Sometimes in life’s journey you go down one path and it leads to a number of changes you never expected. There are two ancient zen proverbs which state “Move and the way will open,” and “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” and so it was for Jennifer Malan, our featured member of the month.

For some people, joining a gym is a natural thing. It is an environment they are already familiar with or immediately feel comfortable in. For others, not so much. For the latter group it could be any number of things but it usually comes down to a certain level of discomfort working out around others in an unfamiliar setting.

The journey that brought Jennifer to our fitness center began simply enough, “I was just looking for an indoor activity and Pinamonti Fitness Center looked like a nice place.”

And that was pretty much how it started and why she joined.

“I just wanted to learn my way around the gym and to see if I could accomplish anything at all.”

Jennifer experienced what is common for many first time fitness center users, “I wasn’t comfortable with the equipment,” and “I didn’t think I was fit enough to keep up with a class.” She knew that working out on her own at this stage was limiting her and watching workouts on YouTube wasn’t the answer. “I could only go so far on YouTube videos by myself. I wanted to learn more and was convinced that I could.  But I knew that I didn’t know what I was doing and needed a teacher.” So she decided to take advantage of our certified personal trainers and started working with Sunni Stipp. Not only did she overcome her trepidation about working out in the gym, she eventually excelled at working out.

“Sunni likes to push me, and I like being pushed!  I think it’s a good fit.  She always seems to know what I need before I do.  All I have to do is trust her, and she makes that easy for me to do. I look forward to coming to the gym. I feel right at home now.”

Her trainer, Sunni Stipp, can attest to her progress. “When Jennifer started she had literally NO experience in a gym setting. Now she’s completing exercise complexes that I’ve really only seen trainers successfully complete! Her form has progressed from struggling to find a technique to near perfect on each exercise she attempts. She’s very motivated and is so hungry for more of a challenge each session. Not only have I seen a large change in her body composition and tone, but her self-confidence, exercise knowledge, and most of all her loyalty to her own health has soared!

Jennifer originally thought that she’d do personal training long enough to learn her way around and then go it alone but she has since come to the conclusion it’s best to continue personal training in addition to using all the features of the club that are available to her.

“I do classes and enjoy them and have made many friends in them. There’s definitely a place for group fitness in my schedule.  But I will continue training. It is more customized for my needs and it is what motivates me, plus it fits my schedule, not the other way around.”

Jennifer works out 4 to 5 times per week and if her schedule allowed she’d do more. “Basically I’m totally addicted.  I can’t get enough. I feel stronger, I’ve made new friends, and I’ve learned a lot.”


(You too can reap the benefits of a personal trainer, our group fitness classes, and our state-of-the-art fitness center. Call 620-235-1500 for details about membership.)