Morgan Lundquist – January 2019
I joined NW Women’s Fitness in June 2017. My road to finding a gym had started months earlier. I was unhappy and realized it was on me to take the first step to make a change. I didn’t know what I wanted but I knew I was going to need support and have to feel comfortable in the space to be successful. I had never been a member of a gym and I was nervous to start, unsure about how to set up a workout routine, how to use the equipment, afraid to look silly and just nervous about not being good…I found NWWF as I searched for gyms online. The more I read the more I felt like I had found a place I could be successful.
I set up an orientation with Mary and as she showed me around I began to feel at ease, maybe this was just the place I was looking for? I set up my complimentary personal training session and after a week of trying out different classes I had my first training session with Raina. Meeting Raina was the turning point for me. She was so encouraging and supportive from the beginning. She helped me establish my personal goals and listened to my concerns. We have spent Mondays together for the last year and half and in that time I have become stronger and more confident. She has helped me learn more about my body and how to use it and take care of it. Our relationship has gone beyond client and trainer, we have become friends. She helped me train and get ready for my wedding, we have shared stories of buying houses, talked about Auntie life, and just laughed together. She has fed me raisins when I want to quit, cheered me on as I get stronger, and pushed me to keep going.
But, Raina is just the start, the thing that makes NWWF great, is that the support and encouragement doesn’t end with personal training sessions. I have enjoyed all the classes I have tried and found a routine with some of my favorite morning classes (Wednesdays with Jolene & Fridays with Megan).
It feels amazing to be surrounded by all these powerful, strong supportive women, being inspired by them and learning from them. I feel lucky to have found such a wonderful group of women and my only regret is that it took me this long to get started!
Megan Amberson – November 2018
When I joined NW Women’s Fitness in November 2009, I had just moved back to Portland and was looking for a place for just me. I had moved back in with my parents while working from home, which meant I had no space for quiet, solitude, fitness or self-care. As a native Portlander, I had been aware of the gym for years, but had never explored becoming a member. But when I was in the midst of this challenging time in my life, I took a tour and was instantly taken by the community and the welcoming environment. Once I joined, this special place became an oasis just for me and I consider NW Women’s Fitness a sanctuary that helped me through a challenging time of transition.
Little did I know, this would be the first of many gifts this place would bring me. Yes, the great ‘spa like’ locker room, light room, sauna and amazing classes (especially Sunday am Yoga) and the women only environment is fantastic, but it has been the trainers and staff that have really changed my life. It started with Carol’s “Learn to Run” class five years ago when I began to see myself as an athlete. Her simple, and encouraging approach allowed me (as someone who had never run) to learn a new way to be in my body and experience fitness differently. Running became a friend that I have returned to repeatedly to deal with stress and life challenges. In the last year I was able to return to my running and start from the skills Carol shared and lose thirty pounds of workaholic stress.
Losing this weight has given me a new perspective on fitness and at 43 I can proudly say I have found my inner athlete. I wanted to push myself to the next level and when I saw the flyer for Raina’s Track class I instantly knew this was my next challenge. I was nervous that I wasn’t fit enough, but I told myself she would be patient and guide me through to success. I was so right! I am someone who had never run a 50 meter, let alone 800 meter, but Raina was a top notch coach in every way. Her simple, encouraging approach allowed me to learn new warm ups, become comfortable with the track environment and push myself in a way that I never thought possible. I found a new way to run, sweat and see what I’m made of, and I am eternally grateful for the new skills she shared. NW Women’s Fitness isn’t just a gym, it’s a sanctuary to find yourself, your inner athlete and see what you can do with a community of amazing women cheering you on!
Alice Gates – August 2018
Northwest Women’s Fitness provides a supportive environment for working out and taking care of myself. It’s often when I’m away—on vacation, or trying to working out in a hotel gym—that I realize why NWWF is an exceptional club.
