Success Story – Erin Zavala

Erin Zavala Success Story


Erin ZavalaErin started the Ford Island Boot Camp nearly two years ago (back in the day when Ford Island was the only Boot Camp option!) after a friend enthusiastically recommended it. “After having my daughter and going through our first deployment in Washington, I was completely out of shape and weighing in at 170 pounds,” says Erin. “I would spend the day taking care of my kids and binge eating sweets and snack food at night. I knew I was in serious trouble but I wasn’t ready to do anything about it until we got our orders to Hawaii – that was the impetus for me to start losing weight and getting fit. My friend suggested that I try this awesome program she had started and voila! I started with Dumbell Fitness almost two years ago and haven’t felt this good since I was thirteen years old and doing competitive gymnastics.”

Erin’s story is unique in that she has been excelling at Boot Camp despite dealing with two big obstacles: her knees. “I was a competitive gymnast for years and ended up with Jumper’s Knee in both of my knees. I continued to do gymnastics, but I seriously injured the ACL in my left knee when I landed a vaulting exercise incorrectly”, remembers Erin. “It ended my career as a gymnast. Fast forward to my twenties when I was working at a YMCA in California. I did a running jump over a towel return desk in the gym and completely tore my ACL. I didn’t have medical insurance at the time so surgery was out of the question. I wasn’t sure how I would do in Boot Camp, but I figured I could at least give it a try. That was two years ago and I am still going strong.”

“What I love about Erin is that she is 100% self-motivated. Even with a seriously injured ACL, she never complains during class, or even misses a set. She takes the initiative to make the modifications necessary for her and pushes her own limits in every single class”, says Lead Instructor Christina Landry.

Erin credits Christina for keeping her motivated. “Every time I think I can’t bang out one more burpee or possibly do 20 more seconds of ‘happy feet’ she says exactly what I need to hear in order to not only finish the exercise, but to push through it harder each time. The fact that after two years I still am able to curse Christina (in the nicest possible way, of course!) as I climb up my stairs after a twelve-count leg day or wince when I go to wash my hair after a ‘triceps for days’ session is a testament to the fact that her program is still absolutely working for me, and working well!”

“My favorite part of Boot Camp is the feeling of camaraderie that develops when women work together,” says Erin. “That and the free childcare! Part of the reason that I didn’t work out in Washington is that I didn’t have anyone to watch my kids for me. Boot Camp solved that dilemma – offering childcare is genius in my book. It really did give me NO excuses and in time I have come to really relish those hours of “me” time that Boot Camp gives me; it recharges my mood and makes me a better parent and wife.”

Landry herself is motivated by Erin’s commitment to staying active and healthy.”Erin is proof positive that even someone with severe injuries can benefit from an intense fitness program. Even though so many would use such an intense injury as an excuse to sit back and be complacent, Erin has used it to push herself even harder. Watching her dedication inspires me in every class!”

“It has been a joy to see the program grow from just our Ford Island location to locations all over the island. I look forward to seeing what the future brings. Thank you, Christina Landry and Dumbell Fitness – you have truly turned this kitten into a tiger!”