January 2022: Natalia Ziemkiewicz | Shred415 Brentwood – St. Louis, MO

January 11, 2022

I purchased a membership and immediately felt welcomed into the community.

I was about to start the second year of my doctorate program and I did not recognize my own reflection. Growing up I had been ridiculed about my weight but I really let myself go in the first year of my graduate program. I was consistently consumed by stress which ultimately lead to poor habits, especially when it related to my health. I drove past the Shred415 Brentwood location on several occasions and had heard a few friends rave about their classes, so I decided to take a chance on myself and sign up for my first class. I have not looked back since.

I convinced a friend to take a class with me and I remember walking into the studio for my first time at 6:30 AM on a Tuesday. I felt nervous for my first class, but was also excited to start my weight loss journey. I was afraid I’d feel overwhelmed or that I’d have a hard time keeping up, but that was not the case. The energy in the class was something I had never experienced before, everyone was pushing themselves. I was in awe of how the instructor Ann, remembered names of the Shredders and encouraged them all during class. Although that first class was a bit of a whirlwind, I remember walking out of the class dripping in sweat, feeling proud of myself for finishing the class, and inspired by all the people who were showing up for themselves that early in the morning.

I purchased a membership and immediately felt welcomed into the community. Whether it was Ann pushing me to increase my pace on the treadmill, Cory remembering me for a band shirt and letting me know I’ll like the playlist for the class, or Chloé reminding me of how far I’ve come in my journey, I walked out of every class feeling challenged, especially after Angela’s runs, or Rebecca challenging us to achieve new distances on the weekend.

Shred415 classes have taught me that I can push myself beyond my limits, and mind over matter has never been more apparent to me than when in the studio. I started with a low ending warm-up pace and used the lightest dumbbells. Now I can increase my pace to new limits on 30 second pushes, and reach for 20lb and 25lb dumbbells.

Shred415 is more than a workout. I have met amazing individuals that have become friends, I have become a better person outside the studio, and it has done wonders to my mental health. Today, I am 70lbs lighter and happier than I have ever been. I loved the community so much that I wanted to be more involved and started working the Front Desk part-time. I’m so proud of my journey so far and I cannot wait to see how much more progress and growth I have in my future. I love you #Shredfam!