Success Stories

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." --Winston Churchill

I regularly exercised as many people do, fell into a "rut' with doing the same things over and over.  I finally decided that I needed a personal trainer who could both relate to me as a 63 year old male, and be flexible enough with a schedule as I travel for business.  I researched quite a few personal trainers and interviewed many of them.

It wasn't until I spoke with Jill about her team and the trainers she has that I felt listened to.  Jill listened to me and what I was looking for and did not have a "rote" answer.  Jill suggested one of her trainers John, a guy close to my age and not some 20 something that would have me doing squats with 200 lbs.  (If I wanted that I could get my Crossfit addicted son).

John worked out a program that matched what I had previously been doing, but challenged me.  John continued some of my free weight work, but integrated variations on it and additions.  He's also worked into the routine, body weight exercises which are as challenging as free weights.  All of his work is focused on core and key muscle group strengthening which are particularly useful as one ages.  In addition, he's been extremely flexible with his schedule to accommodate my work travel.

I've been delighted with Jill's team and John and highly recommend them!   -- Mike B., Naperville, IL *



Destination Fitness trainer, Shawn True, featured on Fox32 Chicago!

CHICAGO - A Batavia man is taking personal training to a completely new level. He has invented several devices to keep his disabled clients on the move.

Now, his goal is to make those devices accessible for everyone.

Ashley Eisenmenger is blind, but she can hear how well she's running by using a device called the Tru-Guide. It beeps when she's veering off course.

"As someone who can't see, maintaining a forward straight line is really challenging because you don't have the horizon to focus on," she said. "And this allows me to workout at the level I need to."

The patent-pending idea started in the Batavia garage of her personal trainer, Shawn True.

"I bought a skateboard, tore it apart, put these on, put the bands on, so you can slide back and forth," Shawn said as he showed FOX 32 another invention — the Truslide.

For the majority of his career, Shawn has worked with clients who have a range of disabilities.

"I had done 18 marathons, two Iron Men Triathlons, lots of other triathlons," said Mark Stephen.

After a cycling accident, Mark was told he would never be able to walk again.

"Shawn, I call his clients, we're the land of the misfit toys, but Shawn finds a path to keep us improving," Mark said.

With a cross-country cycling trip, Mark proved everyone wrong.

His training with Shawn on the Truslide at Lateral Fitness in Chicago made it possible.

"We're always testing, challenging, pushing, and because, A: there are no boundaries and B: there is no rulebook," Mark said.

In all, Shawn has created three devices that can be used in different ways to adapt to each client's needs. His goal is making each device affordable so that fitness is in reach for everyone.

"To see those little things, even if they're teeny, teeny advancements, it's awesome to see people trying and so my clients inspire me to work harder to get this stuff out," Shawn said.

"We have really enjoyed integrating Destination Fitness into our discharge planning with our PT patients. Having a personal trainer who can go to them improves the carryover of exercises given in therapy and helps keep patients active after their discharge."

- Kelly, Physical Therapist, Marianjoy Rehabilitative Hospital Physical Therapy

fishing"I was hit by a careless driver while riding my bicycle. I was in critical condition including five broke vertebrae, left tibia broke in five areas, left fibia broke, one rib broke, left little finger broke, right rotator cuff injury, mild concussion and mild brain bleed. I was in ICU for two weeks and in-hospital rehab for three months.

Destination Fitness was recommended to me for in-home therapy. When I spoke to Jill, owner, she was so uplifting. She detailed the concept of Destination Fitness and was willing to help us in whatever way she could. She is always available whenever I have a question.  She is always happy and upbeat.  If you’re having a bad day, call Jill.  She will turn it into a positive one.

Dan was assigned to my therapy.  From day one, I knew Destination Fitness was the right choice.  Dan puts his heart and soul in my twice weekly therapy.  My goal is to walk on a walker.  In order to try to make that happen, Dan focuses on the parts of my body that don't work. Every session he shows me something new and innovative to work on, which I faithfully do in between sessions.  He keeps it interesting and every session is different.  His understanding of the human body and how it works is absolutely amazing.  His dedication and desire to help me do better gives me so much hope.  He works me hard during my sessions, but I feel so good when he leaves!  Dan goes out of his way to help my wife and I with any questions we may have that aid in helping heal my body, i.e., importance of compression socks and what kind to purchase, best position to put my legs while in bed, numerous exercises in my electric chair to name a few.  His dedication to help me advance and succeed is immeasurable.  He is genuinely concerned in my well-being and demonstrates true compassion.

