Guest Blogger: Margaret's Journey

Margaret has been a longstanding UFO member and a great reminder to keep crushing your goals, even if you are scared of sharks! We asked her to share a bit of highlights from finding UFO to facing new fears. Here’s her highlights since “drinking the UF lemonade”


Finding Urban Fitness Oakland


My daughters and I wanted to find a gym where we could get a great conditioning workout in and close to our home in Alameda. I swim in a Masters Swim program 3-4 times a week at 5:30am and wanted some dry land conditioning to supplement and help make me stronger and faster. 



One day on a detour around a traffic jam on 880, we drove by Urban Fitness and noticed the big yellow banner outside. I got on the website to find out the gym details and thought “what have we got to lose for $99”? 


Well…you know how you have to attend an “assessment” session to learn the correct technique for lifting a kettlebell, swinging your arms, hips and how to bend over and touch your toes? I was more out of shape than I thought because I couldn’t walk down-stairs or lift my arms over my head for days afterward. Maybe I needed UFO more than I realized! 


Besides getting me generally stronger, UFO has been instrumental in helping me through the rehab process from two separate Achilles Tendon repair surgeries and increasing mobility, strength and building cardiac endurance.


Facing Challenges


That strength and endurance was put to the test in September 2015, when I participated in a nation-wide charity event – Swim Across America. Participants raise money for the a local charity. For the San Francisco location, the charity is UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cancer Research. The event was a 1.5 mile swim from underneath the Golden Gate Bridge to St. Francis Yacht Club. 



Since I work for the hospital, I felt it was a great way to support cancer research for children (raised $3,800) and to face my fears of “swimming with the sharks”. While the event sponsors emphasized that the swim was not a race, I swam as fast as I could to reach the shore before the sharks got me. As it turned out, that 1 week after the bay swim, there was a great white shark that attacked a sea lion near the dock at Alcatraz!!


Looking Back


From the initial painful “assessment” session four years ago, I keep coming back to the work-outs that Alexei, Alex, Melissa and Christy have! 

What I love about UFO is their creative work-outs (like Tabata Tuesdays, or what I like to call, Taco Tuesdays) and the many daily training sessions. Noah is always looking to expand services (like mobility on Saturdays) in response to the members. It’s also fun that my husband Peter has also “drank the UF lemonade” and enjoys the semi-private sessions.