Andrew Branca

Fitness quest

Week seven

Progress has a way of sneaking up on you and, for me, thatís really true here lately.

When I first started working out with my personal trainer, Daniel Ortiz, at the Lordís Gym I could barely do 10 minutes on the treadmill. I would be sweating from every part of my body, out of breath and hunched over. Now, walking a mile is easy and Iím almost at the point where I can do two. I look forward to the point when I donít have to look down at the mile counter to judge when Iím done.

My skill on the bike has improved and I can reach about five miles without a whole lot of difficulty. With all of these changes and the guidance I have been receiving from Daniel, it seems like I am finally turning a corner in the right direction. While the road has not been an easy one to travel on, through the support of many people the changes that I have faced or am facing seem a little bit more bearable.

One of the next steps that Iím taking on in this quest for fitness is to make a goal for myself. Having a goal or a motivating factor is not only important in keeping a person focused on becoming fit but it also helps to keep a person driven. For myself, the next item I want to accomplish is some type of a fitness run or walk. Daniel has told me that if you fail to plan then you are less likely to stick with something all the way through to the end.

Getting up early in the morning and going for a walk around the neighborhood before work has also helped to keep me on track. Walking around the block that early in the morning really clears my mind and helps to keep me focused. Along with doing the walks in the morning, the words of support have also helped.

Being a big guy, I have always liked to eat. If there was a competitive eating challenge in the Olympics I could have brought home the gold medal for our country. So the words, e-mails and, in some cases, phone calls have really helped to keep me on the right track.

As Daniel has told me in the past, it is easy to get sidetracked by other things but fitness still has to be a priority. I hope I will see some of you all at the gym. I look forward to providing some of those words of encouragement that others have shown me to you. See you at the gym.

For more information on working out, e-mail Ortiz at or visit online at

Andrew Branca is a reporter with Waxahachie Newspapers Inc. Contact Andrew at or 469-517-1458.