First, I love that it’s all women. The atmosphere, the people, and the equipment make me feel at home. 17.5 lb. dumbbells? Yes, please! The staff are welcoming, and the trainers are knowledgeable and friendly. I typically plan my own workouts, but I always appreciate the friendly tips (and supportive cheers) from Alta, Gillian, and other trainers. They are quick to notice when I’ve added something new to my workouts or accomplished a goal. The positive vibe extends to the community. I will often strike up a conversation, and I’ve met and maintained friendships with other members over the years. The classes are both challenging and accessible to people of all fitness levels. There’s nothing like Bree’s Adrenaline Cycle class on Saturday morning to kickstart my weekend.
My fitness goals have changed over the years, and NWWF has been a part of that transformation. I used to workout to change how my body looked. Now I’m working to build strength and to appreciate what my body can do and try new things. Last year I learned to hula hoop, and I’m hiking higher and longer distances than I knew I could. I’ve also learned that rest and recovery (including our amazing sauna at the club) are an important part of increasing strength and maintaining fitness.
Last year I started using kettlebells as part of a physical therapy program to heal a hip injury. In the process, I learned new skills and realized that I enjoy the challenge of lifting and swinging heavier weights. My current goals are to complete a single unassisted pull-up and ten tricep push-ups. I’m learning about hollow body position and how to maintain tension while doing these challenging bodyweight exercises. These goals feel ambitious, but they are often what gets me out the door and onto the fitness floor. In the next few months, I’m also hoping to complete a hike I started last summer and didn’t finish—summiting the South Sister in the Deschutes National Forest.
Thanks to the staff and community at NWWF for providing a space for setting and achieving goals, wherever we are in our fitness journey!
Lisa Larpenter – July 2018
Since joining NW Women’s Fitness I am definitely healthier and fitter. The trainers here are absolutely amazing. They always take time to discuss my goals and design training sessions to help me meet those goals and stay motivated. I feel like they are truly invested in my success and provide so much support and encouragement.
I really enjoy coming to the gym for my favorite workouts: boxing, Zumba and personal training sessions. I also like to try new things to keep it interesting. No matter what my schedule looks like I can usually find a great class to take. I travel quite a bit for work so I am not always able to make it in, but the trainers are happy to give me ideas for working out on the road and helpful tricks to keep me on track when I am away.
There are so many things I love about NW Women’s Fitness; one of the best things is the regular challenges, which are perfect if you are competitive and want to kick start your routine. I also really like the holistic approach to health and fitness, with the massage therapists and mind-body offerings like yoga. I always feel welcome when I walk through the door, by the staff as well as the incredible and beautiful ladies who are members here.
Lyn Lamar – April 2018
I joined the gym in the early 90’s. Since then, I have been using the facility between 5 to 7 times a week when able. Just as coffee and vitamins are a morning habit, so is my trip to the gym. I use the gym exercise equipment or take a class from one of the fabulous trainers. As I have aged, my skin has begun to sag. I have maintained some muscle, agility and stamina as well as making some wonderful new friends. Without Northwest Women’s Fitness, I would be lonely, which makes me look forward to my daily gym visits. Thank you NW Women’s Fitness!
Suzinn Weiss – March 2018
Greetings! My name is Suzinn Weiss and I’ve been a member of this wonderful gym since 1992. I was 32 when I joined and I’ll be 58 in April. It’s been great to have such a nice facility to work out my body and to work off the stress of life. My favorite things about the gym are that it’s small and women only. I love the people here and the sauna. I previously belonged to a mega gym and hated the vibe, the crowds, the smell and would end up never going. Since being a member here I try to come at least twice a week and recently much more often.
