Russell E.

Fort Worth, TX

russell e. spring 2022 finalist

Russell’s Story

Russ (grandkids call me G) age 60 – Life Time 60day Challenge Essay

What does it take?  I looked in the mirror, I looked at myself, and I asked myself that question.

I was about to turn 60 years old. Most of my relatives on my mother´s side of the family had dealt with cardiac events, many dying prior to their 60th birthday. I watched my father die at the age of 49 from complications of diabetes. I watched my only brother suffer the same fate just after his 57th birthday. As a self-proclaimed junk food junkie and chocoholic, I watched for years as my weight went up and my general well-being went down. I watched as I followed my family´s path.

I am a blessed man gifted with 7 beautiful and amazing grandkids ranging from one to eight years old. With so many things in life we have no control over,  why would I let things that I do have control over jeopardize a healthy future of watching them grow up?

What does it take?  What has to happen?  What does it take to do what you know needs to be done?

For me, it took the self realization of what I was risking. It took an acknowledgment that I had blurred priorities on what created real happiness. It took a trigger mechanism that screamed ¨start now ̈!  Enter into my life the big 60day Challenge sign at Life Time. It was my trigger mechanism. No waiting until tomorrow, no starting next week, no starting someday. I had an official start date.

I have been going to gyms off and on for decades. I have been a member of Life Time for almost a year and a half, but I was in a rut. I would do the same exercises, with the same weights, for the same number of reps, for the same time duration, then leave and feel good about starting my day “at the club ̈ .

I was so fortunate to meet and fall under the Challenge group being led by the Lifetime trainer Ivan ( Joel ) B. We talked about my past, my future, my goals, and my plans. With many years of training and nutrition expertise under his belt, he guided me through some personal and some group training sessions that trained my entire core instead of the small isolation exercises I had been focused on. One of my goals during the body transformation contest was indeed to lose a substantial amount of weight. Joel helped me with the training and nutrition requirements that helped me to focus on fat loss instead of just weight loss. It was only with his guidance that I was able to lose 31 pounds and drop 9% off my body fat percentage, thus retaining almost all of the original muscle mass I began with.

Joel established a network of participants in the Lifetime app that encouraged participation and many members of the group developed their motivational strengths and served as a support group for each other. The interactions were fun, uplifting, and inspirational as we fed off of each other’s achievements and success.

With the success, my motivation to sustain a healthier lifestyle has continued to grow stronger. Taking advantage of the wide array of resources available at Life Time, as well as the online coaching for training and nutrition, has proven to be instrumental in raising my educational awareness. The expansive facilities and fitness equipment at Life Time, the wide array of available classes and programs, and the personnel expertise available to assist any of us in our endeavors has made it so much easier to stay focused and disciplined. The beauty of this Challenge is that it doesn’t end now. The 60day Challenge is now my memory of what finally got me started in my new active healthy lifestyle. Control the things I can control, train smart, eat smart, play golf, camp, fish, hike, bike, travel, play with the grandkids, and have fun for as long as I can during this brief gift of life we all have.