recovery. When I combined these things, along with the cold plunge, I was able to push myself hard and not experience any debilitating physical setbacks. I will never belong to a club that doesn’t have a cold plunge. it is amazing and my favorite feature at the Happy Valley Life Time.

I really kept my strategy simple. I was going to incorporate cardio, resistance training and an improved diet. My wife was very supportive and changed the way we ate and what we ate. We also significantly reduced our consumption of wine. These are the three spokes on the wheel for living our best life, and we intend to follow this strategy long after the Challenge is over.

I have to say that breaking the two-week barrier in the Challenge was huge for me. It seemed like after the second week I started to notice improvements, my outlook was clear and bright, and my resolve to finish strong was firm.

Both of our children are college swimmers, and we love to watch them compete. Our oldest son had a meet in southern Illinois on January 21st and 22nd and we booked a hotel that was in Frontenac, Missouri because it was a mile from Life Time. Even though we were away from home I worked out every morning in the familiar settings of Life Time.

Our youngest son had a meet in Los Angeles from February 17th through the 19th. The closest Life Time was in Laguna Nigel. We booked a hotel less than a mile away and I worked out every morning. The distance to the swim meet was around 50 miles, but with traffic, it sometimes took 90 minutes. Despite that, I was glad that we did it because I don’t tend to get inspired in a hotel fitness center like I do at Life Time. Momentum sustained!

I am very grateful to be part of a fitness center that seems to value its members from the moment they are greeted by name at the door, I love that I can ask any of the trainers for advice and they do it with passion and knowledge, I love being able to order a shake or a meal and feel like I’m having a friend prepare it for me.

But just as powerful is the spectrum of members who show up and get it done, I see them every morning and they inspire me in ways they will never know. I have gotten to make some friends during this time at Happy Valley Life Time, they have shared with me some of the challenges they’ve overcome and how much this place allows them to be the best version of themselves. Many of the best Life Time stories will never be published but they are being written every day at this place.

If I were to advise someone like me on what to do to prepare for a 60day Challenge I would say don’t take your health for granted, don’t take your membership for granted, commit to something beyond two weeks, have a simple plan addressing cardio, resistance training, and sound nutrition and to stick with it. You will clearly see the benefits and your “why” will take you to places you may not have been in quite some time.