1. Why did you start working out with Gina at FYFWG

This might come as a shock to some people but when I was 19 I became a Melbourne Police Officer. Those that know me are like, WHAT? I did that for 2 years and it was something that changed me and helped shape who I am and how act. Since that time in my life I have always strived to do the right thing and be fair in my treatment and judgement of others. With my Police training and lifesaving training through my job, I have helped people many, many times. I’m not afraid step in and help someone, or stop someone from causing somebody harm. One of my fitness mottos is “Just Do It”, one of my life mottos is “Just do The Right Thing”.

2. What benefits have you received from following a regular fitness routine?

If you are thinking about, looking into or really wanting to make a major lifestyle change to get yourself healthy, I will give you this bit of my personal advise; You will know when you are ready, you will want it, and you are going to have to want it. Only you can make that decision. Sure, a Doctor or loved one will suggest or even tell you that you need to make some changes, but only you will know when you are ready. This isn’t about them, it’s about you, and I think that you kind of have to hit a bit of personal “Rock Bottom”. A major lifestyle change is huge, it’s scary and it can be very intimidating. But when you get that want, that fire, that drive,  you will do it. And you will need that drive, because it won’t be easy at first. Overcoming the initial fear and challenges will take everything on your part, it won’t be handed to you, you will have to work for it. This is where that want really comes into play; when you are sore from the workouts, when you think that you can’t do this any more, when you want to continue to eat like you used to (Oh yeah…. you’ll be changing that too), when your whole life gets shook-up (Lifestyle Change….remember?), it will be your want that will give you the drive to continue. And you have to continue, because at this point you are noticing things, you notice that when you really listen to your body it is telling you that it feels better, ok not great, but a little better than it did before. That little bit of feel better will fuel that want, and that want will fuel that drive, and that drive will make you push on. Do what you have to do to get that want, then feed it, and your drive will grow. You NEED to want to make a change.

5. What is your favorite exercise?

My favorite thing to do on the weekend (next to not going to my job) is to mix working out with my Fitness Family, or working out by myself and messing around in my workshop or being on the beach. I guess just trying to cram in as much fun in the oh-so short 2 days as I can. By making the changes that I have made I have so much more energy to do what I want, and not get worn out. My free time is so much more enjoyable than it has ever been, and that is a really great payoff I think.

4. What advice would you give someone who is looking to make the change to get healthy?

Food is wonderful! I will try anything, and I do mean anything once. I have eaten some crazy stuff in my life so far, some great, some good, some not so good and some I can’t talk about! Ask me about the live baby octopus sometime (it is the craziest thing I have ever eaten in my life). If I had to choose only one thing to eat for the rest of my life it would definitely have to be Sushi and Sashimi. I have had just about every variation there is, including Fugu and I love every one of them. It is my favorite thing to eat… hands down.

I signed up for the second series of Yoga Fit. It was a fast paced, high intensity crank it up workout like I’d never done before. It was 30 minutes of crazy exercise with 30 minutes of Yoga. About 20 minutes into the fitness segment I thought I was going to pass out. I was as sore the next day as I had been in years, it felt as if I had done moto-cross for 45 minutes. I realized how out of shape I was and it hit me pretty hard. Months before this I made myself a promise to be in the best shape physically and mentally as I could be in when I retire, only thing was I didn’t know how or what to do about it. I remember thinking that the Yoga Fit teacher Gina could probably help with that. I returned to the next class and as they say, the rest is history. She helped me to do the stuff with the correct form and offered modifications to make sure I didn’t hurt myself. She told me about Fit Camp and I tried that as well. She cautioned that Fit Camp would be more intense, Gina doesn’t lie! It was pretty tough and reinforced the fact I was so out of shape.  Gina knows what each person is capable of and will encourage you to push to your personal maximum. There is no judgement, only positive reinforcement and encouragement. After almost 6 months of working out with her and the other Fitness Friends I have made I feel that I’m already in better shape than I have been in 20-25 years. Absolutely no regrets on my decision to work with Gina. I was in a bad place physically and I think the she turned me around from where I was heading, I like to say she brought me back from the edge.

Tom Long

When not working out with Gina or my Fitness Family I enjoy woodworking, fishing, and taking long walks on the beach at sunrise. I have a workshop in my backyard and build and repair furniture. I really enjoy surf fishing, wade fishing and flounder fishing. It is 41 miles between Port Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet, and I have walked 27 miles of it in segments. That is actually 2 times 27 miles because each segment is up or down the beach and back.

I hadn’t run 100 feet in probably 20 years before October 1st of last year. With Gina’s help and encouragement I’m running every 3-4 days on a regular basis. And I’m doing some 5K runs coming up. I have regained strength in all areas of my body. I have better balance than I have had in years, I have endurance to run, work out and exercise like never before. But the biggest benefit I have received is that I feel good about myself physically and mentally. Nothing is a challenge, nothing is “too hard” to do. I’m stronger, sharper, faster and more agile. My functioning fitness level is way up. I feel alive again. My two most recent 6 month medical check-ups, revealed a drastic improvement in my health that had both Doctors pretty much amazed (me too!). Proof is in the numbers as I always say.

8. How would others describe you?1. Why did you start working out with Gina at FYFWG

My favorite exercises are the ones that target the core. I had no core strength, and core strength is vital to all-around fitness. I love to plank, it’s something that I do in Yoga, and when I combine planking with Yoga breathing I get in this “Zen-Zone” and I can hold them for a long time, it’s pretty cool(to me at least!). When I do core work and I can feel it, really feel it after the workout, I know that it’s working, and that is really satisfying to me. I’d like to do a plank-off with the group one day, I think I would surprise some people!

3. What has been your biggest challenge in fitness and how has a regular fitness routine helped you to overcome it?

The biggest challenge for me has been recovering from my overall weakness in most of my body’s muscle strength, especially my legs. As I said before, I wasn’t in a good place, pretty scary actually. As I began to do more and more I was extremely surprised at how weak I was everywhere. I had no stamina, no strength, no endurance and everything just plain hurt when I worked out. Now that I’m 6 months into all this things have and are improving, quite drastically actually. I still have quite a long way to go until I feel that I will be in very good shape, but every week I feel improvements. My legs still have a long way to go, but my running is getting a little better each week as well. By working out several times weekly I think that I’m on a good track to being in “pretty good” shape in the next 5-6 months. Getting to “very good” shape will take some more serious work, but that’s ok, I’m good with that. I will get there, no problems with that.

6. What is something about yourself that many people do not know?

People tend to think I’m a little crazy at times, that I get a little rowdy and carried away and maybe a bit over zealous. I know I do, I’m just living life and having fun! I like to make people laugh, I love to make fun of myself ( I have an unlimited supply of material with that!) and I try to find humor in everything I do. I’m a 6 time Melanoma survivor that has been told 3 times “this one is bad and it might kill you”, well it didn’t and I ain’t dead yet! So I’m pretty happy about that! I just love life… period.

 Client Spotlight with Gina

7. What do you enjoy doing when you are not working out at FYFWG?

This month's success story

10. What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?

9. If you could eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?