It was seventeen years ago when the staff at Elite Sports Club – North Shore first met Jim Horvath. He is a native to Milwaukee and now lives in Glendale. Over the years, most of the Fitness staff and the Front Desk staff have gotten to know “Jim”. He is friendly and open to discussion. You can tell that he is intellectual and contemplative as he often engages conversations in the lobby and coming and going to his favorite place, the fitness department.
The other reason why you might recognize Jim is that, through some conversation, you will notice that he has limited vision, and in fact, has been “legally blind” since birth. If you let this thought settle for a minute, you will realize that Jim has this disability, and yet is with us six days a week to workout, right along with everyone else! As Jim says, he has never let this slow him down!
Jim Horvath’s Dedication & Interests:
Since before high school, Jim Horvath has been dedicated to developing physical fitness that will help him be flexible and to have the overall body strength to get around. He went to Pius High School where he received a good amount of support from friends and teachers. “It was the first time I remember that I truly felt, I can do this! And, I can get around and be truly fit, just like everyone else.” Jim reports that he does not have any physical drawbacks, but he does need to see what he is doing. As the years have gone by, Jim has become more and more physically confident as he gets around town and manages to get to the Club almost every day!
One major decision Jim needed to make was to decide how he would travel from place to place, in and around Milwaukee. This decision was actually made in college at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee where Jim found that traveling by city bus was convenient and easy for him to plan his trips to work at Children’s Hospital, to his favorite restaurants, and of course, to the North Shore Elite Sports Club. He is also an avid Brewer’s fan and tries to make frequent visits to the ballpark.
Jim Horvath is an all around guy. Jim does not know what part of his workout he likes best because he likes it all! Recently he attended the Lions Club Summer Camp for the Visually Impaired. This was a wonderful “out of doors” experience for Jim and he would have liked to stay longer. Right now he is engaged with walking 2-miles every day, once a week he walks 3-4 miles. He also utilizes the elliptical machine for 40-minutes about 3-4 times per week and does power yoga for 1-hour once a week. Jim is also planning on incorporating some weight-lifting into his routine. He wants to build some muscle and is working to drop a few pounds. He does enjoy consulting with Amy Hall and Grace Selwitschka, personal trainers at Elite Sports Club – North Shore.
Compartmentalized Workouts and Diet:
One of the most interesting conversations that Jim and I have had was the way he is able to “compartmentalize” his workouts. Jim does not have a lot of free time. He often has to wait for long periods of time for his bus transportation. That was when he decided that the “wait time” needs to be better utilized. So, he decided that he would walk the blocks where he is normally just waiting for the bus. This week, he was able to spend 10-additional minutes twice while waiting. This technique is something Jim has begun to master and is cutting much time off his regular workout schedule. His dedication started with his walking program and, at this point, it is just getting better and better. Having a good workout schedule is very important to Jim, but so is his time!
Jim and I have been working on his nutrition as well. His goal there is to increase his protein intake and add some fiber via more fruits and vegetables throughout the day. He does carry some foods with him to snack on now, which helps to offset heavier food choices from the cafeteria at work. We have planned to have Jim eat something every three hours so that he is able to keep his energy up throughout the day. He wants to lower his percentage of body fat. Jim has worked with me for about a month and has shown remarkable follow through and planning for his food intake. He uses MyFitnessPal to record his intake and I am able to oversee his progress. Jim brings remarkable discipline to his program. This is not surprising as I believe Jim has been working on his system most of his life.
Jim stated this week, “it is not that hard to find ways of making life work. You have to do it. I know I have found what works for me and gives me my inner spirit. Now, I just wouldn’t do it any other way. The structure gives me freedom because I don’t have to decide every day what I am going to be doing for workouts and food choices.
Any wishes Jim has for other people he meets? “Just realize we are all different and yet, very much the same. Be patient with those you meet that are limited physically or like myself, not always able to see as well as I would like.”
I asked Jim what would be a long range goal for himself: “To have medical advances make it possible for him to drive a car to the Club.” Knowing Jim this may just happen.
When you see Jim Horvath say “Hello!” He is a great member with lots going for himself! Jim Horvath is a good example of what perseverance will bring you. I have gained a lot from knowing him and the take away for me is, we all have those places where we can reach deeper for that Inner Spirit for more focus and personal growth. Maybe we are never done but rather just in process of becoming better, which may be a lifelong venture!
The above member story was submitted and written by Rita Larsen, RDN. Have your own story to share or would like to share one on behalf of another member? Send us your story at [email protected]!