Marie is an true inspiration to us all. We all hope to be her when we grow up:-) With her, age is definitely just a number. She is one strong lady and she stops at nothing to give 200% every workout. She is admired by all who meet her. She really kicked it up in the last year and she has the body to prove it. Wait until you read her story. So proud of her and look forward to her new challenges she will undertake in the future.

Here is her story…

I first heard about Carrie’s Boot camp class, from a former co-worker, Marie Phillips, in October of 2010. We were having dinner and catching up on life when the topic changed to my recovery from a previous injury. Several years earlier I was in a bad car accident on I-75 where a Semi Truck ran over my vehicle from behind squashing all but the driver’s area of my car. I suffered several fractured vertebrae’s, a cracked sternum and injured my knees. I thought I would never be able to physically assert myself again.

After 12 months of therapy and doing exactly what I was told to do, my injuries had healed and I was feeling strong enough to start with some low impact exercise. I purchased some tapes and began my journey at home. Marie began talking about a boot camp she was attending that was held outside at Lake Padgett on Saturday mornings. When she told the story of using Pumpkins as weights to celebrate Halloween, I was intrigued, and knew I wanted to give this a try.

She invited me as her guest that Saturday morning. By the end of the very first class, I knew this was exactly what I needed to boost my current exercise routine. Since I lived in Land O’ Lakes, the location was perfect. When the outdoor class moved from Lake Padgett to the current location in Lutz, the workouts became more challenging which made me even more determined to “keep going”. I began to get stronger and feel the physical changes Carrie’s class was making in my health and my appearance. I began to get comments from my co-workers that I looked different – and younger? The word “younger” motivated me even more! I told them about my exercise routine and encouraged them they should join me.

In September of 2012 I felt I needed another boost so I signed up for Carrie’s 21 day Belly Blast and immediately after that program ended I signed up for her Muffin Top Meltdown Challenge. By the middle of November, I had lost 15 pounds, cut several inches from my waist, dropped 2 dress sizes, was sleeping better and feeling great! The bonus I wasn’t anticipating is my Doctor told me I no longer needed to take my cholesterol medicine.

Wow, the thought came to my mind that I didn’t know many soon-to-be “60 year old women or men” that didn’t take at least one kind of medicine. Thank you Carrie!! I’m convinced it was your program and your support that helped me succeed! At this point I felt I was ready to commit to the Spartan Challenge and made this a goal to complete prior to my 60th birthday in May, 2013.

I was encouraged by Carrie and the GAG family to do it now and make it a goal to reach by the end of 2012. I’m proud to report that I finished the December 28th Spartan event and have been able to complete a second Spartan, breaking my first event time by 7 minutes! I look forward to each workout and my continued good health. I feel I can live to be 100 and still be able to move around at that age!

Thank you Carrie and all my GAG family for all your support, motivation and for making each class enjoyable!Marie before



marie after


So proud of you! You look Amazing (even in this picture of you AFTER the Spartan 1000!

We had 58 participants this year for our Annual Summer Slim Challenge.

The Results were Amazing!

Everyone is a winner, as EVERYONE had some kind of improvement. So proud of them all.

Here is the TOP 3 challengers…


1st Place:

CJ & Angela




They had a combined 22.2lbs Weight Loss, 14.25 Inch Loss, and 6.8% Body Fat Loss

2nd Place:

Crystal & Kelly



They had a combined 18.4lbs Weight Loss, 14.25 Inch Loss, and 2.8% Body Fat Loss

3rd Place:

Nicole & Aaron



They had a combined 17 Weight Loss, 9.75 Inch Loss, and 6.5% Body Fat Loss

Point Challenge Winners:

Sandra & Julie

Congratulations EVERYONE!!!


When Jen came to boot camp, I wasn’t sure if she liked it. She can be hard to read (well then she was). She did awesome the first day she walked in the door. I knew if she stayed, she would get the results she was looking for, because she had everything it took to succeed. I was SO excited when she chose to stay! And you will read in her story, she has done just what I thought – exceed her goals! Every day she continues to achieve and I’m looking forward to seeing what is next. 


Here is her story…


After my second son was born, I was in dire need to bring sexy back. However, I just couldn’t find an outlet that fit my ADD workout needs. There was always an excuse to justify how I couldn’t consistently hit the community gym, run in the neighborhood, attend the local spin class, or push play on the pilates DVD. So when my sister called that she had found the most unbelievable deal on groupon for Get A Grip, my very desperate self-whipped out the credit card.

When I walked into the studio on the first night, I had a panic attack and started cursing my sister under my breath. Inside my head, warning bells were screaming bright red. I was thinking there was no possible way I was in shape for this sort of bootcamp. I started sweating bullets, fixated on one fact. I was going to severely embarrass myself in front of all these strangers after I barely finished a warm-up lap around the building. Yet, somehow I actually survived that most difficult hour and I knew that the fitness gods had answered my cries. Carrie was the fierce leader I had been searching for and her bootcamp classes were going to constantly evolve to hold my attention. I was finally on the right track to achieving my pre-baby bod.
Yet, my perfect fitness formula came together exactly one week from my first class. My neighbor and I were at the playground and she observed my slimmer shape. Marci was having similar work-out issues and eagerly attended the next class.  From that point on, I had my recipe for success: Carrie, Marci, and Motivation.
Since joining the GAG family in January 2012, I have dropped two clothing sizes and wearing pants that I had blown off as “back during my skinny days.” That is really all small potatoes compared to the vast amounts of energy I feel throughout the entire day. I easily conquer all facets of life from working full-time, keeping pace with my two boys, and spending time with my supportive hubby. To top it off, I just completed my first 5K and signed up for a mud-obstacle run next month. This is truly a humongous accomplishment in itself for me, considering that I REALLY HATE TO RUN.
I would lastly like to give a shout out to my fellow bootcampers in the BACK CORNER. You all are such a positive, entertaining, inspiring group and are literally my fitness rock. I love how we have formed such endearing bonds and still push each other’s limits. It might appear as if we are clowning around, however, we are just having mini-competitions against each other. I look forward to many years, yes years, of intense work-outs because I am so addicted to spinach shakes and Get A Grip.


