FitnessBank https://www.fitnessbank.fit Make Every Step Count Thu, 16 Jan 2020 16:59:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://www.fitnessbank.fit/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/cropped-StepTrackerIcon-32x32.png FitnessBank https://www.fitnessbank.fit 32 32 Meet Ben DeSantis https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-ben-desantis/ https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-ben-desantis/#respond Tue, 17 Dec 2019 15:45:16 +0000 http://www.fitnessbank.fit/?p=2615 Active Dad and High School Baseball Coach Home base: Smyrna,  GA Home life: Father of daughter Jemma, and sons Blake and Zane Work life: High school teacher and baseball coach Age: 39 On any given day, you’re likely to find high school baseball coach Ben DeSantis out on the school track, slipping in an early […]

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Active Dad and High School Baseball Coach

Home base: Smyrna,  GA

Home life: Father of daughter Jemma, and sons Blake and Zane

Work life: High school teacher and baseball coach

Age: 39

On any given day, you’re likely to find high school baseball coach Ben DeSantis out on the school track, slipping in an early morning run before the day gets hectic. He’s trained for many races, including half marathons, 5Ks and his favorite — the Marine Corps Marathon, which he completed in 2010. 

His team — and young family — keeps him on the move. Ben runs from foul pole to foul pole while the baseball team warms up, encouraging his players to join him after practice and games. He sometimes gets in more than seven miles before a game.

“I have a reputation with my players, who don’t like to run more than base to base,” says Ben. “The guys keep me young. I want to be the teacher-coach that can do whatever I ask of my students and players.”

When did being an active person become important to you?

“My first word was ‘ball’ and very little changed over the years. I played three sports as a student — baseball, basketball and soccer — and built a career as a coach. Sports has always been a part of my life.”

How do you incorporate steps into your day?

“Sometimes it’s as simple as walking around the classroom. I’m always pacing, always on my feet. I’ll walk laps in the gym, and do phone calls on the track or baseball field. And at home it’s fairly easy — I’m chasing kids around. Their level of energy and activity keeps me active, too.”

Who is your running tribe?

“I’m more of a lone wolf — cross country runners are more of my style. I’m usually by myself, out there running before dawn. The solitude of that time is important to me, allowing me to focus on what my day will look like. It’s a chance to pray and clear my head.”

QUICK TAKES

Favorite time to run: The school track before dawn. I don’t have to worry about cars or a lot of people.

Favorite song to run to: If I listen to music, I just put my phone on shuffle. It can go from Metallica to Johnny Cash to Frank Sinatra to Tupac. I don’t want to just get in the groove and throw off the mental process of the run.

Favorite post-workout snack: A handful of almonds and a protein shake, or a big glass of chocolate milk!

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Meet Jessica Hughes https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-jessica-hughes/ https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-jessica-hughes/#respond Thu, 12 Dec 2019 18:23:27 +0000 http://www.fitnessbank.fit/?p=2312 Mom on the move Home base: Roswell, GA Home life: Hudson and Henley’s mom Work life: Personal trainer, blogger Age: 32 Jessica Hughes is a woman on the move. ACE-certified personal trainer. Digital influencer. And, most importantly, busy Mom to Hudson, 6, and Henley, 3. She’s been training clients since 2015 and has a true […]

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Mom on the move

Home base: Roswell, GA

Home life: Hudson and Henley’s mom

Work life: Personal trainer, blogger

Age: 32

Jessica Hughes is a woman on the move. ACE-certified personal trainer. Digital influencer. And, most importantly, busy Mom to Hudson, 6, and Henley, 3. She’s been training clients since 2015 and has a true passion for helping women transform into their healthiest selves.

It was the birth of her son that opened her eyes to the importance of being healthy, inspiring Jessica to not only get herself in top shape, but to help others do so, too.

“I’ve always been athletic, but Hudson’s birth drove me to a whole new level of fitness,” says Jessica, a single mother who lives in Roswell, GA. “It was important for me to teach my son — and later my daughter — to live healthy lifestyle.”

Becoming a mother was the beginning of a new phase of Jessica’s professional life, too. She’s the driving force behind the “Happily Hughes” brand, which includes personal training, multiple top-tier sponsorships, and a social media tribe that includes more than 100,000 people.”

What is your go-to workout?