Suzanne sometimes assists in my weekly therapy.  She always has a smile on her face when she walks through the door.  She always has new exercises to challenge my stretching ability.  Many times Suzanne tries an exercise on the floor to see how it works for her so she has an idea of what it is doing for me.  She gets totally ecstatic when she sees how far I have advanced since the last time she saw me.  Her genuine enthusiasm pumps me up!  She is kind and thoughtful.

I know Destination Fitness will test my limits and go beyond to help me succeed in my goal of wanting to walk on the walker.  I am humbled at how hard everyone works to help me get better and better every week.  Thank you so much!"

-- G. from Twin Lakes Wisconsin *


Our trainer Dan Conroy and his client G from Twin Lakes taking steps all on his own! Our heart is filled with joy watching our client walk on his own after his horrible bike accident! Dan has been so very creative and knowledgeable in helping G recover after his accident. Never give up, always have hope!









fishing"Thanks for everything you and Marty have done.  You both have extended Dad's life and allowed him to be in hospice for 18+ months.

A month ago we took him fishing for the 6th time during this hospice period.  He was doing quite well a month ago (as you can see from the photo), even to the point of the nurse wondering if he would continue to qualify for hospice.

He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure 18+ months ago, he was on the slide then, but with exercise, additional social contact, and his will to go fishing, we kept him going.

I appreciate your being part of the 18+ month triumph."

-- John M., Lake Forest, IL *






“It's extremely important to me when a prospective vendor LISTENS to "my story" and personal goals then HONESTLY & CLEARLY articulates how they can help me reach those goals---w/out sounding like a used car salesperson! Both Jill and Debra took the time to do both, as well as assess my health status and baseline physical capabilities/challenges. If you want a team that considers "the whole" rather than "the half" of you, Destination Fitness comes highly recommended!” --  A., Beach Park, IL *

“I strongly recommend using Destination Fitness:  Jill and John are very professional and knowledgeable about many areas of health and fitness. My Mom has greatly benefited from working with them and they’ve worked to fit her specific needs. Jill and John also approach each client with kindness and a personal touch that is wonderful.” --  C.B., Chicago, IL *




Hi Jill! I have been meaning to write to you and tell you that you were right about Marty!! He's AWESOME!!  He's exactly what I was hoping for in a personal trainer. I feel like I am making great strides in the right direction.  I wanted to be sure and say thanks. I am feeling much more confident and I can tell I'm on the path to reaching the goals I've set for myself.  I have a long way to go....but at least I'm on the right road! Thanks again!! :):):) -- Julia *


I truly don't think I could have received better service from Jill and Dan Conroy at Destination Fitness. Jill was enthusiastic and completely engaged in making sure I had the right trainer to reach my goals. Dan Conroy is exactly who I was looking for - he listens, encourages me to reach my fitness goals while correcting for any potential injury I'm doing to myself because of my poor form. I would recommend anyone looking for a trainer to seek out someone with an exercise physiology background. Worth.every.dollar. *

Once every six weeks Marty comes to the Clubhouse for exercise. When he gets here, we all get in a chair, with enough room to extend our arms and legs. Marty gets out his equipment and greets the class. He then goes to each member and helps the individual do the exercises, each to their own abilities. This entails stretching to get everybody looser and more flexible. Once that is accomplished, he goes to each member and helps them, one on one do the various exercises that lets them achieve a personal level of fitness. We do step ups,lunges, arm raises and swings. He also has each one of us, do as much as we can to get ourselves a shape that we can all attain. That will go a long way in helping the individual member take pride in the accomplishment.

While he is here, he converses with each member constantly, letting that member know that they are important. His joy that he shows while being here gives all of us a positive outlook on the proceedings. We are truly lucky to have this individual take such an active part in seeing that the Clubhouse remains an active place where TBI survivors can go and be safe in the everyday world.--Tom W. *

"We have successfully made it off the mountain! It was a great experience. We started our hike at 1800m around noon Sunday July 16 and reached Stella point at 5795m at 7am Friday July 21. We immediately descended back down to base camp (4600m), rested for what seemed like minutes, then descended the rest of the way down the mountain.

