This busy working mom, Amy Smith, of Lutz Get a Grip Total Fitness Boot Camp has accomplished SO much and I am always excited to see what is next on her agenda. She works full-time, is a wife and mom, and still finds time to PR at her running races, exceed the distances in her triathlon’s, make time for your training, and enjoy her down time as well. She is amazing! She has this contagious smile and carefree era about her. We all LOVE to run with her, as she manages to run any speed and still talk the entire time. Plus, she finds time to encourage everyone else in their journeys!

They write their own stories (which you will read below) and I want to make sure you understand as it doesn’t come across below, that she has accomplished so much! I am SO proud of her and Get a Grip would not be the same without her.

Enjoy her story…

There comes a time in a woman’s life when her clothes just don’t fit comfortably anymore.  Actually, I guess it’s safe to say that typically happens a few times in a woman’s life.  That was the case for me.  I am a three time lifetime Weight Watchers member.  I reached lifetime status during my college years, after the birth of my son, and in my late 30’s.  I raved about Weight Watchers and I believed that the program taught me how to eat properly, but I kept falling back into my old patterns.  Michele Musto was one of the regular attenders, but she stopped going to the meetings and I couldn’t imagine why.  I saw her at Publix one day and she mentioned that she had been going to Get A Grip.  I hated exercising alone and was kind of bored with the boxed meals and one point hot dogs, so I thought about giving it a try.

My 40th birthday approached and like many people, I evaluated what was going well in my life, and what needed a new twist.  I was ready for something different, so I made the call to check out Get A Grip.  I started with the 21 Day Belly Blast and quickly learned how to eat with proper nutrition. I was relieved that the Run Club connected me with new friends to run with, because my training had been sporadic without a training partner.  The chalkboard inside the studio inspired me to sign up for races with my new friends.  I quickly realized that the strength training, plyometrics, foam rolling, and yoga all helped to make me a stronger, injury free runner.  My pace got faster and 8 months later, I achieved my goal of running a half marathon in under 2 hours.

With the 2014 New Year, it was time to work towards something different, so I signed up for the triathlon training program.  I am thankful to Carrie & Russ for teaching me how to swim freestyle with proper form.  I gradually gained endurance and signed up for St. Anthony’s Olympic Distance Triathlon. This is one where elite athletes from across the world come to race.  The day of the race came and I nervously thought “What have I gotten myself into?” when I saw the swim course.  My saving grace was the Get a Grip cheer squad- friends from the studio who provided heartfelt support and encouragement. They were my rock that day and it meant so much to have the people who had become my second family there to help me achieve another big goal.

Our ambitions kept getting loftier as we continued to encourage each other.  Last fall several of us travelled together to Augusta, GA to compete in our first Half Ironman.  I know that swimming 1.2 miles, biking 56 miles and running a half marathon- all on the same day- is something that I never would have attempted without the support of the Get A Grip training group and cheer squad.  The lesson I learned about “swimming buoy to buoy” during those triathlons is something that gives me strength to get through life’s challenges.

With the 2015 New Year upon us, several of us attended Disney’s Marathon Weekend to celebrate Chrissy Rowe’s 10 years of being cancer free. I beat my original 26.2 mile time by 30 minutes and once again enjoyed the accomplishment with some very special Get A Grip friends.

Our most recent adventure was the Ragnar Relay Race.  We trained together throughout the fall and winter, and in February two teams of 12 Get A Grip members travelled to Miami and ran the 196 mile relay to Key West.  I fulfilled my dream of running the Seven Mile Bridge, and several of us enjoyed a sunset cruise together in the Conch Republic.

This place where I had come to exercise and lose a little bit of weight became more than I ever dreamed it would be.  It is an understatement to say that it is “more than just a gym.”  I look forward to our boot camp and track workouts at the end of my workdays, and I regularly set my alarm clock to wake up earlier than my workdays to run or bike with my Get A Grip friends on the weekends.   I only need to be a lifetime member of Get A Grip once, because it has truly changed my life once and for all. I know how to eat for health, I have an excellent support system, and I understand the “whys” behind how to exercise and fuel properly.  Carrie Kukuda is a coach like no other and I am so grateful to have her and the Get A Grip team in my life.

One of Amy's proudest moments. Her PR in her Half Marathon.

One of Amy’s proudest moments. Her PR in her Half Marathon.

Another one of Amy's proudest moments...conquering St. Anthony's Swi,

Another one of Amy’s proudest moments…conquering St. Anthony’s Swim!

Looking forward to seeing what’s next on her Agenda! Congratulations, Amy!