Darlene Garalde Intlekofer is from New York City, NY – find and follow her on Instagram here: @darlene_nyc_13
There’s nothing like turning 40 to force you to get up and start moving—literally. In early spring 2017, I was nine months postpartum with my second daughter, had started a healthier diet after being diagnosed with pre-diabetes and was getting in plenty of movement from daily motherhood activities but not through any regular workout program. Other than a semester of track-and-field with gymnastics in high school and then a semester of ballet in college, I had never engaged in a regular fitness routine until Tracy Anderson. I would be 40 that June, and I could feel the pressure of reaching the milestone birthday. I knew I needed to get busy living by embracing what’s to come. But I couldn’t do that while I wasn’t feeling, or looking, my best. After researching workout programs and deciding to commit to the TA Method, I stumbled across the #wearetamily on Instagram and started getting to know other women who, like myself, wanted to invest in their health. I, a self-proclaimed “extroverted introvert” who rarely used social media, created a fitness-related IG account. I posted my first video performing the most basic TA moves from The Beginner Method DVD and never looked back.
After about two weeks of doing the beginner DVD, I spent three weeks on the Precision Toning DVD, then graduated to the Metamorphosis Hipcentric program, which I briefly interrupted to take my first studio class. I finally completed Hipcentric and started streaming. Throughout this time, I was posting regularly on IG, expanding my #TAmily friends, and also starting to meet them in person! Although I don’t have a drastic “before” physique, over the past two years I have become stronger than I have ever been. I am able to keep up with my 3- and 6-year-old daughters; work on writing my dissertation and teaching; support my husband, friends, and family; and be the family manager. I have been told that I look strong and, as the TA Method promises, long and lean—three results I had hoped to achieve. If you stay consistent, you will become stronger and more flexible, and you’ll have more endurance.
What I did not expect was the cascade of mental and emotional benefits that would arise from the TA Method. My experience as a part of the #TAmily has been both positive and empowering. I’ve become more open to seeking out people who inspire and motivate me. By doing this, I’ve met dozens of TAMers who have come to the NYC TA studios, and most recently, I traveled to Chicago for a meetup of more than two dozen TAMers. I have engaged in many wonderful conversations, both on IG and in person, with so many smart, thoughtful, funny, shy, devoted, committed, like-minded women. In return, I am inspired to help others strive for more.
What is not so apparent by my smaller waistline or toned arms is the growth in my personal confidence, the inclusion of being part of a community, consistent inspiration from my daily role models, and—the most surprising for me—the self-assurance to become a role model for others. The TA Method and the #TAmily have become an integral part of my life, a gift to myself that is all mine, and my commitment makes me stronger for my family. Thank you, Tracy, for creating and evolving the Method and for supporting the #TAmily!