“Donnie has been with us for almost a year and a half now, and the dedication and work he has put in is remarkable, along with the results he has seen! Since joining with us, Donnie has lost 70 pounds and has excelled in our classes. If you’ve attended any evening class here, you’ve no doubt crossed paths with Donnie whether as a classmate or seen him on the bike or Stairmaster for one of his pre- or post class cardio sessions. Since day one, Donnie has continuously shown positive attitude and willingness to learn and adapt to new challenges.”
How did you discover The FieldHouse? And how long have you been a member?
Driving down HWY 290 back in the fall of 2019, I saw a road sign that the FieldHouse was coming soon The building was still under construction, but there was a contact number. I reached out and connected with the staff. I was able to take Foundations and catch a few classes at the Combine before transitioning to the new space at the FieldHouse. Its been just over a year now since I started.
What is your exercise history or athletic background?
Growing up I played little league baseball and football. But as I got older, past elementary school age, I stopped playing sports. Over time in my college days, I had a sedentary life and became extremely overweight. I also was on track for numerous health issues, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. So, in my mid-20s I joined a gym and participated in biking and running events. This helped me achieve a reasonable level of fitness and led to a more active lifestyle.
What have classes and your personal workouts at The FieldHouse done for you personally? Physically?
Personally, my experiences at the FieldHouse have taught me a very important life lesson. I used to believe that I could manage my health and wellness all on my own. I recall that when I joined the FieldHouse even saying “I know what to do…”. The lesson I learned is that you can only go so far with that type of philosophy in life. Having a community, learning and partnering makes all the difference.
Beyond that life lesson, being able to set and achieve goals has improved my confidence. My body awareness, has improved through the various drills and exercises. I believe that the way I am challenged and coached at the FieldHouse has built up my courage and tenacity. During class workouts I am stretched mentally, physically and emotionally. This leads to stronger resolve, more confidence, and puts a perspective on the day to day challenges of life.
Over the past year, physically, I have changed in ways I never thought possible. Core strength, posture, overhead lifting capability…The list is long. Before the FieldHouse, I had no weight lifting experience, and with the classes and coaching I am slowly building up the knowledge and capability for weightlifting that impacts physical ability and appearance. My body weight has changed significantly to the point where people I have not seen regularly can barely recognize me. When I first joined, I was nearly 230 pounds, and now I am closer to 160 pounds. It is hard to believe whenever I grab a 70lb kettle bell that I have lost that much weight. The clothes I buy now versus a year ago are quite different. I went from an XL shirt size to a medium and my pant waist has gone from 38 inches to 32. Diet has played a large role in the physical changes as well, but I believe that the organization of my body has been affected by the workouts.
Who/what inspires/motivates you or why do you work out?
During workouts, especially the harder ones, I am always motivated by how good it feels to be done. There is the sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing, but for me, I also think about how a hard workout during the week entitles me to have an easy hike on the weekend. Considering why I exercise, the main driver is overall health. Health is important to me as I have responsibilities to my family, friends, co-workers that depend on my health. Being active and working is an essential part of staying healthy.
What is one of your favorite moments you have had in class?
Hard to choose. There have been a handful. I recall one class where the rest of the class was done, but I was still working towards a 45min Cap. I was still quite new to the FieldHouse. I don’t recall, but this could have been one of the first few work outs that I actually was going to be able to completely finish before the time expiring. Having the entire class cheer me on as I did the work out , and then finishing was exhilarating. Thinking back on that moment always brings a smile to my face.
What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of? Have you hit any recent PR’s or achieved any other goal(s) in or outside of your workouts here? Any future goals?
Being able to do Pull-ups has been a major achievement. My entire life, I was not able to pull up my body weight. Getting to the point where I could do 1, then 3 then 5 pullups has been a delight. Moving forward, I want to build up strength. There are certain lifts/movements that are a big challenge for me. My future goals revolve around tackling the weak areas in my workout routines. Over time, I hope to be able to do more of the movements that we commonly see in our classes.
When you are not working out, how do you spend your free time?
During the day I am probably working outside or hiking outside. I really enjoy the majesty of nature. In the evenings, I like to stream a TV show while on the couch with the family.