A lot of times people ask about the team and how the various team members got started. Sometimes clients mistakenly assume that the coaches have never had their own struggles with fitness, health or body image.
The reality of it is that, part of what makes us good guides/coaches is that we have also walked the path of transformation.
Our Director of Operations Roseanne Stephens has had her entire life change in the last 3 years. Her transformation is one that inspires most who hear about it.
Behind that smile and warmth, is a strength and resilience most of us will never need to know and somehow despite ongoing adversity she remains kind, loving and mostly swear free. 🙂
**What I’m about to share is a lot of information but rest assured I have permission to share**
Roseanne got going with us in January 2016 on our very first ever program at the Maple Grove studio. Her then boyfriend “forced her to do it”.
She says, “I was not looking for exercise. I just wanted to make some friends.”
At that time, she felt like she didn’t have friends or a community and she wanted to meet people but she says, “I wanted to meet people at a healthy place not a bar”.
Roseanne was convinced exercise was terrible because she had previously been in a different type of program where they work you until you want to cry, throw up and pass out.
She says she actually told her then coach (at the other program) to “go f*** himself” and that she was never coming back. That was how much she hated the program she had been doing.
Exercise was a definite NO on her list of priorities.
The fellow she was dating though, promised her he knew of a program where it wasn’t like that.
That man had sold me a car once and ended up on my email newsletter list. Over the years, he had been reading the Thursday transformation stories and the newsletters about how “killing yourself” isn’t necessary to succeed.
In December 2015, he brought Roseanne to the MPower SLP/ Plymouth studio to sign her up for the program that was about to begin at our Maple Grove studio.
I remember it to this day because Roseanne was MAJORLY standoffish. I don’t think she smiled at me once during the entire 30 minute meeting (and I’m pretty funny :p ). Also, if you know Roseanne, the no smiling would take some effort because she is usually really warm. But she was crabby when she first came in. I’m sure being dragged there was part of it. I’m sure being worried that exercise was going to make her throw up was also a contributing factor but either way she didn’t really want any part of it.
Roseanne says the first six weeks were hard. “I was super dialed in. Super committed. I worked out five days a week. I went from eating Mcdonalds 4 days per week to clean eating and everything was made from home. I didn’t drink. It was hard.
I think because I was convinced the program wasn’t something I needed, I really didn’t feel any different.”
At the end of the six weeks, her results were not much to speak of…and she told me
“This program is Bull Shit and A Joke”.
Then she went home cried, ate 2 ice creams and a bag of chips and said to herself,
“Screw this. I don’t need this.”
She didn’t give up though, she spoke to me more and she says “Megan told me to give it another 6 weeks. Trust the process and just keep going. Half way through the 6 weeks (so week 9) my body figured it out and I felt so much better, stronger. I dropped 3 % body fat.
At that point, I realized it actually worked.”
The results were coming for Roseanne but remember she wasn’t with us for fitness. Losing body fat and getting stronger weren’t really her goals.
She was here for friends. Shortly after switching to the 6am session she met a woman who is now one of her best friends (ever) Jane W.
Roseanne says, “ I watched Jane workout. She was so driven. So focused. So competitive and I’m not that way about exercise, but I admired her. Her focus drew me in. She pushed me to be better. She liked to cook. I hated to cook. She didn’t like to get dressed up and wear cute outfits, do hair or make-up and I live for that stuff. And even though she was fierce in session, Jane had this shy side so I wanted to show her a good time and help her come out of her shell”.
Roseanne and Jane became inseparable and their crew of early a.m. friends began to expand.
Fast forward a few months and Roseanne was becoming a fitness enthusiast.
I know. Hard to believe. She even began to switch out her morning chocolate and sugar filled coffee (yes, that was what she would have for breakfast) for a protein shake and some water. Don’t worry the coffee is still there, every morning and sometimes she has chocolate with her protein shake. :p But changes were happening…
She was loving so many things at MPower (then Fit Body) that she kept telling me, “you know I live less than a mile away, if you ever need anything I’d love to run errands or help”.
Nikki and I gave her a “formal” job interview (from inside one of the dressing rooms during a Saturday a.m. session) and she was added to the team as Nikki’s assistant.
A few months later, she took over billing from Jackson (then Director of Happiness) because he hated that part of the role. By the end of the first year we promoted her to the Office Manager.
A lot of things happened over the last couple of years in Roseanne’s life. Levi her youngest son took a liking to being at the studio and appointed himself to the role of official orientation assistant. Kaytlyn came home from college to live with Roseanne again. A restraining order was issued against the boyfriend who dragged Roseanne to Boot Camp (for both her, me and protection of the businesses) and Roseanne made even more close friends- both on the team and off the team.
Roseanne says, “I feel like I rob myself when I don’t show up. I feel like I’m missing something from my day when I don’t go to Boot Camp”. Lucky for her, even on rest days she gets to be in the studio so she gets to connect with “her people”.
I haven’t written much about Roseanne’s results because if you’d met her when she started you’d never have believed she had any fat to lose, but she is down 7% body fat and this season she will be with the run team running the Rugged Maniac and the Tough Mudder.
I don’t often get emotional when I write the success stories. I’m always incredibly proud but I don’t often tear up…
Roseanne’s story is hard for me to write because I could have easily said goodbye and wished her well when she called the program “bull shit” and told me it was a “joke”.
I know the program works and I knew then that she just hadn’t given her body a chance to adjust so I argued with her. I insisted that she, “give it 6 more weeks” and I got the boyfriend’s permission to keep charging his card for her membership.
I’m glad I didn’t let her walk away.
Because if I had given up on Roseanne I don’t know where she’d be or what she’d be doing and I don’t know where we’d be without her either.
She is an institution. She is a big part of who we are and why we are successful and we are incredibly grateful to have her on the team.