by Kerri Dalaba

A little over a year ago I made the decision to walk through the doors of UPCF for my No Sweat Intro. I was never one to truly care about how much exercise I got or what I was eating until I was in my later college years. In high school, I was the girl that quit basketball to join the bowling team (sorry, Mom). Who wouldn’t want to eat cheese fries and play a sport at the same time? Fast forward a few years from there, I got into running because I was inspired by Kik who had just done a half marathon with some of her friends. I was amazed by them, which led me to be able to say I did one too. I’ll never forget when Kik saw me near the finish and rodeup beside me on her bike to help get me across that line with other friends and family waiting for me.

It wasn’t until 2016 that I started weight training. I worked closely with a personal trainer (who I will always credit for showing me what weight training can do for you) and I was in the best shape of my life. But then life threw some curveballs.

In 2020, I moved back to the area after living in Latham for a few years. I’m originally from Fort Edward and had always thought it was so awesome to see UPCF, a thriving business, in my hometown. I knew of some people who had previously been members and of course knew the wonderful Kik (who you all know and love). After failed attempts at workouts from home (during another curveball called Covid) and being tired of the way I was feeling, I knew I needed to do something about it.

I had my No Sweat Intro with Michael in October of 2020. He helped give me an idea of what UPCF was like and he also wanted to know my Why for walking through the doors. I knew right away that this was a place that cared. They care about your goals. They care about your safety. They care if you had a bad day. They care about YOU. I cannot thank the amazing staff enough for what they have taught me. I truly believe my mental health is the strongest it has ever been. The rollercoaster of hating myself once the weekend was over and comparing myself to how I once looked in the past all needed to end.

Are some days harder to motivate myself to workout? You bet. But as soon as I walk through those doors, am I happier? You bet. I am not one to flaunt confidence, but I am definitely more confident and prouder of myself than I have ever been. It’s not the daily battle of what the scale says anymore. It is now shifting to wanting to be able to do “that movement” or “that weight.” I now fully understand that life is always going to get in the way of goals you have, but how you react – creating habits and finding somewhere and something that you love – will make all the difference. I’m so inspired by the other members and the coaches and I truly feel like I have become a better person since joining. And THAT is what keeps me coming back…oh and getting stronger is also freaking cool too.

I’m so excited to be able to do a little more for a place I love. Interacting with you members and coaches are some of the best parts of my day!