“I love lifting weights and doing circuit training. After my son was born, I wanted to be stronger — strong enough to pick him up as he grew, play with him and be strong for him. I’ll start with a 10-minute HIIT warmup, and follow that with 50 minutes of weightlifting that targets specific body areas. I also like yoga and dancing with my daughter. She’s a little actress, and already ‘Instagram famous.’”

How do you incorporate steps into your day?

“I generally get 10,000 steps every single day. With two young kids, it’s harder to sit down than get steps! We take hikes, walk through the neighborhood, ride bikes — we’re always on the move. We live about a half-mile from downtown Roswell. A walk to dinner is a perfect way to wear them out for the night. But when I’m on my own, I’m a morning walker. It’s a very peaceful time of day for me.”

Top 3 ideas to get your steps in:

  1. Make steps a priority
  2. Take a break from your desk and walk around
  3. Use it as an excuse to get outside with kids

QUICK TAKES

Favorite place to walk or run: Along the Chattahoochee River

Favorite song to run to: It changes … right now? Better Now by Post Malone

Favorite spot-workout snack: I love a good protein shake

Follow Jessica on Instagram and Facebook!

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Meet Dr. Gilles LaMarche https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-dr-gilles-lamarche/ https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-dr-gilles-lamarche/#respond Mon, 18 Nov 2019 10:00:00 +0000 http://www.fitnessbank.fit/?p=1200 A Fit Frenchman  Home base:  Marietta, GA Work life: Vice president of University Advancement at Life University Personal life: Married to Dr. Melissa Briscoe LaMarche, a chiropractor; father and grandfather Age: Young-hearted 64 Dr. Gilles LaMarche started running competitively in high school, and he’s never looked back. That was the start of a commitment to […]

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A Fit Frenchman 

Home base:  Marietta, GA

Work life: Vice president of University Advancement at Life University

Personal life: Married to Dr. Melissa Briscoe LaMarche, a chiropractor; father and grandfather

Age: Young-hearted 64

Dr. Gilles LaMarche started running competitively in high school, and he’s never looked back. That was the start of a commitment to fitness and health he continues to embrace today as a busy executive at Life University in Marietta. Six years ago, he hosted the first Run Lights of Life 5K, a race that runs through the campus’s annual holiday light display that features more than 1.5 million LED lights. 

“It’s my favorite race,” says Dr. LaMarche. “Hosting it suits me because I’ve been running most of my life. Now I run for health reasons, and to stay fit. And, of course, being a Frenchman, I like good food. So running keeps me fit and allows me to enjoy the foods I appreciate.”

What’s your favorite spot to run?

“I run several times a week, and like to run the trails at Kennesaw Mountain. When I travel, though, I run more and use my runs to experience a city. I especially like to run in Europe — Copenhagen, Rome, Paris. I’m exploring before most people are awake, and watch people open up their shops, sweep the sidewalks, prepare for the day. There’s beauty in seeing the world wake up.”

How do you work steps into your day?

“I think it’s important to commit to yourself, and make your health a priority. Building exercise and activity into my day keeps me healthy in mind, body and spirit. I’m not going to break any records on my runs, but I’m out there. We can be better servant leaders when we have a routine that keeps us fit and sharp.”

Who do you run with?

“I run early in the morning, so that means I’m usually on my own for my regular runs. I’ve also met a lot of people through running 5K races — I do those races because I like to be surrounded by the energy of people who run.”

Top 3 ideas to get your steps in:

  1. Take advantage of the “urban gym” by doing things like taking the stairs and parking in the most remote spot of the parking lot.
  2. Walk between airport terminals instead of taking the train.
  3. Invest in a standing desk, and move around your office whenever you can.

QUICK TAKES

Favorite running shoe: Asics

Favorite spot to walk/run: Trails at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

Favorite workout song: No music for me. I’m the quiet runner who soaks up the spiritual nature of what’s around me.

