April marked my second anniversary with One on One Fitness. What’s remarkable to me is that it’s also the longest that I’ve stuck with one fitness regimen at a gym. This milestone has been reached not because I’ve developed a deep love of the air dyne or mountain climbers but because of the unique culture at One on One. Everyone who works there, and I do mean everyone, works hard every day to create a welcoming, inclusive environment.

I came to One on One after a tendon repair in my ankle, time in a cast and the complication of a pulmonary embolism. I felt stiff, creaky, out of shape and out of sorts. I knew I couldn’t fix this all on my own in the usual ways I had tried in the past.

From my initial consultation I realized this was, indeed, a very unique gym. I had always felt a little intimidated in other gyms…almost like you had to have already attained the fitness you were striving for in order to fit in. This idea of an individualized plan while working literally one on one was very comforting. It was a safe way to dip my toe into a consistent and challenging workout.

And, a challenging workout it was! I had a primary trainer in the beginning and had the opportunity to work with other trainers on occasion. It was through this rotation that I came to understand how much One on One has embedded their culture with service. As a healthcare leader, this was near and dear to my heart and I know it’s not always easy to be that consistent. But you see it when you walk in the gym and people shout your name in greeting whether they work with you or not. You see it when each trainer starts and ends their sessions with essentially the same questions. You can tell that there is communication between trainers so that the hand off is smooth and your program can continue without interruption. Unfortunately, this also means that you can’t fudge your ability to lift that heavier weight or finish one more set. This idea of service to the client, consistency of the program and accountability runs deep in the culture of One on One and this is why I’ve participated consistently for two years.

So, just when I started to feel pretty confident with my new workout regime I was encouraged to try the small group format. I was very nervous to leave the cocoon of individual training. I had noticed the small groups happening on the other side of the gym. What I saw was a fast-paced workout, leaving me feeling worried about measuring up or competing with a group. Wasn’t this exactly what I was trying to escape from other gyms? I decided that I had to trust my new level of fitness and I joined the world of small group.

I quickly found that since the One on One culture is so inclusive that it actually extends to how the clients treat each other. Small group is a perfect example of this as everyone is always welcoming. Small group is, as its name suggests, a group experience. We rotate through different circuits and exercises. But, within the group, there is a still a lot of individualized attention from the trainers. It is clear there is thought given to the individual weights, machine settings, etc. for each client and it is based on past performance and goals.

Although the small group workouts are excellent, it’s the accountability from the group and One on One team that keeps me coming back.  Small group provides the individual attention of the trainer along with the camaraderie of the group experience. In January I sat down with my program manager (Gbolahan) to discuss my goals and progress. While I know I am stronger and fitter than I was two years ago I wanted to renew my efforts around weight loss. Gbolahan helped me to design a schedule that would increase my frequency and intensity when I wasn’t in small group. We agreed on how he would help me with accountability and I’m happy to say this change has kick started my progress with my weight loss goals.

Sometimes I can’t believe the things I can now do from a fitness perspective. When I see someone doing something faster, or lifting something heavier I don’t feel intimidated anymore. I just feel grateful that we are all part of this great community and I’m so appreciative for the culture that allows this to exist.