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When Megan and Peter Clifford's neighbor Elizabeth Greco recommended they try out RISE for its classes and Challenges three years ago, they decided to give it a shot, loving the idea of supporting Glen Ellyn based business. "Elizabeth invited me to the Saturday kickboxing class with Katelyn teaching," says Megan. "I had no idea what I was doing and just did my best to follow along. Well, I loved it and was hooked (and it’s still one of my favorites)."

What the Cliffords found in RISE is that it's a standout studio and community. "It's not just a small business but also a woman-owned business. Go Katelyn," says Megan. "It also is very personal, meaning the encouragement is there. I've heard an instructor say, 'Make this a 2 water bottle workout, Megan!' The accountability in a supportive way, like calling out my name in class as if they know I’m struggling or checking in when I haven’t shown up in a while is there. And oftentimes I’m reminded by the amazing RISE instructors to be grateful because not everyone can workout. It puts it all in perspective." It also doesn't hurt that RISE's community is knowledgeable and welcoming with very capable and talented instructors who offer diverse classes and get/demand results, according to Peter. "Those were mostly initial impressions. Over the years, not only have those been reaffirmed over and over again, but seeing and being part of the community of members and staff at RISE has been really motivating and beneficial. The support one feels just being around the place makes membership worth it."

Three years, and three Challenges later, Megan has been working out regularly at RISE as a member, and the Cliffords have stayed committed to participating in Challenges, embracing new healthy habits each Challenge. "The results are probably the most obvious benefits of the Challenges," says Peter. "Weight loss, our overall feeling, and the new, healthy habits we formed over the course of the Challenges are also great. They don't all stick, but each year we pick up a couple more and it does make a difference for sure. Again, the support you get from the members and staff throughout the year, not just during the Challenges is a huge intangible, too."

Through the Challenges, the Cliffords have found tangible benefits like weight loss and lost inches and others that are intangible like healthier eating and feeling better overall. "Out with the bad habits, in with the good habits," says Peter. "We've met and interacted with a lot of people with whom we probably would not have crossed paths otherwise. It's just been a huge net positive in both of our lives; Megan's as a member and mine just as a member by proxy. Associating with RISE was one of the best things we've done in our eight years here in Glen Ellyn."

If you're considering a Challenge, Peter says just DO IT! "There is no judging, no criticism, only support from the entire community," he says. "Everybody wants you to succeed no matter how you define it."


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