Meet our Superhero of the Month for November: Steven Klemin!
I met Steve Klemin in January 2019 when he came in to see me for training. I was so sure I could help him with some intentional, functional movement exercises. But he was not so sure he was ready for the help, and so we parted ways.
When Steve returned to Mo-Mentum Fitness in 2021, he had lost his independence. He was living in a home where he couldn’t make his own meals or plan his own day, and he definitely wasn’t being encouraged to create his best, most vibrant life. Needless to say, he was beat up, frustrated, and a bit lost.
Now Steve was ready for that help, and he had one focus. One dream. One goal….to get the HECK out of LIMITSVILLE!
Steve had come back to Mo-Mentum Fitness with a fire under his rear end and rock-solid determination in his eyes.
Watching Steve redefine himself into a strong, focused, and reinvigorated man has been nothing short of inspirational. And it all started from a mustard seed of hope that’s been growing for as long as he can remember.
Don’t worry, this frog is just a metaphor…
I’m going to take a leap and guess that at some point in your life (maybe even right now), you too have found yourself in a place, physically and mentally, that you’d like to get out of. Like yesterday!
Have you ever heard the age-old, cautionary tale (aka Boiled Frog Syndrome) that asks, “How do you cook a frog?” Okay, I admit it’s an unattractive mental image, but the moral of the boiling frog story is what’s at the heart of Steve’s story.
So, what is the Boiled Frog Syndrome? It’s the idea that if you turn up the heat very, very slowly, the frog will never sense any danger. And you gradually turn up the heat until it’s too hot for the frog to get out of danger unscathed. Similarly, we don’t end up in a metaphorical pot of boiling water overnight.
In the face of potential danger, it’s human nature to justify our inaction. As the pot of hot water gets warmer and warmer, we say things like, “I’ll start tomorrow,” or “I usually eat better, but today is a celebration.” Or how about, “Today I deserve to have a little extra [insert lame, limiting excuse here: rest, food, sitting in front of the TV].”
No judgment here! Personally, I’ve let the temperature rise more than once while I’ve just sat there in a stew of depression and inactivity. And when the water was too hot to stand, I had to ask for help to fight my way out.
Steve found himself in a similar situation, and his escape from the boiling water is an uplifting story you’re going to love. Although his story may differ from many in terms of living with a significant physical disability, you’ll probably find yourself relating to his journey in many ways.
So how do you get out of the boiling water?
When you find yourself in boiling water, you only have two choices. But this makes your decision process easy! You can either give in and become a cooked frog, OR you can take a LEAP of faith and put in some persistent, hard work to get yourself OUT of that water.
This is exactly what Steve did. He came back to Mo-Mentum Fitness and asked for and accepted help. He continues to work his butt off every day. He has taken direction when he doesn’t feel like it. Shown up when he’s exhausted. He has decided to transform his life. He left all of the excuses (even the REALLY good ones) back in that pot of boiling water.
It’s never too late to turn back.
Finding yourself in a place you know is not the direction you anticipated for your life is fixable. But changing direction does require a shift in your own perception. Like boiling water, certain life events can change your perception very quickly.
It requires participation, and immediate, consistent action and effort. You’ll need a team and accountability, because transformation is NOT for those who are not convicted. You’ll need a team of people who believe in you AND who care enough about you to lovingly (and sometimes REALLY LOVINGLY) nudge you to push a little harder.
And finally, to get yourself up and out of that boiling hot water (also read as: the WRONG direction in life), you’ll need perseverance. Steve Klemin knew that, and his story is AWESOME!
Steve came into Mo-Mentum Fitness frustrated and disappointed. Since then, there have been days when he felt like he was taking four steps backward. There have been days when I know he thought about throwing all those functional movement exercises out the window.
But you’re getting to read about Steve just as he’s coming to the best part of his story. Not only have his skeletal muscles gotten stronger, but so have his perseverance muscles. Because every single day, Steve chooses to continue.
Steve, thank you for persevering and for sharing your story with Mo-Tribe and beyond. I have a feeling your story will help many other people who are struggling to get out of their own pot of boiling water.
