Athlete Spotlight

Athlete Spotlight: Jenny Stephan

Jenny resides in Westphalia where she provides childcare services for her In-Home Daycare. She became a member of AK HIIT in February after making the decision to take control of her health. Jenny was nervous about her first day at the gym, along with excited, leery and relieved when that first class was over! She knew that getting started was the hardest part and she had just conquered that! Her goals from day one consisted of weight loss and developing a healthier lifestyle. Although she is seeing great success in both of those areas, she has started to add new little goals to her list each week, “Better lunges, real push-ups, less modifications and so on.” With this goal setting mindset that she has developed, we are completely confident that Jenny is on the right track to achieving everything she adds to her list!

Jenny is currently ⬇️ 40.4lbs and has lost a total of 29.25 inches! 👏🏼 She states, “I cannot even explain how much better I feel. I'm naturally a person who stays up late at night which makes getting up at 4:30am to go to the gym pretty rough, but my overall energy has gone through the roof! Before I started coming to AK HIIT I was at a point in my life where I didn't want to walk up stairs. 😞 I’m amazed with the changes that have taken place in such a short amount of time. I find myself making better choices for my health everyday, such as walking to the mailbox or to visit my mom instead of driving and parking farther away in parking lots.”

Jenny is an early bird and you can find her at the 5am HIIT classes. She states, “AK HIIT is so welcoming, everyone is upbeat, happy, energetic and positive! I have not found one negative thing about it and that’s what keeps me coming back day after day.” Jenny stays motivated because she knows there are people there who will hold her accountable. “I can see the difference working out has made in my physical appearance and my mental state. Not only do I have more energy, but my overall outlook has improved dramatically.” Since beginning AK HIIT, Jenny has noticed a positive change in her nutrition as well. “After 41 years of eating whatever I wanted, when I shouldn't have, I've really started making better food choices. I’ve cut out most sugar, I keep my carbs under 45g most days, I am trying my best to eat clean and I stopped drinking my calories which was a huge game changer. I used to be addicted to soda. Why do all that work and come home and eat garbage?”

Her advice to anyone just getting started, “YOU CAN DO IT!!! One of my biggest fears was that I wasn't going to be able to do it. It is so hard, every single day, but every single day, we go, we work our butts off and we live to tell about it. Then we go back the next day and do it all again.”

In her spare time, Jenny enjoys watching her three kids play sports, working around her house, refinishing things and shopping. She also loves to read, four to five books a week if she has time. #impressive 📚 Her favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate almond and her alcoholic beverage of choice is beer.

Favorite Quote: “When the Lord gives you more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence.”

Athlete Spotlight: Lynne Brandt

“I quickly learned that it’s not about what you lose, but what you gain.”

Her Story:

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.

Her Story:

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!