Emily Smithback – November 2020 Client Spotlight

                  EMILY SMITHBACK

In 2018 I started a membership at Pro Fitness after being introduced by the Kodanko family. I was looking for a “fitness home,” and they assured me Pro Fitness was a fitness community like no other. I quickly began to appreciate the fellow members, the unique equipment and techniques, and just the overall quality found at Pro Fitness. I shortly began working with Doug to receive some assistance in furthering my workout routine. Little did I know how his commitment to bettering his clients through a holistic approach would change my life so much. The discussions and education on a multitude of health topics soon began to positively impact every aspect of my life, from my sleep, to my mental health, to what I packed for lunch every day. However, the most impactful strategy Doug ever introduced me to reshaped my perception of “working out,” and has continually driven me to keep coming back for another round in the gym.

During one of my first sessions with Doug he started off the workout with the question “what is your goal?” To be honest, I had never had a goal when it came to fitness other than to lose weight and look more like the athletic ladies in the fitness industry found all over social media. This is when Doug introduced the idea of having a SMART goal for myself to drive purpose behind my workouts. I will admit that I was a bit annoyed by this idea. My perception at the time was that a SMART goal was an overused buzzword that drove me insane. Just write a goal and do it, right? Absolutely not. My perception of a fitness goal was unmeasurable, unattainable, and quite frankly, unmotivating. This left me vulnerable to skipping workouts or eating in ways that did not support my workouts. At first, Doug suggested I try triathlons to which I replied with a boisturest laugh and a line sharing my weakness and absolute hate for running. Eventually, we developed my first fitness SMART Goal, which was to be able to do a chin up. As a sophomore in high school I received a 25% on my chin up test, and it was something I was frustrated I could never do. Sure enough, that goal kept me coming back for more and more. Within two months I had passed my goal and was able to complete multiple chin ups in a row. And yes, I did go back and show my sophomore physical education teacher my new skill (we work in the same school district)! The sense of accomplishment and the boost in confidence drove a never ending cycle of developing fitness goals, and grinding it out in the gym in order to reach those goals.

Last September I witnessed the epitome of achieving goals as I watched my college roommate cross the IRONMAN finish line in Madison, Wisconsin. As an event viewer, I felt goosebumps every single time a participant crossed the finish line to their name being announced, and hearing they achieved their goal- “you are an IRONMAN.” I have never experienced a more motivating athletic event in my life. The next week I shared my experience with Doug and admitted that my next goal needed to be a triathlon. I needed to experience that euphoric rush of crossing a finish line. I began gathering equipment, training, and setting my eyes on the first few triathlons to compete in come spring and summer. The goal was set, the training was in motion, then COVID hit. As races began to cancel I could not help but feel extremely frustrated by the time, energy, and financial investment given to a goal I was not going to be able to complete for the foreseeable future. Low and behold, my college roommate informed me of IRONMAN’s virtual triathlons hosted every weekend through the lockdown and beyond. I was able to compete and finish seven virtual triathlons during the lockdown. The sense of accomplishment after each virtual race drove my motivation to continue competing and pushing myself to go farther. A goal just over a year prior that I never thought I would complete was now an accomplishment under my belt.

Whether it is a chin up, meeting a daily step total, or completing a project at work, a goal gives us purpose to why we decide to show up to our jobs or the gym rather than burn out. Our goals, purpose and accomplishments lead one to another, and it is up to each of us to continue the cycle in order to become a better version of ourselves. I wish you the best of luck in achieving your next goal!