Fitness tracker: Fitbit

This year’s Lights of Life 5K will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. Register at www.life.edu/run2019  

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Meet James Welborn https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-james-welborn/ https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-james-welborn/#respond Thu, 14 Nov 2019 09:55:32 +0000 http://www.fitnessbank.fit/?p=1187 Army Veteran and Hiker Home base: Joplin, MO Work life: Army Veteran Age: 24 By 9:30 a.m. most mornings, Army veteran James Welborn met his 12,500-step goal for the day. By day’s end, he’d average an incredible 40,000 steps. James got his steps in by hiking an average of 18 to 19 miles a day. […]

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Army Veteran and Hiker

Home base: Joplin, MO

Work life: Army Veteran

Age: 24

By 9:30 a.m. most mornings, Army veteran James Welborn met his 12,500-step goal for the day. By day’s end, he’d average an incredible 40,000 steps. James got his steps in by hiking an average of 18 to 19 miles a day.

On May 9, 2019, James embarked on a grand adventure hiking the Continental Divide Trail, which starts at the Mexican border and runs through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana to the Canadian border. As James hikes the 3,100-mile-long trail he’ll pass through deserts, plains and mountains, going from 90-degree heat to negative wind chills in the Rocky Mountains.

Along the way, James is raising money for the Gary Sinise Foundation for veterans. His goal is to raise $3,100 — $1 for every mile he hikes.

“I joined the Army because I believe that liberty is not free and I couldn’t live off of someone else’s sacrifice. I had to do my part, too,” says James. “Veterans are my heroes. That’s why I decided to raise money for the Gary Sinise Foundation as a part of this hiking trip.”

As a kid, James played organized sports, but his real passion was exploring the outdoors. He enjoyed running around the woods on his parents’ property, hiking, canoeing and backpacking. He imagined he was an explorer like Lewis and Clark. Right after high school he canoed the entire Mississippi River. After his service in the Army ended, he felt compelled to go on this hiking trip before starting college on his GI bill. As he puts it, he’s on a real-life adventure now.

And what an adventure it is. He’s encountered all kinds of wildlife on the trail, but fortunately no grizzlies and wolves — but he’s heard the wolves. James says chills go down his spine every time he hears wolves howling during the night. He’s spotted 21 moose, six bald eagles, hundreds of elk, hundreds of antelope, hundreds of mule deer, two foxes, and six mountain goats and their babies. He came across a herd of wild horses in a basin in Wyoming. The stallion galloped towards James, stopped 20 feet away, stamped his feet and snorted at him. Then the whole herd turned direction and thundered across the plain, their manes blowing in the wind.

James says hiking the trail is all about planning for water and food. When he started in the desert in New Mexico, he had to get water from cattle tanks. Then in the mountains of Colorado, he was spoiled by plentiful ice cold, fresh streams of water. Once he got into the Great Basin of Wyoming, he was back to cattle tanks. Food on the trail is made up of dehydrated backpacking meals. James says he can’t carry enough food on the trail so once he gets to a town every five to six days, he eats as much as he can. Once, at a restaurant in Grand Lakes, CO, James ordered so much food it took two servers to bring it all to his table. He ate every last bite.

Due to an injury, James was forced to take a month off in June, so he wasn’t able to finish the trail this year. This year, James hiked from New Mexico to Dubois, WY, where he stopped to wait out the frigid winter. He’s hiked 1,915 miles and will pick up the trail in spring to finish the last 1,185 miles of his grand adventure.

Visit his website Cause for Adventure to learn more and donate to support his cause.

QUICK TAKES

Favorite hiking shoe: Brooks Cascadia. On the trail, James has gone through six pairs of shoes so far. He gets about 400 miles out of a pair before he needs another.

Favorite spot to hike: San Juan Mountains in Colorado and the Wind River Range in Wyoming. “These mountain ranges offer spectacular views. I fell in love with their beautiful and majestic massive granite peaks covered in snow that shoot to the sky.”

Favorite food on the trail: Mountain House beef stroganoff and chicken and dumplings freeze dried meals. “I’ve eaten so many, these are the last two flavors I can stand to eat.”

Favorite activity tracker: Fitbit

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Meet Brendan Hart https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-brendan-hart/ https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-brendan-hart/#respond Tue, 12 Nov 2019 15:44:13 +0000 http://www.fitnessbank.fit/?p=1193 A Runner at Heart Home base:  Washington, D.C. Work life: Banker Age: 39 As a bank professional and busy father of four (including a newborn), Brendan counts on a good run to recharge and stay focused. Growing up, he signed up for just about any sport available — soccer, lacrosse, basketball, baseball. That was the start […]

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A Runner at Heart

Home base:  Washington, D.C.

