This month we wanted to highlight a very cool story from one of our members at Tweed, Casey McCarron. She came to Urban 9 months ago because she really needed to change her life, and we’re very proud of how hard she’s worked to make that happen.
Here’s her story…
How long have you been training with us?
I started at Urban Muay Thai at the end of January 2019 when the gym first opened (so around 9 months)
What brought you to Urban?
In January this year I realised I needed to make some changes to my life. I weighed just under 110kg at the time and hadn’t exercised at all in over 5 years. I had back pain and hip pain every day just from walking around or even just lying in bed. I never liked to leave the house or do things with my kids as I was too overweight to participate in any activities and I felt so self-conscious. I was also a smoker (smoking 40+ cigarettes per day) and found simple things like walking up a flight of stairs, or just talking to someone as I was walking along were hard to do. I went and saw my doctor at first because I always felt exhausted. I would wake up tired every morning and slept badly at night as I was always uncomfortable. I was also having some troubles breathing in my sleep which woke me up all night. My doctor put me on medications for Type 2 Diabetes and told me if I didn’t completely change my lifestyle ASAP I was looking at a heart attack or death in the next couple of years. As a Mum with small children, that was really frightening for me.
At the same time some friends of mine started going to Urban Muay Thai Tweed after it opened and they encouraged me to go along and give it a try as it was right near my house. I thought I would do a few classes and hate it… but 9 months later I am still going strong
My favourite things about Muay Thai are the variety of skills that you learn, the great workout you get doing it, and the fact that anyone can give it a go- no matter what your background or skill level. It really is for every age and fitness level.
What do you do outside of the gym?
I am a Mum of 3 kids (ages 6, 7 and 16 years) and I work fulltime as a Nurse Manager. Recently I’ve also started writing again after 20 years and am hoping to publish my first novel in early 2020
Did you find goal setting was helpful in making sure you were motivated to change?
Absolutely- I wouldn’t be where I am right now if I hadn’t set myself small goals along the way. Needing to lose 40kg and completely change my whole lifestyle was too overwhelming to think about so I would break it down into smaller goals. E.g.- one week my goal was to skip for a minute without stopping. Another week it was to do 10 push ups without stopping (something I had never been able to do because my weight would make my arms buckle under me). Every week I’d pick something I wanted to get better at, no matter how small it was, and I’d focus on it. It has kept me moving forward towards my bigger goals.
What keeps you coming back to training?
I think at first it was the fact that no one judged me for being so overweight and unfit. I felt like I was part of the group from the very beginning. No one ever made fun of me, or even treated me differently because I was overweight and unfit. I never felt self-conscious when I was at training which was massive for me because I was so used to feeling self-conscious everywhere else! Even the fittest and more advanced people in the class would partner up with me and show me what to do when I wasn’t sure. For someone who felt so down on myself for so many years, I really appreciated having somewhere positive to spend my time and energy. I felt like I was being challenged and pushed all the time, but I was never made to feel silly or an idiot because I wasn’t very good at it.
Now I train 4-5 days a week because I love it! I am so much fitter and stronger and I feel like I can hold my own. I’ve even started doing the learn to spar classes which I never thought I would do in a million years.. and I love it. Now what keeps me coming back to training is the challenge of wanting to be better and pushing myself to do better every day. Whether that’s skipping for longer, hitting pads harder or just learning a new combination, I like that I can challenge myself every day.
Also the people keep me coming back. We have such a great crew of people who train together under our fearless leader Leonie. She pushes and motivates me… even on days when I’m tired or don’t feel like training. I also like that I can help other people who come up into the classes as a beginner… and give back a little of the knowledge that was given to me when I started.
What’s changed for you since you started at Urban?
My whole life has pretty much changed since I started at Urban in January. So far I’ve lost 27kg and dropped from a size 22 clothes down to a size 14. I’ve lost over 25cm from my waist measurement. When I started I got my white singlet and it was a size 2XL (and it was still too small for me to wear). I just recently achieved my blue singlet and it was a size L which I am really proud of. I quit smoking earlier in the year and haven’t had a cigarette in over 6 months. I don’t have to take any medication for my type 2 diabetes anymore and my doctor says you can’t even tell from my blood tests that I have it. I don’t suffer from back or hip pain anymore and I’ve started running 5km each weekend and recently achieved a goal of running 5km in under 40 minutes. I never would have dreamed of doing that at the start of the year- I couldn’t even walk 100 metres without sitting down to rest. I sleep better and don’t feel tired or exhausted at all anymore. I eat much better and I feel so much fitter then I ever have in my whole life.
The most important thing that has changed for me though this year is that I am so much happier. I feel like myself again after so many years of feeling a bit lost. I can run around and play with my kids without feeling tired or unwell. I can go out with friends and have fun instead of feeling terrible about myself 24/7. I can go shopping with my daughter and buy clothes from the same shop instead of having to go to special shops with plus size clothes. I laugh more and feel like I’m just a happier version of me.
My goal for this year was to lose 40kg in 12 months and I know I will achieve it.
Also, here’s a cool little video of Casey from way back in March; she’s talking about what she accomplished during her first 5 weeks at the gym, and it’s awesome to see how much more she’s done since then:
Thank you Casey for sharing your story, and we are so happy to be a part of it with you! Everyone at Urban Muaythai has a story, what’s yours?