AMBER KNAPP

Amber Knapp loves family – and a challenge.

A year ago, she found both at North Lincoln Fit Body Boot Camp. Support from her extended family – trainers and fellow members – motivated her to excel in a special six-week challenge.

Added motivation came in the form of being a first-time grandmother. One look at her grandchild was all it took. “I knew right then and there that I have to do everything I can to make sure I’m there for all those special moments.”

The birth of her first grandchild, in March 2017, occurred within weeks of her enrollment in fitness classes at the Belmont Plaza gym. It all started with an “office challenge” which involved Amber and a half-dozen of her co-workers at ResCare, where she is a supervisor for the home health care service.

Competitive by nature, the 43-year- old mom of three children (ages 22, 16 and 10) jumped at the chance. Amber finished second in a class of two dozen participants. Hungry for more, she signed up for a second six-week challenge, and won the competition. More than a year later, she’s lost 36 pounds and lowered her body-fat percentage by 11 percent.

She’s passionate about staying on course. A typical workout week for Amber is six trips to the gym, showing up for the first class at 5 a.m. and sticking around for a second 30-minute session at 5:35 a.m. “If I’ve had a late night, I’ll adjust my schedule and hit the gym later in the day,” she said, “but I prefer to start my day there.”

Amber credits her trainer for keeping her on course and the welcoming atmosphere created by staff and fellow members. “Jeremy Miller, my trainer, is awesome … he’s encouraging without pushing you beyond your limits.”

Members’ support contributes to the encouraging atmosphere. For instance, Megan Stringer, whom Amber did not know prior to enrolling in the first Challenge Series, has become her best workout friend.

The gym’s nutritional counseling has changed her eating habits and, subsequently, her appearance. “I didn’t even realize I like avocadoes,” she laughed. “The trainers change how members look at what they’re eating.”