By Stephanie Van Ness, CSCS
Tying her long, dark, curly locks neatly into a ponytail, veteran ARXer Jeidy Fernandez gets down to the business at hand. A hundred burpees, wall balls and deadlifts are no match for this petite dynamo, who joined the class exactly a year ago. "I heard about ARX through Groupon last April," she said. "Before I moved to Norwood I lived in Boston where I was very involved in boot camp classes. With the move, I was looking to continue working out in a group and learning more about my strengths and weaknesses. ARX seemed like a perfect fit."
And it has been. Since joining, she has increased her strength, improved her body composition and made new friends. "I really enjoy coming to ARX classes because it attracts a nice group of people who motivate me to attend regularly, and the trainers are great and very supportive," she said. "They help push me to achieve my fitness goals of getting stronger and managing my weight. I thought the Lean in '15 clean eating challenge was fun, difficult, and eye opening! Since it ended last month I have continued to watch my eating habits and challenge myself more in the daily workouts."
And Jeidy's enthusiasm for ARX doesn't end there. "Not only do I enjoy the classes but also the extracurricular events, like the Ugly Sweater Run and dodgeball at Launch, because it gives the opportunity for the people in class to get to know each outside of the gym," she said. "I really like that ARX gives me the chance share my interest in fitness with others."
Concern for others is one of Jeidy's hallmarks. A clinical social worker with Mass General Hospital's Integrated Care Management Program, a job she started in February, is testament to that. "My job entails a lot of advocacy and consulting for high-risk pediatric patients," she explained. "It can be very stressful, especially when we are unable to find the support the family needs or when unforeseen circumstances occur."
Prior to this position, Jeidy provided in-home therapy and mobile crisis interventions. Seems dealing with stress is par for the course for her. "I spend my days helping others and making sure everyone is doing well so I absolutely need my own self-care regimen," she said. "That's where ARX comes in. It is something I do for myself. I look forward to the workouts and coming to the gym relieves my stress. Because my job is sometimes unpredictable and my schedule changes daily I have attended class at all the times offered throughout the day. But my favorite is the 6:30 pm class because it's a great way to wind down my day and it gets my mind off of work."
"I'm an active person and very competitive," she said. "I ran track (mid-distance, 4x4 relay, and 300 m hurdles) in high school and then focused my energy on pursuing my professional goals. After college I went straight for my masters in Philadelphia, eventually obtaining my license to practice in Massachusetts as an independent clinical social worker. I am definitely an overachiever so it's important for me to step back and have some fun. That's what ARX offers me."
When not working or working out this overachiever loves spending downtime with friends, just chilling or watching sports. "I especially love football," Jeidy said. "During the season I spend Sunday's watching and playing fantasy football. I'm pretty good, too. Last two years I've placed top 3 on my team of all guys!"