In 9 years of coaching, I have learned it’s impossible to know on a person’s first day at MadLab whether or not they’re going to stick around long. Despite this, like anywhere else in the world, it’s hard not to subconsciously make assumptions, predictions, dare I say judgments even, about people when you first meet them.
Needless to say, when I first saw Sheldon at MadLab, he didn’t necessarily strike me as someone who would stick it out. He looked scared and intimidated, as if he wanted to run the other way.
But here he is, two-and-a-half years later, a staple of our community, a person who shows up with great energy every time he walks through the door. He talks to everyone he walks by and is 100 percent committed to his fitness.
He opened up a bit about his journey so far:
“Before I joined MadLab, I was at a crossroads in terms of my mental and physical well-being,” Sheldon explained. “I knew I needed to make changes in my life but was unsure how or where to start.”
Then he found us and was teamed up with Coach Tom. Sheldon said he was particularly sold by the idea of having a coach for life, which Tom explained to him during his introductory session.
“Tom has been one of the primary reasons I joined and continue to come. While everyone jokes that he literally lives at the gym, it shows the dedication and passion he has for fitness and this business. Tom is brutally honest and you can count on him to ask the hard questions of yourself. …He cares about his clients and wants them to be the best version of themselves,” Sheldon said.
The transformation Sheldon has seen in the last couple years has been nothing short of remarkable.
“When I first started, I could barely run 50 m without being completely out of breath. I couldn’t do more than three push-ups at a time and couldn’t even single skip more than five (skips). I wouldn’t even think about completing workouts and dreaded anything that had to do with a barbell,” he said.
This is no longer the case.
“While I still continue to be a work-in-progress, I am able to perform most of the movements and am more fit in my mid-forties than I was when I was in my twenties. I also used to be much more reserved during class, and now when a good tune comes on, I have been known to bust a move in between lifts,” Sheldon joked.
Even better than his physical gains—and the confidence to dance that he has acquired in recent months—has been how it has helped the rest of his life, he explained.
“A couple things stand out. I can now keep up with my nieces when they play. I am able to participate in sports activities, where I was struggling to do so before. Also, before joining MadLab I hated taking pictures. I was very insecure about seeing myself in photos because I didn’t like what I saw, and now, not so much,” he said.
His next goal:
“That never-ending search for the elusive six-pack,” he joked.
To say Sheldon recommends MadLab to anyone and everyone is an understatement.
“It’s not just a place to come workout. MadLab is an environment you get physically and emotionally invested (in). It’s community,” he said.
“As much as I talk about it, words can’t do it justice. You have to take that first step through that blue door and experience it.”