Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jeanne Kettles- One Year of Inspiration!

Jeanne joined Power Fitness PDX for the Challenge. When she called the first time, I remember hanging up thinking I hope this woman can do the Challenge for herself. I have a feeling she could get so much out of it if she allows herself to believe in herself.  Guess what, she did and is PHENOMENAL!! Jeanne has inspired so many others without realizing it and has more strength than she once believed. To say I have been honored to train Jeanne and have her be part of Power Fitness PDX is an understatement. Jeanne also taught me to believe in my own strengths as a trainer and coach, as there are little nuggets brought out that can help every client on many levels. Let Jeanne inspire you to take the time to Challenge the POWER of YOU! 

Jeanne (on left eating), New Years Eve 2010
Jeanne Kettles

This time last year I was floundering…big time!  I was burned out:  overwhelmed, overweight, under a tremendous amount of stress, and feeling totally depleted.   After three years of a challenging Masters program followed suddenly and unexpectedly by three years of a nasty divorce which left me totally broke and completely on my own as a single mother with no job, I felt “washed up” on some strange shore as the divorce became final and I landed a wonderful but demanding full time job.  I had been “coping” with years of stress by self-medicating with all the wrong food and drinking, staying up late “too tired to work out”, forgetting myself and throwing everything into caring for my children and the demands of life.  I wanted things to change, and I realized the only way they could would be to change the course I was on – but how?

I saw a postcard for Power Fitness PDX which boldly affirmed, YOU have the power, strength and courage to make your life the best yet. Without even realizing it, you possess incredible determination and dedication to be your most active self just need a little nudge, education, and support”.  It’s like Erin was talking directly to me.  I went on line and read about the women’s only boot camp and Erin’s philosophy.   I remember my first conversation with Erin: it was remarkably easy to talk with her about my fears and reservations “would everyone be more advanced than me? – I’m really out of shape”  She encouraged me by letting me know that although everyone might seem at different fitness levels that everyone had their challenges and that was the point – we would come together as a group to challenge ourselves – together.  I made the commitment to do the fitness challenge – a three month intensive diet and exercise boot camp.  I never imagined how it would change my life.

I tried and I cried.  I sweat and I hurt and rode the waves: from the troughs of fearful doubt and self-loathing to the crests of accomplishment and self-affirmation.  When my determination threatened to falter, Erin and the women of the group helped nudge me back with an understanding comment or self-revelation that reminded me I was not alone.  The laughter and “way to go!”s we fed each other with sincerity through the grunts, groans and sweats, bonded us in camaraderie, mutual respect and appreciation as we each challenged ourselves and each other to “dig deep and play hard” and bring it!

Jeanne looking & FEELING great December 2011
I lost 10 pounds those first three months, but I lightened up more than that.  I found a part of myself that had been buried in heavier weight for a long time.  I signed up for the year, knowing it was going to take a long term commitment to myself to see me through to where I wanted to be.  But Erin always kept it interesting with some fun and cutting edge way to push all our workouts to the max - and not take no (or slow) for an answer!  She is famous for casually "suggesting” to the group, “You know what would be fun…” and then get  us all signing up for See Jane Run 5K or 10K – or some other race or half marathon - even if we never ran a race before!  And we had a blast!  Even though I wasn’t yet able to run the full distance straight through, I paced myself and pushed myself and completed a 5K.  And the crazy lift it gave me (“I did it!”) fed into my increased commitment to pushing my training and see exercise as fun.   My kids are ever more proud of me and it gives them strength and encouragement to see me be active and make better choices for my well-being.  Now we often “work out” together and they don’t ever seem to grumble anymore about walking someplace instead of taking the car.

One day, months later, as I lugged my workout bag with 2 twelve pound weights, 2 five pound weights and a full large water bottle, I realized that I had actually lost that much weight (and a little more: forty pounds and twenty inches)!  I laughed in amazement that I wasn’t carrying that around anymore and how good it felt to feel energetic every day, throw out my size 18 clothes and shop for size 10 instead!  And the fun part was sharing that with the group of friends who had seen me from the start of this journey and have them celebrate with laughter and joy too!

I can’t say enough about the incredible spirit and skill Erin brings to her work in guiding the group and each participant on our individual paths.  She is knowledgeable and fit, yes, but something so much more.  It’s not everyone whose passion burns so bright and true that it sparks the hearts of others even when they feel burned out or their light seems doused.  Erin and Power Fitness PDX are amazing and I recommend the experience to anyone – no matter where you are in your journey to Challenge the Power of You.

Annie (Challenge Winner 2011), Coach Erin Kreitz Shirey, Jeanne - Holiday Party 12/2/11

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