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Two winners were chosen to transform themselves through personal training, and The Gazette is following their progress. Travis Haynes has completed his 12-week journey, while Treva Osborne is still undergoing a transformation to improve her overall health.
Three months ago, Galax firefighter Travis Haynes stood next to his pregnant wife, and jokingly asked his children whose belly was bigger.
Today, after weeks of challenging workout sessions at the Twin County Wellness Center, Haynes has turned his fat into muscle, and is healthier and happier than ever before.
Earlier this summer, Haynes won 12 weeks of free personal training through the wellness center in a contest sponsored by Twin County Regional Healthcare (TCRH) and The Gazette. In Haynes’ submission, he said that he wanted to get in shape for his family, for his volunteer work at the fire department and for himself.
Over the past 12 weeks, his transformation stunned the wellness center staff. At his final physical assessment, they determined that his overall fitness level spiked from a 4.5 to an 8.5. The level is measured on a one-to-10 scale, with 10 qualifying as athletic.
To further break down Haynes’ results, staff did several tests to measure his strength levels, flexibility, VO2 levels (oxygen intake) and metabolism.
According to the test, the 43-year-old Haynes has gone from a metabolic age of 58 to 28.
During the challenge, Haynes learned that his breathing difficulty — a problem that he’s dealt with throughout his whole life — was being caused by asthma. After regular use of an inhaler, he saw dramatic results in how far he could push himself during work-outs. A final measure of his VO2 levels, which measures oxygen intake during exercise, went from 26.5 to 54.3.
“I just keep thinking about how [this knowledge] could have helped me in high school, when I was playing football, and in my training for the army,” he said.
Although the scale revealed only a small change in weight (258 to 252), trainer Carrie Ayers explained to Haynes that he had been trading fat cells for muscle cells, which are heavier but take up less space in the body.
To prove her point, she put Haynes on the weight machine to test the strength in his arms and legs.
Doing reps with his arms, Haynes managed to lift 101 percent of his body weight before stopping. At the beginning of his training, he was only lifting 65 percent of his weight.
He then moved on to max out the machine at 255 pounds with leg lifts.
Although he was concerned at first about not losing as many pounds as he’d hoped, the assessment made him feel much better about his overall performance. “I’ve seen changes. I had pants that were falling off, they were so loose,” he said.
Seeing a dramatic change in his health, Haynes has been able to spend more time outside with his wife and children without feeling tired as easily.
During the challenge, wife Boni gave birth to their fifth child, a son named Asher. With a new baby in the mix, Haynes had an understandably chaotic schedule, but he says that the workouts have done wonders for his energy level.
“I was thinking the other day about how tired I would have been after the baby if I hadn’t been working out. Being up all night, waking up early, I would have been dead tired, but it wasn’t bad at all,” he said.
“He’s definitely been less stressed,” Boni said when asked about the changes she’s seen in her husband. “I can tell a difference in his demeanor, both physically and mentally. He’s a lot more ‘chill’ now.”
With more strength and energy for him to work with, Haynes has moved forward with his goals and is starting to check items off of his bucket list. On Oct. 19, he ran his first 5K in 39.42 minutes. “I had stopped to help a girl who twisted her ankle, and I probably walked for three quarters of the way.”
Due to slow activity with the fire department recently, Haynes still hasn’t had an opportunity to try out his fitness levels at a fire call. However, the trainers at the wellness center have been preparing him for when he’s called out to his next emergency.
Mounting the stair stepper at the corner of the room, Haynes began climbing steps with an old air pack strapped to his back. With even breaths, he made the climb look effortless, and even looked to the side to smile and gave a thumbs-up for a photo.
“Quit playing around before you fall off of that thing,” joked trainer Chris Osborne.
Although his 12 weeks are over, Haynes has confirmed that he’s not finished with the wellness center yet. “I’m definitely going to keep going. We’ll work it into the budget somehow,” he said.
As Haynes continues on to his next level of training, the staff at the Wellness Center is confident that he will do well in whatever comes next for him. “You have done phenomenal. You don’t expect someone with asthma to come this far in three months. He’s worked hard and it shows,” Ayers said.
After experiencing health problems during her first work-out, Treva Osborne was forced to wait several weeks before she began her challenge. Today, she is into her second month of training and still going strong.
“It’s been a good turn-around so far on me, but I’m still looking for a better outcome,” Osborne told The Gazette as she prepared for a recent work-out.
During her short time with the Wellness Center, Osborne has already seen dramatic results in her health, particularly with her blood pressure. “When I began, my blood pressure was 220 over 110, and now it’s 140 over 90,” she said. “At my last cardio appointment, the first thing out of my doctor’s mouth was ‘What have you been doing for your blood pressure?’ It takes a lot to impress my cardiologist, but this has definitely impressed him.”
Osborne added that she does not have to follow up with her cardiologist again until March.
In addition to feeling healthier, Osborne also says that she’s starting to see another difference: “My clothes are starting to fit me better, and I have a lot more energy.”
Though there have been good weeks and bad weeks — with long hours and stress at work playing a factor at times — Osborne has worked hard in her journey for a new self.
“Getting started was the key factor in getting things going, and having a trainer here makes training easier,” she said. “When I’m on the treadmill and I’m alone, I struggle, but when I’m talking to my trainer, the minutes fly by. I like that one-on-one contact.”
Working around her busy schedule, Osborne schedules sessions with her trainers three times a week — two times a week if she’s very busy. “I was out of town last week, so nothing was done here, but I worked out for two days at the gym in my hotel,” she said.
Although her journey is just beginning, Osborne announced that she has already received another opportunity to get her health back on track. She received a gift card from an anonymous donor who is paying for four more months of training at the Wellness Center once her 12-week challenge is up.
“I have no idea who sent it, but it was someone with similar health issues and they wanted to help me keep going,” she said.
Osborne extended her thanks to the donor, and to TCRH for giving her the chance to change her life. “I am so thankful for this opportunity,” she said.