"I’m not sure what you have in the water or maybe you pipe in subliminal messages with the music, but whatever it is, it's true; Spurling is magic….I have drunk the Kool-Aid!"


"I feel very strongly about my feelings towards the entire Spurling team and I truly believe it is important for folks to know they have influenced and/or impacted my life.  

It has been almost exactly four months since I first came in to see what you were all about. I remember telling you that I really didn’t like exercising as such and if I joined I wasn’t worried about dieting so much because I wasn’t going to negate all that work I didn’t like by eating stupid stuff! 

So here we are 16-17 weeks later. I still cannot say that exercising/working out is one of the top 10 things I would choose to do, but I have had a somewhat mind-boggling shift in my brain. I have a hard time wrapping my brain around this, but I actually look forward to coming into sweat, grind my teeth as I do floor presses and feel the burn of the goblet squats! 

My biggest goal when I started was to get into an exercise routine and break the pretty much sedentary lifestyle I had gotten bogged down in over the past few years. OK, I’ll be honest, several years! I was pretty confident once I plunked down my money and got into the habit of coming, I would be successful in reaching that goal. And I was also pretty sure that it would be like everything else I had tried; that I would not look forward to it, have to drag myself there and be thinking of excuses of why not to come, even when I was there. I knew my head would be telling me that “you are paying a lot of money for this, so you’re going to go whether you like it or not!” All of those thoughts, every single one of them, never popped into my psyche from day one!

I’m not sure what you have in the water or maybe you pipe in subliminal messages with the music, but whatever it is, it is true; Spurling is magic….I have drunk the Kool-Aid! I cannot believe that I look forward to coming to the gym. Now that school has started I find myself planning my times a couple of weeks ahead just so I make sure I get a spot. I somehow feel disappointed when I can’t come in three times per week or I have to cancel. I don’t feel disappointed in myself but like I’m missing my favorite thing in the world to do and not getting to hang out with my friends. Weird since I go by myself and really don’t know very many people there. This summer when I went on vacation for two weeks there wasn’t a day that went by I wasn’t thinking about not being there. It wasn’t in an obsessive, unhealthy, OMG I’m going to gain wait or get out of shape because I didn’t go, but because I missed it. This can’t be me! And you need to know I don’t think this would have happened at any other gym. Truly. I’ve tried most of them!

Since the end of May, but especially since taking the F.L.A.G. nutrition class with Trent I have lost 14.5 pounds, and although I haven’t measured I know I’ve lost inches. My clothes fit better and in fact I’m going to have to buy some new clothes once cooler weather arrives. I feel better. I’m not as tired and I have more energy. I sleep better. I can climb the three flights of stairs (74 steps) to the third floor of the building our faculty meetings are in, without sucking for air. I can fit more comfortably into the chairs with the desk arms! J

As far as losing weight, that is a bonus. While I guess it is expected that with regular exercise one is going to shed a few pounds and I while do have more than a few pounds to shed, that was never a huge focus of signing on. I wish everyone who wanted to take Trent’s nutrition class could afford to do so, or that folks knew the value of it. I always thought that I knew what good nutrition was and it was just I made a choice to make bad choices. Trent taught me so much in just a few short weeks and it was good to bounce what was going on and for me just to meet a new group of folks. I really have changed my eating habits and they are things I can live with and now I understand. Weight Watchers was great for me anytime I did it, but as soon as I stopped I went back to my old ways. Programs like that don’t teach nutrition, what to eat and why. It was a light bulb moment to understand the importance of protein, but all within balance. On my cross-country road trip, I bought only good choices for snacks in the car and when I stopped for gas I was able to avoid the junk food because I knew I had good stuff in the car! The free hotel breakfasts I chose hard-boiled eggs, oatmeal, and fruit. I would have never done that before, and in fact, I probably would have skipped it altogether and found a McDonald’s McGriddle sandwich. I never felt deprived or like “those” were foods I wasn’t “allowed” to eat.  I eat things now because I want to eat them! It is a conscious effort and pretty much a habit. On the other hand, I don’t deprive myself. If I want something that is not such a good choice I have some on occasion, but you know what, it somehow doesn’t taste as good as I thought it would. 

I was worried about what would happen when school started because we truly have a cafeteria that is like a gourmet restaurant. Everything is cooked on site and there are very few processed foods and the salad bar is to die for, but so are the hot lunches, deli bar, soup bar, bread and dessert options. It is always hard to pass up the fried shrimp, baked stuffed haddock or Taco Tuesday in exchange for greens, or take an apple or kiwi instead of the strawberry shortcake. I’ve worked it out by making the decision to only go over to the lunchroom on Wednesdays and the other days I take my lunch. Win-win!

Why am I telling you all of this? Because Spurling is special. The byline is true….it isn’t your typical gym. I don’t feel intimidated by anyone or anything. I feel pushed but not farther than what is realistic and not far enough to hurt myself. I’m pushed just enough to do a little more than what I think I can do. When Kim says to do 12-14 reps, it is up to me to decide to push just a little further when I’d really like to do 12. The folks working out are friendly and I never feel like I’m being body-shamed by anyone. That is huge! I feel like the coaches, all of them, are there because they want to help people get better and they truly enjoy what they are doing….it bears repeating, they are there to help people. While I know in the end we can each only help ourselves and it is up to us whether we choose to do that, but I would not be where I am right now on this journey if it wasn’t for all of you. I try to work with all the coaches when my schedule allows and I think I have worked with everyone. That is important to me. Each and everyone is special and has their personal way of motivating and helping me feel good about myself. Chris, Josh, Trent, Kim, Tori, you are the reasons I can say my life has been changed and touched. Hopefully, I didn’t leave anyone out. I do read every single one of your blog posts and Kim’s on Wednesday, and all the posts from Trent on Facebook and from everyone else. 

And to not end on a gushy note….just tell me, what gym can you go to and have a “Wine and Netflix” night, the fun dress up days, the fun video posts on Facebook and the evening with Melissa Boyd was amazing!

Keep doing what you are doing! You have it right in so many ways in my books and yet you still are continually trying to figure out how to make it better."

~Stephanie Sanders