Member Spotlight: Terry Pike on Achieving Goals with Trainer Andy Yoder

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When Terry Pike first started working out with JCC personal trainer Andy Yoder in the fall of 2014, he had one goal: hike to the summit of Pike’s Peak with his family. 
That first goal quickly turned into several more, each building upon the next as he achieved success and a new level of physical well-being.
Under Andy’s tutelage, Terry went from never having run in his life all the way to qualifying for the OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) World Championships through his performance at the Spartan Race, a mud run-style obstacle course race.

Focusing on each new goal helped propel Terry forward, he explained. “I’m very much a goal-driven person. I didn’t have a goal for my weight loss because Andy said to set other goals and accomplish them, and then the weight loss would come, which it has.”

Beginning last September Terry worked with Andy three times a week, using a tractor tire filled with 20 lbs. of sand (to mimic the weight of his backpack) and a treadmill elevated to the grade which he would be climbing, to prepare for the hike up Pikes Peak. Terry and his two adult children made it within 1,200 feet of the summit before encountering six feet of snow. Because of Andy’s interval training, Terry’s lungs were well-prepared for the high-altitude hiking. “I was in great shape for it. There’s no question. The altitude didn’t bother me,” said Terry. 

It was Andy’s infectious enthusiasm that kept Terry going. On his client’s success, Andy elaborated: “I get a lot of joy out of seeing people accomplish their goals and reach their full potential. But Terry’s gone above and beyond in so many ways. It’s been a real blessing to watch him go for it and to get to share in his success.”

Before even approaching the summit of Pike’s Peak, Terry was already working toward his next goal: running a 5K race. But when Andy first approached Terry about running a race, Terry laughed it off; it was an unthinkable goal before last fall. “I’d had no interest in running whatsoever. But I joined the Couch to 5K program preparing for the Abe Weinrib 5K. That was an incredible experience. The key to that working for me was the group experience, the sense of community. I knew they were counting on me, and I was counting on them,” Terry said.

The momentum from working with others to achieve similar goals helped Terry lose 50 lbs., go down several pants and shirt sizes, reduce his cholesterol by 10 points and  his body fat by more than 11%.

“I can’t say that word, ‘community,’ enough. You have people encouraging you to improve and you’re just constantly helping each other out,” said Terry of the tight group that developed out of the Couch to 5K program and now the Fitness Wheel, a new weekly group fitness training program designed to bring people together and lift them up as they communally accomplish a variety of personal goals. That group dynamic helped motivate Terry the most with its “we’re all in this together” mentality.

“It’s one thing if you can get yourself up on a podium and win a prize, that’s to be respected, of course. But if you can get a community up there and bring the people around you up with you, I think that’s the true definition of strength,” Andy explained of his philosophy as a personal trainer and life coach. “It’s much more than just getting myself ahead of the pack; it means bringing as many people as I can with me.”

This philosophy is evident in all of Andy’s personal training. Because he is also studying to become a life coach, his work with clients extends beyond the training session and into his client’s lives. Between the burpees, timed push-ups and track laps (Terry went from walking the track then doing two push-ups to running the track and doing 18 push-ups), and meeting at outside events like the Spartan Race at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio, where Andy, JCC Fitness Director Jason Goggins, and Terry Pike all participated, Terry and Andy developed a friendship.

“We talk and share a lot, especially about finding that work-life balance and the importance of family. He’s a counselor and a friend. My whole lifestyle has transformed because of Andy,” said Terry, who, as a commercial real estate appraiser with a hectic lifestyle, had never really exercised nor had an interest in doing so before meeting Andy.

“Now, like Andy, I make fresh fruit smoothies every morning for breakfast. If I’m at the office, especially on the weekend, I set a timer and do exercises or walk up and down the stairs every half hour. When I’m away on business trips, I’ll go on a run or hike instead of having that beer after dinner. Or I’ll do jumping jacks and push-ups in my hotel room. I’ve bought a bike for a triathlon we’ve talked about doing together next year. Andy really holds me accountable. He’s always checking in with me, asking what I did,” Terry added.

Andy agreed: “I want to be a friend and be part of my client’s lives. Terry’s been an awesome client. He’s just taken everything that was suggested and ultimately, he’s the one who put in the work and got the results. I’m always trying to think about the big picture, to look at what else is going on in my clients’ lives to see where changes can be made to help them fulfill their goals in all aspects of their lives.”

When asked what advice he would have for someone just getting started on their journey to greater physical fitness, Terry suggested finding a community to work with. 
“But the most important thing is the routine. Set it up so that it’s regularly scheduled, and stick to it. Don’t allow room for excuses, because it’s way too easy to find an excuse. And then it’s a matter of setting realistic, quantifiable, attainable goals. Exercise AND diet— just doing one or the other is not going to cut it. It’s possible, and it builds on itself. I look forward to exercising now. Even if a person can just walk 15 minutes a day, start there. Just stay moving.” 

Terry certainly hasn’t stopped moving since last fall. He already has his next goal in mind: the Columbus Half Marathon this October. “The next goal after that, if I can finish in 11:03 average miles/minute, I can qualify for the Pikes Peak Ascent, which is a half marathon running up the mountain,” explained Terry, who first started running in February 2015.

To get started on your fitness journey today, contact Fitness Director Jason Goggins at jgoggins@columbusjcc.org or by calling 614-559-6237.