April 2016: Member Spotlight: Marilyn Waters

working the bent row

You won’t hear a lot of women say, “I LOVE lifting heavy!”. April’s Member of the Month, Marilyn Waters, is one of those few. She finds time to come in and train with Pat three time a week while juggling work as a massage therapist and spending time with her big family of eight (2 grand kitties included). When the weather is nice, she goes cruising the back roads of Connecticut and Massachusetts on her beautiful little 1964 Slab Side Shelby Cobra. She also enjoys whipping up delicious meals in the kitchen – in fact she started baking bread at a very young age of 10!

It’s not about being the best…it’s about being better than you used to be.”

Marilyn joined Excel in 2009. She didn’t start with expectations in mind. No “I want to be this or that”. It was more “What can I master or conquer next?”, and each personal trainer that she has since worked with helped her uncover abilities she didn’t know she had. When asked to do something that seemed difficult, her mind immediately says “Oh, NO WAY!” so not to disappoint, she does it anyway. It gives her an amazing feeling knowing she has accomplished something she didn’t think she could. That, and keeping dark places in her head at bay, is one of the many reasons she keeps working out. She loves the feeling of peace and calm that comes after a great workout in Excel, where she has always felt welcome and never out of place. Being in a smaller, personable gym makes her feel at ease, especially when she was just starting. She was feeling overweight and a little out of place then – but she didn’t feel intimidated in our gym.

Marilyn has come a long way since then. From mastering sit-ups to finishing a quarter marathon (“I got passed by a three-legged dog and a guy pushing a baby carriage, BUT I finished!”), she and Pat are now working on improving her balance and building strength.

She has this to say about her trainer:

Marilyn with her trainer Pat

Pat has helped me discover that my body likes to lift. I love that he has mapped out a plan for me and I don’t have to think about how much weight to put on the bar or where to set a machine – if I were to do it myself, I would never work as hard. He is great at motivating and encouraging me to work hard and accomplish things I didn’t know I could. He is incredibly patient and able to switch things up immediately when something hurts and he will always adapt an exercise to accommodate one of my many little injuries while still working toward our goals. We’re working toward being able to do unassisted pull-ups (so if I fall off a cliff, I can pull myself back up – but only if I can get an underhand grip!!!), every step closer to that feels great. But for me the best part is that moment when I realize I just lifted what I couldn’t last week – it makes me feel strong, powerful, and empowered. I can’t thank Pat enough for helping me experience that. 

Patrick adds:

I have been working with Marylin for almost a year and she has made amazing progress working towards her goals of a leaner body, increased strength and overall feeling better! She originally started training with two hour sessions per week and has worked up to three hours weekly. Marylin is one of my hardest working clients and always gives 110% effort! She can squat over 200 lbs and bench press 135 lbs! She can also do over 30 consecutive push-ups and can hold a plank for almost 5 minutes. Marylin has been awesome to work with and I hope to continue to train with her and help her to reach even greater goals!

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