My Ironman Journey
I grew up playing many team sports and was lucky enough to carry that through college. Through those years I had many amazing coaches along the way. After college I had children and although my competitive spirit never waned, my fitness level decreased and I gained a lot of weight. I never liked running when I was fit but running was exactly what I needed to help get myself back on the road to fitness. So I began to run and dabble in sprint and Olympic distance triathlons. An injury soon put an end to this and I became sedentary again. I recovered and again took up running. Then a family friend of mine talked me into joining a running group. So we joined the running group at the Training Studio and this proved to be a turning point in my life.
The group that I started running with inspired me and actually helped me to enjoy running. We did the mini marathon together and it was at this point that my competitive spirit began to awaken. I was ready for a new challenge. The marathon was next. Never in a million years did I think that I could run that far! It was this atmosphere of encouragement and hard work at the Training Studio that made possible what I thought to be impossible.
My next decision proved to be pivotal in ways I’m still discovering. My desire for triathlon experience was rekindled. I really enjoyed the sense of accomplishment that came with completing something I didn’t know was possible. I decided to participate in the multisport coaching program at the Training Studio in order to attempt a half Ironman. That is when I started working with Todd Benedict. Little did I know that a year later I would be participating in the Louisville Ironman! Todd was instrumental to my success. He provided a solid nutritional foundation, spent the time understanding my needs as an athlete, and worked within my hectic schedule to design a training plan that met all of my needs. Todd was always there for me whether it was 5:30am rides, 80+ mile rides, or 20+ mile runs. And when I would have minor injuries, he helped calm me down and really made me believe that I would still be able to cross that finish line.
And yes, I did cross that finish line! It is truly difficult to put into words what that day meant to me and will always mean to me. The support I had from my Training Studio friends was amazing and humbling.
Ironman day has come and gone now but I will never forget that day and what an amazing experience it was. I can’t thank Todd, Dale and Stacey enough for all they have done for me. I can now add Todd to the list of amazing coaches I have had in my life! This experience has just made me want to continue the journey. Who knows how far this journey will ultimately take me, but I am lucky to have traveled it this far with the Training Studio and can’t imagine doing it with anyone else. Thanks guys!!
You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks!
When I first heard about the Training Studio I was a very casual jogger who had no clue what I was doing. I had completed one previous marathon in 2002 in 5 hours, 12 minutes. While I was ecstatic that I finished it, my training left a lot to be desired. I ran all my long runs around the 1.2-mile Seneca Park track – countless agonizing, boring laps by myself. I continued to run, but more for exercise than enjoyment, never doing another race. I liked it but didn’t love it.
In 2007, a friend of mine asked me to run the Kentucky Derby Mini-Marathon with him. He said he was doing his long runs with a group of runners at The Training Studio and that I should join him. I knew I didn’t want to repeat my previous experience in training so I agreed to try it out. Right away I realized this is what I needed to get me through the race. Everyone was helpful and encouraging, especially to a first-timer like me. I ended up running that race and beating my original goal time by 22 minutes.
Instead of being another one and done race like I thought, I found I really, really loved to run. I ended up doing what I never thought I would— committing to another marathon. I trained, listened to what the coaches told me and found this training to be much more effective than when I blundered about on my own. Also, because I was running with new friends I had made in the group, I actually looked forward to the Saturday long runs instead of dreading them. I ended up qualifying for Boston in my second marathon – which I knew I couldn’t have done without my coaches and the other runners in the group.
After a bad injury last spring, I started to pay a lot more attention to what Dale, Todd and Stacey had to say about strength training, nutrition and stretching. Instead of spending a half hour in the gym on cross-training twice a week with minimal effort, I started coming to the strength training offered by the studio (I was shocked when I realized what a waste cross-training had been on my own). I also put a lot more effort into utilizing what Todd taught about proper nutrition while racing and training. And after 45 years of ignoring stretching, I finally became a believer in Stacey’s techniques. Since then, I’ve bounced back from my injury and have had several PR’s. Over the 3 years I’ve been training with The Training Studio, I’ve made some great friends who are always supportive and encouraging.
