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Posted By Onelife Fitness on Sep 19, 2019 9:02:31 AM

Until recently, Dana only watched her son go off to the local Onelife Fitness gym to workout; though she longed to join him, her muscle disease left her too weak to even go up the stairs.


Eighteen years ago Dana was diagnosed with Generalized Myasthenia Gravis , a devastatingly severe muscle disease that attacks the communications between the nerves and muscles. Any attempt she made to get stronger further weakened her muscles and resulted in injury, but no matter the pain she endured Dana was determined to reclaim her life as an active and healthy mother. 





n early 2015, Dana’s neurologist sent her to Duke Medical University to see if she was a candidate for a different treatment plan that may strengthen her muscles and give her the ability to start her fitness journey.  To her luck Dana got approval for the new treatment and soon started a 4-week infusion regimen. To the amazement of her doctors, her symptoms vanished by mid 2015, and she was given the all-clear to begin exercising in early 2016.


The first year of exercise was rough for Dana.  She tried several times to get started on her own but years of weakness and not using muscles meant that she was extremely weak.  Every attempt she made on her own resulted in injury and setbacks.


Dana decided it was time to reclaim her health when her daughter went off to college in August 2017. She started in the pool and at the beginning, she could only swim 2 laps at a time.  She continued swimming, working her way to 50 laps. But as she gained enough strength to use the elliptical and strength machines, she desperately wanted to be a part of the sweaty, smiling faces that emerged from the group fitness studio. She watched those classed for several weeks.  And when she finally worked up the courage to join a BodyCombat class, she never looked back.


“At the beginning of my first class, my instructor Debbie encouraged me to go at my own pace. It was scary, but when I left, I was a sweaty hot mess and I had so much fun. Debbie set me up to keep coming back, and now I usually go to five or more classes a week. It was exactly what I thought it would be.”


Her husband and children are proud of her new lifestyle and her growing group of friends, even a bit shocked at how strong she is. “Who would have thought she would be the gym rat of the family?”, Dana’s daughter exclaims.


“I knew when I first started, I had a long fitness journey and I had a lot of little goals. Now my goal is to just be stronger than I was yesterday. If and when my muscle disease shows up again, I hope to be strong enough to fight it. I want to get everything out of today- I don’t know how many tomorrows I have until I get weak again.”


dana now


Dana's story is an incredible example of what we can become when we refuse to let anything get in the way of our goals. The beauty of life is that its unpredictable and sometimes it hands us a deck of cards that aren't ideal, but true champions can play any hand like a Full House with the right mindset. Today Dana is healthier, happier, and living life to the fullest, we hope her story will inspire you to do the same.

What Our Clients Say

Really great gym. The layout is perfect, never a competition for cardio equipment and the classes have all been awesome.

Shawna W.

I love this place, great environment, friendly staff and customers. I've been here about three weeks and its worth my time, I'm really motivated to get into shape.

James L.

I love this gym. They have everything you could want in a gym: sauna, pool, hot tub, hot yoga, classes galore, stretch equipment/area, tons of machines, basketball gym, childcare, hydro-massage, etc, etc. Overall our family is very happy here- there's something for everyone at a reasonable price.

Kerry W.

They have all the cardio machines you need with a full movie cardio room. Heated swimming pool. Full sized basketball court. Tons of free weights and cable machinery. You should never have to stand around waiting to use anything. All the amenities are beautiful. The sauna is great. They have private showers for all guests and FREE WIFI!!

Ken P.

I'm a huge fan of the Onelife Fitness in Newport news, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. The gyms are well equipped, well run, and all have very diverse range of equipment and classes to suit most fitness needs.

Troy W.

Love this gym! They have everything, it's very clean and aesthetically pleasing, there's a pool, hot tub, sauna, nice locker rooms, basketball court, two floors of workout equipment, great classes, etc etc! For the price you pay, it is a really great deal and definitely makes working out fun and enjoyable! Would highly recommend.

Konnor M.

I love this place! Customer service is awesome! Front desk always smiling and greets you! There is such a wide selection of classes in afternoons, evenings and weekends. So, even though I am a working mom i can find a class perfect dor my schedule! LOVE Nicole's hot yoga!

Tracy Guy

Probably the best gym I've ever been a member of. Great customer service, huge and has everything. Just about any exercise, article or video you've seen where you've said "I've never even seen that equipment before", this gym has that equipment.

Donald B.

Love this gym! Such a spectacular price, location, and convenience. I signed up the first day of my free 3 day pass because I fell in absolute love. The trainers are amazing. I workout with Adam and love his guidance and motivation during the training session. All the equipment is new and beautiful. In addition to the wonderful trainers and equipment, the group classes are empowering. I also enjoy using the space if a class is not going on. You must join this gym!

Alanna R.

This gym is the total package, friendly staff, nice people around, lot of weights and machines, clean, wide, different activities are possible.
Love it.

Sergio L.

I LOVE this gym! The classes and instructors are awesome! I lost 2lbs in one week doing classes and personal training. Love that there is so much equipment you never have to wait.

Jessica H.

This gym is incredible. Top-of-the-line equipment, lap pool, onsite theater, basketball courts, functional intense training areas, group exercise classes throughout the day (7 days/week), spa-inspired locker rooms...what more could I ask for?

Michelle L.

This is an awesome and amazing gym! One Life is the best one I have ever belong to and absolutely love it :-) it is clean, professional and I cannot say enough good things about it. I would never consider going anywhere else. I love all of the cardio equipment, free weights, circuit training and classes. The locker rooms are exceptionally clean and well-kept. Another plus is the Wi-Fi.

Virginia D.