riser of the month - Jeff ehrhart


WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO RISE?

My friends brought me to RISE, as well as the RISE-olution Challenges. I'm the kind of person that needs something on the line for motivation.

WHAT CLASSES DO YOU ATTEND, and WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?

Kettlebell and spin are my go-to classes. Before I joined RISE, I had never taken a kettlebell class. I thought, “Well, that sounds like a good class. Just combine some funny-looking weights and some cardio. Sounds like a win-win.” Wow, was I in for a surprise! I didn't know my body could hurt so much the next day.

In some of my earlier classes, Carin showed my proper technique. At the time, I felt a little ridiculous but it has become one of my favorites. The constant mix-up of exercise keeps me coming back.

I also want to give a shout-out to Suzi and Sarah for spin. Suzi brings great energy to her class, and I like her technical rides. Sarah always plays my favorite tunes!

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT RISE?

The people – both the instructors and those who sweat alongside me. I was a little intimidated at first with the male-female ratio, but everyone has been great and supportive, and I've made many new friends there.

What are the RESULTS you can feel and attribute to RISE?

I've never been much of a morning person, but I now love going early and getting it out of the way. I feel so much better about myself and have the energy to get through the day. Also, as you will see in my story, I can’t thank RISE enough for helping me turn my life around. Thank you.

Jeff’s RISE-olution Challenge Story

I often snicker under my breath (and aloud to whomever’s listening) when I read some of RISE’s positive Facebook posts. It can be a little much sometimes. It fits my personality more to make fun of others versus truly believing it. But when I think about it some more, and it pains me to say this, I really do, deep down, like what you have to say. In fact, it’s really what makes RISE special. While the classes are nice, it’s the people that make this one of the best gyms I’ve ever belonged to. I’d like to go back two years to begin my story. Fall 2016 was my first RISE Challenge. I was the heaviest and most out of shape I had ever been in my life. (And my friends love to show me my before picture as a reminder.) It was a great introduction to RISE, and to see that maybe I could do this and make a change. Then came the 2017 RISE-olution Challenge. Between these two challenges, I lost 36 pounds. It was one of the best experiences of my life. The camaraderie and positive support between everyone was incredible. While my teammates and I were friends before the challenge, we are so much more now – knowing we can count on each other for anything. At this point, I thought I would never need to do another RISE Challenge again. I had learned to eat better, exercise regularly, and take the skills I learned in previous challenges to take a more moderate approach to life. Then my Dad passed away in October 2017. And I did not handle it well. To say I overindulged in both food and alcohol is being polite. I put on about 20 lbs in 3 months. I was not being a good father to my kids or a good husband to my wife. I was wallowing in my own self-loathing. That’s when my former team stepped up and convinced me it was time to pull myself out of it and get on with my life, with the motivation of the 2018 RISE-olution Challenge behind me. While we weren’t able to keep our team members together, they were behind me during this challenge, through motivation, weekly meal sharing, sending self-deprecating texts, and going to classes together. These friends were there when I needed them and helped change my life. Thanks to them, I got back on the wagon (or off the wagon – can never remember) and got down to my lowest weight in probably 20 years. I am optimistic I will stay the course this time and be better prepared to deal with life’s challenges.

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