Thanks for taking this lost jogger out of the wilderness and showing him “The Way”.
It’s Never Too Late to Look and Feel Your Best!
Abs, Gluts, biceps, triceps… who knew they really existed? After years of making cookies, cupcakes and other goodies for my children, I decided it was finally time to give myself a special gift … the gift of health and the gift of looking youthful again. After many months (yes, it does take time) I feel like I am in the best shape I have ever been. Workouts at The Training Studio gave me both the confidence and encouragement to realize that it was never too late to feel and look your best. And, yes there really were some good-looking biceps and triceps under that extra 30 lbs I was carrying around. If I could give you one piece of advice it would be don’t wait… join the Training Studio today and let Stacey, Dale or Todd help you achieve your personal best. You will be very glad you did! (I sure am!)
Eat More and Lose Body Fat? You Bet!!
I have always believed in exercise and a healthy diet but I was noticing a definite change in my body as I entered my forties. My ‘Go To’ workouts and diets were no longer producing the results they had when I was younger. I was noticing a few extra pounds that I was unable to shed no matter how hard I tried or how little I ate and I had resigned myself to the fact that I was getting older and would probably always carry the extra weight and increased body fat. Then I met Dale and Todd and discovered a whole new concept for both working out and eating. First, Dale taught me that the length of the workout is not as important as the quality. Week after week he was there to motivate, encourage and push me into doing my best. I began attending the various seminars they offered and became intrigued with a talk that Todd gave on nutrition. I met with him and promptly signed up for his 6 week nutrition program. We were entering the holiday season and I thought that Todd’s program would keep me on track over the holidays. I have to admit, since I already ate healthy (organic and no processed foods) I really did not think that I would learn anything new and my real hope was not to gain any weight during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Much to my surprise, not only did his nutrition program make me a better runner (I PR’d in both my marathon and a 10K), but he also increased my caloric intake and I went from 27% Body Fat to 17%!! My final weigh in was on Christmas eve. It was the best Christmas present ever! Thanks Guys I really could not have done it without you!
“The Alternative to Debilitating Arthritis”
Three years ago, when I was nearing 50, I was so debilitated by arthritis, there were days I could walk upstairs to my office only very slowly and with great pain. I was afraid I was going to be permanently crippled. I visited my doctor, who told me that unless I began resistance training to strengthen my muscles and take the pressure off my joints, I very likelywould be crippled. As unappealing as the prospect of lifting weights then was, the alternative wasn’t an option.
Today, after nearly three years of twice weekly sessions with Stacey Hardin, I can’t imagine ever wanting to stop training. At 52, not only am I stronger and healthier than before, but also more confident. I still, of course have arthritis, as there’s no cure, but thanks to Stacey, we’ve contained it to occasional flare-ups that we manage with targeted stretches following my workouts. Once again, I am able to do all the things I love–dance, play golf, and run around the backyard with my grandson! Even my doctor is impressed. “Wow, look at those abs,” she said. “Tell your trainer that whatever she’s doing, she’s doing the right thing.”
But teaching proper diet and exercise isn’t all that Stacey does right. Both professional and caring, she treats each of her clients as individuals, knowing the most positive ways of motivating each to achieve his or her goals. She sees her clients not as bodies to be strengthened but as whole persons to be realized and celebrated. Her outlook being as contagious as her laughter, working with her hasn’t been work at all. It’s been a joy.
“Best Place in Town to Get in Shape!”
“The best place in town to get into shape. Trainers care about your health and well-being and are very accommodating. They seek to give you the best training to your ability. Programs vary so that the training is NEVER boring. The running and cycling programs are also excellent. Dale Benedict and his staff are of the highest quality.”
