Video on Thoma’s story now online
Mary Thoma of New London was honored as an Anytime Fitness “National Success Story” at the franchise’s annual conference in Nashville Thursday, Aug. 27.
As part of the recognition, Anytime Fitness filmed a video that can now be seen on Youtube by clicking here: “Mary Thoma, 2015 National Success Story Winner.” The video starring Thoma and other local members follows her journey and the formation of the New London club’s volunteer group the Golden Girls. The five-minute video captures joy as well as tears.
“I suppose I shouldn’t have favorites, but Mary is one of the most extraordinary people I’ve met in the 30 years that I’ve been in the fitness business,” said Dave Mortensen, President of Anytime Fitness. “Not only has she dramatically improved her own health, but she also helped form one of the kindest and most supportive groups of people I’ve ever encountered. The ‘Golden Girls’ of New London are succeeding in their mission to change the world – one community at a time.”
Thoma, who has lost well over 100 pounds since joining Anytime Fitness two years ago, calls herself and her cohorts the “Golden Girls,” although a few of them are men. Together they support one another in their fitness journeys while organizing fundraisers to help others in the community.
During her acceptance speech, Thoma thanked club owner Chris Polanco and the New London Anytime Fitness staff for creating a friendly and supportive club atmosphere. During an interview for the video, which was shown at the awards ceremony, Thoma singled out personal trainer Konrad Korth for some special thanks.
“I absolutely love Konrad,” Thoma said. “He’s not only my trainer. He’s my friend. Chris and Konrad are my friends, my family. Without them I don’t know where I would have been today.”
Prior to joining Anytime Fitness, Thoma says she was on the verge of diabetes – because she was so overweight – and depressed, largely due to the passing of her beloved father. She still misses her father, but she turned her grief into a passion for helping others.
In the past twelve months alone, Thoma and the Golden Girls have raised over $15,000 to help individuals and organizations in need, ranging from the ALS Association to food shelves to a young boy battling cancer.
“Part of what makes Mary so special is her big heart,” said Chuck Runyon, Anytime Fitness CEO. “Mary takes that to a whole new level. She a positive force of energy who greets every new member at the club. She’s also a tremendous leader and she’s proven time and time again that great things can be accomplished when good-hearted people work together to help others.”
Anytime Fitness has more than 2.6 million members across five continents. Four members win the National Success Story award each year.