By Stephanie Van Ness, CSCS
You've seen them in the gym, Veronica always smiling, Eric always asking why there are so many burpees in the day's workout. Actually, Veronica asks the same question. Though not fans of that particular exercise - not many are - they dutifully complete them and move on with the workout. Together. The couple has been together since December 2009, married since October 2013. After a move to Norwood in August of the following year, the couple found ARX and have been loyal twice-a-week members ever since.
"Though my wife and I only go to ARX two times a week, it makes a big difference in the way we feel," said Eric, an account manager at Dowling Insurance in Braintree. "I am in much better shape than I have been in a long time. My cardio is probably the best it has been since high school when I played soccer." (Eric made All State three out of four years.)
"I have always taken care of my body," he continued, "but there was a period of about five years when I did not do any physical activities whatsoever. I felt myself really getting out of shape. ARX has put me back on the right track. Although most classes are challenging, I do enjoy going as it gives me a feeling of accomplishment."
Veronica shares that sense. "I was always very active in sports. As a kid I was the only girl on my little league team, was on the swim team, played tennis and ice skated," she explained. "In high school I played second base on the softball team, and won the Boston Herald All Scholastic MVP award for all of Boston public schools. At UMass Amherst, I played for the women's rugby team and won the Rookie of Year award. So athletics and being active have always been central to my life."
"But for a few years I stopped working out so now I'm in the process of getting my fitness back," she said. "ARX is an awesome way to get into shape. I really do enjoy the workouts, as well as all the trainers. Plus, everyone is very friendly and there is a great energy in the gym. Every time I go I push myself a little harder and as a result I am much stronger now."
"And I need to be fit not only to feel good, but for my job," she said. "I work at Mass General as a radiologic technologist. My job is very physical so it's important to have a strong core to lift patients out of wheelchairs or slide them from stretchers. I started in the Emergency Department and did the overnight shift for three years. It was exciting and awesome experience but very stressful to constantly change my body's schedule from overnight mode to day mode. I felt exhausted and out of it all the time. Fortunately, now that I work on a day schedule in MGH Outpatient Radiology I feel much better. The ARX workouts definitely contribute to my feelings of well-being, even when I do my usual early bird 5:30 am class!"
Besides the actually workouts, Veronica - and Eric - enjoy the special events ARX has become known for - like Dodgeball night, The Ugly Sweater Run, or the recent post-class get-together at UNOs. "The get-togethers outside of the gym are an awesome way to get to know other ARXs on a more personal level," she said. "I feel we will be apart of ARX for a long time!"
Right now the couple is training hard, trying to bank a few extra workouts to get them through an upcoming vacation. "Veronica and I are headed to the Dominican Republic in a few weeks," Eric said. "It is an all-inclusive trip, which means drinks, drinks, and more drinks. And lots of food. It is going to be a cheat week for sure. Vacations always rejuvenate us but we'll definitely be back in the gym as soon as we return, working hard to keep our fitness growing."