Leda has done an amazing job! She has leaned out a ton and is stronger than ever! She is a machine! I was SO happy when Tammy (thanks, Tammy) brought her to our Lutz Boot camp. Leda had a ton of sponk and I knew she would fit right in. I could listen to her talk all day long also, with her accent.

She always give it 100%! I am looking forward to seeing what is next for her as she will surprise us!

Here is her story…

I was always a very active person. I walked, run, played sports, etc.  My lifestyle changed. I didn’t exercise much, gained some weight and I made no effort to change anything. I had a treadmill at home, but I was unable to stay motivated. Every single day I said to myself I will use the treadmill today and every single day I found an excuse not to.

My best friend, Tammy Thornhill, kept inviting me to join her at Get A Grip. One Saturday she took me with her to Carrie’s place (this is how I like to call it). It was hard, but also fun and a very interesting workout, so I thought I would give it a try. Once I decided to fully commit to the Get A Grip, I really went for it.

Over the last 15 months I changed my eating habits and I worked out consistently. My weight steadily decreased, my clothes were feeling looser, I had a lot more energy, I developed some muscles, hurray!!!

I felt better than ever. Exercising made me feel good and confident, which is extremely powerful. And I couldn’t do all this alone. There are so many people I would like to thank, starting with Tammy for introducing me at GAG; Carrie, for being such a great coach and motivator – You are really inspiring Carrie – thank you; my husband John, who is my greatest supporter and biggest fan; our GAG team and especially the 7 o’clock back corner “bundle of joy”. You guys rock. Thank you for pushing me to achieve more and more each time.

I look forward to more challenges and fun at GAG.

We look forward to them, too! Thanks, Leda!

So Proud of YOU!

Michele is one amazing lady! When I first meet her, I know she would become part of the Get a Grip Family in the Lutz location. She fit right in and worked hard. She mingled well with the gang and even had a little humor to go along with her. Within two weeks of starting boot camp I could already see her strength increase and her body composition changing. Hard work does pay off, and it does for her. She now needs a belt for her jeans (sorry, I couldn’t resist – well I could of). We all just love our mother hen. She even has her own little group inside our group that she has turned into addicted runners. They meet earlier at the Lutz Studio and run BEFORE boot camp.

It’s ok though, because she is unable to say NO to us and we can talk her into most anything. She caves to our peep pressure (which we secretly love). We are looking forward to seeing what else we can talk her into in the future. She is a gem!

Here is her story…

So, in case you don’t know me, I’m the quiet one in the front corner.  My story goes like this…

After years of supporting my kids in soccer and dance, fast food became the way of life and of course I began to gain weight, even though I was always athletic playing soccer and doing a little running. By 2007 I was my heaviest ever. With my son graduating high school I had a realization that I needed to do something, so I lost 50 lbs counting points, began running more, had some 5k success and played in a ladies soccer league. Then fast forward to my 2011 New Years Eve party, a little tequila and next thing you know I am committing to my first half marathon – Gasparilla 2012. I was so proud to complete it, but even though I was running more than ever I began gaining weight and my running times were getting slower.



At the same time my personal life was in a state of change as well. My Father-in-law has terminal liver cancer and in September 2012 my husband moved in with him to provide around the clock care, my daughter left for her freshman year of college, and I was living alone for the first time in my life, empty nest…for real!

Finally I realized I needed something to change my focus, something I could control. I always wanted a ‘gym buddy’, I found regular gym classes boring, and ultimately I had no motivation. Although I still enjoyed running with friends, I had become frustrated with slower times due to my lack of resistance training. So as the good computer geek that I am, I researched local personal trainers, Crossfit, and other local bootcamps, but then I found Get a Grip Total Fitness. One phone call to Carrie and I knew I had to give it a try! Nervous that first class, I quickly knew I loved it! I lost weight, gained muscle as well as friends! I love seeing the encouragement between members, teamwork during Spartan, and especially Carrie dancing ;) Since joining in September my running has improved tremendously with 5k times I haven’t seen since 2009. I have completed two more half marathons and 3 Spartans. Influenced by ‘peer pressure’ this year I am planning two more half marathons, a duathlon and the Ragnar Relay. Most importantly, my motto is ‘running is cheaper than therapy’ and Get a Grip has kept me sane! When I am tired, unmotivated, depressed or frustrated at work…I am always one bootcamp away from a better attitude.

Michele-after (3)

My 2013 word is ‘Discover’…and it is amazing what I have already ‘Discovered’ about myself. Carrie and Get a Grip are stuck with me, and I am only beginning to ‘Discover’ what I can achieve!

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