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Finding Accountability, Encouragement and Renewed Confidence with a YWCA Personal Trainer

By Sloane Martin, YWCA Health and Wellness Member
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Why did you join YWCA Minneapolis? What has been your favorite part about being a member?

I joined YWCA Minneapolis in 2017 because I was looking for a welcoming gym and I knew my dollars were going to a bigger purpose. I heard about the event where middle school girls are exposed to tradeswomen — careers that are typically closed off to women — to show them alternative paths for their education. I thought that’s something I want to support while also being in a comfortable and inclusive fitness environment.

Why did you decide to start working with a personal trainer?

I decided to go with a trainer because I had no idea what I was doing. I was an athlete through college but our team didn’t spend much time in the gym — it was all conditioning and on the court. I needed to learn my way around, learn something that worked for me and would keep my coming back. The first three sessions were free with my membership which is the biggest reason why I went with it. I had failed at several long-term gym attempts and was fed up so I knew I needed direction to commit. I needed accountability and someone to force me to do things.

Who have you been training with and how has it been going?

I have been working with Andrew Hossalla since the beginning. I was originally planning to end after the three trial sessions — get some familiarity with the equipment and turn to the internet for instruction like any millennial would — but my experience with him has been excellent. It’s because of him that I discovered a new passion for strength sports: weightlifting and powerlifting. I never would have touched a barbell without him. I thought my knees were beyond repair from years of year-round basketball and just wouldn’t be able to squat. When we started I couldn’t do a body weight squat and now I can squat 150 pounds. Turns out I just needed strength and confidence and encouragement. He took the time to listen and learn how to work with me and my personality to make it an enjoyable experience. He listened to my goals on day one and never deviated.

What do you get out of personal training that you don’t think you could do on your own?

Personal training is my accountability. My schedule is extremely hectic, but coming back each week centers me and reminds me why I do this. I leave feeling great every time and it’s something I look forward to. I struggle with pushing myself hard when I’m alone. I work hard in the gym, but I mean really pushing myself to my max, pushing to exhaustion. With him encouraging me and setting the bar high each time we meet, I leave with the satisfaction that I gave it my all. Andrew’s also taken the time to teach me about the body and fitness overall which is very helpful.

How has personal training impacted your physical fitness and, perhaps, your life overall?

Personal training with Andrew has had a significant positive effect on my life. My conditioning rivals where I was as a college athlete and my strength is the best it’s been in my life. I love sports in general and now I’ve found two new ones to obsess over and learn technique — ones that I can continue to improve at the rest of my life. Each and every time Andrew pushes me to do something I didn’t think I could do. Even almost two years later I surprise myself and that’s a really good feeling. I told Andrew the first day I wanted to feel like an athlete and that’s just where I am.

Anything else you’d like to share?

If you’ve been thinking about personal training at YWCA Minneapolis or have seen a session and desire that kind of one-on-one attention and knowledge, I really encourage you to go for it. It’s much more affordable than I expected and is 100 percent the reason I am as committed to the gym as I am. This could have turned into another discouraging flameout without it. I was self-conscious about being out of shape, but I had absolutely no reason to worry. You don’t have to look a certain way or be at a certain fitness level to start. Just go for it.

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