Dorothy’s story

Jun 02, 2019
Ashley Lawrie

Author: Riley Pearce
Social Media Director
Personal Trainer – Byward Market

It’s that time again! For the month of May we bring you the story of Dorothy, a client at our Albert St. location who knows all about being a part of something bigger than ourselves! This PEI-born mother of 4 is the youngest of 13 kids, and has realized by watching her eldest child deadlift amazing weights that working out can not only help you lose the couch-potato weight, but can also help you discover your true inner strength.

Read more about her incredible story of consistency and hard work below!

First start by introducing yourself. Where you’re from, what you do for fun, family. Just a few fun facts to help people get to know you.

I am from an enormous family on Prince Edward Island – the youngest of 13 children (I know, right?).  I came to Ottawa about 12 years ago on a work exchange program. I got into running while here and my first milestone was to survive the Ottawa half marathon in 2009.  I have a lifelong interest in music, and love a good Maritime kitchen dance party. I have four children between the ages of 20 to 29, and they are undoubtedly my greatest achievement in life.  Now that they are grown up (mostly), I am learning to take care of myself.

When did you first decide to join Free Form Fitness?

I joined when the Albert Street location opened. With it being located so close to my work, I knew I could easily fit training sessions into my schedule!

What was your initial goal when you joined?

I just needed to feel better. After two years of couchpotato-dom I had stopped running due to a foot injury, had gained weight, and I was sore all the time.  So my initial goal was a 10% weight loss and an increase in fitness level.

Has your goal changed since you started?

I am working on increased strength.   My oldest daughter is a carpenter and she has been powerlifting to improve her stamina on the job.  She is deadlifting well above her own weight. I probably can’t match her, but I want to see how much I can manage.  But most of all, I just want to reach a healthy weight and then to maintain it.

What type of adversity have you faced in the time you’ve been with Free Form?

I have tendonitis and old ligament injuries in one foot, so I have to stick to low impact, lower load activities.  It was fairly challenging to get through some of the exercises – I could not do a single leg RDL (romanian deadlift).

My trainers worked with me to build strength and stability and I can almost do it now.  It is not 100% and I still have to be careful of my foot but it is sooooo much better!

Have you experienced success at Free Form Fitness? Tell us how you got there.

I am so happy with my progress so far.  I have muscles now! I hit a personal best deadlift of 155lbs today, and I’ve lost about 30 lbs so far. I still have a way to go, but I know I will get to my ultimate goals in good time. I was really worried about my foot, but  I knew I had to get active somehow.

Tess and Jimena were pretty patient with me to keep me progressing without injuring me. They also helped me fine-tune my diet.  They just keep adding more weights and changing up my workouts. I never knew there could be so many variations of the plank! They also gave me home workouts that I could readily do on vacation (without full gym equipment), because I didn’t want to lose the gains I was making.

“I hit a personal best deadlift of 155lbs today, and I’ve lost about 30 lbs so far.”

I did have a fairly healthy diet but they coached me on setting macronutrients to build muscle. I have a pretty strict food diary practice to keep myself honest.  I don’t starve myself and I have not cut out ALL the unhealthy foods… Or wine 😉

Tess and Jimena are really encouraging and the atmosphere at Albert Street is high-spirited.  They put Queen on the playlist too!

How else do you live a healthy lifestyle?

Last summer I biked to work almost every day, but now I live close enough to be able to walk it comfortably.  I use the gym at work or I work out at home and I also try to swim at least twice a week. I have a sit/stand desk at work and I try to make use of that to reduce the aches and pains of aging in a sedentary job.  Staying away from processed foods, drinking plenty of water, and finding people to share a laugh with are all important aspects of my healthy lifetsyle.

What is your best piece of advice for someone new joining Free Form?

“Learn to love the challenge!”

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