Women of Fitness: Paola C.

My name is Paola Campos. I’m 17, and I started coming to the gym/W3 when I was around 14 years old. It has definitely been a journey for me. I came to the gym wanting to lose weight. When I was younger and when I was first starting, I wasn’t in the best place mentally and physically. I would come and workout and not eat right. About a year ago I really started to focus on myself and started to put myself first. By putting myself first, I started eating right, coming to the gym more often and got more involved in the training and started to see results. This time I wasn’t focused on losing weight but was focused on making myself happy. It was really a self love journey where I learned how to love myself and how to not let others push me down regardless of what they say about me.  


What changed or shifted? I just got up one day and was like I’m tired of this. You don’t really notice your motivation for things until one day you start and continue with it… I pushed myself because I reminded myself that working out and eating right are the best thing for me and it’s for my health. I didn’t allow negative thoughts like “oh I want to lose weight” because I want to be prettier. I got all of that out of my head because it’s not a healthy mentality to have.  


How do you feel now? I feel great and amazing, and I’m a much happier person than I was 2-3 years ago. I feel stronger than ever. I think it’s just a little more confidence now.  


What’s your favorite part about coming to the gym? Doing anything with weights- it’s just fun! I’m so ready to lift up that weight and do any type of exercise- swings, rows.. It’s fun. I enjoy it. It’s not a chore. I have motivation to come and get it done.  


Favorite exercise – battle ropes- little waves even though it’s tiring, I like it!  


Outside of the gym– I’m a senior in high school. I am focusing on school and graduating. I help out at my church and volunteer and sing in the church choir. I do band, so sometimes I have practices or school events that I play at.  


Outside of school, I like to hang out with friends and love the outdoors. Camping or biking or just walking around.  


What do you want to do after you graduate high school? Go to college, study, have a career in something… just not sure 100% what it is yet. I want to major in sociology- something where I can help and inspire others. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.  


Fav subject at school– math. It comes more naturally to me. Give me a problem, and I’ll solve it!  


The reason why I workout is it helps with my mental health. I see the difference when I workout and when I don’t on those days that I do/don’t. I feel so much better on days when I workout. It goes for every body- everyone should take 30 minutes out of the day. Even if it’s not an intense workout- just going for a walk or something- it helps a lot with your mental health, and it’s for my betterment. I know that at the end of the day, anything I put my mind to, it’s going to be possible. I reached a goal and I have another goal to reach, and I know that eventually I will achieve it. I know that if I can do it, others can do it, too.  

Women of Fitness: Diana D.

My name is Diana. Before the pandemic, I worked as an assistant for a well-known advertising agency downtown. I was living in the city for over 5 years at that time. I was also going to grad school part-time, working on my master’s degree. I spent my free time working part-time gigs as a hostess or go-go dancer. One could say my life was hectic and I’d agree. When the pandemic hit, I rushed home to help take care of my family. Back then we thought the pandemic would only last a week or two, after the second month of quarantine we realized the severity of it all and I decided to break my lease in the city and permanently move back home till things got better. Suddenly my life went from non-stop chaos to stuck at home 24/7. I went from living alone to living in a full house.

Working out was the only time of the day I had to myself. I truly missed the moments alone I used to take for granted when I lived in the city. I realized the best chance of having that again would be at the gym. So once gyms opened back up, I must have been one of the first to sign up without hesitation. I joined the first gym that opened. I quickly realized how difficult it would be to find the right gym for me. The first gym wasn’t very safe. Reports of items being stolen, and unsanitary conditions was very common at this gym. The second cared very little for the wellbeing of their guest. Zero covid precautions and this was before the vaccine was fully accessible to all.  I wasn’t comfortable at any gym until I found Woman Workout World. I found a gym with honest women, serious about their fitness. I went almost every day. It was the only time I had to myself. My time to regroup and recharge.