BetsyJosh1The first five days of hiking were amazing--just like you said Dan. We were able to enjoy the amazing views and always changing scenery because the hiking wasn't overly challenging. We hardly felt any affects of the elevation until "summit day" (Friday morning).

BetsyJosh3We left camp at midnight and by about 1:30am, I was feeling horrible. Josh joined me in feeling horrible shortly thereafter. Despite the many stops to vomit, the guides let us keep going. As soon as we reached Stella point and took one quick picture, they made us descend which was fine because I could not have physically gone up any further; I could barely go down. There were a few times on the descent that both of us nearly passed out. It was definitely the most I have ever pushed myself. It is the best and worst thing I have ever done.

I am happy to say that we are both injury free. I have one blister on my heel and Josh's knees were very sore (both from the 8+ hour descent), but overall we are in good condition!

Thank you Dan for getting us ready for this experience of a lifetime. I think we will be staying below 10,000 ft for awhile now. But we are thinking about our next endeavor-- something on a much smaller scale--maybe a half marathon this fall." --Regards, Betsy *

Starting with Destination Fitness (Marty) has been one of the best decisions I have made.  In combination with initially seeing a nutritionist, I was able to get my health on track to make significant lifestyle changes. As an educator, I delved into the research on motivation and weight loss trying to understand why I was not able to motivate myself to exercise and lose weight.  What came up over and over again in the literature was SUPPORT. I needed support. DF provided that.  Marty came to my house and was such a professional. I had been to a  personal trainer before, but had no idea how untrained he was until I met Marty. Marty is extremely skillful and knowledgeable, and on top of that just a wonderful individual with whom to work. When I trained before, I was getting injured on a regular basis, I have never had any issues with DF, and Marty knows how and when to push, and when to back off. He also makes the workouts fun, so I look forward to them.  Importantly for me, having someone come to my house takes the decision-making out of working out, and thankfully the issue of motivation is taken out of the equation. In addition, as a single parent, I can still keep a watchful eye on the children and dinner as need be. It has all worked very well.

I think the nutritionist was also very important because I did not have the information or SUPPORT to make the required changes. She helped me set up an initial plan and target trouble spots, and cheer me on.  Most importantly, she had a professional scale that told me fat percentage, water weight, and muscle weight. Initially, when I was training and not losing weight I would have gotten discouraged, but with her scale I was able to see that I was actually turning fat into muscle, so I did not get discouraged.  Soon thereafter the weight started coming off.

Thus far, I have lost about 19 pounds, and it is delightful. Most importantly I feel stronger, my arthritis is better, and my mood is improved. I also crave healthy foods now, not sugars and junk. I have made a lifestyle change that I could not have imagined myself doing, but as I said, the research was very clear that the variable missing was SUPPORT. Destination Fitness provided that. Thank you. -- One happy Mom from Indiana! *

Work, Work, Work, Progress, Progress, Progress. That is the tagline for this picture of our trainer Mark Guthrie and our client Denver.

Denver came to us from the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Northbrook, formally the Rehab Institute of Chicago. Denver had worked with the amazing team of therapists at Shirley Ryan after his stroke.

The Physical Therapy Team at Shirley Ryan referred Denver to us when his Physical Therapy had finished so we could continue to help him with Post Physical Therapy Exercises in his home. When Denver first started with us in May of 2017, he was using a walker to get around. After 2 months of training 3 days per week, he is now walking with a cane. Just like his wife said, Work, Work, Work, Progress, Progress Progress. We love to see the progress and the joy in our clients faces when they reach their goals! Denver's story can help us all realize that with hard work, your goals can be reached no matter what the age! *

Destination Fitness is Great! This is by far the best money I have ever spent! I was never an exercise fan nor would I say I was athletic at all. I had tried health clubs, tapes, classes at the park district etc. I never was able to stick with it until now. Oh sure I had been able to loose weight in my 20's and 30's but then the 40's hit. No matter what I did it would not come off. But since I have started this program I not only lost the extra 40's weight but I am motivated to keep it off.

Jill and Jeanne are great. It has been over a year and I am in the best shape I have ever been in my entire life. They are flexible and helpful and never make you feel like a klutz. I am at the point where I look forward to the sessions and get bummed out when I have to cancel or miss a session.

