100 Gelston St. Buffalo, NY 14213 • (716) 886-0252 • 273 Thorn Ave. Orchard Park 100GelstonStreet@gmail.com

I come from a family of naturally slim people; a good portion of my teenage years and my twenties were spent on the saddle of my bike covering hundreds of miles per week. I was fit, athletic, weighed 175 lbs and had no doubt that it would always be so.

However, the ensuing 15 years of my life, plus the dietary / lifestyle choices that came with career, parenthood and life in general would eventually prove me wrong, as little by little my body ballooned to 230 lbs.

I would make excuses to myself that I looked better with some extra weight on me, that wearing shirts untucked was fashionable, that a man of my age was expected to wear blazers and sport coats and above all, with all the other expectations placed on me, I simply didn’t have the time for anything as demanding as an exercise regimen.

Yet by July 2013, my head had finally accepted what my clothes and the mirror had been telling me for far too long: I was borderline obese, the half-hearted efforts I had made over the years to reverse the trend were neither enough nor sustainable and if I let it continue, I was soon going to be finding myself in real trouble. So with a gentle push from a longtime friend, I decided to make the time and give my neighborhood gym a chance.

There are many reasons I love KC’s Fitness. Not the least of which is the flexibility and gentleness of the trainers. There are no barking drill sergeants here, yet they will work with you for as far and as hard as you want to push yourself, without accepting excuses. Your fitness level truly matters to them as much as it matters to you…no matter where you are in terms of motivation or ability. They focus on form first as the foundation, to avoid injury. Then they inspire you to push harder, reach further and explore the limits your physical strength and endurance.

KC’s has a wholly supportive atmosphere where harsh talk and demeaning conduct is simply not allowed by management or members. This place is so much more than “a gym:” it’s a community of people who look out for one another and that, as much as anything, is what keeps me engaged and eager to rise before dawn to sweat and work and push myself…morning after morning and week after week.

KC’s also makes it easy to move from one discipline to another as your goals change. I started off with Personal Training for just 2 hours per week. I then added Kettlebell Classes 5 months later (after some gentle-but-persistent prodding from my trainer). Eight months after that, I dropped one circuit session in favor of Power Lifting. Then 6 months ago another KC’s member encouraged me to try the Saturday Spartan classes, which ultimately led to me Boxing twice per week.

So as I write this two years from when I first walked through the door, I do so as someone who is now at KC’s 5 days every week (for a total of 6 hours) for my most important appointment of any given day: the one I keep with my body; if I miss a workout, I feel I’ve missed something essential to my well-being.

“Make the commitment. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable for a few hours a week.”

Since becoming a KC’s member, I’ve shed 60lbs of body fat and added 10lbs of muscle to reach 180lbs. I no longer need prescription drugs to address the maladies that once plagued me, and the random back muscle strains that would have me in agony and bedridden for days are a happily distant memory. At 48 years of age – when most men are slowing down – I’m stronger, happier, more fit and more confident than I’ve ever been in my life.

Call me crazy, but I’ve grown to love push-ups, jumping rope, pulling deadlifts, throwing punches and hoisting sandbags. I can do chin-ups unassisted for the first time in my adult life. I take my iron in kettlebell-shaped doses of between 50-100lbs, and best of all…I love how I feel, how I look, and how this level of fitness has improved not just my appearance, but even more importantly: what I am able to do outside of the gym.

In short, being fit has changed both me and my entire outlook on life for the better; I suggest you try it, too. Make the commitment. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable for a few hours a week. Shut up the voices that say you’re too fat, you’re too old, that you don’t have the time or it’s not worth the effort. Do it now and don’t look back!

I promise: you’ll be amazed with what you can accomplish, and believe me as one who knows: you can’t put a price on the liberty and joy that comes from a well-functioning body.