Route to self improvement runs through downtown Chicago

By Jesse Wright, Staff Writer

It’s a New Year and with a new calendar come those annual thoughts of self-improvement.

Self-improvement might include getting in better shape, or realizing the dream of running a half marathon—but whatever the goal, first comes the plan.

Join a gym (but try it out first)

Matthew Modleski, personal training program director at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness in New Eastside, said a gym should fit right if it’s going to be used.

“Find somewhere you feel comfortable, that has a good space-to-member ratio (not overcrowded) and that is convenient,” he said in an email. “Especially in Chicago in the winter time, convenience is going to be key.”

Modleski said gyms offer variety, which can be important.

“First, weight training is crucial to just about every goal,” he said. “It can improve posture, make you feel stronger, add lean muscle and boost your metabolism, improve confidence, prevent or help osteoporosis, and just make you feel awesome.”

“Second, there is the staff. You’re going to have a team of people helping you along the way.

“Third, the social factor. One of the most common reasons people stop working out is because they don’t have friends who share their goals.”

Get a trainer

Sharing goals is important because the gym can be intimidating. Tom Linden hit the weight room at Lakeshore on Stetson Avenue the day after Christmas. Linden is in shape and he is a regular, but he credited his dedication with a trainer.

“I wouldn’t come if I didn’t have a trainer, to be honest,” Linden said.

Thanks to his trainer—and to his own hard work—Linden said he has gotten noticable results.

“It helps keep me fit,” he said.

Bill Bishop, the head coach at Bishop Racing and the inventor/CEO of The Everest Platform, has been training people in Chicago areas for years. He trains folks to run marathons, participate in Ironman triathlons and, with his software system and an easygoing—if also determined—vibe, Bishop helps people be the best they can be.

“In a perfect world, I’m just a guy doing his thing. I just help people kick ass,” he said.

Bishop said the first step to self-improvement is making the decision to self improve.

“The very first thing that any athlete or enthusiast or everyday person needs to do in order to start the process in order to get themselves in shape is to make the decision that they want to be in shape,” he said.

Bishop encourages students to integrate healthy activity into their lifestyles, so they can have some fun and also feel—and look—better.

“If you and your friends are going to the bar or having a huge meal, go run for an hour first,” he said. “Getting into shape doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, but by staying committed you are actually taking care of yourself first, and enjoying your life second.”

To find out more about Bishop, look up his company on Facebook or call (312) 617-9590. For more information about Lakeshore Sports and Fitness, visit their website or call (312) 856-1111.