Kay O'Shea | SOF

Kay O'Shea

“To say that Soldiers of Fitness has been a life-changer may seem a bit dramatic, but for me it truly has been. After letting myself get severely overweight and out of shape, I knew I had to do something. I was sore and ached all the time, suffered from migraines, and I was unhappy with myself. I found out about Soldiers of Fitness by chance and signed up, figuring I could do anything for a month. By the time the first class ended, I wasn’t so sure. I was unable to run even a quarter of the first warm-up lap without needing to walk and all of the other exercises were equally as difficult for me. I felt overwhelmed and intimidated. One of the toughest things I’ve ever done was to come back for the second class. I’m so glad I did. I quickly learned that there was no need to be overwhelmed and intimidated since everyone was so supportive and encouraging. They always circled back to run with me and helped me finish repetitions of exercises so that I was never finishing things alone. During that first month, I was so sore, I sometimes had to crawl backwards down the stairs at home. I was so tired that I fell asleep standing at work! I began to see gradual improvement. After a couple of weeks I could run all of the warm-up laps – still at the back, but not as far back. I could complete more repetitions of the exercises. Everything was so challenging and required so much effort that I watched everything that went into my mouth – I lost 15 pounds in that first month. My clothes were starting to feel loose. When the first month ended, I signed up for three more, and then again. Now, a couple of years later, I attend class 5 days a week and can’t imagine not going. I’ve lost 80 pounds, gone from a size 22 to an 8, and the end of my weight loss goals is in sight. My migraines disappeared. I’m healthier, stronger, happier with myself, and more confident. I feel better and more energetic than I can ever remember. Is it easy? No, but it is achievable. I’ve found that I like challenging myself and nothing worth achieving is easy. I’m trying and accomplishing things I never thought I could or would. I have enjoyed being part of a dragon boat team. I’ve gone wilderness canoe camping with my husband (something he’s wanted me to do for years). I’ve been on survivor weekends. I’ve hiked in the Adirondacks and Gatineau park. I’ve done obstacle course races. I can be the Nana who plays tag and clambers over the play structures with her grandchildren. I have been able to take advantage of some truly amazing opportunities that have come my way. I have met, at Soldiers of Fitness, some of the strongest, most inspiring and supportive people I know. I’m enjoying my life to the fullest now and feel so much younger than my 57 years. Life changing? ABSOLUTELY! ”