How’s your Thursday going? This week has FLOWN by. Memorial Day probably had something to do with that. I’m excited because this time tomorrow, we’ll be at the BEACH! Myrtle Beach, that is. No place like it. Some of us are doing a CrossFit competition Saturday and Sunday, and I’m excited about the following (in no particular order): to workout and compete with my friends, down time on the beach, tacos after the competition is over. So, there’s that. 

I’ve been trying to talk about cool people on here weekly – people, or groups of people, in the Upstate that have inspired me and will maybe inspire you as well. 

 Today I wanted to talk about getting to train the Brendle family + Morgan and Kayci – aka “The Brendles + the Etc.”

I’ve had the opportunity to train “The Brendles + the Etc.” since the middle of February. What a family, those Brendles. I’ve been able to watch them evolve over the past 4 months – in regards to fitness, nutrition, and most importantly – a good, STRONG, healthy MINDSET. Today is their last training session because they start class NEXT WEEK! I know they will see way more results in class because they will get to be in the gym more frequently, and they will actually be following the class programing, as opposed to just hanging out with me twice a week. And the coolest part is now the Brendle guys are doing CrossFit too, so this will be something they can do together as a family. 

Now when it comes to personal training vs. taking CrossFit classes, it’s really just a personal preference. Some people prefer just having a more unique, individualized plan for them, as well as the extra attention. Some people just need personal training. I LOVE personal training because you really get to know your clients. It’s like a total goal setting program, and you get to watch them change on the outside, as well as on the inside. It’s an even more intimate relationship than if they were in class because it’s just you and them for an hour at a time, as opposed to a class full of people. I haven’t trained like hundreds of people or anything like that over the past year, BUT I am very very fortunate to have trained people I love – not just like – but really love. Haha, not everyone can say that. 

Well, I’ve somewhat known the Brendles for awhile because of my friend Seth. Seth is one of the SEVEN (yes, you read that right) Brendle kids. Daniel and I were pretty close with Seth while he was here. Seth is one of a kind. He’s a great guy. Big heart. I feel bad because sometimes Seth got reeeaaallllly excited about CrossFit, and I sometimes would take CrossFit too seriously, and I would be mean to him. I feel bad about it now. But, that’s another story for another time. Seth is in Nashville now doing cool things like about to be a physician’s assistant, eating chickfila, and occasionally doing CrossFit when he can. 

Well, one night in January I think, a group of us were eating tacos (go figure) and we ran into most of the Brendle family. I think they first recognized us because of Emerson (age 2, because Seth loves Emerson). Terri (Seth’s mom) brought up that their family – or at least the girls- may want to do some personal training before Sophie (one of the Brendle girls) gets married in June. We met up at the gym, and I tried to convince them why they should just take CrossFit classes instead to get the best value, but she was set on personal training (and I’m glad she was:)

I remember day 1 of training. 7 am. Tuesday morning. Terri, 4 Brendle girls, and Kayci (Sophie’s friend). It just so happened to be THE morning that the roof guys were working hard on the gym roof. 10 minutes into our FIRST SESSION, there were rocks falling down from the ceiling, it was loud, and I probably spent more time running outside to tell the roof guys to stop drilling holes in the roof than I did on actually communicating to the Brendles about what they were supposed to be doing. [PS the roof thing was a one day only thing, and needed to get done, and they didn’t know anyone was in there] But I was really bummed because it was a terrible first impression of CrossFit, CFEC, and me, and I assumed they wouldn’t want to come back. 

But not only did they come back (thanks guys) they told Morgan about it. I got to meet Morgan at Starbucks just to talk about food, exercise, and really just being a girl. I didn’t know Morgan at all before that, and I had no idea she would want to do CrossFit. Well, after out conversation, Morgan said she wanted to join the group, so she started that next week.

So, there were 7 of them, and we named it “The Brendles + the Etc.” [All 4 of the Brendle girls, Mrs. Brendle- aka Terri, Kayci – friend of Sophie, and Morgan – friend of Sophie]

Ok, now that you know the background info, here’s the cool stuff. 

Like I said earlier…I’ve been able to watch all of them evolve over the past 4 months. They’ve changed the way they eat (some a little more than others haha), they see themselves differently now, and they are way stronger. 

