Maria Z. At 55 I Came Alive!

“At 55, I Came Alive!”

Maria Zboinska

Hi, my name is Maria and here is a little background about myself: I was petite back in high school and was never interested in sports. When it came to team sports, my 5’4, 102 lb. frame proved to be a deterrent for getting selected for the team games but I was totally okay with that as I didn’t care to sweat or exercise. 

As a self employed accountant, the sedentary component of this predominantly “sitting profession” was beginning to catch up with me over the course of my life and by the age of 45, my inactivity and love for food resulted in an undesirable jump in my weight and my waistline. 

Over the next 10 years, I sought to get in shape by joining a gym in an effort to lose the weight. I tried several gyms over the years; Premier, Good Life and Wynn Fitness as well their personal trainers, but I did not enjoy the atmosphere and I didn’t feel a connect with any of the gyms. Being self employed, I always found it difficult to organize my time to exercise.

This past Spring of 2014, for Mother’s Day my two children bought me PT/Personal Training sessions with Susan of  My initial reaction was not at all what my children expected. I was not happy about it and actually, somewhat upset because I had convinced myself that I did not have time for exercise – I was in the heart of peak tax season and to top it off, Susan was a client of mine, so one way or another, I would have to face her. My poor daughter was almost in tears because of my reaction so eventually, I reluctantly agreed to give it a go.

In the beginning, I felt like anything that Susan asked me to do, was not doable (maybe 10%) but I was always willing to try. Modifications enabled me to perform exercises and over a rather short period of time, my strength and confidence increased quite noticeably, to my surprise. Susan tailored the sessions to meet my needs and one thing that had discouraged and me from gym classes in the past was the extreme soreness I would feel for days after. This didn’t happen with Susan as I had expressed my negative past experiences to her. 

In fact, after only a few sessions, I noticed a great difference; not initially in my weight loss, but in how I felt. The level of my energy has increased dramatically and I began to notice some very significant changes over the course of a few weeks and over the past 4 months (even though I had breaks when I traveled) and I’m amazed! Besides my energy increase, a nagging shoulder pain that I had endured for years, disappeared within the initial 2-3 weeks. Just recently, my husband pointed out something I had totally overlooked. I used to have to soak my feet in hot water every night in order to sleep due to them being extremely cold. Regular exercise has undoubtedly improved my circulation as I no longer have to do that! A few months into it, I have lost inches around my waist as Susan had encouraged me to take pictures as well as measurements. My confidence, upper body strength and exercise ability have all increased and it has been exciting to see definition and lines begin to emerge in my shoulders, arms and legs. My posture has improved as a result of Susan’s cueing during exercise and encouragement to be more aware of it throughout the day, especially with all the sitting involved in my job. I’m far more energetic, my flexibility and ROM (Range of Motion) has improved and I’ve gotten many positive comments and compliments all-around. I’m also much more aware of the inactive affects in the people around me and have been encouraging others to follow suit.

In the end, the exercise I had been dreading became a pleasure and I decided to continue with the personal training and get more sessions with Susan as I knew myself; I wouldn’t follow through unless I was accountable and getting help, direction, encouragement and I wanted to avoid injury. The interesting thing is that I now have no problem with organizing time for exercise, whereas in the past, I had struggled with that and made excuses.  I now prioritize, plan it and follow through. I have also joined the VIP Area  and am doing the workouts on my own. The great thing is that I hear Susan’s echoes of all her cues for proper alignment and I now go into automatic mode and I instantly know when I’m not quite doing it right and can make the necessary adjustments on my own. I have become committed to exercise, thanks to all the positive results I have experienced that I’ve even organized my own little gym at home, which will be extended to my backyard!

PT with Susan has turned out to be the best remedy for eliciting positive life altering changes! I never believed I could enjoy exercise and that I could do all that I’m doing as a result of what I have learned from Susan. She is like an “Exercise Fairy” –  who came with sincere dedication and caring enough to make the difference and help me feel better. Years of sitting and inactivity clearly took a toll on my body but I am living proof that it is never too late to start exercising and to make a difference in your health and fitness.

The gift of PT is a wonderful gift of health and it turns out that this was THE BEST THING I could get from my kids!  At age 55, I feel 10 years younger! I have become committed to exercise and I plan to maintain my healthy lifestyle and continue getting stronger in my years ahead. I hope my story inspires others who are in their later years to feel it is never too late to get active. If, like me, exercise hasn’t worked for you in the past, don’t give up and perhaps consider trying a different approach.

The Change!

  Maria performing an inverted row.  At 55 and a mom of 2! 
 Maria performing an inverted row.  At 55 and a mom of 2!