Back in October 2016 I had a routine blood panel which showed all my numbers to be higher than usual despite the fact that I had an active lifestyle. I decided to get serious about my diet even though I was consistently eating whole foods and hadn’t had meat since 1996. I created my own meal plan, kicked sugar and started doing more cardio. Within 4 months I dropped 10 pounds and within a year I was down 15 pounds. That might not sound like a lot but it was mostly fat from around my middle and it was nice to see my midlife muffin top disappear. My test results are better and I’ve been able to keep the weight off. I feel great but aging is full of surprises. This past November I had a bone density test that showed I had gone from having great bone health to a 30% loss in 10 years. I was given a diagnosis of osteopenia (a precursor to osteoporosis). I was shocked because I’m very active, however it turns out that my activities of choice were not helping keep my bones strong. It was then that I decided to enlist the help of two personal trainers.
Sam created a personalized weight room routine that has helped me build strength and bone health. The exercises she gives me are easy to follow so that I can work out several times a week on my own. She also encouraged me to start using the treadmill, first walking and now running. I never thought I would like running but now I’m doing 40-45 minutes on the treadmill at least 3 times a week. I recently started jogging outside as well.
I am also working with Tessa on the Pilates Reformer to address posture issues due to scoliosis. Within a short time I saw a big improvement and because of Tessa’s guidance I’m able to self-adjust my back and shoulders to keep my spine straighter. I’m enjoying this work so much I started taking Tessa’s mat Pilates class.
My other classes of choice are MELT with Sara and various yoga classes during the week. When I’m not at the gym I like to garden, walk, ride my bike and dance.
This combination of activities and classes along with working in the weight room and on the treadmill have had a great effect on my mood and my body. I’m probably in better shape than I was 10 years ago because I’m being guided by trainers and instructors. I would encourage women who have recently gone through menopause to have a physical, blood work and a bone density test. Hormones play a huge part in our overall well-being and having a clear understanding of your health is important. I would encourage younger women to start addressing bone health before you start losing bone density. If I’d done so 5 or 6 years ago I might never have had to deal with the threat of osteoporosis.
Casey Rockmore – February 2018
I’m Casey Rockmore, a 29-year-old new resident of Portland. I moved here in August 2017 from San Diego in order to switch it up and try life in a new part of the country. After settling in, I joined NW Women’s Fitness in November after years of frustrating weight gain/loss due to changing of eating habits and incorporating no exercise. Additionally, I have multiple medical diagnoses that impede my ability to engage in traditional ‘exercising’ as I had defined it. Teddy has been a wonderful trainer, showing me that there are many ways to incorporate activity into my daily life while adapting to my disabilities. Working with Teddy twice per week has created an accountability and commitment that I have not given to anything other than my work as a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist. I joined NWWF with the goal of improving my overall health, and I am excited to report that I am much further along in this journey than I thought I would be after just three months. If it weren’t for NWWF and all that I have been exposed to, I wouldn’t be as strong, mentally and physically, as I am today. I look forward to getting closer to my goal and learning many more things along the way. I couldn’t have done any of it if it weren’t for the amazing staff at NWWF and my wonderful trainer, Teddy!
Brittany Shevchuk – January 2018
My name is Brittany Shevchuk and I am 28 years old and a mother to 2 very active boys ages 8 and 6. I have struggled with body image issues my whole life even going as far as eating disorders, and learning what balance is with having a healthy relationship with food but most importantly a healthy relationship with myself. Through my fitness journey I have always concentrated on a number on a scale and even when people would tell me the scale doesn’t matter, it never hit me and I could never understand what that meant until I started to work on the inside of myself. As I dug deeper into myself, I started to find out that the root to how I felt wasn’t based on how I looked but that I truly didn’t value myself and see myself as lovable because I didn’t love myself. I went through some intense inner healing and learning how valuable I was and as I started to love myself from the inside the fruit of how I started to feel on the inside started to blossom on the outside. I learned new things about myself and how I truly have a love for fitness and eating healthy and now I no longer workout just to achieve a number on the scale but I actually enjoy working out and feeling healthy. I am very thankful to have Northwest Women’s gym as my home gym. I have never felt more comfortable in a gym as I do here and even when I was struggling with my self-image and not feeling confident, I was still comfortable here being around all you ladies who make the atmosphere so welcoming and peaceful!