I wanted to share a little about each one of them!

Terri – aka TERRIMOM aka Silver Fox as some would call her. She’s beautiful – inside and outside. Terri is strong. Especially to have birthed SEVEN kids. Her core strength is ridiculously strong considering that. Seth gave me a heads up that his mom could probably be a Master’s athlete, and I 100% agree. So, we’ll see about that when the Open rolls around next year. Terri will keep you laughing, and she’s pretty great at flipping tires too!

Sarah – by far the strongest of the group. Sara has been fun to train because her movements are strong and pretty smooth- especially her overhead movements, as well as her front squat and her back squat. But unlike me, she makes them look effortless. She’s smart, kind, and I can tell that her sisters look up to her. She started somewhat of a Whole30 approach to eating, and has seen results from that, as well as lifting in the gym. 

Sophie – I’ve had numerous convos with Sophie about confidence, body image, and muscles. She is getting married in LESS THAN 1 MONTH, and the wedding was the reason the group wanted to start training in the first place. One night awhile back, Sophie sent me a couple of her bridal portraits, and I teared up a little bit because she looked so beautiful. The reason she sent them was to show me where she could see definition in her arms for the first time —-muscles. What I love about that is that someone else didn’t have to point it out to her, but she saw it herself. Sophie is getting so strong in the gym, and I love watching her face light up when she figures a movement out. She figured out handstand pushups pretty much on her first try, and she’s SO close to getting her first kipping pullup. 

Sadie – Sadie is an athlete. You can tell just by looking at her. She’s 16, and has so much potential. She makes me wish I would have started CrossFit at her age. She can move a barbell well, and she’s usually my example for the group when it comes to power cleans and push jerks. She’s really calm too, so sometimes I think I scare her. Hopefully I don’t. I hope CrossFit will help her in basketball and her other sports. 

Susanna (Nanny)- I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who smiles as much as Nanny does. She is so happy, and she hustles hard. She is 14, and I was a little nervous about training her with everyone else when we started because I didn’t know if she could keep up because of how young she is. BUT she definitely keeps up. In fact, I’m usually having to pull her back a little bit because she always wants to go as heavy as everyone else. And she’s strong enough to do it. I’m so proud of her because she has tried really hard to work on her movements during our time together, and she’s come so far – especially in that squat!

Morgan – I am so proud of the transformation Morgan has done over the past several months. She looks great, and says she feels great, but I’m mostly proud of how far she has come with her mindset about her strength and her muscles. She’s a gymnast, and you can tell by watching her move. I remember when she started, she was so scared of getting “big muscles.” I’ve seen a lot of myself in her, because I used to be the exact same way. But overtime, because of her hard work, Whole30 style eating habits, and prepping her food, she has grown from “How can I most control my body to look how I think it should?” to “What can I do to more enjoy life and feel better about the type of body the Lord has given me?” (stole that from a text). She wrote a blog post awhile back about overcoming all of this here.  

Kayci – Kayci is pretty much a model. Unfortunately for me (but not for her) she moved to Myrtle Beach right after graduating from AU last month, so she hasn’t been here in awhile, but she’s pretty cool, so I didn’t want to leave her out. She’s getting married too, and is doing CrossFit in Myrtle Beach now, which I love. So I’m excited to see all the gainz she continues to make. Kayci – I can’t wait to see you soon for Sophie’s wedding. 

I hope you are inspired by “The Brendles & The Etc.” like I am. I’m so glad they are a part of CFEC. I’m so thankful that they’ve allowed me to help them meet their goals, train them, and most importantly, laugh with them. The cool thing for me about all of this is that I’m probably way more thankful for them than they are for me. I had never done personal training with a group before, and I had to learn how to navigate them while class was going on. I’m sure it wasn’t always pretty, but they were always really patient with me, and they helped me grow as a coach, for sure. I’m thankful they trust me as a coach and more importantly, as a friend, even when I made them do the assault bike, or attempted to teach them a snatch in 10 minutes 🙁

They are a fun bunch, and I can’t wait to see all they accomplish in CrossFit classes!

 One of Seth - because it felt weird talking about his family without him. 

One of Seth – because it felt weird talking about his family without him.