Michelle Walden came to us as the busy mother of three young children just looking to get back in shape.
At the time, she was stressed on multiple fronts and she found it difficult to manage her work, chores at home, taking care of the kids – her own and her surrogate kids as the principal for a local charter school – and still find time to squeeze in a fitness routine, or any “me” time for that matter.
This month Michelle reached the two-year mark at Force Barbell. We are super proud of Michelle and all that she does for her family, friends, and the kids that she works with. She does a lot of great things for a lot of people, and she represents a lot of what Force Barbell is all about – honor, integrity, hard work, and compassion.
Most importantly, we are proud of her for learning to make time for herself in all the hustle.
Here is Michelle’s training experience so far at Force Barbell, in her own words:
“Two years ago my husband, Eric, told me about a friend of his from Purdue that had opened his own gym near us and thought I should give it a try. Eric is also a fitness professional and for years had tried to help me with my fitness goals but we both found it to be a terribly frustrating process to try to separate the “business” relationship of a coach and client versus the marriage relationship.
I decided to take a chance with something new and give their Group Metabolic classes (now called ForceFit Group Training) a try. I told Eric he could set up a trial week for me because I knew it was important to him to help me but we both knew he couldn’t be the one holding me accountable any more.
I had a host of emotions leading up to that first day. I was nervous of the unknown, excited to try something new, scared to fail or look like a fool, intimidated by the anticipation of training with “athletes.” You see, I had absolutely no self-image of being an athlete myself and if I’m being really honest had a very poor self-image in general when it came to my body.
I was just a regular mom that was tired of the extra weight and feeling exhausted all the time.
All of that began to change once I started at Force. The coaches and the other members have become part of my family. Through authentic accountability, realistic goal setting, top-notch education, and just plain hard work I have begun to find a new inner person, a new esteem that makes me better in all areas of my life.
I am amazed at how much I have grown emotionally through this process of learning to develop my body. I still struggle with poor self-image at times but I don’t “live” in that place any more. I chose to spend my time investing in growing myself so that I can continue to help others.”
She’s not done yet!
Over the past two years, Michelle has also found a new passion for strength sports. It has taken some work and mental anguish, but she has learned to overcame her dislike of being in the spotlight to step on the lifting platform to participate in a number of our unsanctioned strongman and powerlifting meets.
In April, Michelle dug deep into the well to summon the confidence once again and compete with the rest of the crew in her first ever sanctioned powerlifting meet. She did an amazing job, set some new PRs, and even qualified for USAPL Raw National Powerlifting Championships this coming October with a total of 327.5 kg (722 pounds)!
Keep up the great work, Michelle.