Work life: Banker

Age: 39

As a bank professional and busy father of four (including a newborn), Brendan counts on a good run to recharge and stay focused. Growing up, he signed up for just about any sport available — soccer, lacrosse, basketball, baseball. That was the start to an active lifestyle that remains with him today, and leads him to challenging races and introduces him to great people.

Formerly a road cyclist, he’s recently discovered the beauty of trail running.

“I’ve run for most my life on the road and would get a little bored but have found running on trails 100% not boring,” says Brendan. “Something about that environment is everchanging and just so peaceful.”

How do you describe yourself as an athlete or active person?

 “I love being outside. When I was younger, and with fewer kids, I used to go for long bike rides, but with a young family and a busy work-life time can be an issue.”

What is your go-to workout?

“These days it’s hard to find much time to do anything other than early morning runs. I’ve found a great group of folks that I run with most morning . We call ourselves the “District Coywolves (@districtcoywolves).” It’s a fun thing that brings us together and keeps us active.”

Where is your favorite race?

“Once I rediscovered my love for trails, I was all in. The Coywolves have a favorite spot in D.C. — Rock Creek Park, with miles and miles of amazing trails. It’s the right mix of peaceful surroundings and somewhat challenging terrain, smack in the middle of Washington DC. I’ve been running there to train forthe Hyner 25k Trail Race in North Bend, PA. Its a fantastic race with a great atmosphere from the runners and supporters, plus a ton of vert!”

What is your daily step goal? How likely are you to meet it most day?

“If it’s a running day then I will get 18-20k steps, but with my watch I’m more focused on tracking my distances. The steps just come with it. Other days that I am not running I get my steps in in the form of chasing my four kids around.”

Top 3 ideas to get your steps in:

  1. Do walking meetings whenever possible.
  2. In the city, walk, bike, don’t drive or Uber.
  3. Get out and enjoy it!

QUICK TAKES

Favorite workout song: None. I’m all natural. Sounds of the woods.

Favorite person or group to run with: District Coywolves

Favorite post-workout snack: Cold-brew coffee

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Meet Nadia White https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-nadia-white/ https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-nadia-white/#respond Fri, 08 Nov 2019 18:25:25 +0000 http://www.fitnessbank.fit/?p=1154 Wife and mother of two fur-babies Home base: Atlanta, GA Work life: Self Employed Age: 27 With more than 400,000 followers on Instagram, Nadia White is motivated to be a good example when it comes to fitness and healthy living. She keeps steps and exercising a priority in her busy days, committed to be the […]

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Wife and mother of two fur-babies

Home base: Atlanta, GA

Work life: Self Employed

Age: 27

With more than 400,000 followers on Instagram, Nadia White is motivated to be a good example when it comes to fitness and healthy living. She keeps steps and exercising a priority in her busy days, committed to be the healthiest version of herself possible.  With 25 pounds lost so far, her bucket list includes training to run 5Ks, maybe even a marathon.

“Now people come up to me and ask me what my workout routines look like or what I eat in a week,” says Nadia. “That encourages to me to keep up the momentum and stay active.”

Who do you connect with when it comes to living an active lifestyle?

“I’m always connecting with likeminded people online. Networking is huge in the space that I am in and so is staying active and being healthy. I find myself connecting with people at the gym, grocery store or even the mall sometimes, but most of the time I enjoy working out with my trainer, my husband, some friends, or my dog”

When did being active become so important to you?

“I always struggled a lot with my weight especially throughout middle school and high school. Living a healthy lifestyle really became important to me when I found myself in a very unhealthy and low place in my life. I started my fitness journey about five years ago and have lost 25 pounds so far.”

 

What is your go-to workout?

“I love doing HIIT workouts! Especially when I am pressed for time. You can really get an amazing workout in just a matter of 30 minutes if that’s all you have. But also, I love the StairMaster. It’s silent, but deadly.”

What is your daily step goal?

“Daily goal for me is 10,000. I can usually get it with a little extra help like going for a run, parking a little further out at the grocery store, taking the stairs, and staying active during my workouts. I love the challenge.”

Top 3 ideas to get your steps in:

  1. Take your dogs on long walks.
  2. Park as far away as possible.
  3. Always take the stairs.

QUICK TAKES

Favorite place to run: Piedmont Park

Favorite song to run to: a lot of Drake

Favorite running shoe: Adidas Ultra Boost

Favorite spot-workout snack: Protein shake

Follow Nadia on Instagram and Facebook.

