Another amazing spotlight, Katie Freedland. She is a true inspiration for her fight back to health (inside & out). Sometimes life throws us lemons and sometimes we can make lemonade out of them. Katie did just that. She has some amazing strength and heart. Her smile lights up the room and when she came to Get a Grip it was over. She had to stay with us, she fit in the very first day. Even, Charlie (our gym dog) feel in love with her. It was an approval like no other.

I don’t want to steal her amazing story from her, so here it is…

All throughout my teens I was athletic, and able to eat whatever I wanted, and never gain a pound. In college, the mixture of junk food, alcohol and no physical activity seemed to bring on the pounds. I tried joining gyms, getting a personal trainer, Zumba class, and working out on my own, but nothing really clicked with me.

In 2013, I was in a very dark place emotionally. I had low self-esteem, and I wasn’t doing anything to better myself. It wasn’t until a close brush with death that almost left me paralyzed, that I finally realized we only get one shot at life, and only one body at that. I obtained several injuries in which I had to wear a back brace for 3 months, as well as having surgery to put a metal rod in my leg. I transitioned from a wheel chair to a walker to finally walking on my own, as well as several months of physical therapy. When I finally was physically able and ready to make a change in getting fit and healthy, I discovered a Groupon for the 21-day belly blast at Get a Grip. I figured I had nothing to lose as it was close to my home, and I was excited to try something new.

May 2014, I started GAG, and of course after completing the 21 day belly blast I was hooked, and simply had to become a member! When I first joined, I was still in the early stages of my physical recovery and my abilities were limited. With some exercises I needed to do alternate moves, but with each class I grew stronger. As time went on, and I continued with my 3 boot camp classes a week, my flexibility advanced, my endurance rose, and most importantly my confidence had sky-rocketed! Yes, I was losing weight and inches, but the enjoyment I got from the classes, the fun and laughter with the other Grippers, the sweat that was pouring out, and the self-esteem was that was building- this was all results I had not initially bargained for, but boy was I grateful!! I went from a lazy couch potato to enthusiastically signing up for 5k’s and Mud Runs, running track on Thursday nights, wanting to run a lap AFTER boot camp, and actually looking forward to going to the gym!

I have learned so much from Carrie’s food plans and recipes. I have completely cut out alcohol. I now drink more water than I thought humanly possible. I am definitely not the same person who started on this journey almost 2 years ago. Overcoming my injuries, pushing myself, and then becoming able to do things I couldn’t initially do has truly given me self-pride. I don’t complain at Get A Grip, because I’m just thankful I can walk, let alone do what I can today. I have taken the word “can’t” out of my vocabulary. No pain no gain! Box Jumps, Burpees, and Coffins, all the exercises I previously had the most trouble with are now what I anticipate doing the most now that I can execute them. There is now nothing at GAG I am unable to do! I am still on my way to meeting my goals, but I will benefit from the tools I learned here for a very long time!

I am so glad I was brave enough to take that first step, and actually go to GAG that first day. Sure I was nervous, and didn’t know anyone, but that did not last long! This gym is unlike any other. The people here are welcoming, encouraging, supportive, helpful, and friendly! I have never been to a gym before where I truly felt this comfortable. At GAG, I feel like I am working out with friends because I AM!  You can go here not knowing a soul, and end up meeting some of the sweetest people in your life. I know I have. I found a gym where the people are truly genuine, not to mention all different ages, races, shapes, and sizes. It is a gym of diversity, but also where no one judges one another. Get A Grip is a blessing. It is also a lot of fun!

This place has changed my life. I will forever be grateful for the confidence and friendships I gained from GAG. This place just clicked for me. It helped me want to better myself, and gave me the tools and advice to do so. Coach Carrie Kukuda as well as all the other boot camp instructors here really do care about the Grippers, and our success is their success. Get A Grip got me out of my comfort zone, helped me believe in myself, and never doubted my ability to be successful here.

I am motivated to continuing to work hard and have fun while doing so!

KatieFreedman4photo 143x300 (Spotlight) Brush with Death & Almost Left her Paralyzed...KatieFreedman1photo 216x300 (Spotlight) Brush with Death & Almost Left her Paralyzed...

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She is one amazing lady. I am SO proud of her and I’m looking forward to seeing what is next.

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