In April of 2010, I came to Excel Fitness hoping to make a change in my life. Over a period of two decades, due to personal responsibilities and health issues, it had become increasingly difficult for me to engage in a number of activities that I had enjoyed in the past. I had spent 20 years trying unsuccessfully to return to and maintain a healthy weight, I had knee issues from my youth, and I was experiencing varying degrees of pain in my neck and upper back daily from a whiplash injury. As I approached a time in my life that would allow me greater freedom to pursue my own interests once again, I came to the conclusion that I did not simply need to lose weight. I also needed to become stronger and more physically fit. With knee, neck, and back issues, I knew I should not attempt this on my own.
Matthew Knight was the first person I met at Excel, and helped to form an incredibly positive impression. He was professional and courteous from the start. During our first meeting he took care to understand my history and my lifestyle as well as my goals, and helped me to understand how Excel could help me reach those goals. He explained what a reasonable rate of improvement might look like with my commitment and Excel’s support. I decided to join Excel and to sign up for some personal training sessions with Matt. It has proved to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I had never imagined working with a personal trainer before, but the first sessions with Matt were so helpful that I decided to continue. Matt’s positive and supportive manner enabled me to focus during my visits instead of feeling ridiculously self-conscious about what I couldn’t do. Within a short period of time I noticed decreased neck and back pain and increased strength. In the course of the coming months, I went from taking muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory medications regularly to taking them rarely. In addition, thanks to Matt’s further guidance regarding cardio work and diet, I was losing weight. In the first four months, I had lost 20 pounds.
The workouts that I do with Matt are completely different than any I could attempt on my own. Matt uses his wealth of knowledge and expertise as a trainer to tailor my sessions to my personal needs, and to work multiple muscle groups at a time. It’s obvious that he keeps my neck and knee issues in mind and that he plans my workouts around strengthening these areas without stressing them. This individualized approach is just one characteristic of Matt’s training that helps me to meet with success.
I am continually amazed that while Matt has trained professional athletes, he is also able to be incredibly patient and thorough with those of us who have little or no experience at all, and to maintain a positive spin on things in order to keep us motivated. Matt’s energy and enthusiasm are contagious and keep me looking ahead to meet my goals, while his calm and steady demeanor keep me from ever feeling overwhelmed. As a teacher, I encourage my students to work toward and celebrate those small, steady improvements that add up to larger achievements over time, but hypocrisy strikes when I sometimes expect great leaps from myself. Matt puts this in perspective for me. At Excel, I am the student and Matt is the teacher. He reminds me of how far I have come, educates me regarding his choice of exercises for me, and offers me unwavering guidance and support through each step of the way.
At the end of this month it will be one year since the day I first walked into Excel. I cannot believe the progress I have made. Thanks to Matt, I have lost a total of 38 pounds so far, and I have more living to look forward to every day.