Vostok Bernal

Back in early February, about 40 men and women signed up for the inaugural Game of Life challenge, hosted by Gravitas Fitness. During the five-week commitment, participants, including myself, earned points daily for meeting nutrition goals (such as avoiding alcohol and refined sugar) and health challenges both physical and mental (exercise for 30 minutes, meditate for 10).

As we crossed the finish line earlier this month, I was surprised I had accomplished seemingly tough challenges (quitting coffee, for one) as I fumbled a few of the simpler ones (such as remembering to floss daily). All in all, it went well for me, and considering my job obligations and ever-fluxing family schedule, I appreciated its calm and steady pace, a format that Gravitas cofounder Eric Malzone told us is the key to the realm of long-lasting physical health and mental wellness. It’s much easier to create new habits, he said, when you have time to develop patterns and tally small victories instead of trying to force-feed yourself a lifestyle sea change in just a week or two.

“I certainly consider this first go-around a success,” Malzone said, reflecting on feedback from clients and his own Game of Life accomplishments as he played alongside the group, kept us updated through a private Facebook group, and organized weekly workshops on nutrition, cooking, meditation, and mobility and stretching. “Being mindful of it all was very impactful on my life and my wife’s, as well. Simply opening up room for conversation among the group in areas that people don’t intuitively dive into — primary eating, meditation, acts of kindness, etc. — [made it] much more than your average challenge.”

Riffing of the debut — and donating part of its proceeds to Kids Helping Kids — Malzone and his crew are developing a website that can better present the program and track results. They’re planning on offering it again this fall. See gravitasfitness.com.


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