Stories of Inspiration
Scott Saunders' Story
Scott had worked out on-and-off for his entire adult life. Workouts consisted of lifting weights, running, tennis, or basketball, but as unexpected life events happened, he found himself getting off track. “I would get in a habit of working out for a few months, or even years, and then stop working out for a period of time as life happened.” Over time, Scott began to notice that his workouts often became mundane and without much intensity or excitement. “I was not overweight, nor was I even in bad shape (at least I felt that way at the time), but I wasn’t happy with my workouts or my overall fitness level.”
In the summer of 2012, Scott met Dayna Crenshaw while attending one of her outdoor summer boot camps with his wife. Scott knew he had found the challenge he had been looking for. “I knew this kind of workout was for me... Dayna’s boot camp exposed me to all kinds of new workouts and exercises, things I had no desire to do on my own (like lunges, pull ups, and box jumps). But these things were actually sort of fun now – even at 6:00 AM! Dayna was always encouraging and challenged me to try new things and to do more with what I was already familiar with. In addition, because of the boot camp group setting, I now had other people in my class to motivate, encourage, and challenge me. They also helped to keep me accountable. In addition, Dayna’s workouts were always new, never the same, never boring, and best of all – I started to see results.” Scott began attending Dayna’s regular CrossTraining fitness group in September of 2012, and has been going ever since.
“After several months of attending regularly, I gained 10 pounds of muscle.” Ready to take on a new challenge, and fueled by his gains, Scott decided to take his fitness to the kitchen and implement a lifestyle transformation that incorporated not only physical exercise, but also nutrition. “I had always been on a “See Food” diet, but I decided to take Dayna’s nutritional advice to heart and I started making healthier eating choices. Now I am just under my starting weight, but am leaner, stronger, and all around more fit than ever!”
“Now I actually look forward to getting up at 5:30 AM on MWF to go workout. Thanks to Dayna for creating an environment that motivates me and for providing challenging workouts that have produced results for me. I can honestly say that I am much fitter at age 54 than I have ever been, and it’s due in large part to Dayna’s structured and focused workouts, motivation, and encouragement along the way.”
Scott’s fitness journey is a testament to Dayna’s expertise in creating a fun, no-pressure, and encouraging environment where people of all fitness goals, whether it be weight loss, or better health.
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Tracy Irwin's Story
Four years ago, Tracy’s life was dramatically changed when she realized a need to transform her lifestyle. “I grew up with a big emphasis on weight. My weight fluctuated between 180-200 lbs… I was taking 350 mg of antidepressants daily, had borderline high blood pressure, and high cholesterol (between 350-375) which I was taking medicine to reduce—I was in a bad place both emotionally and physically.”
After being encouraged to begin exercising by her husband, Tracy met Dayna at the local gym and began a life-transforming journey, not only toward physical health, but emotional health as well. “Dayna was a lifeline for me. She has been the only one that got it through my thick, stubborn, head that this is a lifestyle of CHOICE for health and wellbeing for a LIFETIME. No quick fixes. I have been on every diet known to man and ultimately they all failed because I was looking for a quick fix.”
After beginning a regular exercise regimen with Dayna and adopting healthier eating habits, Tracy began to notice positive changes. “My most important changes have not happened quickly, and I am still changing. I am stronger, quicker, have more endurance, sleep better, eat healthier, have more energy, and better balance. I am thirty pounds lighter and countless inches smaller! This is not the most important part though as this is the first time in my life that I can say THE SCALE IS NOT MY BEING! I am not defined by a number on the scale and I can say that with confidence.”
“I am now taking 37.5 mg of antidepressants daily with plans to completely discontinue. With exercise and diet that is possible in lots of cases.” Tracy’s blood pressure has also returned to a healthy level at 120/80 and she no longer takes medicine to control her cholesterol. “I am currently using Omegas, Flax seed and garlic, diet and exercise to reduce my cholesterol numbers… I started at 375 and my latest number was 204. Still high, but greatly reduced and taking no medicine to do this.”
“Dayna has been instrumental in this four-year journey, though it is still ongoing as I work toward my new normal. These changes have taken place with my hard work and the encouragement from my husband and family. I am also grateful for the encouragement from all of my friends in my week-day morning bootcamp classes and weekend running buddies. Cassandra Gann has helped me with nutritional eating for life.”
While the road has been long and challenging, Tracy has seen the benefits of hard work and dedication to lifestyle transformation. “I have been working with Dayna for four years and I can truly say that I celebrated my fiftieth birthday a lot healthier than my fortieth birthday—both mentally and physically.”
Joe Gordon's Story
On, February, 4, 2015, Joe Gordon (38) was given a diagnosis of peripheral artery disease. He had two blocked arteries – one in each leg.
Prior to this diagnosis, Joe had been experiencing cramping in his legs when walking more than 30 yards. His church offered some diagnostic testing through a third party vendor and Joe’s wife, Courtney, urged him to get checked out "just in case”. The medical technician stated he had abnormal blood flow between his upper and lower extremities and that he should be examined by his doctor as soon as he could get in. Joe’s doctor ordered sonograms of his legs and the blocked arteries were found.
According to Joe's surgeon, he would have angioplasty to clear the blockages; however, he indicated this would not be a permanent fix. The blockages would continue to return in the future and Joe would need to have the procedure again and again until the resulting scar tissues would prevent the surgeons from cleaning out Joe's arteries effectively. The next step would be leg bypass surgery, though if unsuccessful, the only remaining option would be to amputate Joe's legs. Joe’s surgeon advised him to delay angioplasty for as long as possible as this would signify a point of no return.
Joe's surgeon referred him to his partner, a preventative cardiologist, to discuss “lifestyle” changes. As a result of this meeting, Joe began to make many life changes. He quit chewing tobacco and began a stringent regimen of weight and cardiovascular training. He also changed his diet and eating habits, took supplements, and began eating a mostly plant-based, whole foods diet. In just over six months, Joe lost 25 lbs. due to these changes.
At the end of that six month period, Joe went in for a sonogram check-up and received exciting news. Joe's doctor told him that he could not believe what he saw—While blockages were still present, Joe's legs had 100% normal blood flow. Due to his lifestyle changes, exercise in particular, Joe's body created new collateral pathways (smaller arteries) to do the job of moving the blood through his legs. Joe's surgeon repeatedly stated “this is amazing…this is amazing…” and indicated that if he continues this healthy lifestyle, Joe will never need surgery for his condition.
This is indeed amazing, and a testament of the power of many prayers, God's grace, favor, and Joe's willingness to make difficult but lasting changes. Joe's family stated they were thankful for the role Dayna has played in pushing Joe in order to help him keep going.
The Gordon Family wants you to know that if you are struggling with a chronic physical illness, disease or diagnosis, there are many things that can be done to better your health including eating a health diet, moving your body as it was meant to be moved, cultivating a supportive family/social environment to help you reach your goals, and praying! In the end, Joe's family is proud of him and the sacrifices he has made for them.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”