“My neighbor Chris invited me to 50/50 as her guest because I was feeling bad and needed more exercise. I took my first class with Justin. It was hard, but I survived, liked it, and knew it was something I really needed. I had tried another local gym for a while, but it was so anonymous there. In Poland, where I was born and raised, you do sports and outdoor activities with others, and it is very social. When I moved to the United States it felt like something extra that I had to do, getting together with people outside of activities, and so I stopped for a while. What I have found at 50/50 Fitness/Nutrition is wonderful people, a great atmosphere, and everything I need.
I knew right away after taking the intro class that I wanted to keep going. I started to feel much better immediately and the instructors were great. I joined just before May Madness, the big team challenge you had, and it forced me to try new things and do more than I thought I could. I learned a lot about myself and what I was capable of.
I am an artist, which is my second career. In Poland I was a professor at a University teaching business psychology, and also did workshops on soft skills. I met my husband here in the U.S., and we talked over Skype for two years before deciding that I would move to his home in Massachusetts. It was a big adjustment. At the start, I had to travel back and forth to give my workshops. I got pregnant, and not long after my daughter was born, my husband got sick. He passed away in 2013 and I had to take care of our daughter mostly on my own, putting only a little focus on myself. It was a very tough time in my life. I took it one day at a time.
I couldn’t teach business psychology anymore. I was grieving, my daughter was grieving, and there wasn’t space for other people in my life, which is why I got into art. Art is something that has been very healing and helpful for me to be happy. I do mostly paintings, mixed media, and collage. I love texture and am creating mostly abstract art at this point. I have a stained-glass studio in my house as well and like to play around with glass in my spare time.
Slowly my life has started to come back to a good and happy state. I have my art, and am about to begin teaching again. Somewhere along the line I met a man who had also been widowed, fell in love, and started anew. We have created a happy family. I started taking better care of myself, especially when I found 50/50 and everything it offers. I have stayed with it because I see so many positive changes in my body and my mind, and when I am happy with something there is no need to be looking for something else.
I am finding people who have goals similar to mine and who are active and healthy. I have found new friendships, which means a lot to me, with people I like, enjoy, and love. It’s been nice to have so many sincere people around me, and such great trainers. It enriches and supports my life. Thank you all, and thank you for listening to my story.”
– Katarzyna Lively