“Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes”
Such was an oft-repeated phrase by personal trainer Carley Alves to her client Kathy Suhre. “I was in pretty bad physical shape… I had issues in my back, neck and both knees” recalls Kathy, now 60, looking back on the start of her journey. “I was very overweight but had not honestly accepted that fact. I realized major changes needed to be made to regain a healthy lifestyle.”
Kathy decided to work with Carley Alves after observing her working with clients. “I appreciated the way she dealt with them.” Carley recalls how they got started: “My initial goal was just to get her back to health. I suggested a physical therapist and I worked with Kathy, while she was seeing him, under his guidance and recommendations.” Once Kathy’s pain level had reduced, she and Carley were able to set goals. “We set small, achievable goals” remembers Carley. “We did multiple measurements in various areas so that she could gain confidence as each of those improved.”
One thing Carley chose to do was vary the workouts. “Each was slightly different, so Kathy didn’t get bored, and I gradually challenged her to harder tasks as she got stronger.”
“She never let me become stagnant,” recalled Kathy during a recent session. However, in March 2020, the greatest challenge to Kathy’s long-term success would strike: Covid-19 forced the J to close and kept most people in their homes. With just an elliptical and a few weights at home, how did Kathy remain on her path? Consistency in her workouts… and a subtle reminder. “Even during the shutdown, Carley had a sixth sense of when I needed a call or text,” says Kathy. “Sometimes it was a workout suggestion, other times an alert that she had a new video premiering on Facebook tomorrow. I would watch it and then do that workout.”
Together they navigated the J’s three-month closure and the county-mandated regulations upon reopening. Last summer, Kathy and her husband, Rick, traveled to Colorado where, she relays, together they “hiked several difficult mountain trails I previously thought I’d never be able to complete again.”
Now, more than two years after beginning her weight loss journey, Kathy still uses the J to stay on track and has even dipped her toes into new opportunities. “I just started taking Gentle Yoga class on Wednesdays.”
How does Kathy look back on the time spent changing her life? “I cannot begin to express how much working with Carley exceeded my expectations. She knew exactly when to push and exactly when to praise. I couldn’t have succeeded without her.