Fu­ture of Fit­ness

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We hear from the ris­ing stars in fit­ness.

Build up: Karey Nor­thing­ton has been an ath­lete since she was young — she was a soc­cer player and medaled as a track ath­lete in the state cham­pi­onship — but she im­mersed her­self in body­build­ing to help build back her self-es­teem that was shat­tered in adult­hood. She is now a gym owner with her hus­band and is also an IFBB Bikini pro.

Foodie: Although she is a fan of frozen yo­gurt and Oreo cook­ies, she saves those treats for the week­end. Dur­ing the week, her diet stays very clean. “I prep on Sundays for the week. My go-to foods to prep are ground tur­key, grilled chicken and steak, roasted sweet pota­toes, hard-boiled eggs and spaghetti squash,” she ex­plains. “My meal choices in­clude home­made chipo­tle bowls with chicken or steak, rice, gua­camole, Greek yo­gurt and pico de gallo.” Frit­tatas and mini quiches are also in her ro­ta­tion.

Why not: Some­times it’s hard to stay fo­cused and mo­ti­vated, and Nor­thing­ton’s best ad­vice is to “re­mem­ber your ‘why.’ I keep a list of all the rea­sons — big and small. I want to live a healthy life­style, and when I’m feel­ing un­mo­ti­vated, I read from the list. Some weeks, I’m read­ing the list hourly,” she says. She also finds mo­ti­va­tion from her mom. “She is my role model. She passed away when I was in mid­dle school but was a shin­ing ex­am­ple of hard work, ethics, love and kind­ness. I strive to em­u­late her light and lov­ing per­son­al­ity.”

Adren­a­line rush: Bas­ket­ball was Melissa Klave’s pas­sion. She made the var­sity team as a fresh­man in high school and be­came an all-area ath­lete. “Af­ter high school, I was in search of a new goal,” she says. “I be­gan run­ning half marathons in search of the adren­a­line rush. Once I did a cou­ple, I needed some­thing more. I be­gan work­ing out at a CrossFit gym and be­came ad­dicted to the com­pet­i­tive at­mos­phere.”

Hard work: “My fa­vorite move is a snatch. The most re­ward­ing things in life are the things that don’t come easy, and this move has been any­thing but easy to per­fect,” she says. Klave spreads her train­ing out through the day. “I lift weights six days a week with two 20-minute HIIT cardio ses­sions a day — my first one is at 5 a.m., and it’s fasted to help with fat loss, and my sec­ond one is at the end of the day af­ter all my meals have been fin­ished. I lift in the mid­dle of the day,” she ex­plains.

Ob­sta­cle race: When asked if she had to over­come ob­sta­cles to her fit­ness, Klave says, “I don’t know any­one who was able to reach their fit­ness peak with­out over­com­ing ob­sta­cles. There will be days where you phys­i­cally can’t get out of bed due to your work­out the day be­fore, and there will be days where you men­tally quit be­cause you have reached your limit. These are the days you look back on when you reach your goal and can say it was worth it.”

Home­made: Tr­isha Green­law started con­sis­tently train­ing when she was 20. “Prior to that, I was do­ing Tae Bo with Billy Blanks in my liv­ing room along with Turbo Jam by Cha­lene John­son,” she says. “I was al­ways do­ing some sort of pro­gram, but I did most of my fit­ness at home.” How­ever, it was al­ways a part of her life. Both par­ents worked out, so weights were in­trigu­ing to Green­law. “The idea of sculpt­ing mus­cles seemed fas­ci­nat­ing. It made me feel strong, and I wanted to have big mus­cles like my dad,” she says.

Con­stant chaos: Green­law’s child­hood was filled with sub­stance abuse, phys­i­cal and ver­bal abuse, and con­stant anx­i­ety, and fit­ness was her only es­cape. “Fit­ness seemed like the only place to feel free and have a sense of con­trol. I would run, ride my bike, go in our base­ment to train or just run around with friends,” she ex­plains. “It helped clear my mind and calm my nerves, eas­ing the anx­i­ety and fear I felt.”

