Member Spotlight: Sarah Heckman
By Mekita Rivas, VIDA editor/member
Like many others, Sarah Heckman came to the gym at a low point in her life. “I was not in a healthy emotional or physical state when I joined VIDA,” she says. Fortunately, that all changed for the stay-at-home mom as she began using her membership to make time for herself. Now more than two years later, Sarah is an entirely different person: She lifts serious weight and works out five times a week. And that’s not all — she’s even currently studying to become a personal trainer after getting inspired by the trainers she’s worked with at VIDA. We spoke with Sarah to learn more about her fitness journey, what she loves most about VIDA, and how she juggles working out with motherhood.
When you joined VIDA, what were your initial goals?
When I first joined, I honestly just sat in the sauna with a Philz coffee and showered because it was time for myself. I then started taking SweatBox classes three days a week and started feeling and seeing the results. I was more attentive and patient. My arms were toned, and my glutes were growing!
Tell me about your fitness journey. Have you always been a gym goer?
I’m fairly new to the fitness world. After I received parental custody of my son, I was in desperate need of some “me time.” Taking on a two-year-old boy was stressful at its finest, and the gym slowly became a place for me to work out the many emotions and challenges of parenting. I was not a gym goer before VIDA. I certainly did not play any sports when I was younger, nor would I label myself as athletic.
How has VIDA pushed you beyond your comfort zone?
A trainer at The Yards, Pushker Mookim, challenged me to a leg day. It was by far the most encouraging workout I’ve ever had. After working out with him for a few weeks, he then challenged me to become a trainer — and that’s exactly what I’m doing today. I’m studying to get my CPT and train at VIDA. My focus will be on mothers and those who have lost their “groove” — I want to give them the confidence to push themselves mentally, emotionally, and physically.
What motivated you to pursue your personal training certification?
I’ve personally experienced the power of fitness. Fitness has the ability to keep you grounded, centered, and focused. Life takes us on a journey we don’t always expect. Heck, I’m a parent to a four-year-old boy — I never thought that would happen to me at 30.
How do you balance motherhood and finding time to hit the gym?
It’s a challenge, I’ll be honest. But I’ve learned that even 30 minutes is better than nothing. I have a very active four-year-old boy. I’ve learned to incorporate him into my workouts. That may be throwing him over my shoulders to squat him or have a “plank off.” It’s important for him to learn the value of health, and that will only be learned by living by example. I also go to the gym with a plan so my workouts are efficient. And I just have fun with it! This is 30 to 90 minutes that I have to myself. I grab a coffee before I go to the gym, get to know the staff, and make friends. It can easily be a social gathering, and it’s always fun to work out with new friends!
What do you most enjoy about being a VIDA member?
The facility is beautiful and clean. The staff is professional and kind. The equipment is top-notch — VIDA has created a sense of community with trainers and classes that allow members to flourish on their fitness journey.
Describe your typical workout routine. How often do you work out and which workouts do you prefer?
I lift heavy weights. I find a lot of gratification squatting and deadlifting. There’s just something so gratifying about putting those 45s on the bar and dominating them. I also really enjoy SweatBox. Working out has become my therapy, so I work out five times a week.
Outside of the gym, how do you spend your time?
I’m in total “mom land” outside of the gym. I’m a very relaxed person, so I enjoy hanging out with my friends over a glass of wine, taking the dog for a walk, and binge-watching Billions when time allows. And I’m also studying for the National Academy of Sports Medicine CPT exam!