A SAPPY LOVE LETTER TO MY TRAINER, STONE
(BECAUSE YOU HATE IT WHEN I’M SAPPY)
When you started training me over two years ago, I’d lifted off and on for a short period of time but never consistently or heavy and I’d already been a fitness instructor for over 20 years and accomplished completing an Ironman triathlon, but I wasn’t in optimal physical condition. I could do cardio for hours at a time and I thought I was content with that until you put me through the ringer with that first workout. Who the hell knew you could sweat just from laying on a black foam roller?! And when I brought in my squishy pink roller the next session, you rolled your eyes and shook your head at me and told me to never bring it back – to deal with the black roller. It was then I knew you meant business. And, now, after the intimidation has worn off (okay, you know it hasn’t - I just like to pretend I don’t have a healthy fear of you - lol ;-), I wouldn’t have it any other way!
After that initial 6 month trial with you two days a week, I signed up for a year increasing to three days a week and then another year at four days a week – and sometimes I’m there more, if I can fit it in with my crazy schedule. And you know if you were open 7 days a week, I’d be there every single one of them! But even this simple thing of not being open has a lesson in it for me – more on that later!
Through the past couple of years I’ve learned so much from you, Stone: You’ve taught me to invest in myself – in my health - in a way I never had before. I took for granted the fact I had a free gym membership at the health club where I worked but I didn’t take advantage of the benefits of it. But what I learned to do from you is to take advantage of your knowledge, expertise, leadership and coaching abilities and to never take the relationship between trainer and client for granted.
You are one of the most positive and solid relationships I’ve ever had with a strong male presence in my life and I can’t thank you enough for putting up with all my antics and still agreeing to train me and for accepting me and pushing me to be a better version of who I already am. You saw potential in me and you didn’t give up on me even when I wanted to give up on my goals and myself. You pushed me beyond all my limits and didn’t accept any excuses from me - “Who cares if you’re tired because you were out dancing until 3am. You knew you had a session with me at 8am” is what I heard many times. I appreciate your tough love; it’s held me accountable.
You taught me about possibilities. You taught me I’m possible instead of impossible. You taught me it was okay to be uncomfortable, to get over myself and to actually “Get comfortable being uncomfortable”. And you gave me tools to achieve my goals both with weight loss and muscle gain along with strength – oh how you’ve taught me about both mental and physical strength. You pushed me to break stereotypes and limits I placed and set on myself.
You gave me the confidence to walk into any gym by myself (even while on vacation) and work hard/lift heavy even when I’m the only woman among many men.
You celebrated my big and small victories (weight loss goals, body fat %’s, dead-stop pull up’s, box jumps, and tire flips) inside and outside the gym with a headshake and sometimes even the few simple words either texted or mumbled in passing “Good job” that have never meant so much! You continue to push me, train me, and encourage me to set and meet new goals for myself and I have never felt more strong and self-assured in the capability of my body and my self as I have since working with you.
You also created a safe space for me and the OMP family to share with each other, commiserate with each other, laugh with each other, sometimes cry with each other, dance with each other, work hard together, encourage each other and celebrate one another! You’ve also given us Sheba who always knows when to gently nudge us along after you yell at us to “Stop talking and get to work!”
Your workouts are always safe, creative, challenging, effective, and fun - yes, fun! And even though I may complain or question your math or writing, I still have a tremendous amount of respect for you and even more so because through your training I have come to respect my body and myself. Because of you, I’ve learned to listen to my body and not be so critical if I have an ‘off’ day but rather respect where I am in that moment and do the best I can and come back even stronger the next day. You’ve taught me not only the importance of working hard but resting. You’ve shown me balance in your own life that I strive to emulate. And you’ve taught me I’m resilient.
