An Open Letter Regarding MY JOURNEY…

Social Media My Journey

Members & Guests of the Louisville Athletic Clubs:

I am Stephanie VonTrapp, General Manager of our Taylorsville Rd. Location and the Director of the “My Journey” promotion at the Louisville Athletic Clubs. I wanted to share with you all what this promotion means to me personally and why we (as a company) feel it is important to our brand, our community, and our future. “My Journey” is a collection of stories from our staff and members. [Participants are entered into a drawing to win cash and prizes. You may enter by clicking on this link: http://louisvilleath.wpengine.com/my-journey-entry-questionnaire/ and filling out only 5 questions.] Please read on to further understand our motivation behind the promotion.

I was a member at The Louisville Athletic Club for almost seven years before joining the management team. I always had a pleasant experience and spoke highly of the club but never actually spoke to anyone in the facility. It was not because of shyness or intimidation, I just didn’t see myself as connected to others. I felt different, as if my narrative was somehow unrelated to those around me. In essence, I didn’t know what I would say even if I met someone to whom I felt inclined to speak. But, upon employment here, I discovered something surprisingly wonderful: each of these individuals passing through the doors of LAC had something unique and relatable about them.

I found that those joining a health club were usually motivated by some sort of catalyst. Sometimes it was a joyous occasion such as marriage, parenthood, a new career, or the realization they were worth the investment. Conversely, it could also be in response to one of life’s many trials, such as divorce, the loss of a loved one, health issues, or the need for MORE ENERGY to survive a long workday. Either way, EVERYONE here had something in common; they were all just trying to prioritize their health because their wellness was an INVESTMENT of VALUE. After all, if you don’t decide your quality of life is important, who will?

The last five years with LAC have been some of the most rewarding times of my life. As soon as I was hired I had to contend with an unexpected divorce, a major surgery, and moving my terminally-ill Mother into a nursing home, but this place became a haven for me. As a manager, I had the privilege of meeting members and listening to their stories. I began to notice and appreciate how interconnected we all were. It is a beautiful thing to realize we aren’t that different, that we are all doing the best we can, when we can, with what we’ve got. I wanted to share this experience with others, starting with my colleagues.

Over the years I’ve had a lot of conversations with Bob Scott, our Area Director, and one of the things we continually find frustrating in this industry is the surplus of inaccurate information and propaganda wielded at the public. There are gimmicks in place with the very intent of intimidating someone out of joining a health-club. There are ads out there that attempt to make the public feel as if they are different or somehow inferior to the avid exerciser. As fitness professionals, we can tell you that ALL fit individuals were BEGINNERS once. In many cases, their dedication to fitness may have stemmed from a serious health situation. Some of the MOST SUPPORTIVE & LEAST JUDGEMENTAL people we know are those who are extremely fit. Why? Because they understand WORK, COMMITMENT, and that it’s not always EASY.

With this in mind, we created the “My Journey” promotion as an opportunity to connect with our members and to allow members to connect with one another. We are a community. We are diverse. We are people who are trying to live longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives. So, we hope you choose to participate by at least reading the stories of others and we encourage you to share your own experiences. We also recognize, by sharing, we’re asking you to be vulnerable and honest, and that is a big endeavor. However, you never know whose lives you may touch and we hope you feel that connection is a reward worth the risk.

Thank you for reading; I look forward to getting to know those of you who choose to participate.  I also welcome any feedback or questions you may have and if you see me in the club, please introduce yourself, I’d love to meet you!

WHAT IS YOUR JOURNEY?

Kindest Regards,

Stephanie VonTrapp

svontrapp@athleticclubs.org

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