My wonderful wife gave me a membership and personal training sessions to Hearthstone for my 71st birthday in February of 2013. Shortly after, I had a physical and my physician said that I would not be around in five years if I did not lose some major weight and start exercising correctly. I had had both knees replaced three years prior and I weighed 296 lbs and wore a size 48 (XXL). I knew I needed to a new lifestyle that included exercise and proper eating, but still I found I was not ready… The staff at Hearthstone would call to ask if they could answer any for me questions and arrange for a tour of the facility and my initial appointment so, I finally “bit the bullet" and made my first appointment with Faith Brundige on May 2, 2013 ... “The First Day of The Rest of My Life”!

Once I got into Hearthstone and began seeing results, I took my new life style plan on with a vengeance.  I worked out 5 times a week for two hours each visit. In the first few months I lost over 30 pounds. I was on my way! But, on July 28th, I got out of bed in the middle of the night and tripped, resulting in a spiral fracture of my right femur. At Baltimore's Shock Trauma unit, I was operated on and a titanium plate was placed in my right leg. After six weeks of rehab, my surgeon discovered that the bone was not fusing and the plate had bent, which required a second surgery in September.  I now have 28 screws along with a larger steel plate in my right leg. I was not allowed to put any weight on my right side for the first several months following my second surgery. I had to learn to walk again and was not allowed to return to Hearthstone until May 9, 2014. During my recovery, Faith and other members of the Hearthstone staff, kept up with my progress and provided me with encouragement via telephone or emails. When I was able to return to the gym, everyone warmly welcomed me back.

Faith showed both professionalism and perseverance in knowing that I not only needed to improve my walking by working on my balance, my leg and core strength, but that I also needed to regain my self-confidence. She immediately began working on my core strength and has not stopped since. She has also helped me with the fear of falling. I can do so much more than I have ever done before, and all of this was because of her dedication to me as a person, not just as a client. Upon my return during the month of May 2014, Faith got married (and is now Faith Brundige). While she was away, after her wedding, her colleagues stepped up and took over my training regimen. She has developed workout plans for me to take on vacations and for when I work out at the gym, on my own. She and her colleagues are always available to assist me when needed.

Currently, I weigh 225 lbs (70 lbs lost!) and, I am confident I will meet my goal of 216 lbs by my 50th wedding anniversary this Thanksgiving. An understanding and appreciation of what it takes to reach such a goal has gotten me this far and can only be attributed to the support and variety of training I have receive at Hearthstone. Faith and her colleagues at Hearthstone truly exemplify the best definition of a "coach". "A coach is someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, who has you see what you don't want to see, so you can be who you've always known you can be." - Tom Landry

Hearthstone is not just a gym; it is a joyful environment, one of encouragement, and strong support — not only from the trainers and membership staff, but also from other members. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to Faith, her colleagues, the rest of the staff, and the other members at Hearthstone! You all have become “family”, and you’ve helped me become a better person for myself, my family and my friends!

With all sincerity, Art Roberts