A letter…

30 08 2010

It high time I wrote a letter to the Head Trainer at All Star  Fitness so I sat down with some tea at Starbucks and hand wrote the following:


This letter is long in coming. I spent hours wondering how to put down in words the life changing experience I’ve had since walking through the doors of Allstar Fitness back in april of this year. The beginning is probably the best place to start. December 29th 2009 I decided I had had enough of living the life laid out before me. I weighed 263.5 pounds. I was depressed and my life had come to a screeching halt. I had just celebrated my 40th birthday and I realized if I didn’t start to move and move with purpose, I wasn’t going to have too many more chances to get my life back.

December 30th I began to move. It wasn’t much, but it was more than I was used to. I took stairs instead of elevators. I parked as far away as possible from buildings and began walking on my lunch breaks. I began to eat consciously and slowly the weight came off. This was a fight to save my life. I promised myself that I would take the first 30 pounds off myself, then join a gym. The day the scale said 233.5 I walked into Allstar. I’ve never been a  card-carrying member of a gym before and to say I was intimidated would be an underestimation of how I really felt.

With the membership came the free assessment with the trainers and after acclimating myself for a few weeks I took the plunge and set my first appointment with Kent (Superman). I hear stories about people having bad experiences with trainers and having to try a few out before finding the right match. I never had that problem. Kent and I hit it off right away. He saw something in my that I never saw in myself: Potential. Kent is very much a “get down to business” kind of trainer. I am very much a “get down to business” kind of person. We made a great team and over the course of two months he helped me lose an additional 20+ pounds. He set a fire inside of me to become what I was born to be: an athlete.

Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond both of our control I had to transfer my remaining sessions to another trainer in June. Kent had set the standards pretty high so I had to be firm with my choice. I’d been watching trainers for a few weeks knowing a choice had to be made. One particular trainer caught my eye: Chuck Carone (Godfather). Every morning I would watch him with his clients and I knew I needed to be a part of his team. By the end of our first session together I knew I wouldn’t need to keep looking for a new trainer. Kent set the fire to become an athlete. Chuck has made me an athlete.

Chuck sees in me things I never knew possible. He sees strength and determination. He sees me as a stronger, fitter, faster person. I’ve been with Chuck for close to 2 months. When we first started training together I weighed 213 pounds. As of this letter I weigh 183 pounds. I am stronger today than I have ever been. When I didn’t believe in myself, Chuck believed in me. When my thoughts are full of “I can’t”, Chuck shows me that I can. When I am tired and cranky and dragging my feet into the gym at 6am for our session, he is full of energy and has a smile and enthusiasm that is contagious. I don’t know how other people feel about Chuck, but he has become an extremely important person in my life. A coach. A trainer. A mentor and a friend.

In all honesty he not only makes me want to become a better athlete; he makes me want to become a better person.

There are very few people who I look to as role models and even fewer people I aspire to be. Chuck is easily on the top of both of those lists.

~ Tara Martin

Whoa there 28! and a new gym member in town.

22 03 2010

Is it a coincidence that as I’m coming up on the -30 pound mark, I’m also coming up to the 30 minute running mark on c25k?

No improvement on speed during this last run. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was going slower but I blame that on the elements (wind, rain) and on the fact that I was too occupied with the idea of having to use the restroom and too far away from anything even if I did stop. 28 minutes came and went and then I hit the first half of the North 30th street hill. This is no easy hill for sure..I think it’s about 6 blocks long with a serious incline. A SERIOUS INCLINE!!! Before I do my 5k in June I will run up this beast of burden. First I’ll start by walking the first half  🙂

5 more sessions…

I am coming to the end of c25k in mere days. I almost want to run everyday for the next 5 days just to get to the end. However, I wouldn’t be slow and steady anymore…I’d be speedy and haphazard! I am concentrating on really pushing that last minute. Running until I’m just about out of breath, since I know it’s the last minute. A few times I’ve surprised myself at how fast I felt like I was running, even after 25/28 minutes.

I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish before June 12th.


I did something yesterday that I’ve never done before.

I walked into a gym.

I told myself that when I got the first 30 pounds off (by myself) I was going to get a gym membership and begin the second part of my weight loss journey. Part of me thought I would never even get to that number so there was no point in being stressed about taking my weight loss even more public.

Until yesterday. The scale hit 233 early in the morning. Will it continue to be that number until Saturday’s weigh in?


But I made a promise that at 30 pounds I would pick a gym.

So that’s what I did.

I’ve had one in mind for a while.

Allstar Fitness.

No lie, I picked it because they advertise a great playroom for kids while moms work out. Seemed logical. Moms with kids + Tacoma = probably overweight like me. I go in and ask for a tour.

I am introduced to the Manager (and Muay Thai/Boxing trainer) who looks over my initial information. We sit down and he got right to the point: “Why did you come through those doors today Tara?

Well isn’t it obvious?

Then I realize it’s not obvious. What I want to attain isn’t obvious because I don’t look like I still need to lose 70 pounds. I never looked like I needed to lose 100 pounds. So what do I do? Do I fib and say “oh I’m looking to tone up”? Do I say “Oh I’m just looking to lose a few pounds”?…

I think to myself: Please don’t cry. Don’t be ashamed. You’ve already lost the first 30 pounds. You’re here not because you’re fat and lazy. You’re here because you want to lose even more weight. This isn’t about defeat, it’s about success.

I look him in the eyes.

“Well, I’m here because at the end of December, I weighed 264 pounds” (here I think I paused to see the look of shock on his face that someone that fat could actually even think about joining a gym…but I got nothing so I continued) “When I got on the scale this morning it said 233 pounds. I made a promise that after I lost the first 30 pounds by myself, I’d join a gym and lose the other 70”

He didn’t flinch at the numbers. He didn’t laugh at me or tell me to leave. He just said “I like it when people come in with a specific goal…let’s take the tour”

I liked what I saw. Main lobby has a 3 story rock climbing station. Main room (with all the cardio goodies and free weights) was open and lots of room to move around. There is a space separate from the main room (on the second floor) for women only. That was a big selling point for me. But the best part was the pool…

7 lanes dedicated to laps. All laps, all the time!

I am the newest member of Allstar Fitness. I got up bright and early (still trying to adjust my sleep schedule) and put that main room of cardio goodness to use.