“You Can Do It”
What a beautiful world I live in! I’m 73 years old and I feel WONDERFUL! It’s largely because of Dale Benedict. He does nothing but abuse my body. He tells me to lift weights that I know are impossible for me to get out of the stand, much less raise over my head 15 times. But Dale says “you can do it” and I do. He tells me to run on the treadmill. I reply, “I’m not a runner, I walk on the treadmill, I’ll fall if I run.” But Dale says “you can do it” and I do. He takes me outdoors, wants me to walk with giant steps and squat each time I step. I tell him “I’m not an athlete, I’m clumsy, I’ll fall and hurt myself.” But Dale says “you can do it”, and I do.
Dale is full of charm and charisma, as patient as a saint, and as tenacious as a tiger. My six sons tell me I must keep this man in my life, even if I must forgo other pleasures.
These six boys, all of whom are older than Dale, are hoping for another 40-50 years of freedom from a helpless, sickly mother. But I know they are right because I’m hoping for another 70 years of travel and adventure. I just returned from a trip that would tax the endurance of a 40 year old. I owe my ability to survive such trips to Dale and his training. His certain confidence in me, his persistence in pushing me even harder will keep me strong enough to live the lifestyle I enjoy. How lucky I am to have found such a treasure with The Training Studio almost in my backyard.
“The Best Day of My Life!”
I started my journey with only a vague notion that I wanted to do an Ironman, with really no idea of what that meant exactly or what all that that would entail. Oh, and I had not really done a triathlon before and couldn’t swim. So, I reached out to Dale and Amy of The Training Studio for help, knowing they would have their hands full.
Dale provided the Master Plan, the Big Picture that kept me on track for over a year. With his guidance, advice and counsel, I found myself achieving one milestone after the next. I was doing things I wasn’t sure that I could do. In the final weeks leading up to Ironman, everything came together, just as Dale said it would and I peaked in time for the race.
The biggest challenge proved to be the open water swim. After a couple of really bad starts, Dale, approached me, and asked if he could help. Would swimming with me be helpful? Not one to accept help willingly, I jumped on the offer out of desperation. He swam beside me stroke for stroke through my first ½ Ironman. I’d like to say that I didn’t need it, but just seeing him side-stroking alongside me was a key turning point. I didn’t see any of the other local coaches assisting their athletes in this way. When I got out of the Ohio River that day, I knew I would be able to pursue my Ironman dream.
Amy did the same for me on race day and trained beside me day in and day out. Her advice was priceless and her presence throughout the journey gave it warmth, laughter and special meaning that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.
So, to Dale and Amy, I thank you both for the “Best Day of My Life” and one the greatest years filled with achievement.
I also trained with a laminated card in my pocket and carried it on race day. Here’s what it said:
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt
“Caring and Kind Personal Training Experience”
“Having a facility like The Training Studio is quite a comfort for someone who does not live in town. It has a welcoming atmosphere, extremely professional, encouraging and I always leave wanting more. I wish I lived in Louisville all year round as Dale and his staff give a confident, caring and kind personal training experience.”
“Not all Trainers are the Same”
“In 2002 I joined a fitness center to get back in shape. At the time I was 66 years old, diagnosed with arthritis, severe emphysema and COPD. After two years working with a personal trainer, I became very discouraged. I hadn’t seen any improvement in my physical condition. I hadn’t lost any weight, didn’t not feel any different and still had to stop several times climbing stairs because of my emphysema.
In 2004, I attended a Women’s Expo at my church. Stacey Hardin was speaking on health and fitness. I was very impressed by what she had to say and decided to give her a call. That phone call literally changed my life. I have lost 25 pounds, 6% body fat and have gone from a size 16 pant to a 10. Even better, I now can go straight up a flight of stairs without stopping, which is a good thing, since Stacey’s studio is on the second floor. One of my doctors said I have the heart of a 20 year old (pretty good for someone who is now 73).
One of the things I appreciate most about the Training Studio is that they really listen to their clients and tailor fitness programs to fit each person’s individual health and physical ability, but always with a goal to increase strength, endurance and to improve overall health. All of the trainers, Stacey, Dale and Amy are very caring people and want to do the best for their clients.
Coming to the Training Studio was one of the best decisions of my life. If the studio were to be rated, in my opinion, it would be a 10!