Written by: Lori LaGattuta
The motivated and enthusiastic Leslie that walks in Hudson Valley Raw Athletics 30 mins early to use the cardio machines before class is simply not the same woman who timidly entered for the first time back in June of 2014.
There were even many days Leslie would leave class in fear that should not be able to complete that days programming but it was the support of the coaches and members that helped her stick with the High Intensity Cross Training program at Hudson Valley Raw Athletics.
A year and a half ago Leslie admits that being at her heaviest weight it was affecting her quality of life. She had tried several diets in order to lose weight in the past but was unable to until finally with the assistance from Mike Doehla, owner of Stronger U Fitness and Performance, she was able to lose 30+ lbs by following his nutrition programming and continues to lose weight and get stronger.
According to Leslie, “most gyms don’t care if you come or not and don’t care if you push yourself or not. At Hudson Valley Raw Athletics the coaches are right on you for your goals and pushing you.”
Leslie also credits the encouragement of other members as motivation during the difficult times: “When you are lifting, running or struggling with something everyone kind of gathers around to support you. Speaking from experience that can make a huge difference for someone who doesn’t get support anywhere else in their lives!”
Leslie has taken the support she has received from her friends and family at Raw and has now become one of the biggest inspirations at Hudson Valley Raw Athletics. When she first began her journey she was unable to climb one flight of stairs without being out of breath. To date Leslie has lost over 65lbs and she is mentally, emotionally, and physically stronger.
When I first began coaching and getting involved with personal fitness I used to believe it was all about getting in shape and looking one’s best. After meeting so many new people just like Leslie, I am humbled by the multitude of reasons that people actually exercise.
When I asked her what has been the biggest reward from losing weight and getting stronger, Leslie told me, “Everything feels so much more possible, now.” For me, this was a huge reminder of what is important in the world of physical fitness. It is not about the number on the scale, or the size of your jeans; it is about the quality of one’s life. It is about regular people motivating one another to accomplish what previously seemed to be insurmountable. It is about making goals, fighting through obstacles, and reaching one’s full potential.
Leslie’s tenacious drive is proof that with dedication, and a little help, it is possible to transform not only your body, but ultimately your life.
We are so proud of your accomplishments Leslie!