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Rebell of the month: Emily Baumgarn

Please help congratulate Emily, as she earns her spot of Rebell of The Month for November! It’s been a lot of fun watching how strong Emily has gotten over the past few months. She comes in with such a positive attitude and ready to get to work when she arrives. We are excited to share with you her story of success!!

Tell us about yourself

I’m Emily! I’m a fast talking, pun loving, music fanatic, wife, and mother of two human children (and two with fur). In my spare time I enjoy cooking and hate cleaning. Training for me was something that never seemed accessible. I felt sports would be too much of a financial burden for my family so I never asked to join, and never participated. Instead of hitting weight rooms or the field after school, I chain smoked, watched documentaries, and immersed myself in music instead. And that felt good enough for me at the time.

As I got older, I went through periods of impulsive fitness for all the wrong reasons. I would starve myself for a few days, attempt to go for a run, which I've never enjoyed, and complained about why I wasn't yet a svelte gazelle.

Followed by a rage quit.

This cycle would pop up intermittently throughout the years, and would leave me feeling worse than before I started.

Thoughts about strength training before/after becoming a Rebell

Strength training is something I always had a curiosity about. But like everything else, felt as though it wasn't something someone like me could do. I'd tried going to other weight rooms but without any direction felt intimidated and lost and wouldn't come back.

Since RS, I've felt not only that strength training is something I can do, but it's something everyone can do! You can walk through the door with zero training history, and zero confidence in your abilities and walk out appreciating your strong, worthy, badass body and what it can do for you.

The fuzzy ones. Maxwell Cumberbatch Wellington III (dog). Gravy (cat).

Obstacles you overcame

Something I've always struggled with, and still continue to actively work on, is prioritizing myself. But everyone deserves to take care of and appreciate themselves. However, I've found it's much easier to do when you're doing something you truly enjoy. I often joke that RS is my "happy place".

Achievements you accomplished at Restored Strength

Looking through my log book and seeing where I started and where I am now. In about six months, I’ve come a long way. And I’ve got the strength and muscles to show for it! I showed up not knowing how to properly squat. Or hip-hinge. Now, I'm not just using these skills at the gym, but in my daily life. I've noticed I'm lifting things correctly, I'm aware of how my feet feel on the ground, or when my shoulders feel tense. I wake up feeling strong instead of feeling achey. After carrying two children I had near constant lower back pain. I can’t even remember the last time I felt pain in my back. It’s so much easier to move around and enjoy life when it isn’t uncomfortable to do it.

What changes have others noticed?

Definitely my moods. I'm less anxious and more relaxed. I come home from RS feeling good about myself and excited about life.

On the flip side, last month I missed a few sessions due to family illness and I was mentally feeling it! My husband joked that I needed to go do some med-ball slams. I've been told by many people in my life "whatever you're doing is working. You seem so happy!" It's a long-shot from the person who used to run to punish myself and feel miserable as a result.

My family. Evan (top right) Luna (bottom left) Ronin (bottom right)

What do you tell your friends about RS?

RS GETS IT. I'd heard good things about RS from others and had been sheepishly gazing from afar. But after my consultation I knew this place was different.

It truly does not matter where you came from before RS. When you're there, your part of a community. And that community and the trainers give a shit about you. And they understand that screaming in your face or shaming you into a work-out routine isn't going to help your relationship with yourself or your body.

What’s your favorite thing about RS?

I've never had so much fun feeling like a badass.

The atmosphere and attitude of the trainers makes for an amazingly unique experience. One of my favorite days was a class with Saara where we figured out how every exercise we were doing would aid us in the zombie apocalypse. Training should be functional, after all.

Any variation or progression of a deadlift brings me a near embarrassing amount of joy. Med ball slams should be standard mental therapeutic practice nationwide. I'm convinced.

Results you’ve gotten from our workouts?

My confidence, whole-body strength, and energy.

My daily life has become so much less complicated. I wake up and my body doesn't scream at me. I have more energy to give to my family. And I'm incredibly proud of myself for sticking with something that makes me an all-around better human.

Honestly, in what way HASN'T RS helped my life?

Why is RS different?

Without being too aggressively negative of other fitness spaces, RS encourages us to NOT do dumb shit that won't help us. The trainers of RS understand both the physiological side as well as the mental barriers many people have. Each exercise has a purpose. And that purpose will serve us in a functional way. They don't start you off on level 10 where you're crying and can't get out of bed the next day and don't want to go back. They take the time to make sure we're correctly doing the basics, and the progressions are endless after that!

When I say that I've never enjoyed a training routine before RS, I wholeheartedly mean it. I couldn't figure out why something that's supposed to be "good for me" made me feel so bad. Which of course does the mental spin of "maybe I'M bad. Maybe there's something wrong with ME".

But no, there's nothing wrong with me, and if you're reading this and relate, there's nothing wrong with you either. Most gyms just aren't made for "the rest of us".

Additional thoughts

If you think you hate training, maybe you actually don't. Maybe you just haven't found the right place for you, or the right trainers for you. Find a gym that values your safety and well-being.

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