Meet Joelle Opperman: Our April Ambassador and long-term member always gives 100% and adds a sprinkle of her sparkling personality to every session. Joelle has achieved some awesome physical results over the years but these transformations are secondary to the positive mental health and social benefits that training at Pinnacle has provided. Here’s her story…

What have you achieved at Pinnacle since being a member?
Pinnacle has been paramount in helping me decrease body fat (8kg’s down!) and increase lean muscle mass. I’ve Increased both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, can finally do chin-ups and push-ups again and am kicking goals in boxing. The coaching and programs have helped me succeed in my fitness exams for the Police Force, and prepared me for many fun runs including last year’s Sydney City to Surf. I love every challenge that gets thrown at me at Pinnacle and am learning to truly love myself in this empowering environment.

Was there a turning point for you? If so, what was it?
Having gained 15kgs in 2015 and not being at the height of my fitness was disheartening and I was really disappointed in myself. The only person that was going to make that change for me was me… so I did!

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome these?
A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with anxiety and a side effects of the medication was weight gain. I put on 15kg in a short amount of time but, in consultation with my GP and Pinnacle Coaches, I was able to lose weight whilst taking my medication – a total of 8kgs in 10 weeks! It just goes to prove that there are no excuses.

What have you learnt about yourself throughout this journey?
That I’m capable of anything! Whether it’s mentally or physically challenging, I just have to keep telling myself it’s not going to kill me and push on.

What keeps you motivated?
Knowing that when I finish a session at Pinnacle I’m going to feel amazing! The encouragement and motivation from the Coaches is what keeps me coming back to the gym and I couldn’t be more thankful for their support. I’ve also met some awesome people who I look forward to seeing every week.

What has been a stand-out moment to date?
One of my proudest moments in relation to health and fitness was completing the 2016 Sydney City to Surf. I may have burst into tears when I crossed the finish line – it felt AMAZING!

If you had advice for someone in your old shoes, what would it be?
Don’t ever doubt yourself. We can’t get to the top without starting at the bottom so enjoy the ride and appreciate the little achievements along the way – It only gets better from here!

What are you working towards now?
I’d like to lose another 8kgs and get back to my peak fitness, whilst also focusing on increasing my muscle mass. I’ve retired from long distance running so am now aiming for 5km in 25minutes over the next 12months.

Good luck Joelle, we know you’ll smash it!

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