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April Athlete of the Month

Congratulations to Michelle James for being named the Athlete of the Month for April. Michelle makes getting to the gym a priority in her life and every time she comes to class she makes it a better place for everyone.

Please tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Glenwood Springs and moved to New Castle in 1995 with my husband Vince and daughter Joslin. I am a co-owner of Vicki Lee Green Realtors and have been selling houses for 23 years. We became grandparents in 2015 to the newest love of our lives – little Miss Londyn.

When did you become a member at Defiance West?

I joined the gym in October 2015, I was looking for something to keep me in shape through the winter months.

What made you join Defiance West and why do you do it now?

I sold the building to the Defiance in Glenwood and the owners’ were great people and I heard they were connected to the New Castle gym. I was looking for a positive place to work out with a good reputation. I like to walk in the door, turn my brain off and exercise with people of all ages and skillset levels.

What were your thoughts after your first workout?

I loved how welcome everyone made me feel and the one on one training from Cory gave me the assurance I could learn. The first time you do anything it can be intimidating. My friend Dana took me under her wing and I knew I found a place in my life that was going to make me happy and healthy.

What is your athletic background?

I have never been athletic and I didn’t enjoy working out. I set a goal to be a runner and started racing 5ks, 10ks, the Golden Leaf half marathon and soon realized exercise helped to relax my mind, control stress and stay in shape. I exercise at least 5 days a week now between Defiance West, running, hiking, biking, I am addicted now!

What is your favorite movement or workout?

I enjoy the bench press – and I love the partner workouts. Burpess to the Thunderstruck song from AC/DC was one of my top favs (“turn up the volume Cory”).

What is your least favorite?

I am not good at double-unders.

What has been your favorite or proudest moment since joining?

My favorite moment was when my husband, Vince joined the gym and works out with me.

How has Defiance West changed your life, lifestyle, and level of fitness?

The gym is part of my daily routine, it simply makes me happy. The workouts focus on every muscle group combined with cardio have enhanced my strength. The food challenges are great to teach you proper eating and simply taking better care of yourself in all aspects of your life (not to mention the people I have met and teamed up with that were strangers and now friends).

What are your fitness goals for this year?

I am running the Bolder Boulder on Memorial Day, going to Defiance West 4-5 times a week and hiking Mt. Sopris.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I was a very sick child, a severe asthmatic and looked very ill with dark circles under my eyes and extremely thin.

What advice would you give to people looking to get started at our gym?

Everyone will benefit from being a member at our gym – it doesn’t matter your age, exercise level or coordination level. The sense of community you get combined with the exercise benefits will enhance your life. All you have to do is walk in the door and when you have completed the workout you have the best feeling you can’t obtain from anything else.

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