When Personal Trainer Alex Chavez works with Peggy Minter – he comes prepared.
“I’m suiting up to get beat up,” he said while putting on a boxing girdle. “Wait until you see how hard she hits!”
When he steps into this imaginary ring with Peggy, he knows he’s going to take a beating.
“I love being able to get my aggressions out,” Peggy said between punches. “It makes me feel empowered when I’m done. I feel like I’ve really accomplished something and I feel a lot stronger.”
These two have been working together since last December, but Peggy’s fitness journey started months earlier.
“Last year, on June 3, I had gastric sleeve surgery. At that time I weighed 350 pounds,” Peggy said.
The surgery jump-started her weight loss, but the event that shocked Peggy into doing something about her weight happened almost three years ago.
“It was very,” she paused, choking back tears. “It was life-changing.”
Her 38-year-old, seemingly healthy brother died suddenly.
“To watch someone you love dearly pass away like that…it was very traumatic,” Peggy said.
Peggy and her brother had a special bond. As children they’d bounced in and out of foster care and took care of each other in abusive situations. Adam had been the only constant in Peggy’s life and his death sent her into a deep depression. When she emerged from it – she knew she had to make a change.
“That’s really what started my road to seeking out weight loss surgery,” she said. “I didn’t want to be responsible for my family having another tragedy.”
It’s why Peggy is working out every day and sparring with Alex three times a week. This is more than just a workout. Peggy says it’s also therapy.
“I love coming here and working with Alex because he helps with my grief. He doesn’t realize he helps with that but he does,” Peggy said.
She’s down to 200 pounds. Her goal is to hit 130. She knows her brother is helping her reach it.
“I do, I feel his presence a lot,” Peggy said with a smile. “And that helps me get through some of the workouts.”
If you’d like to read more about Peggy’s journey, you can read her blog by clicking here.