Member - Leigh Roden Story

After 5 years I can now run around the oval and do it several times

10,000 points at Step into Life

A great milestone and one that I am very proud to reach. To be the first at Step into Life Glenbrook makes it even more special. Thank you for your kind words at training today and those also today on the Training Club Points Award email.

When I started at Step into Life just under 5 years ago I was very unfit, quite overweight and somewhat anti fitness as I was concentrating on my work 24/7. However following a letterbox drop of an SiL brochure and my wife Sue’s birthday present to me of “I’ll pay the first 3 months”, I turned up to Glenbrook the day after my 60th birthday. At the end of my first session, I think it was a Cardio on the oval, I was stuffed. I found out that I could not run a lap of the oval having to walk the last ¼. During my first week I also realised that I could not do most of the exercises - burpees ha, full push-ups haha, sit-ups with indigestion due to my stomach getting in the way hahaha ……. but I found it all fun, especially from a very receptive group who warmly invited me into their fold and a trainer (that’s you) who cared as to what I could and couldn’t do and helped me whenever I needed it. And it has progressed from there to today. Along the way I have learnt to run again, lost weight through both Step into Life and my new 5:2 eating plan which I followed religiously for about 3 years whilst the excess weight just went away and now mostly follow it maybe 85% as my heavy training does allow me some leeway, for example to continually eat my chocolates and ice-cream. You know what they say, “I’d give up chocolates but I’m no quitter”.

After 5 years I can now run around the oval and do it several times, I enjoy all the training sessions but have favourites with specific exercises and sessions. I have taken up trail running with last year attempting the UTA Australia 50km, however having to stop at 28.4km due to food and hydration issues. This year I have again registered for the 50km and will complete it. Training starts in earnest in January therefore the reason I am now in a heavy Step into Life training stint in preparation for this. I have over my Step into Life time ran a couple of ½ marathons, completed all 13 training sessions during a week at various times to boost my fitness level when it lags or I’m about to tackle extra-long runs. I have just completed this week 6 weeks of training doing all 13 training sessions per week stint and I think I’m about ready for the road and trail running season. I love Boxing sessions, especially the speed ones where there is little rest and am starting to like Toning sessions as I now understand the benefits of these for overall fitness improvement. I am almost getting new PB’s in various exercises now with each Fitness Evaluation due a lot from toning sessions. I just did a 3 minute plank, first time ever. I am also lucky that with my retirement some 3½ years ago it allows me now to do whatever training sessions I would like to do. What I find quite inspirational are the parents of the families who come along, those with 2-3-4 kids to look after and get off to school or do afternoon or weekend activities with and then those who work in the city and rush after training to get their train or hope there are no hold-ups on the way home so they can come to training. These members inspire me as come along and achieve so much in their lives. I’m lucky as I have free days every day sleep, eat and train, I am in a very fortunate stage of my life.

What’s the best things about Step into Life training - firstly the group of people doing it. I am not the quickest nor the strongest but I am continually encouraged and praised by fellow members on my achievements which I find very satisfying - we all occasionally like a pat on the back. I like to assist others who are new to Step into Life because of how I was assisted when I started. It’s scary to run around the oval or a road run when others are miles ahead but hey, they always come back to you and assist you to the finish, and say “good run”, keep going”, great result” and they mean it. Secondly I find you and Andrew as trainers quite superb. Never had any better. You have always taken an interest in my goals and results. You help all the time, you get stuck into me when needed to do things the right way, you push me to new levels knowing that I can do it when I don’t think I can and all these with a smile and kind word to everyone in the group. I have often wondered what you take each morning to put you in such a good mood. I wish I could have just a little of it each day. And you are also interested in what I even do outside of the training arena with questions and comments about things I mention. Some of our lengthy talks after training are legendary, although I'm sure the family somethings wonder why you are late again. You put a hell of a lot into the group’s training schedules and each person in the sessions. I hope that you get as much from them as we who do it do. I cannot recall anyone ever saying that you stuffed-up an exercise or forgot to say hello or didn’t help when help was needed.

Where to from here, more of the same thanks. Keep pushing even when I whinge back at you. I look forward to 2017 and beyond and beyond 10,000 points and hope that there are another few who achieve this result soon. If you look up the stats they say that 1-2 years at a gym or outdoor training is about the time people stay before drifting off. I know that your retention rates are much longer which a credit to you is and how you conduct the sessions and engage with those training. Step into Life works, your members confirm this.

My only complaint would be not having heated mats for winter. Just thinking, we could run leads from each mat back to a power pack hub then onto your car battery then ……… If you could arrange these thanks I think we all would be extremely grateful as training on cold icy, wet and frosted ground is not fun. But hey, we all still come along because we know what we put in in winter will come back to us in spades in summer. And you ensure that winter sessions are all that more fun.

Thanks for everything you and Andrew and all your fantastic members, all of them over the years, who have helped me to achieve my 10,000 points today. I am extremely proud to have achieved this milestone.

All the very best,


Leigh Roden

Step into Life Glenbrook

View All Stories
*Disclaimer on weight loss and testimonials: Results May Vary. Causes for being overweight vary from person to person. Whether genetic or environmental, it should be noted that food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary from person to person. This means weight loss results will also vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. Read our full weight loss disclaimer here.