PF Growth Partners Member Turns to PF to Improve Well-Being

Many people find that partaking in physical fitness and exercise helps their mental health and overall wellness, something highlighted in member stories like that of Gabriella Gorecki.

Gorecki was seeking ways to manage the mental health conditions that accompany being Level 1 autistic, including anxiety and depression. In March 2020, Gorecki wanted to exercise, but the pandemic resulted in her local rec center being closed. Gorecki joined PF Growth Partners’ Planet Fitness® location in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and works out about three or four times a week. She enjoys cardio and lower body exercises, and it quickly became evident that working out was leading to improvements in Gorecki’s well-being.

Gorecki shared that working on physical fitness limits binge-eating, which in turns helps alleviate depressive feelings. “The self-confidence boost one feels after a good workout is one of the ways I help to manage my anxiety,” she explained.

Gorecki also finds that, as a person with ADD, the gym helps keep her focused on tasks she needs to complete. “The battle ropes are great for stress relief and allow me to spend the extra energy that would normally distract me during my workday,” she said, explaining that she finds herself fidgeting and getting distracted on days when she does not work out.

“Being autistic carries a strong stigma,” Gorecki said. She also spoke about how autism is often treated as something that can be “cured” with modern medicine, an assumption she believes is false. “As a child, my family tried everything from medication to therapy. The therapy was always the most effective – especially my experience with physical therapy.”

She went on to say, “Now as an adult, I have found that the best way to manage my mental health is by exercising and making others feel good. Even the smallest compliment goes a long way.”

Gorecki appreciates the welcoming environment that Planet Fitness encourages, mentioning that other gyms she’s visited include a “female-only” section that, while nice, is limited. “The Judgement Free Zone® opens the whole gym to a comfortable environment for everyone,” she said. “Speaking of the environment, I find that other PF® members are very sweet. I have often received compliments in the locker room and around the gym from other members. Being Level 1 autistic makes communication with others challenging. Despite this, I am still able to open conversation with other members and pass on the self-confidence that they give to me.”

Physical fitness can make a big difference in people’s lives, something that is illustrated by stories like the one from PF Growth Partners.