“I put out feelers to some of my “Army” to see who might be interested in training with me for the contest. They all immediately said, “how do I sign up?””
- Theresa Christensen
They say that “teamwork makes the dream work.”
I’ve heard this phrase often throughout my life, but I never really thought much about it. Well, not until recently anyway. I witnessed it first-hand during Fitness Incentive’s Dynamic Duo contest.
Let’s rewind a bit, back to March of 2020.
The gym had just been shut down, and FI’s instructors had started streaming workouts live on the gym’s Facebook page. I was streaming 3 cycle videos a week from my unfinished basement. Week after week, the same people would log on and ride with me. They would all chat amongst themselves in the Facebook feed, so I started a message thread where the riders could connect to each other off the video. We talked about the rides, the playlists, and anything else that we wanted to share. After a few long months of the gym being closed, I needed to start planning for the eventual reopening. I knew that we would need to figure out how to conduct outdoor cycle classes. So I called upon my group of virtual riders, who had affectionately started referring to themselves as “Theresa’s Army,” and I asked if they would be my guinea pigs to figure out the logistics of outdoor classes.
One morning in July, we met under FI’s carport, and I held the first experimental outdoor cycle class. This was the first time that some of the group had ever met in person. Most recognized each other from taking classes together, but nobody really knew the others outside of the cycle videos and Facebook chats. It was also the first time most had been out of the house with people other than their immediate family. It was a wonderful and much-needed socially distanced morning. As time went on, our group became friends and eventually an extended family. The gym reopened, and the outdoor classes were a huge success.
PT Here I Come!
Shortly after reopening, I had heard that there was a need for personal trainers. Getting certified in personal training had been in the back of my mind for quite some time. However, it was more of a distant bucket list item than an immediate goal. After a couple of months, I decided there was no better time than the present to go for that certification. If the pandemic had taught me anything, it was that life is short, and everything can change on you in an instant. I signed up for a CPT course through the National Association of Sports Medicine and spent the next six months studying for it. With Fitness Incentive’s annual Fit For Summer contest approaching, it was a great but scary time to become a personal trainer. I would be starting this new job just days ahead of the eight-week Dynamic Duo contest in which members would be competing against each other to improve their body composition. I put out feelers to some of my “Army” to see who might be interested in training with me for the contest. They all immediately said, “how do I sign up?”
5 x 2=10
I took on five teams. There were ten people altogether, with two people on each team. I put together a private Facebook group for them to post recipes and ask questions. It was like we were back in “the basement” chatting about the videos. In a situation like this, it can be easy for people to get caught up in the competition. I never once saw that happen. Instead, I saw ten people come together to encourage and bring out the best in each other. In addition to the scheduled training sessions, I held weekly group workouts where we all got to be together. Those were some of the best Sunday mornings I ever had. At the end of the eight weeks, we didn’t have the contest results yet, but we all felt like we had won. We had won new friendships, a sense of camaraderie, and everyone looked fabulous, of course! There were highs and lows, a lot of cursing, even more laughs, some hugs, some banana jokes…you name it, it was thrown in there at some point.
When they announced the results of the Dynamic Duo, we were all thrilled. Irene Roche, who trained under me as Team Eyeroll with her husband Brian, was the individual winner! We all screamed! We felt like we all had won. The results kept coming in. Dawn Lucchi had come in 8th overall, Irene and Brian took 6th place team, Sharon Uss and Kelly Walsh came in 5th place, and Dawn and Beth Wilson came in 4th. With each announcement, we got more and more excited. These ten people displayed a remarkable sense of teamwork. They pushed each other to be their absolute best. It is true that there is no “I” in TEAM, and without a doubt, teamwork certainly does make the dream work. I witnessed it with my own two eyes, and I could not be prouder of this unbelievable group of people.
About the Author
Theresa Christensen is a certified Group Cycling Instructor. She manages the Cycling program at Fitness Incentive.