I’m going to be ModelFit

May 31, 2012 at 6:09 pm

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a guy named Chris Kelly inquiring if I would be interested in trading personal training services for blogging about the experience. He said that he works with a number of runners to improve performance and prevent injury for races. Hmmm…what do you think? Sign me up!

Actually, I get lots of impersonal and somewhat insulting e-mail pitches in which some random PR person wants me to give them free (or cheap) advertising for their clients on my blog. Chris’ e-mail was not like that at all. He was very complimentary of my blog and I could tell that he was a real person who had actually taken the time to look around My Fascinating Life.

But, before I agreed to work with him I did a little investigation into Chris (check him out here) and his business, Peak Fitness. He actually owns two businesses…Peak Fitness Lakeland and a newly opened Peak Fitness Tampa, a personal training and sports performance company. He has developed a program called ModelFit and has really created a community at his gym in Lakeland.

So this morning I drove to Tampa to meet Chris. Peak Fitness Tampa is located in the Plaza Fitness center in the Bank of America building in the heart of downtown Tampa.


Downtown Tampa is so much more urban than downtown St. Pete. This one was my destination:


It’s fun to take pictures of skyscrapers.



The security guard inside the building had seen me taking pictures outside, and after directing me to Plaza Fitness, he told me that I could not take pictures in the building lobby. But he didn’t say that I could not take pictures of the fitness center! I made my way to the basement of the BOA building and found the Plaza Fitness location.


I actually asked at the front desk of the Plaza Fitness center if I could take pictures and David, the guy up front, said, “Sure!”


The gym is really nice and has all the bells and whistles.


Lots of mirrors!



Here’s Chris!


We spent about 45 minutes together talking about my goals, time constraints, and physical limitations. Of course we talked a lot about the hip issues I have been having lately. He did an evaluation of my strength, balance, and flexibility and will be creating a customized training plan for me.

I decided that my primary goal over the summer is to lose some weight (he was really nice and said 10-15 pounds, but I know I could stand to lose closer to 25-30 pounds…but he was totally on board with me NOT WEIGHING) while also gaining strength and flexibility to help me start training later in the summer for all my fall and winter road races. My greatest desire is to be able to run long distances again without hip pain (or any pain).

Chris said that I was very strong (thanks!) and that there was no reason that my goals should not be achievable. I told him that I would trust him and follow his plan. He may even convince me to give up Bodypump! (huge gasp!!) He wants to help me train more efficiently, to get the most bang for my buck so to speak. He said that I need to switch things up in order to see results and I know that he is right. I just needed someone to help guide me out of my comfort zone and I think he is going to be that person.

Here is a little note from Chris himself…

ModelFit mission statement:

As a personal trainer and owner of a gym, I often get asked what is the best exercise or workout routine to get results? Should you stick with spin class, join a bootcamp, or maybe even invest in a personal trainer?

While any of these choices would be a great way to get fit, the problem I’ve found with
workout DVDs, fad diets/fitness programs, and conflicting info found on the web is paralysis by analysis for most fitness seekers.

What I can promise is that consistency (and plenty of burpees) is the key to achieve long term results along with choosing a program and approach which you can wrap your head around.

Some questions to ask include:
• How much time do I actually have to exercise?
• Am I making the most efficient use of my time?
• What exercises/activities do I actually enjoy?
• Have I plateaued with my current program?
• Do I possess any old injuries which are limiting my training?

I know the kind of angst these questions (plus the whole matter of your diet) can produce
because I answer them daily. My role as a trainer is not just to dish out killer workouts, but also to act as a filter of information and a social director for over 85 women on a weekly basis (from figure competitors to runners and my own mom).

At our gym, I have watched friendships develop, self confidence build, and problems overcome simply through the feedback and support provided by fellow members. I am so incredibly lucky to have built a community without walls that has fostered results far greater than I could ever achieve alone.

With this in mind, my intention is to share this atmosphere and support with the world. This is why I created the ModelFit project, a website devoted to providing the information and inspiration for strong women to achieve great results.