And thank you for your great taste in music and excellent sense of humor! You are a ROCKSTAR, Steve Klemin, and I am so grateful to have you in my life and a part of Mo-Tribe!
We love you, Steve!
Amanda and Team Mo
A few words from our Superhero himself…
As a person with a very visible disability, namely Cerebral Palsy, since birth, I’ve always felt that I could do anything I wanted to in my life. All it takes is a little extra thought and advance planning to be able to take advantage of what physical ability (or assistive devices) you have available to you in order to do whatever you might want. For a good portion of my working life, I was employed at an independent living center in the Los Angeles area where I helped to teach people with various kinds of disabilities ways they could live completely independently, just the same way I had since about the age of 20.
As a kid I worked with various physical and occupational therapists in order to strengthen my muscles, learn to dress myself, and the like. That all ended sometime between the hours of my becoming an adult and the age of 12. In the interim, life happened. I finished high school and college earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Long Beach in Radio and Television, got married, was blessed with a wonderful son (who is entirely able bodied, just in case you were wondering), got divorced (just because sometimes things like that happen unfortunately), and fully expected my life would continue just as it was then for as long as the universe allowed me to be here. Little did I know that because of my blatant neglect of my physical health, and the fact that I was still eating as if I were still a Senior in college, the universe had other plans and the teacher would become the student.
It was January of 2021. I was weighing in at 242 pounds and suddenly realized that I no longer had the ability to transfer to and from my bed and into the wheelchair that I used to get around, to say nothing of performing any of the activities of daily living, (or ADL’s If you are fluent in Occupational Therapist) which are required for anyone to continue to live on their own.
In what seemed like the blink of an eye, I was facing the task of figuring out how to navigate a workable pathway back to the life I knew after stays in alternately, a local Orange County Rehabilitation hospital, a Skilled Nursing Facility, and a Board and Care home. I’ll admit, for a while there my prospects seemed to be bleak, to say the least. But then, with the assistance of my two wonderful sisters (who’ve been there for anything and everything I’ve ever needed), the amazing son I referred to earlie,r and even my ex-wife, we found a way. (Get ready, this is the good part!)
It seems my ex (who has the same disability I do, by the way) had decided to focus on her health at this gym in Huntington Beach since August of 2017. She had experienced remarkable success in her ability to regain and keep her fitness levels and general health. After all, she is five years younger than I am (not that she’ll ever let me forget that.) So, guess where I ended up…
I became part of the tribe at Mo-Mentum in May of 2021. Since that time, I’ve been astounded at the level of commitment that all the folks that I have worked with, (Amanda, Chris, Hue, Ashley and the artist /bartender/ trainer formerly known as Nick) have shown me as we work to reach my goal. It’s the sense of community and the absolute stand that each of them is for me to get to where I wanna go that makes the biggest difference.
When I started, I was overweight, pre-diabetic, my confidence was flagging, and I wasn’t really sure how the story was going to end. As of now, I’ve lost 60 pounds, I’m no longer on the edge of diabetes, and I have developed the ability to transfer from my bed to the chair on my own again. And that’s only the beginning. And while I would never again presume to tell the universe how to do what it does. (You may remember, that’s how I got in trouble in the first place) the smart money says I’ll be home completely independent again within about the next 90 days (about 3 months) or earlier. There is no doubt in my mind that my experience at Mo-Mentum is central to the miracle I’m creating that will give me my life back. And for that. and so much else I will always be grateful.
HOW WE CHOOSE OUR SUPERHERO OF THE MONTH
Team Mo and I choose our SUPERHERO OF THE MONTH based on several important factors that we believe reflect the values on which the Mo-Mentum Fitness world-class culture has been built upon.
Mo-Mentum’s Core Values Include:
· Mindset for growth, constant never-ending learning – if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.
· Over-deliver on all we do.
· Tribe – we all need a supportive and inspiring tribe, people we can be ourselves around and who nudge us to be one percent better every day.
· Transparency – We believe in honesty with ourselves and with others of course.
· Vitality – We believe in living vibrantly and living all out with courage and passion.