Randa Barr is a woman becoming her healthiest self in her early 60s! She was first introduced to Iron Tribe in Lousiville, KY at our Northeast location before moving to Charleston to be nearer her daughter and grandchildren and becoming an integral part of the Iron Tribe Mount Pleasant family.
Both of her Iron Tribe families have helped her become stronger physically, mentally and spiritually in order to help her change her life for the better.
‘Driving to work one day, I saw a new building going up. Soon a sign appeared: IronTribe. My initial reaction was a less-than-enthusiastic “Oh great, another fitness place.” I had been a member of just about every gym known to man at some point, and I wasn’t looking to join another or even start an exercise program. The simple truth was……I was in denial; denial about my weight, my lack of fitness, my sedentary lifestyle, my predisposition to disease, my overall well-being.
Every day, I passed that place and every day, despite my resistance, I felt a compulsion to stop in. Finally, more to satisfy my curiosity than anything else, I did stop. As trite as it sounds, that one day, that one stop, changed my life.
When I spoke to the coach that day, he listened to every objection I had. I gave him the whole “I don’t think I can do this, I’m afraid I’ll get hurt, I won’t be able to keep up, I’m not disciplined, I won’t fit in” and the one that I was sure would do the trick, “I’m too old.” He assured me that I COULD do it, that the coaches would be watching to make sure I developed the right technique to avoid injury, that the workouts could be scaled as needed to fit my ability, that all he was asking me to do was commit to the four weeks of 101 before I decided, that not everyone there was 21 and already fit, and that I was definitely NOT too old!
I am 62 years old. I am strong. I am healthy. I am fit. I am an athlete. I am a warrior. I am Tribe!
It was very obvious that he truly believed in what he was saying and I had no valid arguments I could counter with, so I agreed to do 101. As the time approached to start, though, I had second thoughts and sent an email saying that since I really didn’t think I’d be joining, maybe they should just give my 101 spot to someone more likely to help their business. I immediately received a reply stating that it wasn’t about helping their business, it was about improving my life and health, and that he would see me in 101! How do you argue with someone that has a better plan than you? I showed up for 101.
I soon found out that everything I was told was true. I could do a few things, others I had to scale, and although I was the oldest in the class, not everyone was young and fit. I decided that since they were willing to invest in me without a guaranteed return on their investment, the least I could do was invest a little in myself. I told myself that I’d attend every class and follow the nutritional guidelines; surely I was disciplined enough to do that for four weeks.
That four weeks has turned into a year. I have gone from a size 14 to a size 4, and am in the best physical shape of my life. I no longer have to take meds and I’ve never felt better. I believe I’ve added years to my life and that those years will be spent actively healthy, not frail and feeble.
That four weeks has turned into a year. I have gone from a size 14 to a size 4, and am in the best physical shape of my life.
I am not anyone special; I am fortunate that my wake-up call didn’t come as a result of a frightening medical diagnosis, the loss of a limb, or anything devastating. I am just a regular person like most everyone. I was an active teenager, but I hadn’t done much in the way of fitness since then. Year by year, the pounds crept on, the joints stiffened, the stamina decreased. When I started 101, my knees ached, I couldn’t touch my toes, and I couldn’t walk briskly for more than 100 meters without being winded. Now, I have no pain, I’m flexible, I can lift weights, I can run; I even competed in Tribal Wars 2016 and I fully plan to be back for Tribal Wars 2017, stronger and more fit than ever!
My physical health is not the only thing that has changed. Iron Tribe stresses that we are stronger together, and that includes every aspect of life. During this past year, my self-confidence has skyrocketed; in fact, I got a new position, bought a new home, and relocated to South Carolina. I was seamlessly assimilated into the Mount Pleasant Tribe and the support of so many wonderful, caring people in both my original Tribe (Northeast) and my new Tribe made a huge difference during this transition.
I cannot even begin to say how much the spiritual aspect of my life has improved as a result of the Tribe. I know that the values of ITF and the people involved in it line up with, and have served to strengthen, my own. I know I can turn to my fellow Tribers for support, help, and prayer when I need it. We are not just a Tribe, we are a family.
I am blessed to have found something at this point in my life that I am so passionate about. I believe wholeheartedly in the programming, the mission, and the purpose of Iron Tribe. I know from experience what a difference it can make! I believe that God led me to Iron Tribe, not just for my good, but so that I could share my story with others who think they are too fat, too slow, and too old…….if even one person is inspired to make a change because of my story, then I will consider myself blessed beyond measure.
Randa is one of many members of the Tribe who has witnessed a life-changing transformation through the program’s 45-minute, hiit-style workouts. Here are some more insiring stories:
Lauren Binkley: This Gym Could Change Your Life
Larry Canada: Beating Cancer was just the beginning
Amy Surasky: More than just a mom
Laura Davis: It’s never too late to live happily ever after
James Laurie: A father-daughter fitness story
Caleb Parr: You don’t have to get fit alone