For anyone who is considering getting into shape I would highly recommend they try Destination Fitness!! -- Diane *

I have been using Destination Fitness for quite a few months now. I am very pleased with the services.  My trainer, Helen, is excellent! She is so nice and keeps me motivated.  I am 31 weeks pregnant and she knows exactly what exercises to have me do and not do, and always knows when it's time to slow things down. Thanks Destination Fitness! -- J from McHenry *

I feel Jill has very good conversational skills that help the client find the right trainer for him or her.  She knows how to pinpoint exactly what you want so you can find someone for you.  Patrick and I have been enjoying training from Marty. Patrick is a blind man, but Marty does not treat Pat like he is unable to do a good workout. Marty even came to a private party we had at a restaurant in April with his wife, even though he lives quite a distance away. We are so blessed to have Marty. -- Gwen *

Jill has always been warm and friendly and always professional.  I am a nurse and am most comfortable understanding what is going on with my body.  I expressed my concerns about having a very qualified person with which to train.  Jill was able to find me just the right person to make my workout as painless as possible (I hate exercise) and even fun.  Helen (my trainer) is very qualified and delightful.  She varies the routine so it is never boring and she is careful to prevent injuries.  I also think the cost is very fair.  What more could you ask for?  -- Karen *

I found the Metabolic Test good and it gave me a boost of motivation and confidence which to me is worth more than the number.  It's great to know that I don't have to starve myself to lose weight – I just have to "keep at it"! -- Cindy *

For over a year, twice a week my husband and I had hour long workout sessions with Destination Fitness. I do not like to exercise, but the time flew by because while improving our health, we laughed, told jokes, gave" parenting" advice to our trainer, and totally enjoyed the experience. Due to various schedule conflicts, it was necessary to change trainers. We were uncomfortable about the future and how our "new trainer" would work with us. Jill easily solved our problem. Her personal interest in each of her clients, her organization skills with the business, and knowledge of every trainer's strong points, allowed her to match us up with Helen. After several months with Helen, we ask ourselves, "what was the name of that other girl?" (just joking!) After all this time I still do not like to exercise, but we find ourselves looking forward to seeing Helen with her "toys" twice a week. My husband and I both credit Destination Fitness with improving both our bodies and spirits. -- Joani *

My trainer has been training with me for three months now. She is such a delightful woman, and I look forward to her coming. The routines are varied enough you don't get bored. She seems to have the ability to make you work and to stretch you a little further each time so you feel you have accomplished a great deal. I certainly feel better about my ability to increase my strength and balance. Thank you! I feel blessed to have Destination Fitness in my life. -- Freddie *

I am so glad I was introduced to Destination Fitness. I was seeking an exercise program that would get me back into shape in a safe manner. I always felt that I was not doing the right exercises for my personal needs. After using your services I knew I was getting the right amount of exercises for my needs and as a bonus you worked with me on my diet. Eating right is just as important as the exercises. Thank you for offering the perfect balance for me!” -- Judy *

I've never worked out with a personal trainer before and was afraid to try! I was told that I needed to work on my bone density and that working out with weights was the best way to do that. Jill was wonderful to listen to me, calm my fears and put me in touch with the PERFECT trainer! I'm so happy with the progress I've made and the way that I feel! I'd highly recommend Destination Fitness to help you get started on the right path to living a healthier life!! -- Kim A.H. *

Jane is a mother of three, the last child soon to be turning one. Jane came to us frustrated that she could not loose her pregnancy weight. She walked, jogged, and did a full day’s work that comes with being a mother of 3 children. She had trouble eating properly with her daily tasks of child rearing. Many days, food would consist of something that could be held in one hand as her other hand was always busy with the children. Jane started working with us in May, training 3 days a week. After training for 2 weeks we all decided that Jane needed some help with nutrition. Our nutritionist helped her with her dietary needs. We are happy to announce that Jane has lost 10 pounds and 9 inches and is one happy Mommy! *

Jim came to us for help with his golf game. He wanted to be able to hit the ball farther and straighter and have better stamina on the links. Jim has worked out with a trainer from Destination Fitness for two years now, training consistently twice a week. Jim jokes that the only reason he continues to train is due to the fact that his golf game is better than ever. An added bonus was the fact that Jim lowered his cholesterol by 30 points in just one year! Now that is an amazing added bonus! *

