In her own words...

Submitted by: Amy Rauch

Roseann's Success Story

This is a testimonial that I had asked Roseann to write for me, however in the paragraphs below you will see how her view of herself and her capabilities changed through the time we worked together:

"If you are fortunate enough to have Amy as your personal trainer, then you are truly blessed. Amy has a “can do” attitude. She sees possibilities, not impossibilities. Obstacles and challenges are incorporated into the training program as a positive, integral component. She creates training programs that meet the individual’s unique needs, abilities, interests, and goals. She constantly adjusts the program to meet obstacles and challenges that arise on any given day. Most importantly, she does all of this with a smile, encouraging word, and a caring heart. I know these things because Amy was my trainer for 5 months. She would have been my trainer for longer had she not relocated out of state. Let me tell you about my training experience with Amy.
The “Can Do” Attitude: I introduced myself to Amy over the phone as a blind 52-year-old who had been working out on her own for four years and who had lost a ton of weight, but needed help to break a plateau. Told her I had never worked with a trainer before. After a 10-minute conversation, I knew I had found my trainer! While she said she had never trained a blind person before, she was willing to try and we would figure out the particulars as we went. In working with me, Amy had to think of creative ways of describing resistance training moves and techniques. She couldn’t rely on the old stand-by of “watch and do it like this.” Instead, she had to paint a picture with words and metaphors. She had to tell me what each part of my body should feel like if I were doing the move correctly. At no time did she get frustrated. There was only one resistance training move that did not translate into words – something to do with triceps and a strap. Hard as we tried, we just couldn’t figure out a way for me to understand what she was trying to say and so we gave up. Oh, let me be clear -- we didn’t give up on the tricep exercise. Oh no! We just found another one that translated into words a lot better. In her mind, there was nothing we couldn’t figure out a way to do!
Seeing the Possibilities, not the Impossibilities: After only a few weeks into the training program, Amy told me that she thought I could do a sprint-distance triathlon. My initial reaction was a burst of laughter and a bubble in the head that said “are you crazy?”. The more she talked, though, the more she had me believing that I really could do it. She devised a five-week training plan that was reasonable, but aggressive. After working out with Amy for a little more than two months, the big day arrived and I did it! All along, Amy saw the potential in me that I didn’t even think was possible, and nurtured it into fruition with encouragement. At the end of the triathlon, she told me she thought an international distance triathlon was do-able for later in the year, but the next goal was a 5-mile run downtown. In Amy’s mind, more was definitely possible!
Obstacles and Challenges Become Part of the Training Program: Within days of the triathlon, an old heart condition flared up and the doctor placed temporary limits on the training. Rather than take a break for the time period, Amy worked out a training program that used the restrictions to our advantage. While I was frustrated by the training speed bump, Amy actually saw the restrictions as a positive! To train for the upcoming 5-mile run, we were going to have to learn how to run tethered together. So, Amy said we would use the downtime to learn how to walk tethered together. After all, she said, we have to learn how to walk together before we can run! Isn’t that a perfect metaphor for life? She also said we could use the downtime to work on swimming form and technique, not speed, in order to improve speed down the road. By the time I got clearance from the doctor, we were ready to run. Unfortunately, on our first day out, I tripped and broke my foot. Again, more restrictions – no exercise that puts any weight on that foot. Again, Amy went back to the drawing board to figure out what we could do within those limits. She actually saw these restrictions as a perfect opportunity to work solely on upper body strength training in order to improve those muscles, which, in turn, would help with swimming performance down the road. Through it all, Amy made sure each obstacle or challenge became a positive part of the training program.
Individually-designed Training Program: While Amy believed it was important to work on balance and core conditioning, she also made mental notes of the training activities that generated excitement. I learned I loved weight lifting and boot camp-style activities. Flipping tires, pulling tire sleds, and working with big battle ropes are a blast! So, she created workouts that combined weights and boot camp into a truly fun experience. She also knew I wanted to learn to run with a sighted guide so that I could participate in future community events. She did the research to figure out how it works to be a runner’s sighted guide and learned the technique necessary to do it. She also researched organizations that could provide such guides after she moves. In short, her training style is to personalize it for the individual so that motivation and excitement continue to rise.
Caring Heart: On the day of the triathlon, Amy showed up as though this were a big community event, rather than a personal event. She showed up with a numbered bib that I wore and it was officially timed. Now, if you don’t know this already, Amy has done many triathlons and even completed an Ironman event. Despite this, she made me feel as though I was doing something fabulous and special! She and her training partner cheered me on as though I were a real athlete! She celebrated my finish as though I had set a record of some sort. I have never felt so validated as I did that day. That was all because of Amy and her caring heart!
Throughout the five months of training with Amy, we laughed, we talked, and we persevered through every challenge. While I knew I was a go-getter, Amy taught me to see possibilities that I never dreamed could be true. The triathlon was just the beginning! Near the end of our time together, I was able to flip a huge – and I mean HUGE, like 400+ lb huge – tire all by myself! We celebrated by me doing it again – this time on video. Amy was the videographer and head cheerleader, whooping encouragement with every move!
As I said at the beginning, if you have the opportunity to train with Amy, you are truly blessed. You will have an amazing experience. If you don’t already know it, you will learn that working out is fun. If you stay open for the possibilities, you will learn things about yourself that might not have been apparent. It will be a rewarding journey. I only wish I could still be on that journey with Amy!"