Stephanie Kopecky’s always been somewhat active. She played sports growing up, but in adulthood, she struggled to find a routine at the gym.
The Omaha woman’s parents often invited her to try classes at Torva Fit Club. Then they gifted her one month free. It was tough, but the routine stuck.
“That led to me becoming addicted to it, loving it and getting my own membership,” the 37-year-old said.
Kopecky started hitting the gym three days a week. Each workout was a challenge. After more than a year at the gym, she’s noticed improvements. She felt so much better after starting days with a workout that she decided to go daily, and now it’s a morning habit.
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Q: When did you start working out and why?
A: I started really working out, especially at Torva Fit Club, about a year and a half ago. My parents were members there. They invited me to come to a class.
Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?
A: The great thing about Torva is every single workout is completely different, and that’s what I enjoy about it. You never know what you’re walking into. It’s a mixture of cardio and strength, depending on the day. It’s just a good mixture. I shoot for five days a week and make it sometimes six.
Q: What is your current fitness goal?
A: My fitness goals are all just really about feeling better and being happier. It’s not really about losing weight or becoming more fit. I just want to feel better. I want to develop healthy habits and show my kids that they can develop healthy habits as well.
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment?
A: Being able to prove to myself that I can make working out a habit. I’ve always wanted to be that person who works out every day. I’ve always been somewhat active, but I never made it a true habit in my life. I’m happy that I’m finally there.
Q: What has been the toughest hurdle and how did you overcome it?
A: Being a mom and having a full-time job, it’s always hard to find the energy or the time. I really just made the choice to do it. Once you make the choice to change a bad habit into a positive habit, anything’s possible. I have an extremely supportive spouse, and he’s doing his own thing as well. It helps because we’re both encouraging each other. The struggle is always finding the time, the energy and getting enough sleep.
Q: What helps you stay on track?
A: Now it’s a habit. It isn’t a struggle anymore. It’s part of my routine.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?
A: I play golf, hang with the kids. I have summers off, so we do a lot of swimming. We’re outdoors as much as possible.
Q: What is the piece of equipment, supplement, clothing, etc. that you can’t live without?
A: People. The people that I work out with motivate me even if they don’t know they are. It’s partly because I’m competitive and partly because they’re great people to be around. Everyone’s having fun and pushing each other to go farther.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?
A: I went from not working out ever to working out six days a week in a matter of months. It’s making the choice to make it a habit in your life, and that’s it. It helps having a supportive spouse, parents and friends that motivate you, but you have to initially make that choice.
Gym-goers share what motivates them, pet peeves and their proudest accomplishments
You never know who you might run into at the gym.
There's the man who's exercising as he waits for a heart transplant. Or the woman who's made Jazzercise workouts part of her life for more than 30 years.
Some workouts see moms accompanied by babies. Elsewhere you'll find folks well into their 90s who stick with exercise.
Check out their stories.