Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday to me.....pardon the fact that there is no cake being served....

From: Lance Vugteveen
Sent: Thu, Nov 19, 2009 12:32 pm
Subject: Life Time Fitness

Hi Pamela-
My name is Lance Vugteveen and I am a member advisor over here at the Eagan Life Time. Just wanted to email you and remind you of our appointment tonight at 6pm. I will be helping you set-up your 7-day trial pass and showing you around the club as well. Feel free and email me back or call me if you are unable to make it. Look forward to showing you our club here.

Lance Vugteveen
Member Advisor
Life Time Fitness Eagan

Very few people in the world get to celebrate their birthday more than once a year. I however now get to have two birthdays....the day I was born (in April) and the day I walked into Lifetime Fitness and got to start my life over, 11/19/09. And truth be told, I only acknowledge the first one under duress, but the second one I would willing to sky write about if I could.

The funny part, is that when I got the email above a year ago I was dead set against joining LTF. Yes I had registered for the free one week trial pass, but had made it very clear in my registration I had no interested in hearing a sales pitch for membership and was NOT going to spend a penny at that point.

While I was ready to make a change in my life, I was very jaded by previous experiences with health clubs such as Bally's and their high pressure, used car salesman tactics. I walked into my meeting with Lance as cold to the idea of joining a health club as one could be. But there was something about Eagan that told me from the minute I walked in and was greeted by the folks at the front desk that this was a place where a miracle could happen for me.

Long story short, at the end of the tour I was ready to sign up, even though Lance's boss had told him not to even try to talk prices with me. We had a good laugh about that this week.

In the last year I have been to many LTF clubs. With all my travels I am able to experience clubs in many states and at many of the different levels within the LTF family (including recently an Onyx club, the highest level in the company). And no where have I been have I found that warmth and support that immediately drew me in at Eagan and has kept me there for a year.

It would be really easy just to thank the Personal Training department because that is where so much of my success in the last year was centered. But the reality is that I feel a debt of gratitude to everyone at Eagan (those currently there and those that were part of my journey and have since moved on). They have ALL been a part of my success, of keeping me going when I was ready to quit and just making me feel so cared about. From the folks at the front desk who are never without a smile and who refuse to let you walk out with telling you to have a good day, to the ladies in the cafe who always have such a great attitude and are so positive, to the staff at the towel desk who I don't think I have ever walked by without them saying hello and asking how I was (despite some days me being super grumpy and trying to talk to no one), to the member advisers who are always there when needed, to the woman who cleans the ladies locker room who is just the most pleasant person every single time you see her, to Tony, the General Manager who some how keeps the place running, immaculate and head and shoulders above other clubs in the LTF chain.

Tony is an interesting person and someone I wish I could be more like, both personally and as a leader. For being the GM and having every reason to be heads down in his office every day, Tony is incredibly hands on. More times than I can count I have seen him folding towels, emptying garbages, scanning cards at the front desk, to the point it took me  a long long time to realize he was the GM and not part of the maintenance staff *smile*. No one loves the Eagan club more than Tony and that shows in everything at the club. He is the first manager, of any business I have met, who gets annoyed if his members and employees don't come complain to him when something is wrong. He is a great source of advice and one of the most down to earth people I have ever met.

Beyond the staff at Eagan, Eagan has given me another gift. The many friends I have made with members at the club, some of my dearest friendships started in my EAT class or through others I met working out. My greatest accomplishment this year, completed the Indoor Tri was with classmates I will never forget.

My relationships at the Eagan club have also helped me to meet others within the LTF family at other clubs, such as Todd, my metabolic specialist (and my once in a while trainer *smile*) who have also helped me more than I can express.

I have learned a lot more in the last year than I ever expected, when I started this journey I thought it was about numbers on a scale. Not about life, growth and finding out you are a totally different person than you knew yourself as. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that life is a team sport and you can't succeed alone. Yes I have had to do all the work in the last year, no one ate for me, no one did any of those damn lunges for me (although I am still looking for volunteers on this one!), no one cried all the tears for me. But for as hard as the work I had to do on my part was, I was able to do it because of the many many people there to catch me when I fell, to cheer me on when I succeeded, to hold me up when I faltered and to kick me in the butt when I tried to quit (over and over again). Some I knew were watching, but some only recently did I realize had been cheering me on all along.

This journey has not gotten easier as the year went on, like I expected it would. In many ways the last 4 months have been the most challenging. But no matter how hard the road has gotten, I have had one of the most amazing support systems anyone could ask for. And so much of that is centered around LTF Eagan.

Thank you will never be enough to tell all of you what you mean to me or how much you have helped me change my life in the last year. I only hope I have made you proud and earned all you have given me.

All my love to EVERYONE who has supported me this year! Inside of LTF and out.

Ok enough gush and celebration, there is still more work to be done, are we all ready to take on year 2?


  1. Congrats!
    I'm looking forward to your future escapades!

  2. I am with you! I hope I do as well as you have in your first year!

  3. Woohoo! And way to go girl! Here's to one year down and another laid out in front of you - enjoy the ride!

    Love ya!