Coming into the second year of the pandemic, I graduated grad school and quit my full-time job for an internship that paid me less than half of what I made before. Times became incredibly stressful for me, but on my hardest days, I found that running helped me through those moments. I realized running takes the least amount of focus to do and I can give my brain a break for a while and just vibe out. So that’s what I did. No matter the day when I walked into women’s workout world I’m always greeted by friendly faces. I’d come in feeling stressed but leave feeling a lot better. Whether from my run or the fun I’d have participating in one of their group classes, Women’s workout world was my mental health haven.

 One of the best things about Women’s Workout World is the support they give to their community. They have hosted events that support women and small business around the area. Many of whom workout at the gym. After my internship I accepted a position helping multimillion dollar brands advertise their products around the nation. A personal goal of mine is to some day help small businesses grow using the skills I build working for these major brands. I find that so many incredible women entrepreneurs’ working out at this gym as a sign that I’m right where I’m supposed to be and hope to one day get the opportunity to help these women, best I can, grow their business. You never know the amazing people you could meet at the gym and women’s workout is a testament to that. It’s great to see local businesses supporting others inside and outside the gym. I’m very happy to be supporting Women’s Workout World and so pleasantly surprised at how much this gym has helped me throughout the pandemic. Both physically and mentally.

Woman of Fitness: Robbin U.

My name is Robbin. My life, for the last 32 years, has been divided between raising my two children and working as a nurse on a labor and delivery unit of a local hospital. I cannot remember a week that I have not worked at least 50 or so hours. Overtime always helped make ends meet. A little over 5 years ago, I went into management on the same unit. The hours remained the same, but the stress level went up exponentially! It was that same year that I decided to take care of me.

I had stepped onto a scale at the doctors office and could not believe what I saw. I had been on Weight Watchers most of my life and decided to add exercise. I took a Zumba class at the local park district and the instructor told me that she taught the class at Women’s Workout World as well, and I joined soon after. I never imagined that Zumba would take me where I wanted to go, but slow and steady won the race.

As I started losing weight I started new classes. I tried Turbokick early on, but I could not hang. 65 pounds later I was running back to Turbo because I wanted that challenge. Some of the weight crept back on, and I am determined to not allow that to happen. So at almost 60, I am going to kick it up and I started to take team training.

I have always been a strong-minded person, and now I am going to let the trainers at W3 help me to become strong in body as well! I used to say that I wanted to lose weight and get healthy for my kids. They are grown now, and I truly believe that when I really do it for myself, I feel better. I do not feel my age, and that is a great feeling!!

Oh… and did I mention that I am a HUGE Cubs fan??? 🙂


Women of Fitness: Yulonda N.

My name is Yulonda. I currently work as a service excellence rep in the security department for presence health. I really enjoy working in a hospital because I love helping people. I am also family oriented, so I spend a lot of time with my family. Growing up, sports played a huge factor in my family.

We were ALL extremely athletic. I played volleyball, basketball, ran track, and was on the cheerleading team throughout my entire academic career. But of course as I got older, I wasn’t very active anymore. With work and everyday life, things had drastically changed.About three years ago, I went to the doctor because I felt dizzy all the time. It was then that I found out that I was prediabetic, and had high blood pressure. I remember feeling really sad, and thinking to myself, I didn’t want to have to take pills every day for the rest of my life. I knew I had to change my lifestyle. I purchased a set of 10lb weights, meal prepped, and worked out to you tube videos for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. I started seeing great results, I felt more energetic, and things were great.

In August 2016, I had to have gallbladder removal surgery. During my recovery, I wasn’t able to work out for at least 6 months. That was a major setback for me and the lifestyle I had created. By the time I had the clearance to start doing physical activities, I was right back to where I started. I gained all of the weight back. I was extremely discouraged, but I knew that if I did it before, that I could do it again.

