We are excited to announce our member spotlight for the month of July is longtime member Paul Balfe.
Paul was born and raised in University City so except for a brief stopover in Milwaukee for college, he has spent most of his life in the St. Louis area. Paul describes himself as a bit of a geek, as he has always been a fan of video games and movies. Currently he enjoys Dungeons and Dragons. He also wanted to be an actor in college as he was a theater/history major. Currently Paul is a high school teacher and some of the perks of that job are getting to take students on trips to Washington DC and Europe. He also gets to indulge his theater bug as he now gets to direct the fall plays at his high school.
Paul became a member of the Forward Fam in January of 2018 when one of his sister’s friends needed a new recruit for the New Year/New You Challenge. He had been looking for a healthy change in his life and the two were a great fit.
Paul continues to participate in many of the Forward Fitness Challenges including the 100 Workout Challenge and our 2021 Habits Challenge. He regularly earns points for his Forward Fitness Games team and is always there cheering on his fellow gym members.
When asked why health and fitness is important to Paul, he said that being physically fit helps to keep him mentally fit and happy too. It keeps him feeling better and able to do more things like walking, hiking, and running.
Having a schedule to stick to is one way that Paul has been able to make fitness a part of his life for so long. He says that it’s helpful to have a routine and knowing when he is coming into the gym helps to keep him accountable. In the past he’s had memberships to gyms that he could go to at any time, but he would find excuses not to go in. Setting a weekly schedule and being expected to show up for workouts keeps him on track.
Paul mentions that overeating is one of his biggest challenges and that is often compounded by stress. Being a teacher causes a lot of stress for 9 months out of the year and he finds that it is easy to get tired, lazy, complacent, and sometimes fall of the wagon. The monthly goals and accountability groups help him to avoid the traps and stay on track.
Seeing progress and being able to lift heavier weights help to keep Paul motivated and proud. He likes using the summer and winter games and how much he is deadlifting as a benchmark. Being able to deadlift a few hundred pounds now is something that he couldn’t do when he started.
Paul is one of those members that you enjoy seeing in class. He has a good sense of humor and a great attitude and as one member said to me once, “I love talking to Paul, he is so smart.”
Paul’s advice to anyone considering starting a fitness routine, “Do it. It’s worth it, and you can find the time. Don’t be discouraged by previous or future failures.”