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This paid piece is sponsored by GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness.
Not that long ago, Kim Wahl was struggling.
She was diagnosed with type two diabetes. She had plantar fasciitis, high blood pressure, back and knee pain.
And then she walked into a GreatLIFE gym and set a big goal.
“I always had a weight in mind that I wanted to get to, but I tried to take it a little at a time,” Wahl said.
“It doesn’t matter where you start. It doesn’t even really matter where you finish. What matters most are the lessons you learn, the confidence you gain and the friends you make along the way.”
This is year three of a life-changing journey for Wahl.
It’s one that has seen her dropped 180 pounds.
And recently, her doctor removed type two diabetes as a diagnosis.
While it’s a story of weight loss success and improved health, GreatLIFE has become much more than a gym to Wahl, who goes nearly every day to the East 10th Street location.
“The staff and the other members I see all the time have become my family,” she said. “It’s just become my second home. I feel comfortable there.”
The biggest bond is one Wahl credits for her success. On her first day, she met trainer Brendan Harberts, and the two just clicked.
“He’s kept me motivated and entertained and we get along great,” she said. “It’s never boring We laugh the whole time and the time flies. He’s made it so easy.”
When Wahl first came to GreatLIFE, she was timid and nervous, Harberts remembered.
“It took a few sessions for her to open up, but once she did, she really started to enjoy working out,” he said. “We had to take it very slow, and were limited in what we could all do.”
“The progress she’s had in the gym really is amazing. She went from having to slowly climb up the stairs, holding onto the railing, only going up one stair at a time, to now jumping up the steps. She really is amazing.”
Wahl has never missed a workout in more than three years, Harberts said.
“She has a constant desire to improve, and that has never once stopped. We’ve gone through stretches where progress has slowed a bit, and even then she has stayed positive and determined,” he said. “I’m not going to lie; her workouts are hard. No matter what challenges I throw at her, she always perseveres through them.”
Wahl even progressed enough to run her first 5K this spring.
“It was a trail run, so it was hills and trails and it was tough, but I finished it and was glad I attempted it,” she said. “I’m looking forward to doing more.”
As for never missing a training session, “since I’ve started working out, I haven’t been sick, which is amazing,” Wahl said. “I haven’t had the flu or anything. Before I started working out, I’d get sick and couldn’t go anywhere. I just feel better.”
She’s still trying to lose another 13 or 14 pounds, and she’s working on strength training, balance and mobility.
“Kim’s entire outlook on health and fitness has changed,” Harberts said. “It went from being something that she had to do, to get her health back on track, to something that she enjoys doing. She’s always been incredibly friendly since day one, but now she’s the person that will always greet people coming in, and will take the time to talk to everybody. Her confidence in herself has skyrocketed, and she’s doing things she never thought she’d be able to do again.”
Wahl has a message for others who might be considering improving their fitness, too.
“I think it’s important, if people are thinking about it, that they invest in themselves,” she said.
“We invest in cars and houses and other things, but we really need to invest in ourselves and look out for our future self. Exercise just helps to feel so much better. It’s so important to invest in yourself as much as we invest in other things.”
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Kim Wahl walked into a GreatLIFE gym with several health issues and a big goal. Three years later, her journey has been nothing short of life-changing.