Why I Value My Fitness Plus Trainer

Laura Coombs (left) with Fitness Plus client Peggy HendersonIn the spirit of Thanksgiving, Fitness Plus held a contest in November 2012 called “Why I Value My Fitness Plus Trainer.”
Congratulations to Peggy Henderson for the winning entry. Peggy receives two free training sessions at Fitness Plus and will be featured in an upcoming Fitness Plus ad in Chevy Chaser magazine, with a photo of her and her trainer, Laura Coombs.

Here is Peggy’s essay:
Last December, I visited my doctor for my annual checkup and she stated: “You are 50 pounds overweight and your blood sugar is up. It is time to put your on medicine for Type II diabetes. “I left her office feeling disgusted with myself but equally determined to do something about it. I would not take one more medicine for a self-inflicted illness!
Together with my husband, we decided that 2012 would be the year we finally made a commitment to gaining and maintaining good health.
I have been an educator for the past 25 years. I know what good teaching looks like. To be successful, I knew I would need a trainer who would be an excellent teacher. And that is exactly what Sheila found for us. She introduced us to Laura Coombs. Laura recognized immediately that I hated exercise, that I was not very good at exercise, and that I would need lots of support and encouragement to be successful. And that is exactly what she has delivered to both my husband and me.
When I decided to write this, I searched for a quote to explain what it is that has made Laura such an excellent teacher. Dan Rather said this about great teachers, “The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes, and leads you onto the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.”
On a weekly basis since February, Laura has tugged me, pushed me, coddled me, listened to me, encouraged me, instructed me, and, on occasion, ‘poked me with the ugly truth.’ In all that time, she has never once belittled me nor made me feel stupid or inadequate. When I complain, she ignores me; when I complain some more, she brings out her sharp wit and distracts me with good humor.
Fitness Plus client Peggy Henderson working with personal trainer Laura CoombsI would like to say that I am now addicted to exercise or at least that I love going to sessions; neither of those statements is true.
However, as I sit here some 30-plus lbs. lighter, a little bit stronger, and not on that additional medication, I would like to say that I am thankful that we had the good sense to visit Fitness Plus and hire Laura Coombs.

Fitness Plus personal trainer Laura Coombs and client Peggy HendersonWhile I am no prize student and I have no illusions that I ever will be, I am extremely grateful to Laura for helping me overcome my absolute hatred of exercise, gyms, and personal trainers. It took a special lady to do that for me. Thank you, Laura Coombs, you are the best!
—Peggy Henderson

Other clients had good things to say about their trainers. Here are some more testimonials of gratitude.

Client: Bill Goodman
Trainer: Laura Coombs

Laura Coombs, personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington, KY“OK, let’s do it again,” Laura said, as I lay gasping for breath on the gym floor, sweat coursing its way down my face like a small stream seeking a pool to puddle into. Looking up at her in disbelief, I stammered, “Ahhh, ohhh, kinda thought that was the last round. I’m done.” Laura arranged the ropes and the ball for another round.

“You’ve got one more in ya. Come on.”

I did manage to squeeze in a gulp of water. Then it was back on the floor for an up-side-down spider crawl, an over-the-head leg kick to standing position and the dreaded undulating rope slam and double side winder drill — and I thought all along heavy rope was used to tie ships to the dock.

This is what a good personal trainer does for you — pushes you to the limit, encourages you to do better, builds confidence, offers nutritious eating and drinking tips — and if you catch her on a good day, she’ll throw in a movie or book suggestion; all this and a big smile makes a good personal training session worth it.

—Bill Goodman

Client: Margie Hacker
Trainer: Chris Williams

Chris Williams, personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington, KYI am healthier today than I was 10 years ago. Chris Williams took an old unfit lady and made her feel better and stronger than she had ever been. I don’t even hurt anywhere.

While making me work at some things I don’t like (I am making a list), Chris and I laugh, gossip, discuss world matters, sports and kid around; making the hour go faster. Although I don’t like to admit it, after an hour I feel better and am glad I came. Chris has kept me coming for nine years. I am very grateful. Thanks for caring.