I’m in a bit of denial that I may not have the opportunity to train with you anymore due to my upcoming move across the country but I will take with me the knowledge you’ve bestowed me, your belief in me, and the strength you’ve shown me within myself. I am your biggest fan and when anyone asks me how I’ve achieved what I have with my weight loss (45 pounds and counting) and flipping that damn 300 pound tire 25 times, I tell them I owe it all to you and to the belief you’ve instilled in me. And I tell them they owe it to themselves to give you a month trial to see what they can achieve with your guidance.
I’m forever indebted to you, Stone. Thank you just doesn’t seem enough. So I’ll end with a huge Battle ropes salute to you and a hug I know you’ll end up brushing off your shoulder! ;-)
With mad respect and gratitude.
The need for a personal trainer was never something I thought would be valuable. Participating in collegiate level athletics(wrestling) in my younger years, I thought, gave me the advantage of not needing a personal trainer. I was well aware of what a “good, high intensity” work out program looked liked. However strength training with OMP gave me insight, which escaped me in those early years. OMP started by giving me a really strong base, working on technique and giving me a true understanding of how strength training affected every aspect of my health. After my initial “get back in shape” period was over I find I am stronger and more fit now at 48 than I was in my early 20’s.
Thanks Stone and OMP for keeping a brother focused on the end goal and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
– Jimmy Colley
I have trained with Stone since 2011. I remember coming into the gym feeling self-conscious about needing to lose about 30 pounds back then. Stone assured me that my goal was attainable and proceeded to take my body measurements and weight so that we'd have an accurate starting point.
I initially committed to training 4/week and found that using the customized weight training and body weight exercises Stone put together for me, along with healthy eating, the weight came right off in a short time and stayed off.
Flash forward, at the beginning of 2016, I found out I was expecting my first child. Stone was one of the first people I told because I wanted to continue training but with him knowing to customize my sessions accordingly. I trained twice per week up until the beginning of my ninth month pregnant, with the workouts staying challenging but safe. It was tough at times with lower energy levels, but Stone encouraged me to push through on those tough days. I have no doubt that I'll be back into my pre-pregnancy clothes in no time (thank you, Stone and muscle memory!)
I would highly recommend Stone to anyone looking for a professional and customized workout. The gym is awesome and stocked with a variety of equipment to keep workouts fresh. As a trainer, Stone keeps you accountable, and helps you get strong. The icing on the cake is that with hard work and persistence, your body will look great!
– Ebony Onoh
I have always been interested in health and fitness. However, I could never find an exercise program or meal plan I could stick to long enough to make a difference. I was getting tired of starting and stopping programs and being confused by conflicting data regarding healthy exercise and eating habits. After the birth of my second daughter, I decided to really concentrate on finding a program I could stick with. When I first arrived to OMP, I was intimidated. I had never done heavy weight lifting and was always scared that I was too clumsy for cross-fit style workouts. I avoided lifting weights in the past because I bought into the fallacy that it makes women “stocky” or “bulky.” In the beginning, I was so impressed by the way Trainer Stone really took the time to do a thorough assessment of my fitness abilities and limitations. He designed personal workouts that were tailored to challenge me, but also build my confidence and show me what I was capable of. My intimidation immediately subsided after the first month with OMP.
Now that I’m going on three and a half years with OMP, I have to say that Trainer Stone is the absolute best! Joining this gym was the best decision that I ever made! I have been able to maintain consistency with his workout programs for years because they are always evolving yet challenging. I am never given the chance to get bored. I have become strong and confident in my weight training abilities. He has also given amazing guided nutrition plans and advice. I’ve learned how to maintain sustainable healthy eating habits to suite my body type, workout programs and lifestyle. I have also referred numerous friends and colleagues who have had similar results.
I’m currently pregnant with my third child and I’ve been able to continue with training. I love the flexibility to my workouts, which has allowed me to keep exercising with some minor adjustments while pregnant. Continuing with exercise and healthy eating has helped keep my energy up and has allowed for a fit and healthy pregnancy.
– Lisa Monroe