I started back doing my routines as I had before, but I felt like I was missing that extra push I needed. I decided to join a gym. I did some research, tried out a few facilities, and eventually came across W3. W3 has given me what I was missing and more!!!! The classes are amazing, and all of the trainers are outstanding. The members are really encouraging and inspirational as well. When you walk in a gym and everyone knows your name, and will come over to help you with your workout, it truly feels like a second family.

I am happy to say that through my ups and downs, that I am no longer on any prediabetic medication. I know that as long as I continue to stay focused, that I will be able to accomplish anything. That I can continue to create a lifestyle where I can be here for my family, and I can be a healthier, happier, stronger ME!

Women of Fitness: Teresa H.

My name is Teresa, outside of the gym I raise my two children full time. I can’t put into words how many ways my gym has helped me with everyday life.

I was in a debilitating car accident that changed my life. I have always been active; however for a period of 5 years, I was healing from back surgery. During this period, I was not healthy or active and very depressed. I just had my first child, and I knew I had to make changes otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to function or care for my child properly. My cousin encouraged me to join the gym literally a few steps from my house and I have never looked back.

At first it started with machines and then when confidence came I went into lifting with much guidance and care from instructors. I truly appreciate these instructors who have encouraged me, and taught me correct form so as not to injure myself. Functional training especially has allowed my body to move with little or no pain. That changed my life for the better.

I have also created lasting friendships with others at this gym. I felt very alone before I went to the gym. I wasn’t from this area before I married and moved here with my husband. I now have the best support system I could have ever wished for; these people not only care about me but they love my children, too. I’m very fortunate and blessed.

Women of Fitness: Maria A.

Soy una persona que se levanta positiva y con la intención de ayudar a quién lo necesite y que me gusta mi trabajo.

Claro que me ha ayudado gracias a la oportunidad que tuve de entrar al gym. He creído más en mi y hacer mas alegre (que no lo era antes).

Estoy orgullosa de que he logrado cosas que jamas pensé que iba a lograr y a creer mas en mi 🙂
Me motiva a seguir luchando por lo que quiero. Y sé que lo conseguiré. Mi amor me dijo hace poco amorcito como te llego a gustar tanto el ejercicio si tu no eras así (jajaja) y le dije pues mira lo que hace el gym: La energía y alegría que da 🙂

Lo triste que fue mi adolescencia que quizás no recibí el cariño que esperaba y necesitaba; por eso, ahora yo doy el cariño, la ayuda y apoyo a otras personas en el gym, en mi trabajo, y a las personas cercanos a mi.

~Maria A.

Women of Fitness: Sofia G.

I’m a high school English teacher for Morton East, my home district. Education is my deepest passion. I’m a social activist that promotes education at a global scale for underserved communities. I pass out backpacks and school supplies to children and families. I’ve opened a non-profit with a great team by the name of Project 214, in honor of my first classroom number. I used to teach kids in trouble from Chicago. Some of which died as a result to gang violence. I combat this issue of gang violence as a result. That started a passion in my heart to reach as many kids as I could through the power of compassion and education. I’ve traveled to Central America, specifically El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Panama. I just got back from Panama this summer. I train to stay focused, strong, and powerful for kids who need a voice. My classroom is my destiny, I’m more than a teacher, but an activist that will advocate for marginalized youth based on their ethnicity and social status. I also champion for an international campaign called Let Girls Learn. This was started by Michelle Obama. Millions of girls are out of school at a global level, leaving them prey to getting trafficked, married off early, illiterate, and early childbirth. I’m part of this national conversation. You educate a girl and you can change not only her life, but her community.
I’m also a mother and wife and need to be healthy and well for my family.
My faith in God also shapes a huge part of my existence and is the driving force behind my desire to live a healthy and full life.
Read through a few blog posts to really capture what I’m passionate about in more detail. This will really share my passion and who I am.
Yet, I give some much credit to my fitness journey that has empowered me physically and mentally to function with power in the areas of my life that matter to me.

If you want to read more about Sofia and her cause, follow the links below:

Here’s my Website: www.project214.net

My blog: https://sofiag1.wordpress.com/