—Margie Hacker

Client: Ricki Rosenberg
Trainer: Chris Williams

The most important thing about Chris is that he is the best . . . the very best. He always says “perfect” and “great job,” even if it’s not exactly true. When I’m tired and not really in the mood to work out, he varies what we do and keeps me motivated. If I have to switch our session time, he works hard to make it happen. But the most important thing about Chris is that he loves his job, making him an enthusiastic and hard-working trainer.

—Ricki Rosenberg

Client: Bari Ewing
Trainer: Katie Dennison

Katie Dennison, personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington, KYIn June of 2012 I was turning 31. I was overweight and more sedentary than I wanted to be. I felt unhealthy and took as many as 7 medications a day.

About to pay off my car, I decided that I would put that morning toward bettering myself. I met Katie Dennison in 2011 doing Team in Training, so I inquired about her personal training services.

Toward the end of the month, I came in for my first session. I liked how training and changing the way I think about food was not overwhelming, but instead it has always been encouraging. I’ve never dreaded an upcoming session with Katie.

Like most people, my time is at a premium. I’m a full-time mechanical engineer, travelling as many as 10 nights a month, and a part time master’s student. I love how I can just look at each week, pick a day or two to come in, and then get billed at the end of the month for those sessions. This has been the best way I could spend my money.

I never expected it to click so well with me. I feel wonderful. In 4 months, I’ve lost 16 lbs. I’m down to taking just 2 medications a day. It’s so easy too. My body wants me to eat cleaner and eat to fuel my more active lifestyle.

I find if I have a free evening, I’m excited to schedule another session with Katie or find a local exercise class to attend. I cannot thank Fitness Plus and Katie enough for leading me toward the healthier life I wanted and for helping me feel like I can continue this way for the rest of my life.

—Bari Ewing

Client: Hesan Haghnazar
Trainer: Katie Dennison

My Fitness Plus personal trainer is the most important factor to wellness in my life. I say this because first of all she diets and knows exactly what to eat and she is not a hypocrite: she practices what she preaches.

Secondly, she consistently and routinely exercises because she is in the gym almost every day working out with her clients and she never takes a break; the key is she is truly passionate for her work and is goal oriented (she is my hero).

Another key is that she is a good role model because she leads a healthy lifestyle and is very intuitive. I love a good role model because they are like lighthouses in life’s turbulent ocean: they stand high and tall as a beacon of hope.

Most importantly of all is that she is the de facto icon of wellness in my mind because she defines the lifestyle I want for the rest of my life. She is a true symbol of wellness to humanity and I have felt the aura radiate from her since the first day I met her before she began this career. Everyone needs a trigger to motivate themselves; Katie Dennison is my trigger. In conclusion, my Fitness Plus personal trainer means the world to me. Thank you.

—Hesan Haghnazar

Client: Brenda Lampton
Trainer: Amy Ball

Amy Ball, personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington, KYThe experts tell us that the older we get, the more important it is to exercise and stay active. This advice, plus my desire to improve my golf game, is why I keep coming to see Amy Ball at Fitness Plus.

Except for the time I spend in Florida, I have been scheduling weekly sessions with Amy since April 2012 — with very good results. Amy’s routines have allowed me to stay physically fit and healthy.

My flexibility, my balance, my upper body strength — all keep improving and will get even better. I can see the results of my sessions with Amy on the golf course. My drives are longer and my swing is effortless, yet much more accurate. My golf handicap is the lowest it has been in 7 years.

Of course there are days that I would rather NOT show up for my workout, but I do anyway — and I feel really good afterwards. I will be sticking with this fitness routine at Fitness Plus — a very important part of my life. Thanks, Amy!

—Brenda Lampton

Client: Jo Leone
Trainer: Jackie Hanson

Jackie Hanson, personal trainer at Fitness Plus in Lexington, KYMy friend said, “Why don’t you exercise?” and I said, “Oh, my aching back.” My friend said, “Come to Fitness Plus, meet Jackie — she’ll get you back on track.”

So I did. We stretch, we use balls, we lift weights; we walk, get on the floor, use bands (which I hate). So, even on a dark, gloomy day, Jackie’s bright smile makes going to the gym okay.

She is so positive, so energetic, she has really helped me. Some days after class I must treat her to coffee or tea. She has taught me to be steady, work hard, not to slack; I recommend Jackie Hanson if you’ve ever had a stiff, aching back.

—Jo Leone

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