- She brings the best sense of humor with her into the room.
- She shows up with an open mind and isn't afraid to try new things (like training for her February trip to Patagonia!).
- Brenda genuinely cares about all of the other people in the room with her.
- She gives a lot to her awesome family and understands that if she's going to do that, she has to put the oxygen mask on herself first. Some people don't ever have the chance to figure that out.
- Her advice to anyone starting out at the end of her interview is ON POINT.
I wanted functional fitness: I was feeling creaky, ”old”, clumsy and disconnected from my body. I was also looking for an early gym time to get up, go, and get on with my day so that no matter what else happened (or didn’t), I’d have my gym time.
How has strength training has made life better?
OMGosh, let me count the ways:
- It’s easier to lift/carry things: groceries, bags of kids’ sand, glass baking dishes stored above my head in cupboards, going up/down steps, walking long distances, getting in/out of cars that seem to be only 3 inches off the pavement, and sciatica problems seem to have vanished.
- My body feels connected, and I feel confident that my legs/arms will service me without injury/pain.
- It’s made me more physically active and emotionally stable.
What do you enjoy the most about training?
- Love the quiet (no TV’s!) of the gym and that my time slot is mine. I especially appreciate Izzy’s encouragement without the “cheerleading” mentality. I can’t stand those "Rah! Rah!" clichés. While I understand the intent of them, they seem hollow in terms of committed and constructive help on the part of the person saying it. Izzy knows the difference, too, I am sure of it.
- I really don’t think about how I look -- big/not dressed in the latest workout fashions/flaky dry shins -- I just go in, focus, do the work, sweat, and challenge myself to not hold the handrails as I go down the steps when I leave.
- My program changes every 6 weeks which gives me enough time to try and master the exercises, and I look forward to the variety and challenge of a new program.
- How I feel physically/emotionally when I completed the workout.
- My gym time is more habit now than a forced “should” – I actually like it. No one is more surprised than me…and my son. Who knew?
- Other people in the gym (trainers and clients) are always pleasant.
Love squats and the sled. Those make my legs and my back feel strong. I also like the landmine…don’t ask me why.
Now that Patagonia is over, what are your fitness goals for this year?
To maintain the leg and arm strength I’ve gained and working on better breathing techniques. I would like to be able to hike more challenging trails without gasping for breath. Switzerland anyone?
What would you say your philosophy on working out and nutrition is?
I know they work together, and on days I work out, I am more aware of what I am eating. On gym days, I know that if I ate less healthily the evening before, the workout will be disadvantaged.
- Start wherever you’re at & give yourself some room to fail, flail, and try again. Not every workout is Sports Illustrated perfect.
- Let your trainer design an individualized program and trust her/him to track your progress and make any necessary adjustments. Communicate with your trainer. When I knew I was going to Patagonia, Izzy designed a program that incorporated steps, lifting my feet higher when I walked, balance, and continued leg/arm strength. Once in Patagonia, I silently thanked Izzy several times a day. Seriously! I hiked to volcanoes and waterfalls, climbed countless steps and climbed in/out of busses, taxis, trains, and wobbly zodiacs. My glory moment was climbing in full gear including a life preserver to get to the top of Cape Horn to visit the albatross memorial for all the sailors who lost their lives trying to sail round Cape Horn where weather is frequently treacherous.
- Go for the long haul. I felt great after the first couple of times at the gym. Yet, almost a year later, one day I realized that it wasn’t just about my legs or my arms, but how my whole muscle system was working together to give me consistent strength and mobility.