Faces of Fitness

Posted:  Monday, November 13, 2017 - 6:00am
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The Faces of Fitness

The second in a series on the folks over at CJ Strength & Conditioning, LLC in Rockport.

Walking into the gym on Friday, the first thing I encountered was a man contorting his arm using a large band affixed to an overhead bar.  I immediately winced, thinking how that would feel on my wonky shoulder, but the man was all smiles and greeted me cheerfully.  After a few minutes of stretching, he came and sat with me in the office to chat.  

 Leni Gronros, a resident of Rockport, talks enthusiastically and openly about his journey into fitness.

“I have Level IV arthritis,” he stated, “and it’s not going to go away.  But being here at the gym definitely improves my mobility, my versatility and my strength.”  He spoke frankly about his battle with obesity.  “I lost 97 pounds when I was twenty-two, and have kept that off ever since.”

A year and a half ago, after a series of knee and spine surgeries, Gronros didn’t think he could ever be doing what he does now.  “I would always avoid a gym like this, thought I couldn’t do it!” he said.  “I did sign up for a mobility class here, which took place while other classes were running.  I watched the other members laughing, supporting one another, and many of them doing modified versions of the class exercises, and I thought, ‘Well maybe I could do this.’ So I signed up!”

Now three days a week, during his lunch break, you can find Leni at CJ Strength and Conditioning, doing his thing.  “My job includes a lot of sitting,” he explained.  “Getting a noon workout in breaks up the day nicely, and actually makes me much more productive; my focus is sharper.”  Add to that “less pain and better sleep”, and going to the gym becomes a no-brainer.  At fifty years of age, and with his three youngest children being eight, ten and thirteen years of age (his oldest is 23), it’s a good idea to stay physically active just to keep up! 

“I was a member at another gym for eight years,” Gronros reports, “but I always just seemed to stay even.  Here, I can see myself improving over time in different areas.”  Suffering a torn bicep this past July, he was “coached back by Jack and Chris” (owner/trainers Hauprich and Chacon, respectively).  “To tell you that I am now stronger in that arm than I was before the injury - now that’s something.”  

“Why do I come here?  Partly the socializing - I’ve met some amazing friends here that I never would’ve met.  We talk about what works, what problems I might be having that they’ve worked through, and vice versa; we talk about food - this is an incredible community.  And Jack and Chris tailor my workouts to match my needs.  Jack gave me some good stretches and had me go to the chiropractor a while back.  And they’ll follow up with you, too!  ‘Hey Leni, what happened at the doc’s today?’  I don’t know another gym with that kind of genuine concern and attention.”

Sounds good to me.

See for yourself.  Meet Jack, Chris and the gang at CJ Strength at 321 Commercial Street in Rockport, or phone them at 207-592-3004 or at CJfitnessgeneral@gmail.com.  You’ll be glad you did.