Ian Kurihara was struggling. His higher weight and lower fitness level affected every aspect of movement—even his ability to run errands or just rest and relax.

When he first became a 24 Hour Fitness member, Kurihara had straightforward goals: lose weight and increase his comfort level in the gym. But with the help of 24 Hour Fitness master coach Hector Perez Llanos, Kurihara discovered many other benefits.

Once his food and fitness regimen was underway, he not only reduced his weight but also gained control of his biomechanics—meaning he now walks comfortably, and much more. In fact, his sessions with his coach shifted not just his body function but his self-esteem.

Still, as friends and family congratulate him on his achievements he admits, “It is hard for me to accept compliments or positivity because I am not used to it.” What he is now used to—and looks forward to—are his training sessions.

The progress he’s made has shown him this investment in time and effort for himself will pay off both in the short and long term. “I can feel the difference in everyday physical tasks,” he says, “from grocery shopping, to doing laundry, my quality of sleep, even the way I feel when I come up against uncertainty or stress.”

24Life: How has your experience changed your definition of success?

Ian Kurihara: My definition of success has definitely changed from abstract numbers and ideas into concrete, more tangible forms—setting goals and realizing and accepting progress. While I am wildly adaptable to adversity and stress, advancement is challenging for me to accept. Feeling better, looking better, and becoming aware of the progress I made has been very rewarding.

24Life: What made you decide to seek an expert, instead of going it alone?

IK: Throughout 2020 I watched some of my younger peers get very fit. This made me more aware of how out of shape and unhappy I was with my appearance and general health, both mental and physical. Because of the enforced isolation [of the pandemic quarantine], I wasn’t really given a choice other than continually processing those thoughts. I started to work on diet and exercise and, after a while, I hit a plateau where I felt I couldn’t advance my efforts efficiently and safely. I needed expert help to go further.

24Life: How has your success affected other parts of your life?

IK: I was going through a rough time in all aspects of life—family, friends, my physical and mental health. The regularity of my progress and the accomplishment of going to a training session is a real and very tangible part of my life that provides stability.

24Life: If you have a bad day or week, what helps you get back on track?

IK: Venting to my trainer is a little like therapy, but just the physical act of pouring my frustrations and unfocused energy into something productive is rewarding. The encouragement and positivity, along with reminders of my progress, is extremely valuable.

Results not typical and may vary per individual. With a regular diet and exercise routine, typical weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. Please consult a physician before starting or changing a fitness routine.  Personal training and virtual personal training available to 24 Hour Fitness members for an additional fee.

Photo credit: Ian Kurihara