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The Diablo Difference
The best kept secret! In all honesty, I was hesitant to post about them because of how great they are!
I originally came to support a friend, but what I have gained is something more. I am one of those yo-yo diet/workout fanatics. I am either all in or a couch potato. I've done my fair share of workout classes, HIIT, crossfit, 25-30 miles of running per week and even weight lifting on my own (6 days a week four hours at a time). However, I have to say, I am probably in the best shape of my life without having to kill myself at the gym, and by kill, I mean killing a bunch of time for my fitness routine. I go here 3 times per week for about an hour and a half at a time. Completely doable!
Let me preface this with the fact that I am not a morning person. In the beginning I was a little shy, which isn't my personality, but when you're waking up at 4:30 am to hit the gym by 5:30 am, chances are you aren't super excited to be awake, let alone going to work out. However, the people in the class with me were very supportive and encouraging. I felt leaps and bounds behind them, but they were there to cheer me on, something I really don't know how to do for myself. The community is the best! They inspire and push you to work harder, but you must be receptive to the possibility of community.
In all the training I have done throughout my life, there is no place you can go with as much one on one training and support. They are there watching you and making sure you have the proper form, making corrections, and making sure you are focused and in the game.
They will change your life, not only physically but mentally as well!
What a tremendous community of athletes of all backgrounds and levels of skills and experience, all training to achieve individual goals while giving support to collective improvement. It's all built on the bedrock of its proprietor Ted O'Neill, a veteran strength coach with a mile-long pedigree who, as it turns out, uses weights to distract people into overcoming whatever foibles are holding them back from their maximum potential.
This is not the shiny gym with the chrome equipment where people go to get sexy. This is the gym with iron and ropes and medicine balls where people go to build strength. And it turns out there's nothing sexier than the confidence that comes from strength.
This is more than just a gym this is a community you join. I walked in broken from past injuries, child birth, and generally not taking care of myself. On the advice of a close friend I walked in and was greeted by Jenn. She listened to all my concerns, showed me the schedule and introduced me to Dr. Vitz to start me in the back rehab classes. Within a month and half Ted and Jenn started to ease me into their conditioning classes making exceptions for things that might aggravate my issues. Almost four months later I am a completely different person. I haven't had a back issue in months. I'm leaner and clear headed. I'm strong and confident. All along the way with the complete support of my trainers. When I'm feeling rundown and haggard from my busy schedule with two kids, work, and home life, they bring me back, center me and remind me how everyday I get better and closer to the new self I'm creating.
Do yourself a favor. Come in and see what you they can help you create for yourself and leave all your reservations at the door.
I came to Diablo Barbell, not because I wanted to lift weights, but because I'm a chiropractor and wanted someone near my house to do exchanges with. I was introduced to Andrea Vitz, DC and she's amazing. Not only is she talented and has a positive attitude, but she clearly loves what she does. One day, when I was really suffering from overworking my body, she brought me into the gym and gave me some exercises to do. They worked! I realized that if I want to continue to do the job I love doing, I'd have to follow in her footsteps and get strong. The stronger you are, the easier are the things in life you want to do. I've been going to Diablo Barbell about twice a week for the past 5 weeks and she always keeps me engaged with incredibly insightful, and specific, bits of feedback about how I should be exercising. The other day, I got to work with one of the gym's strength trainers, Jeff, and he was every bit as great as Dr Vitz. I'm learning that there's a whole community of people who go to this gym, all at different levels of fitness. There are some huge powerlifters there, but most people look just like normal folks and are doing a wide variety of activities to stay healthy. There are also some people who look like they're overcoming old injuries or disabilities. As has been stated in other reviews, there are no mirrors in this gym. The vibe is less about what you look like, and way more about being healthy and mutual support. I'm so happy I've become a member.
So, a lot can change in a year. We all know this, we’ve all experienced it (2020, am I right?), and we all constantly remind ourselves of it, but we often never act on it. Don’t deny it, you always have this idea of “when I get to it” or “I’ll get to it soon” and most times we don’t. Be it calling a friend, creating a boundary, applying for a job, etc.. we are in this constant flux of “what if.” I myself was in a constant state of “I’ll be happy when,” or “I’ll feel better about myself when...” and I never did anything about it; I just waited around for some biblical miracle to happen, which I knew never would.
That’s the thing about being unhappy; you can tell yourself all the reasons why you feel unhappy but then you find yourself struggling to find ways to deal with it. It’s crippling, which in turn creates comfort. This is not the kind of comfort you should be okay with, it in fact is the kind that is most problematic for the exact issue at hand; being unhappy. It really messes with your head.
A little over a year ago (closer to a year and a half ago) a friend of mine, Ashleigh, joined a gym called Diablo Barbell (@diablobarbell) and couldn’t stop talking about it. I mean, COULD NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. To the point I had thought she had gotten caught up in some sort of weird weight lifting cult and, honestly, thought she had lost it. The thing was, she was seeing results. She was making choices that were conducive to her overall well being and physical health; she wasn’t wrong to be proud of what she had accomplished. She, in fact, did not join a cult (just so everyone at this point knows). She often told me to come try a class with her, and at one point offered to to comp me one of her classes just so I could see what it was all about. I took the bait. I thought, “okay, I’ll go just so she will stop telling me how great it was,” and was remarkably put in my place in regard to my perspective of what she had signed up for. I LOVED IT! It was fun, it was challenging, there were great coaches (which are all still great, just incase that wasn’t clear); all of which I desperately needed at the time despite my not really knowing it. I signed up that day, I was hooked.
Fast forward to a year from that moment, exactly one year today, and let’s take a look. I’ve successfully lost 35 lbs (most of which was fat, not muscle), I’ve started training to get my certification in personal training so I can help others as well as bring a better understanding of the body to my students, I have a better outlook on my day to day mental health and outlook towards life, I have found something new that I feel pretty good at doing, it makes me happy, I’ve met some amazing new friends, and I’ve realized that life really is what you make of it. That’s not to say that everyday is rainbows and butterflies, but when those “rainy days and Mondays” come around, I have the tools, the skills, and the community to look at it with a perspective that keeps me from losing sight of the bigger picture.
I’ve, truly, started to learn that I can be in control of my happiness. Fully grasping the idea that I could actually do something about my situation was something I hadn’t really every believed I could do. I gave it a year, it worked. Patience, trust, dedication, and some really good lifting shoes, were all I needed at this point.
This post isn’t only a shameless plug for my gym (seriously, check them out @diablobarbell), but a testament to the fact that “what ifs” and the “it will work when...”’s are literally the BIGGEST thing holding you back. Just F#**ing do it. Seriously, just go. Get up, go outside (wear a mask please), and do it. I’m quite proud of myself and I am so grateful to the people who have helped me in this adventure of weights, sweat, sore muscles, and at times frustration. If this last year is any indication of what is possible then 34 will be even better, pandemic be damned.