March 2024 NIKA of the Month: Karen

Here at NIKA Athletics in Deland, Fl, we love to highlight members that exemplify what it means to be a “NIKA.” She started with NIKA just over five months ago because she needed to improve her strength to aid her husband. Since then, she’s continued to impress her coaches and inspire other athletes in the gym. Karen is in a hybrid program with us; she completes two personal training sessions each week, plus attends two group classes with our Legends. Read on to learn more about Karen.

Tell us about yourself. Who are you outside of NIKA? Hi, my name is Karen and I am 74 years old. I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I am also a maid, pool cleaner, gardener, handyman and a nurse as my husband is experiencing health issues right now.

What brought you to NIKA? Why did you choose us to start your wellness journey? I had two objectives when I saw the ad for Nika on Facebook. One was to gain strength and the other was to firm up my body as I had just lost 55 lbs and was pretty saggy. As I had mentioned before my husband is having some balance and health issues right now and I needed to have the ability to help him up when and if he falls. Another reason I considered Nika was because you had pictures of older people in your ad. I didn’t want to come to a gym and be surrounded with just younger people that would make me feel out of place.

Did you feel nervous or intimated before joining? Why? I felt very nervous about joining a gym thinking it would be too hard for me and that I would make a fool out of myself. But everyone is so nice and encouraging, not only the staff but the other members too. We all support one another.

How has that changed? It is still hard for me to get up and down from the floor. Some days my one knee doesn’t want to cooperate. I also have weak wrists (they’ve been broken 7 times) and didn’t think I would be able to do a plank, lift weights or do lunges (as my balance wasn’t good). All of these things are done gradually and before you know it they are a thing of the past. In my entire life I have never been able to do a sit up and now I can.

Were there any movements that you anticipated not liking, but found you enjoy? Also, what is your favorite workout or movement? Since I’ve never been able to do sit ups until now, I guess that would be my favorite movement. I like stretching and core work.

How has your life changed since starting with NIKA? How has NIKA helped with your job, hobby, everyday life? It makes me happy to come to Nika. After 6 months I am coming 4 days a week and I love it. My chiropractor says my back and core are so much stronger and that her adjustments are holding longer. I was new to Deland and didn’t know anyone and now I see friendly faces when I come here. It makes me feel as though I belong. I not only get encouragement from the coaches but also the other members. You just feel like you are one of a big family.

What is your greatest accomplishment so far? I have learned that I am competitive and want to push myself. It’s a great feeling to accomplish more than you thought you could.

What is your next goal? My goal has been to turn fat into muscle, firm up and gain strength. I have a lot of new jobs around the house that I’ve inherited since my husband physically can’t do them anymore and it makes me feel good that I can do them now.

Tell me about a friend or friends you have made at NIKA. Everyone is so encouraging and supportive at Nika. The coaches care about you not only as client but as a person too. It feels so nice to get a card of encouragement or a thinking about you card as your husband goes into surgery. When you reach your goals at Nika they celebrate with you.

How do you stay motivated or consistent toward your goals? I stay motivated because I want to do better each day. There’s nothing like a big high five at the end of the day with your coach.

What is your favorite song to workout to? I like any upbeat song.

What advice would you give others who are thinking about signing up for a Free New Member Consultation? Try it… you will not be judged… work at your own pace… push yourself to do things you never thought possible. Learn exercising the correct way. If you feel pain the coaches will show you another way of doing that exercise. We are capable of doing more than we thought. The key is to come into this with a positive mindset. The other day I had to run and I told Zach, “I don’t run,” to which he replied, “well you are and you do now.”

If you would like to be like Karen, click here to schedule your Free Consultation. We’ll discuss your goals and set a plan to get you there.

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