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As a mother of two young kids I was barely keeping it all together while I finished a degree program at ISU. In May of 2014 I graduated and a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I finally had free time for the first time in forever! That's when I took a real hard look in the mirror and realized, I barely noticed the reflection staring back at me. In the hectic-ness of juggling work, school, and family I forgot to take care of myself. After the birth of my youngest son I started to rapidly gain weight. I wasn't following any type of fitness routine and was eating for convenience and comfort. I had ballooned to over 200 pounds on my short 5'3" frame. Everyone loves good before and after pictures but the majority of my "befores" have been permanently destroyed, or cropped to disguise the weight. I even withdrew from family photos as to not "ruin them". Crazy right ?!? That's how unhappy and unhealthy I was. I started my fitness journey with a boot camp like routine that was promoted as a "10 week transformation" and I loved it ... Until the 10 weeks was over and they brought in hundreds of newbies and ran the exact program on repeat ...After a while I felt like I had nothing left to gain from the program and started searching for something else.

I wanted a gym that I would feel comfortable walking into alone. Similar to goldilocks I sampled many gyms in town, some felt too big, others just didn't have the atmosphere I wanted. Then I walked into Be Strong and it felt just right. An amazing senior member walked me through my first night, I never knew doing burpees from one end of a room to the other could be so hard. The next class I cried when completing an intense WOD that felt impossible. In that moment all my self doubt and negativity came pouring out. "Why am I here? I'll never be able to do this." At that moment, as I was spiraling into a pool of self pity, a senior member put her arms around my shoulders and said: "you got this. We can take it step by step, and I'll do it with you at your pace." I wiped away my tears and we completed the WOD. That triumph did even more for my mental health than it did for me physically. My thoughts started drifting to what else I could do and that negative self image started to fade away.  Everything is scale-able and all athletic abilities can participate in Be Strong workouts. It's the perfect place to come learn the basics of weight training. I didn't know the difference between Dumbbells and Barbells when I started. Anyone can succeed at fitness with Be Strong backing them! I love this gym enough that I recruited all my best friends to join too! Fitness is more fun with friends !