Whether you are a runner training for your first half marathon, an experienced figure competitor, or working out for the very first time, we offer a variety of resources to guide your daily journey:
• Daily motivation and fitness tips on our daily blog
• Our free e-book with battle tested fitness strategies easily applied to your daily routine..
• In our forum, you will find training logs and advice from women of all kinds
• Online fitness and nutrition coaching from yours truly and nutrition guru Graeme Thomas

In closing, I am always available to answer questions and provide support and I sincerely hope you will follow Caroline’s journey and share your story with us.

Ack! Burpees! You didn’t say anything about burpees, Chris!

So, Chris is working on my customized training plan and I should have it sometime next week. Over the summer I will be following his plan and putting it all on the blog, as I do just about everything in my life. This fall he is going to help me train for my races, with the crown jewel being Ragnar Relay Florida Keys just after the new year. I also plan to get involved with his ModelFit online community and I’ll fill you in on all that as I do it. I’m excited to be trying something new!


Thank you for your time Chris, and for being such a nice guy. Thanks for not taking one look at me and deciding that you had made a mistake!

With all that being said, I will be heading back to BodyPump tomorrow while I await my new “plan”. I am going to savor it!

Cathy McKyton for Pinellas County Judge, Group 2

May 31, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Last night the boys and I headed to The Hangar, a restaurant at the Albert Whitted Airport terminal.


Albert Whitted is a small, regional airport with a small, funky terminal. At The Hangar you can get dinner for two including a helicopter ride for $99! I think that’s pretty cool and Chad, I think we should do that some time.


We were there for a meet and greet reception for my friend Cathy McKyton who is running for Pinellas County Judge, Group 2.


I have been friends with Cathy since Mack and her daughter were two years old in preschool together. They have been engaged to be married since they were three. She and I have been to countless birthday parties and on innumerable fieldtrips together.

Cathy is a prosecutor, is super smart, really cares about the community and all that…but she is also really nice and cool. When I asked her if she would like me to publicize her campaign on my blog, she said, “Sure!”

I told her that I just wanted to check, because I don’t always behave properly and some of that misbehavior ends up on this blog. She said, “If anybody knows me at all, they know that I like who I like and I don’t care what anybody thinks about it.” See, I told you she was cool! She’s not embarrassed to be associated with me.


I wanted to go to the event to support Cathy, but when I learned that they were going to be serving appetizers, I also figured that it would be a good way to get out of having to make dinner for the boys. I set them up with some plates and stuck them out on the patio overlooking the tarmac so that I could hang out with the adults inside.


The food provided by The Hangar was amazing…

hangar food-2

Fruit, cheese, and veggies galore. Crab-stuffed mushrooms, Asian meatballs, and some amazing pita-pizza points including shrimp/pesto, feta/kalamata olive/sundried tomato, and some kind of bacon wonderfulness. Little tea cakes that I think were probably not made in-house, but were still yummy. Here is my “dinner”:


I had a good time chatting with Cathy, meeting some new people, and getting to hang out with my other friend and fellow IRunMommies member Corinne, who was one of the organizers of the event. The Hangar is a really cool location and was perfect for the meet & greet.


If you live in Pinellas County, please vote for Cathy McKyton this fall!

This morning the boys and I walked to school, and after my breakfast I had a bunch of errands to run before I was headed to Tampa. One of these errands was to the Goodwill business center on Gandy Boulevard next to the dog track, Derby Lane.


Last week when I cleaned out my closet and took three hefty bags full of clothes to the Goodwill bin at the boys’ school, I accidentally donated Chad’s nice winter coat. In my defense, it was on the bottom of a pile of clothes that he had told me were ready to be given to charity. Apparently he told me, “everything except for the coat,” but somehow I either didn’t hear that part or I forgot. He was not too happy with me when he discovered my mistake.

But, six phone calls and six days later, I have the coat back in my possession!


Thank you Laura at Goodwill Industries for all your help! I will definitely be giving them a good review on Yelp. Laura was extremely nice and helpful. She said this sort of thing happens all the time.

After Goodwill I headed on to Tampa. Normally I would just continue writing here and give you a dozen more photographs and ramble on endlessly about my morning. However, I want to devote a separate post to my morning Tampa adventures, so stay tuned. It’s coming up soon and it is fascinating…