Column: Time is right to reach fitness goals


Commentary by Pat Pickett    

Keeping a New Year’s resolution to get in shape and stay fit is not an easy task. Ask Carmel resident Greg Goldstein. At 263 pounds and unable to even do one sit up, the 45-year-old recognized he needed a new approach to his health and lifestyle.

That approach included a visit to the Monon Community Center where he obtained an Escape Pass and noticed a sign regarding the facility’s personal trainers. A few days later he called to request his first appointment.

“I just needed someone who knew what they are doing to help me with this life change,” he said.

And upon meeting personal trainer Jenny LeBlanc, he realized he’d made the right decision.

“She worked with me on establishing my goals and setting realistic expectations. She told me to avoid weighing myself every day because we were burning fat and building muscle – which actually weighs more.”

His regimen included strength training, establishing a core and getting on a piece of equipment (elliptical, treadmill, stationary bike, etc.) several times a week to continue to burn the fat.

“What is really great about working with Jenny is that there’s always something different; she pushes me to levels that I wouldn’t do on my own,” he said. “Even now that I know what to do, I continue to work with her.”

According to Goldstein, he’s not done yet. He’s lost almost 40 pounds and 15 inches of body fat. “I feel so much better. I used to wake up with lower back issues because of the weight that would bother me all day. Now I can actively play with my kids.”

And, at 45 years old, he had never run more than a mile.

“I’ve run in two 5Ks and run 10K several times at the inside track at the Monon Community Center.”

If LeBlanc has her way, he may be running in the Mini-Marathon in May.

Membership to the Monon Community Center includes unlimited access to the entire facility, which includes a gymnasium featuring three full-size courts; Indoor Aquatics with lap lanes and slides; a fitness center offering cardio, weight machines, and free weights; KidZone  (childcare with a treehouse); 1/8-mile indoor track and the seasonal waterpark featuring five pools of fun and the FlowRider. Household passes include group fitness classes, which cost a nominal additional fee for adult or senior Escape Pass holders.

Need more reasons to start working out at the Monon Community Center?

  • You can’t use your children as an excuse. Our KidZone is onsite childcare that is available to you for up to two hours while you work out. Children ages 6 months to 10 years are welcome any day.
  • You don’t want to be cooped up inside. That’s perfectly fine. The Monon Community Center is nestled within Central Park where there are more than six miles of trails. It’s a beautiful view in the winter and a great place to bundle up and complete your exercise routine.
  • You don’t want to pay for a full year upfront. Escape Passes are available in monthly options and have no enrollment fee. This flexibility allows you to budget for your membership.
  • Your schedule is too hectic. Our staff can help you establish healthy habits and reasonable goals.
  • You live outside of Carmel. That’s OK. Around here, it’s all about community. Everyone is welcome whether you are a resident of Carmel or from a surrounding city or town.

Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation and the Monon Community Center staff look forward to helping you achieve your fitness goals this winter.

To sign up for an Escape Pass today, visit


Patricia Pickett is the founder and president of Pickett & Associates Strategic Public Relations in Carmel.


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