Pos­i­tive out­come: Af­ter en­dur­ing that rough child­hood, she found her­self preg­nant and in an abu­sive re­la­tion­ship at age 16. Fit­ness, again, was her only place of peace and em­pow­er­ment. Now, in a healthy and lov­ing re­la­tion­ship (she met her hus­band in the gym, nat­u­rally!), Green­law hopes to en­cour­age and em­power other women to keep push­ing and never give up no mat­ter their cir­cum­stances.

Role mod­els: Although she has worked out most of her adult life, Nicole Alexan­der didn’t do it con­sis­tently un­til about a year ago. “I be­came in­spired be­cause I gained weight and I felt fa­tigued. My health is im­por­tant, and I needed to do some­thing about it,” she ex­plains. She finds in­spi­ra­tion in ev­ery woman who takes the time to not only care for their fam­ily and friends but also to take care of their own men­tal, spir­i­tual and phys­i­cal health. “Lov­ing and car­ing for our­selves does not have to be put to the side,” she says.

Go fig­ure: Alexan­der is cur­rently train­ing for a fig­ure com­pe­ti­tion, so she is strength train­ing six days a week. “I also do fasted cardio four to five days a week,” she says. “I do my cardio at 5 a.m., and I weight train late af­ter­noon.” She gen­er­ally trains alone so she can stay more fo­cused. “I need to man­age my time, and this way I can uti­lize my en­tire time just on work­ing out and not con­vers­ing.”

Food prep: Although she in­dulges once a week (“Lay’s po­tato chips and choco­late­cov­ered al­monds are my fa­vorite cheat foods!”), she eats pretty clean the rest of the time. “I’m ter­ri­ble at prep­ping, so I tend to buy frozen veg­gies, frozen chicken and beef strips, and pre-made sal­ads, and I make rice in bulk and freeze it. Then I can just throw what I need in con­tain­ers in the morn­ing and go,” she says.

Body and mind: When she was 16, Tanya Of­fen­burger started work­ing out at the lo­cal YMCA. “My dad in­spired me,” she ex­plains. “He had a rou­tine of lift­ing weights and play­ing bas­ket­ball. Now he’s 63 and does CrossFit three times a week. My grand­fa­ther, now in his 80s, can still do a pis­tol squat! I be­lieve my body and mind are ex­tremely con­nected, and it’s ap­par­ent in both my dad and grand­fa­ther. It’s truly in­spir­ing.”

Con­stantly var­ied: Of­fen­burger, who usu­ally trains in the morn­ing, varies her work­outs. “My train­ing con­sists of sprints two to three times a week. The other days, I’ll ro­tate be­tween re­former Pi­lates, Olympic lifts, HIIT or cal­is­then­ics,” she ex­plains. “A few years ago, I cre­ated a class that in­cor­po­rates re­former Pi­lates with ket­tle­bells, lift­ing and HIIT. It’s such a good work­out! On my one to two days of rest, I might go for a long walk or for a bike ride with my hus­band.”

Com­pet­i­tive na­ture: Although she en­joys train­ing in a group, Of­fen­burger prefers to train alone. “When I was go­ing to a CrossFit gym, I found out that I had a com­pet­i­tive na­ture. Be­ing in a group made me push my­self harder,” she says. “I think it’s con­ta­gious to be around those who have a life­style you share. How­ever, I’ve taken that com­pet­i­tive­ness and have learned to push my­self. When I need that voice to keep push­ing, it’s there.”

Melissa Klave Troy, Michi­gan Stats: 29 • 115 lb • 5’2” Gig: Doc­tor of Chi­ro­prac­tic

Karey Nor­thing­ton Gilbert, Arizona Stats: 35 • 132 lb • 5’6” Gig: Busi­ness owner

Tanya Of­fen­burger San An­to­nio Stats: 36 • 130 lb • 5’7” Gig: Re­former Pi­lates in­struc­tor

Tr­isha Green­law Saco, Maine Stats: 36 • 115 lb • 5’2” Gig: Health and well­ness coach

Nicole Alexan­der Chicago Stats: 44 • 172 lb • 5’10” Gig: Nurse prac­ti­tioner

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