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Two winners were chosen to transform themselves through personal training, and The Gazette is following their progress. With less than a month to go, Travis Haynes has nearly reached the end of his 12-week journey, while Treva Osborne has been medically cleared to begin a transformation of her very own.
Nine weeks after the winners of the Personal Training Transformation Challenge were announced, Travis Haynes and Treva Osborne have fought through two difficult and incredibly different journeys.
The contest was sponsored by Twin County Regional Healthcare and The Galax Gazette. Haynes and Osborne were chosen from more than a dozen contestants to receive two 12-week personal training sessions through the Twin County Wellness Center. The goal is to give the winners a chance at living a healthier lifestyle.
The contest offered two different training programs, and one winner was selected for each category. Haynes was selected for the “personal training challenge,” a generalized health and fitness program. Osborne was chosen for a “medical rehabilitation challenge,” designed to assist people with medical problems resulting from poor health.
Osborne got the news she had hoped and prayed for when she won the contest more than two months ago. She believed the training could change — and perhaps even save — her life.
But during her first scheduled workout at the wellness center, she faced more opposition from her body, as a series of medical conditions appeared, preventing her from starting the program.
She was disappointed, but she didn’t give up.
“I’m so excited about getting a new me,” she told The Gazette a month ago.
She waited for medical clearance to try again, and last Thursday afternoon Osborne walked back into the wellness center again, medically cleared and ready to begin.
“This is the first day back, and I’ll be coming here three days a week,” she told The Gazette. Her previous workout attempt caused her blood sugar to spike to a dangerously high level. This time, she and the trainers will take things very slowly and carefully.
Prior to starting the exercises, Osborne was placed on a 1,500 calorie-per-day diet, with a 45 carb limit per meal. Her blood pressure has continued to stay elevated, so she has also been ordered to keep her stress levels as low as possible.
“What I want to do today is to just get you on a treadmill, and possibly another machine, for about 10 to 15 minutes tops,” said personal trainer Chris Osborne, who is not related to Treva. “I don’t want to start you off too fast... we’re going to ease you in this time.”
Before the workout began, Chris took some time to learn more about Osborne’s medical history. At age 51, she has already developed a long list of health problems, including multiple heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and hypertension. Prior to entering the contest, her physicians had warned her that she might soon face disability if she did not lose weight, so she tried every health program she could think of, but with no success.
“I don’t want to die,” was the plea she wrote in her essay, when she took another chance and entered the training contest.
Her health seemed to be stable on Sept. 12. Chris checked Osborne’s blood pressure — the results were favorable — and led her to a treadmill.
When asked if she had been exercising on her own, she said that she had been taking regular walks, but that she became short of breath after about a mile and a half.
“To help with that, I’m going to get you to concentrate on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth,” Chris said.
Before he hit the “start” button on the treadmill, he also prompted her to let go with her hands, and to look at her feet in the full-length mirror on the wall in front of them to keep from losing her balance.
She agreed to try, and let go with one hand at a time. “I’m ambitious, but I’m not brave,” she admitted modestly, right before letting go with her other hand.
As the training continued, Chris talked to her about overcoming the most difficult part of any personal training venture: the mind games. “Your body will go all day long, but your mind is your biggest enemy,” he said. “You’re going to go through stages... this isn’t something that is going to happen overnight. Four weeks in, you will feel more energy, feel a difference in the fit of your clothes... after eight weeks, you will see a difference... and after 12 weeks, everyone else will see it.”
Osborne revealed one of her short-term goals. “I have a pair of western jeans that I haven’t worn in years,” she said. “My goal is that I will be in those jeans again in 12 weeks.”
Her trainer nodded. “That can be done.”
Her biggest goal of all is to keep going, even after the 12 weeks are over. “I want to improve my appearance and be happy with the person I see in the mirror every morning. I’m looking forward to being healthy again,” she had said in her essay. She repeated that goal again as the treadmill slowed for a two-minute cool-down.
“I won’t let you give up. I don’t accept the word ‘no’ or ‘can’t.’ There are times you might hate me for it,” Chris warned her.
Osborne shook her head as she stepped off of the treadmill, warmed-up and ready for the next machine.
“I’m not a quitter,” she said.
Haynes seeing results of training
As Osborne begins her three-month journey, Travis Haynes is less than a month away from seeing the results of the challenge.
Haynes, a Galax volunteer firefighter, entered the contest so that he could be a better firefighter, husband and father. His main goal, he said, was to have more energy to do the things he loved, like playing outside with his children or taking a long walk with his wife.
More stamina, he added, could also make a life-changing difference when he’s called out to the scene of a fire.
Since he began the program, Haynes hasn’t let anything hold him back. He has yet to skip a workout, and his trainers say that he is willing to take anything that they throw at him.
“I think that, overall, everything is improving,” he said at the beginning of September. After the birth of his fifth child, Haynes has taken several walks with his children, and each week brings a new Facebook picture of him carrying his babies more than walking alongside them. “Last week, I went out carrying three — two in carriers and one on my shoulders — and I walked for a couple of miles doing that and felt pretty good,” he said.
At the beginning of the contest, Haynes stood beside his then-pregnant wife, and compared the size of their bellies after he had heard a friend jokingly ask him when he was due. “I’m still not seeing the weight loss I thought I would, but I am seeing a difference in how things are fitting,” he said.
Early on, Haynes was concerned when he started gaining weight, but his trainers explained that he was trading fat cells for muscle cells, which weigh more.
Midway through the program, Haynes dealt with medical issues when he pulled a muscle in his stomach. The pain, he said, began during a workout last month.
“It started when I was doing sit-ups with a weight ball... I felt it in my right side a little, but kept pushing on,” he said.
The trainers sent him to the hospital, worried that it was a hernia. Thankfully, he had only received a small tear, and he started his routine again the next day. “We laid off of the abs for a while, and I am just now starting back,” he said.
Haynes also discovered a health problem that he wasn’t even aware of before the challenge — or, at least, it’s severity. “I remembered being diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma a few years ago, but I basically blew it off as a doctor trying to sell me something,” he said. However, during his sessions, he noticed that he started having problems breathing, and once he even hyperventilated.
“I remembered that I still had the breather that they gave me. I found it and used it, and it made a huge difference in how hard I had to breathe during work-outs. That was a problem I had experienced my whole life, and I just thought that was the way it was,” he said.
Inspired by the results he’s seen, Haynes has continued his efforts outside of the Wellness Center as well. “I am still actively participating in Weight Watchers at Guardian Industries,” he said. “We are now having Weight Watchers at work meetings... It’s a great benefit, and I hope that it keeps going,” he said. The added support has helped him stay focused on his diet, and has helped to even out his weight gain issues.
As he gets closer to finishing the program, Haynes credits his faith for getting him over his obstacles. “I thank the Lord for giving me strength and no real problems during these very real and taxing workouts. He is the source of my strength and the blessings in this life,” he said.
• The Gazette will continue to follow Haynes and Osborne through their personal training transformations with monthly updates in The Gazette. Next month, we will take a look at Haynes’ transformation as
he concludes the 12-week program.