Athlete Spotlight- JoyAnna Buschjost
“I used to try to come up with excuses to skip exercise, but now I try to come up with excuses to skip other events to make it to exercise!”
In 2014/2015 JoyAnna was suffering from PCOS (fertility and metabolic disease), chronic pancreatitis (too much fat consumption) and was also pre-diabetic.
I refused to accept that I was 28 years old and suffering with diseases that I knew I could eliminate by changing my lifestyle. (I know that’s not always true for everyone!) I first took a long hard look at my diet and began the long process of mind renewal and education. I’ve never been a crash dieter and I knew that it would take lots of hard work. The first time I put on my tennis shoes, I went outside to exercise by running. (Let’s be honest, we all thought that was the best and only way for weight loss at some point in our lives.) My calves seized up with horrible Charlie horses and I couldn’t even make it back to the house. I sat in a cold bath tub of ice and cried. I asked God to show me ways to improve my health and to walk along side of me on my journey. I decided to private message Abby and Derek and asked them to coach me one-on-one. I was too embarrassed to come to a group class of mixed genders. By January 2016 my life had changed forever. In just one year, I was able to reverse my diagnoses of chronic pancreatitis and diabetes. I never started this journey to be “skinny” I only wanted to be “healthy”! The moment I received my clean bill of health, we started trying for baby #2. I maintained macro counting and working out through my pregnancy! I then started back at AK HIIT 5 weeks post c-section and here we are now! My blood pressure runs lower than average and my cholesterol is normal! I learned that starvation and restriction was not the key. I formed habits of increasing protein and not shaming myself for eating outside of my plan!
Coaching JoyAnna has been nothing short of awesome! Her smile can light up a room and her self love and confidence is one of her many great qualities. Derek and I are honored and blessed that JoyAnna has trusted us to help her meet her goals! We are so proud of you, JoyAnna!
Athlete Spotlight: Lynne Brandt
“I quickly learned that it’s not about what you lose, but what you gain.”
My WHY has changed a lot since I started going to AK HIIT five years ago. At first it was to lose weight, but that didn’t last long. I quickly learned that it’s not about what you lose, but what you gain. I’ve gained strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, stamina, a few muscles, ☺️ and a whole new family. I go to the gym three times a week to work on making myself a stronger person. I strive to be more present in my family’s lives and to be a role model for my children. It’s my “ME” time but I also go to make myself a healthier person. After I had my third child I started suffering with severe migraine headaches that would sometimes leave me in bed for days at a time. I was taking so much medicine and I knew something had to change. I began attending classes at the gym even when I didn’t feel the greatest. The frequency of my headaches became less and less each month. The severity of them also changed. Eventually I was able to quit taking all of my daily migraine medicine which felt amazing. I still get migraines and I have to take medicine occasionally, but my quality of life is so much better now! I owe it all to Derek and Abby for opening the gym, in their garage, in the little town of Koeltztown. We were all growing together and it’s still that way today. They only want you to do what you can do on any given day. Showing up is half the battle. Once you are there, your gym family supports you the rest of the way and that’s why I keep going to the gym!
Lynne has been a member of AK HIIT since day one! Her consistency and hard work makes us proud. Derek and I appreciate her bright Hello’s and we can always count on Lynne to give it to us straight!
Athlete Spotlight: Barb Muenks Gentges
“ I want and need to make myself a priority again.”
Favorite Quote: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
Barb works as a Computer IT Specialist and she resides in Loose Creek. She became a member of AK HIIT in October of 2019. Barb decided to join AK HIIT because she would drive past the gym several times a weeks while visiting her father in the Westphalia nursing home. “I could see people working out and I wanted to be a part of it.” Since she became a member, Barb has noticed that her mentality has changed. She feels like something is missing if she doesn’t get in a morning workout. She knows that with the mental changes, the physical changes will come. Being sore from the workouts are a daily reminder to keep improving her nutrition. Barb has always been a morning person so you will find her at the 5am HIIT classes during the week. She stays motivated because she knows many of the other members and their lives are much busier than hers. Those individuals keep her accountable.
9 years ago I was a gym rat. I would go to the YMCA every morning to lift and run. That was my time and I made it a priority each day. My life came crashing down in 2011. My 7 year old son was diagnosed with a serious health issue, and on top of that, my brother passed away unexpectedly. My entire world stopped that year. In November of 2015 my father was diagnosed with a heath issue and my family had to take care of all of his daily needs for the next 4 years. God took him home in November of 2019.
I want and need to make myself a priority again, that is what lead me to join AK HITT. I am much older and only a shadow of who I was, but I want to find that person back that I pushed aside so many years ago. AK HIIT is special to me because I don’t feel judged by anyone, not by the other attendees or coaches. Everyone seems genuinely happy that you showed up and they are always encouraging. My advice to anyone that is just getting started is to “Keep showing up!”
A few weeks ago Barb did her first Box Jump. The following week she did 30 Box Jumps! This is now one of her favorite movements!