RAW…. where do I start? RAW, Maaike, and my RAW peeps have made such a positive change in my life. I have not only changed physically but I have also become stronger mentally too. Your confidence grows when you start conquering things you once thought were impossible. You quickly begin to realize that you are stronger than you thought and if you put your mind to it you can accomplish and push thru anything. The RAW peeps have become my second family.
We encourage, push and root each other on. We celebrate each others victories and support each other when we struggle. Then there is Maaike. She is an amazing coach. She teaches you, encourages you, and pushes you to become the best version of yourself. Maaike is tough and will not let you wimp out or give up. She is able to see your true potential and helps you fight to reach it every single time.
The best part is that she is by your side cheering you on and then is there to share in all your accomplishments. I am so thankful for the experience that RAW, Maaike and my RAW peeps have given me.
So in 2015 I turned 50. Just a number I thought until parts of my body were changing and shifting in ways that seemed unnatural. I was always a faithful exerciser-as of late mostly long walks but I knew I needed something more and I had been by RAW and witnessed over the years runners, rowers and tire flippers so I thought what the heck.
I walked through the doors in December not even knowing exactly what was going on inside but figured I would give it a try-I have never looked back. All I can say is WOW! Maaike is the best-she made me feel welcome from the first minute. Not only a great person but quite the trainer. She adapted the workouts when I was new but ALWAYS knew when I could do more and has never been wrong. She is so knowledgeable and takes the time to guide you into the correct form of whatever move you are doing. She has the innate ability to coach you to get to your highest potential but always taking care to make sure you will not get hurt.
I always receive so much encouragement from her and from all the RAW members-she breeds an atmosphere of unconditional support-we are all there for each other. The changes that have happened to my body I never thought possible and I cannot believe how strong I feel. Maaike can turn you into a bad ass-if you show up-you will get results!!
My journey at RAW started 18 months ago. I was your typical mid 40’s male, out ofshape, over weight and eating unhealthy foods. I heard about this gym in Taunton was doing it a little different thanthe rest, so I figured I’d give it a try with my wife. Our first day was a Monday, I remember it as “Leg”day. I didn’t know the first thing aboutweight lifting or training for that matter. Maaike was very patience with me and showed me the proper techniques fordoing squats. The #45 bar was heavy, butMaaike was sure I could increase the weight…..got up to #95 that day.
I didn’t return to Raw for a full week afterthat first session because I couldn’t move, my legs were so sore, simple thingslike sitting, walking stairs were unbelievably challenging, but I did return toRaw and settled into a 3 day a week routine and I am so happy I did. Over the course of the next 18 months, not only have I learned how tolift and train, I have also learned that conditioning and healthy eating is asimportant as building muscle and strength. During this journey with the guidance of Maaike and the rest of thetrainers at Raw, I haven’t lost any weight, but I’m not worried about that as Ihave lost plenty of fat, inches and bad habits and gained, muscle, stamina andknowledge to be a fitter person.
Withher help, and most times prodding/pushing I have achieved certain things I thoughtI never would. These include hitting weight limits I never thought I would ever be able to, climbing 20’ on a rope, and just lastweek running my first 5k. I can’t speakhighly enough about Maaike’s knowledge, desire, determination, dedication androle of motivator when it comes to myself personal and many others at RAWdesire to be fitter/healthier and stronger. Thank you Maaike, while you didn’t save my life, you certainly havetaught me how to extend i, but I still haven’t been back for “Leg” Day! but some day I will