Member Spotlight: Pauline!

While juggling various aspects of my health, with more stressors presenting themselves, I found myself laid-up in a hospital bed in January 2021 with two extremely large blood clots in my left leg and one in my left lung. I was alone, scared and very unsure about what was going to happen next. The only thing I knew was that this is not the quality of life I wanted. I discovered Masá through my Physical Therapy clinic as they had been collaborating on events and home workouts that were highlighted on their social media. I began stalking (following) Masá’s Instagram and watched in awe of everyone’s abilities as I worked my own way back to being well enough to be cleared for circulation to return to Physical Therapy.

I got stronger but I knew that I needed more. I had been finding it difficult to regain the success I once had in PT, just holding a 30 second plank. I saw a post by Masá about ring planks, and without knowing why, I suddenly commented with a simple question. The exchange that followed somehow progressed to my being scheduled for a Free No Sweat Intro with Itamar. I kept thinking to myself after “I’m not ready for a gym, much less CrossFit!”

I had been dealing with so much going on in my life and just trying to maintain it all, along with Physical Therapy, was a lot. The stress of it all resulted in my small breakdown in my doctor’s office where I ended up agreeing to a behavioral health referral to seek therapy because of all I had been going through on my own. I figured I would attend the Free Intro at Masá anyway and then politely pass on joining until a much later time.

My first impression stepping into Masá was pure intimidation! The open warehouse layout was so foreign to me as most of my concepts of a gym were typically wall-to-wall machines and weights. I was beyond nervous, I kept thinking to myself “what am I doing here?!!” However, there was Itamar, with a warm smile, greeting me as I walked in. Again unsure of how it happened, I agreed to start with Nutrition Coaching with Itamar once a week. I really enjoyed going to Masá each week, even if was to only discuss nutrition, I felt happy just being there. It was a few weeks in and the behavioral health referrals were not successfully processing for some reason. It gave me more time to think on it and I really didn’t want to sit in a room with a therapist to talk about everything bothering me and reliving all the stressors, it just didnt feel right for me. I’m a big believer in “things happen for a reason” and I took this as my cue to decide I wanted to put my money into improving my physical health, which of course in turn would support my mental health… it just felt like a more productive option for me. The fact that every workout (and warm-up) can be completely scaled makes it accessible to everyone of all fitness levels, from novice to pro. So, September 2021 I decided to join Masá and have not regretted a single moment of my decision.

I cannot think of a single stand-out “Bright Spot” since joining as there have been so many, one after another. Being able to go from only doing squats with a chair assist in Physical Therapy to quickly progressing at Masá using a bench, to a low box, to no assist at all within two months was huge progress for me! From having more energy throughout my day to building strength in my legs that greatly reduced the severe nocturnal leg cramping I had been living with for so long… the list goes on!!

I’m still a big work in progress as my journey with Masá has only just begun, but I have come such a long way from where I started. Many of the things I used to watch others do and think to myself, “I’d never be able to do that”, have changed to, “I’m going to do that one day!” I’ve actually become in awe of my own abilities and, when I lack the confidence in myself to do or try something, I have everyone at Masá cheering me on. This has been the best therapy for me that you can’t place a price tag on.

If I could tell myself anything before I joined Masá, it would be “be confident, you can do it!” I’m living proof of that, even when I have my doubts. I’m not the most athletic and the very furthest anyone could imagine as a “gym rat”. I always feared ever stepping foot in a gym, aside from feeling completely clueless of what to even do besides walk on a treadmill. I’ve been bullied and teased as a child and an adult. That paired with my (unrealistic) fear of becoming the unsuspecting joke of someone’s picture or video, so I have lots of reservations about doing certain things in a public forum. A lot of those reservations have been fading away since joining Masá. Aside from my Physical Therapy clinic, I feel safe and protected here. I’m still fairly quiet and reserved, that’s just my nature, but the incredible support I have from all the coaches and the members has been second to none. I could not have hand-picked a better group of people and I am blessed to be able to call each and every one of them my friend.

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