Lolly came to us with a goal in mind: to lose weight for an upcoming wedding that she would be attending. At the wedding, she would be seeing many family members that she had not seen in years. She wanted to lose weight and look fabulous for that event. Along with her friend and neighbor, Cindy, Lolly began working out three times a week with our trainer. We believe that Lolly teaming up with her friend, who became additional support for her on a daily basis, along with her devotion to losing that weight for the wedding - and of course our help - made her dream come true. Lolly went to the wedding. She truly was the belle of the ball and all eyes were on her. You see, Lolly did not just lose a little weight, or just a few inches. In total, Lolly lost a yard! To her family's eyes, Lolly is a new person and amazes them all. Lolly still continues to work out with her friend three times a week and continues her quest for fitness! *

Lori came to us in the summer of 2003. She had just moved to Illinois from Missouri and was looking to shed those unwanted pounds left over from the birth of her son. Lori started out at the weight of 250 pounds. Lori exercised with water aerobics, walking, treadmill, core strength exercises and dancing. She also joined a dieting club. In 14 months time Lori lost 60 pounds and went down 3 dress sizes. She not only has a new body, she has a new outlook on life. She has tons of energy. She feels great about herself and her new shape. She has made new friends because she now has a new found confidence about her. Congratulations Lori, you truly are destined to be fit! *

Marty is a client who does not take heart health for granted. He was diagnosed with heart trouble in 2004 after frequent chest pains. He had angioplasty and stents and everything was fine for a while. But in the fall of 2006, the tide had turned and Marty underwent triple bypass surgery at the age of 51.

Seven weeks after his surgery, Marty returned to work and was having aches and pains that he hadn't experienced prior to his surgery. This made him nervous and he started seeking solutions. It didn't dawn on him that exercise would help, and his doctors didn't recommend it to him, so he was surprised when an employee of Chicago Home Fitness referred him to Destination Fitness' website.

Prior to his surgery, Marty led a sedentary lifestyle on and off for several years. He would join clubs, but not knowing the importance of core integrity and functional training, would often walk out the club doors in pain, not to return again.

Marty was surprised that personal trainers had knowledge beyond increasing size and strength, and before perusing the website, hadn't considered personal training as an option to continue improving his health. While he's been working with his trainer for just a few weeks, Marty says he already is noticing significant changes, and is excited to see more.

Marty's primary goals are to be able to go through everyday life without experiencing pain and to increase his energy level. He has hope that with combined effort, he and his trainer can, in Marty's words, "put Humpty Dumpty back together again." *

I would like to thank you and John for providing my 90 year old mother with a wonderful exercise program. The program has enabled my mother to remain flexible and active.  I particularly want to thank John for his patience and skill in working with a frail elderly individual.  I hope John got to learn some Spanish along the way.  -- R. Valdes, Elmhurst, Illinois 8-14-14 *

Thank you to Destination Fitness. Jill has provided a totally awesome service for us and is very easy to work with. Our trainer Suzanne is out of this world awesome in so many ways!!! She trains both my husband and I at the same time. We have completely different needs but she is able to train us and focus on our needs at the same time.  -- A in Harvard Illinois *

I had a hemorrhagic stroke just weeks before the pandemic was declared and 3 weeks after my hip replacement. My rehab ended when insurance stopped. I had no function in right arm and slight in right leg. I was lost and desperate They gave me a few suggestions, one being Destination Fitness When I spoke to Jill, I immediately felt comforted and hopeful. She assigned Suzanne to me and so began my trip toward mobility Suzanne tirelessly and patiently coaches, encourages, inspires, challenges and motivates. She researches different methods and new concepts that might improve and facilitate my mobility. I can now move muscles and joints that the stroke had rendered dormant. In addition to physical improvements, she has given me hope that I can reach my goals. Suzanne always has a warm smile and happy positive disposition My entire family look forward to her visits including our dog, who waits for her by the door. I know I still have a long journey ahead but with Suzanne I feel confident I will get there.  -- K in Barrington, Illinois *

I have been working with both Dan and Suzanne for about three months. They are very hands-on and have been helping me regain strength and movement, which were impacted by a compression fracture and MS. I highly recommend them and Destination Fitness!   -- C from Lake Zurich, Illinois *

 * Please note: there is no guarantee of specific results. Results can vary.