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Meet Naz Gorley https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-naz-gorley/ https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-naz-gorley/#respond Wed, 18 Sep 2019 14:37:00 +0000 http://www.fitnessbank.fit/?p=823 Always on the move Home base: Kennesaw, GA Family life: Married to Joe, mom to fur-baby Dallas Work life: Manager of the interior design and upholstery shop, A.S.A.P. Upholstery Age: 30-something There’s very little downtime in Nazly Gorley’s day, and she likes it that way. As a manager at a busy design and upholstery company, […]

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Always on the move

Home base: Kennesaw, GA

Family life: Married to Joe, mom to fur-baby Dallas

Work life: Manager of the interior design and upholstery shop, A.S.A.P. Upholstery

Age: 30-something

There’s very little downtime in Nazly Gorley’s day, and she likes it that way. As a manager at a busy design and upholstery company, her work day is often a controlled frenzy of customer interactions and coordination of design and work flow. Active is a word she used to describe herself throughout her life. Growing up in Bogota, Colombia, dance classes filled her week. In college and as a young adult making a life in Georgia, volleyball, competitive runs and gym workouts filled her time. In fact, she met her husband, Joe, playing in a volleyball league.

“I’ve always been a very competitive person,” says Nazly. “Whether it was in dance growing up or volleyball in high school and college, I always wanted to be the best. Now my husband and I stay competitive by participating in a church volleyball league, but I also enjoy a relaxing run with our dog when it’s not so hot.”

How do you incorporate steps into your day?

“I am always on the move. At work I stay busy running back and forth from our office to the shop in the back. Then, once I’m off the clock, I usually meet my husband at the gym for a workout or head out to play some volleyball. I try to get 10,000 steps each day. Most days I am successful, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days where I just need to lounge around. I basically don’t sit down during the day. There is a chair at my desk but between interactions with clients and running back and forth, it seems like the only time I’m sitting down is for lunch.”

Who is a part of your workout tribe?

“Definitely my husband, Joe — we actually met at the gym. We played against each other in a volleyball league for a few seasons before we started dating, and now eight years later we are married. That’s definitely one of my favorite gym stories! My volleyball gang is an important part of my life. I’ve been playing volleyball with the same group of friends for almost a decade. We’ve played in leagues together at gyms, churches, open courts, even random bars. That’s one thing you can count on, there will be beers flowing after a practice or game!”

Tell us about your running life.

“I like the road races, but my favorites are the ones where I can get a little dirty. I’ve run a couple of Savage Races, but the best one for me was the Dirty Girl obstacle race that I ran a few years back. I’ve run three half-marathons. The Seaside Half in Seaside, FL, twice and the Diva half-marathon in Peachtree City. In addition to those, I’ve also run shorter races like the Color Run and the Lutzie 5K. I like to be thinking about my next race, but honestly I’m usually tricked into registering for a big race after a drink or two with my mother-in-law. Shout out, Cindy!”

Top 3 ideas to get your steps in:

  1. Gardening! It’s a great way to get a bunch of steps without realizing it.
  2. Get on the treadmill while you work or read a book.
  3. Playing with the dog always makes the steps add up.

QUICK TAKES

Favorite race: The Dirty Girl Mud Run

Favorite song to run to: “Run” by Foo Fighters

Favorite running partner: Dallas, our German Shorthaired Pointer

Favorite running shoe: Gel Asics

Favorite spot-workout snack: French fries!

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Meet Ann Wessing https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-ann-wessing/ https://www.fitnessbank.fit/meet-ann-wessing/#respond Tue, 10 Sep 2019 20:29:47 +0000 http://www.fitnessbank.fit/?p=747  Race announcer and active mom  Home base: Denver, CO Family life: Married to Peter and mother to a 2 ½-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son. Work life: Race announcer, Emmy award-winning TV producer, spokesperson, host Age: 36 Growing up in a family of academics, Ann Wessling’s love of sports was not understood or appreciated by […]

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 Race announcer and active mom 

Home base: Denver, CO

Family life: Married to Peter and mother to a 2 ½-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son.

Work life: Race announcer, Emmy award-winning TV producer, spokesperson, host