OTAC Member Story: Chuck Jenkins
Meet Chuck Jenkins, age 61.
This is a story that we had to share with our OTAC family! We have served our community for over the past 25 years, which means that some of our members have been with us for a long time, and some are just getting started on their health journey. However, for Chuck, he has only been part of the OTAC family for the last four years – yet the impact he has made and the change he has seen in himself has been extraordinary!
Chuck is a government contractor and lives with his beautiful wife, Melissa in Amissville. They have three children and three grandchildren.
When Chuck joined OTAC in 2017, he was 245 pounds with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The doctor had shared with him during a routine physical that due to being overweight, his high blood pressure and cholesterol that it was time to get on some medicine to help regulate his numbers. Chuck asked if there was anything else he could do, wanting to avoid going on medicine so early in life.
The doctor chuckled and said, “Yea, lose weight and start exercising…” Chuck replied confidently, “Done!”
The doctor gave him a goal of reaching 176 pounds. Chuck laughed at the idea of losing that much weight but he agreed that losing some weight would be healthy for him—even if he didn’t reach 176 pounds, any weight loss at this point would benefit him.
So, Chuck and his wife Melissa, recent empty-nesters, decided it was time to make a change. They had frequently passed by OTAC but as life sometimes can be, it never seemed like the right time to establish a consistent fitness routine. Chuck had gone in and out of other gyms throughout his life but he never found the groove he was looking for and he just didn’t feel comfortable or consistently motivated…
Chuck, being an all or nothing kind of guy, decided he was going to embark on this journey of getting himself back to a healthier lifestyle and hopefully get those numbers back down!
Chuck and his wife agreed to check out OTAC together. Taking the first step to change your life can feel more like taking a blind leap. Chuck admits he was intimidated.
He wondered, “Will everyone inside be in great shape? Will we feel out of place? Is this going to feel too intense?”
“We were instantly put at ease when we walked through the door,” he says. “A staff member greeted us with a warm smile, welcomed us inside, and gave us a tour of the campus. We loved the family atmosphere, and we were excited about the equipment selection and all the workout options to explore. It felt right.”
They joined the gym that day and agreed to start slowly. Their routine commenced with a simple aim: Develop consistency and comfortability. They began with stretching, some light cardio and mat work three days a week.
Chuck began to incorporate lifting into his regimen as he had been an occasional weightlifter in his previous years. But he shared that he kept finding himself interested in what was happening in the group fitness room. People looked happy, motivated and lively. He’d passed by the window countless times and was intrigued, but he felt unsure if he would be able to keep up.
One day, Chuck decided to take a leap of faith and signed up for a Body Attack class. After class, the instructor checked in with him to see what he thought. He shared it was difficult but he was hooked instantly! The energy in the room, the positivity and the challenge was all he needed. He was amazed that the instructor knew everyone’s names and that the group genuinely seemed to have this connection with one another where they all were working towards this common goal. It was like being on a team.
After that night, the story writes itself and Chuck has been coming regularly to classes along with doing individual workouts at OTAC for the last four years.
Today, you can find Chuck and his wife at the gym 5 to 6 days a week taking a variety of group fitness classes, yoga, small group training and semi private training. In fact, Chuck loved the programming of Body Attack so much, he even became a licensed instructor for OTAC after 6 months of getting accredited. Occasionally, you might find Chuck substituting for an instructor during the evenings at OTAC!
And how about those numbers? Chuck sits at his goal weight of 176 pounds, his blood pressure and cholesterol are perfect, and he shares that he is stronger, leaner, and more energetic than he has been in years.
Chuck is always greeting new members who walk into class with a warm smile, a friendly handshake and giving them tips for how to best approach class for the first time. Chuck is one of OTAC’s biggest advocates. His energy is contagious!
Chuck talks about the importance of family. His grandchildren know him as a grandpa that taps into his inner child, is full of life and fun. He says he never wants to be the grandparent that is not capable of running around with the kids.
We asked Chuck what his advice was for someone thinking about getting back to the gym, and here’s what he shared.
- Be reasonable with your expectations. There’s nothing wrong with easing yourself in.
- Be gentle with yourself as your body gets accustomed to exercise.
- Build accountability and consistency. If you have a really tough day and going to the gym just isn’t in the cards, stay home and take care of yourself. But the next day, be accountable, and do the work.
- Don’t go on some crazy, miserable diet! Eat clean, indulge occasionally, and portion control is key!
“At OTAC, you are part of a family, and a family takes care of each other,” says Chuck. “When I’m there, I want to see everyone succeed. What I feel when I walk in OTAC is unlike any place I’ve ever been.”
He loves the idea of our newest program starting on Feb 28, Reboot Program. Building a network of people who actually care about you can be challenging but Chuck feels that at OTAC it’s just part of the package. He says that what he feels when he walks into a room at OTAC is unlike any place he’s ever been.
Well, we can’t help but agree with Chuck. Our members are everything to us, they are family. Each member begins a health and wellness journey that is unique. We meet each person right where they are and build on a relationship that supports, motivates, nurtures and promotes improvements and results over time.
Ultimately, a happier and healthier lifestyle becomes the normal!