Usually, the Paseo Club publishes informative and educational articles based on recent research and the latest trends. Today we are departing from this model to share with you a personal story about Paseo Club member Terrie Donovan.
Terrie’s story is about how she turned to strength training not only to get fitter and leaner, but to also build her self-confidence. We found her story to be inspirational and touching. We hope you enjoy reading this story about Terrie too!
Covid and motherhood
Terrie’s experience with exercise was limited to cardio and weight loss. She found success when she was consistent. “I have always said my diet is on track when I am exercising because I don’t want to undo what I just did in the gym,” Terrie said.
After having her children and the COVID pandemic hit, she found herself in a dark place. She was heavier than ever before and used motherhood to hide behind. “‘Terrie’ didn’t exist anymore. I was only a mom and a teacher. Self-care wasn’t even on the radar.”
Terrie belonged to the Paseo Club for many years. She came sporadically because her kids loved the childcare, and she could use that time to have a break. Sometimes her break was spent doing cardio, but most of the time it was simply sitting by the pool and reading a magazine.
In January of 2021, she decided to do something new. She joined the Tribe class. The class was difficult, but Terrie was pleasantly surprised that even at over 300 pounds, she could do most things with some adjustments from the trainer, Andrew Basile.
Personal trainer Andrew
Up until this point, Terrie had never had any interactions with a trainer, but she certainly had some stereotypes in her mind. Andrew didn’t seem to fit any of them. Terrie commented that “Andrew was humble and approachable.” It also didn’t hurt that he had the same sense of humor and approach to people as Terrie does.
When the Tribe class series was over, Terrie asked him if he had time to take on a new client. (She decided on the last day of class to ask him before she got scared and changed her mind).
“To be honest, I started strength training because Andrew was my trainer. I thought we would spend our time on cardio machines as that was my experience in the gym.”
Before Terrie started training with Andrew and doing strength training, she was over 300 pounds.
Her mobility was fairly limited as well as her endurance. Mentally, she was depressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. She didn’t know who Terrie was anymore or what she wanted. She lived only as an extension of her kids and career, but Terrie was not an individual. “I wanted to hide behind them both,” Terrie admitted.
She began to train with Andrew twice a week and came to the gym consistently four or five times a week. She did this for over two years.
Feeling the results
Terrie lost 150 pounds due to strength training and some cardio sprinkled in. She has come to love strength training because of how it makes her feel physically. “I feel strong and capable,” she said.
“I have learned to stay in my lane and not compare myself to the girl lifting next to me or Andrew. It is my journey and my goal. It has not been easy. Strength training is complicated and never-ending.”
More than anything, strength training has given Terrie confidence. She often reminds herself, “If I can deadlift almost 200 pounds, I can teach this kindergartner to add. If I can squat with a barbell and weights on my back, I can handle three boys by myself.”
Strength training has also given Terrie an outlet for her stress. After a day of teaching kindergarten, she can’t get to the gym fast enough. Her body is ready to work while her mind has space to rest and reflect. Some days are easier to work out than others, but on those hard days, she never leaves regretting she worked out.
Strength training changes lives
Strength training has affected every area of Terrie’s life. She has learned how to appreciate her body and what it can do. Terrie is not finished. She is excited to see how much more she can do to further her training.
Your fitness journey
The Paseo Club is not just a fitness center, it is a community hub for people of all ages, abilities, and interests. We care about your health, wellness, and social connections.
Jen Azevedo is a tennis professional, pickleball professional, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and the general manager of the Paseo Club. She loves the community at the Paseo Club and that it is also a safe and fun place for her daughter. Jen’s favorite activities are joining her tribe for trail races or her partners for tennis matches. Occasionally Jen slows down to relax with a book — she reads over 100 a year!