Andrew Branca

Fitness quest

Something I have been grateful for this week is the support that I have received from friends and family.

Without their support it would have made working out this week a lot more difficult. Over the week I have noticed gradual changes that have started to take place.

One of the first noticeable changes is the ability to stand for long periods of time without having to find the nearest chair. Another change is that when I go out on different assignments where I have to take photos Iím able to move without my back hurting or my knees telling me to rest.

Having the ability to do that minus the pain has been a real bonus. My personal trainer Daniel Ortiz has been focusing our workouts here lately with different exercises to build up the muscle in the legs. While they are sore the day after I work out I can feel the added strength.

Now, am I thrilled to be working out? Not really, but seeing some of the changes take place like this keeps me going on. Daniel says he is getting me ready for beach season. Well. I donít know about hitting the beach in a Speedo as he threatens that he is going to do, but if I end up looking good in a pair of board shorts that is fine by me. As we work out Daniel tells me, ďYou may not like me right now, but this soon will be the best part of your day, getting healthy.Ē†

Slowly it is becoming like that, but right now Iím not there yet. He will tell you that there are days that Iím grumpy and not the most enjoyable person to work with. I had a coach once tell me that pain is just weakness leaving your body to make room for something better. Well, I must be weak in a lot of areas because after Daniel puts me through my paces I feel the pain.

One thing about cross training and doing so many different exercises up at the Lordís Gym is that you really donít get the chance to become bored or complacent. Daniel has me doing a little bit of everything to work every part of my body, from my hands down to my toes. He has me walking from one end of the gym to the other to lift weights, ride a stationary bike, do squats and pull downs. I also want to say thanks to the Daily Light readers who have provided me with some of the best encouragement. Trust me, on those hard days those words are really appreciated.

As far as the diet, I am still working on that. While it is not at 100 percent, the choices that Iím making and selecting for myself are becoming a lot better. I have taken a page out of Jared Fogleís book. You might know him better as the Subway sandwich guy. Subway for lunch is a better alternative compared to the greasy food that I was eating before. So, as I move into this next week I look forward to the challenges that Daniel will give me at the gym and hurdles that I will have to overcome.

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.