It is hard to put into words just what the people that comprise Forte Fitness have done for me. I can remember being 19 years-old and being nearly 300 lbs., on the “fast track” to a half-lived life. I was afraid of the gym, avoidant of real physical exertion, and I was ashamed when I looked at myself in the mirror. I wouldn’t face my situation for what it was: I had never really embraced any fitness in my life. I remember the day I decided that something had to be done; the day my 42” pants no longer fit. It was June of 2014. I’d heard about Forte (under a different name, but the same management) from a friend, who told me that it was a non-judgmental environment with friendly staff. It sounded like the right type of place, considering my fear of exerting myself physically around others, especially in a gym-like environment. My friend’s words, I discovered, rang true. I met Kyle Johnston (at the time the manager of Forte) who talked me through the process and answered any and every question I had, all with a smile on his face. From the beginning, I was placed with a trainer who knew anatomically what needed to be done to get me to where I wanted to be, through both physical and nutritional education. Over the months, I came in and sweated it out, never once having any doubt that the people working with me didn’t know what they were doing. I would stay at Forte for a few months. I had started my journey.
To make a long story short, I ended up coming back to Forte in August of 2018, nearly 4 years later. In that time, I had my own ups-and-downs. I had sporadically put on weight and taken it off, put on muscle and then let it atrophy, changed my diet only to end up putting junk fuel back into my body’s engine, and I’d seen the hills and valleys of my own mind when it came to changing just who I was. I’d had hundreds of personal training sessions, met dozens of various gym staff members, and gotten a lot of perspective on my situation. I knew this would be the last time, that a permanent change had to take place if this was going to last. I came back to Forte because, after all those gyms and various trainers, after all those years, I remembered the people at Forte. I remember how they treated me. I lost 80 lbs. in less than 70 sessions. I can remember the day it started. Russ, my trainer, pulled me aside - when I thought that I was cursed, when I didn’t know just what I was going to do with myself – and he took the time to help me realize that changing one’s body is about much, much more than just what is physical, than what is corporeal. Never once did he ever doubt me, never once did he ever say that I couldn’t do this or that I couldn’t do that, and never once did he ever stop trying to help me become the person I am supposed to be. I would liken very similar statements to every single person I’ve dealt with at Forte. I have met and been among truly great human beings, people who bring out the best in one another and in themselves. Day in, day out these individuals show up, faces grinning & eyes brilliant, seeking out to help others in any way they can. I am very fortunate to call some of these people my friends now. There is no place or group of people that I would rather expel my blood, sweat, or build upon with. All of this in a little spot, a few rooms, down by the riverside.
If you’re asking yourself if this is worth it, it is. Few endeavors in life are worth the sacrifices and pain that accompany something like changing one’s mind and one’s body. You will be in pain, you will be in doubt, and you will want to quit. When those times come, and they will come, you’re going to be glad that you had people like these to push you forward. There is no doubt in my mind. The only question is: Are you ready?