Here’s how Fitness Together helped Kelly W. become fit and free

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Since last November, Kelly M. (right) has dutifully trained at Fitness Together three times a week, working out mostly with trainer Rachel Pekarski. In just a handful of months, he’s lost 53 pounds, shed 10 percent body fat, boosted his muscles and feels wonderful. The chronic pain in his back is gone. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Patricia Nugent

Three years ago, Officer Kelly M., of Westlake, was in a horrific car accident while on duty in Washington, D.C. During a high-speed police chase, his patrol car was rammed from behind by an automobile racing at 80 MPH, causing significant damage to his spine.

“I had to undergo back surgery and then went on light duty before retiring,” he says.

“Since I couldn’t exercise, I became sluggish and ate all the wrong foods. My weight shot up to 256. And since I’m diabetic, I was starting to feel as if I was on a downward spiral. I was so uncomfortable and could barely reach down to tie my shoes.”

Along with his sister, Mandy, Kelly moved back to their hometown of Westlake. When his doctors finally cleared him for exercise, he wanted to go with professionals who could both motivate him to succeed as well as modify a program that would protect his back.

When he read about Fitness Together in Mimi Magazine, he and Mandy decided the studio’s one-on-one training in a private setting sounded like a good fit.

Kelly (left) says he had to buy a new size of jeans four times, going from a 42-inch waist to a 34-inch.


Tale of the Tape

Since last November, Kelly has dutifully gone three times a week, working out mostly with trainer Rachel Pekarski.

“Being in the Air Force, and then Police Force, I’ve been through physical training before,” he says. “This is a purely professional approach. In the initial consultation, Rachel worked with Mandy and me to assess our fitness levels and come up with specific and attainable goals.”

In just a handful of months, he has lost 53 pounds, shed 10 percent body fat, boosted his muscles and feels wonderful. The chronic pain in his back is gone.

“When I went back to D.C. for a checkup, my doctors were astonished at the transformation,” he says. “I haven’t felt this fit in 20 years. I’ve had to buy a new size of jeans four times, going from a 42-inch waist to a 34-inch. Rachel is an outstanding and attentive trainer. She motivates us to feel committed and celebrates our progress. And, best of all, we have a great time.”

Seriously Crushing the Planks
According to Rachel, Kelly has made significant strides in addition to the weight loss.

“There are moves he could barely do when he started here that he is now crushing,” she reports. “For instance, he went from holding a plank for 30 seconds to holding one for 10 minutes, which is pretty amazing.”

Within the private training suites, they utilize the latest high-tech equipment, from cardio machines to TRX suspension bands, medicine and stability balls and weights.

“I have only one regret about my experience here…I wish I had done this 20 years ago,” says Kelly. “It’s also nice that we get a major discount by training together with the same trainer.”

Helping People Find Their Way Back to Vitality
Since opening in Bay Village last year, the Fitness Together group of trainers has changed the lives of countless west siders.

Owner Sean Sullivan says that even though his studios have a reputation for being elite, the reason they are so successful is because they offer a highly personalized experience with warm, friendly client service.

“We provide accountability and results,” he says, “which is why our clients stay with us for the long term.”

Fitness Together is located within the Dover Commons Shopping Center, at 650 Dover Center Road, Bay Village. Call 440-671-3200 or visit FitnessTogether.com/bay-villagefor more information.