Member blogger Kathleen Bush talks with Jen Whiteside, who recently ran her first 5K after completing Midtown’s Running Program with Certified Running Coach Missy Witte.
Jen Whiteside, one of the first graduates of Midtown’s Running Program, never thought she could run.
Although active in myriad other fitness activities at the club, she felt her “bad knee” would prevent her from participating in impact sports.
Many miles and her first 5k race later, Jen is happy to say that she was mistaken. Thanks to the guidance of Certified Running Coach Missy Witte and her new running program, Jen is running 3-to-6 miles at a time, multiple days a week.
Shortly after beginning to train Jen, Missy recognized that Jen’s “knee problem” was actually the result of an overly tight IT band, which Jen and Missy were able to correct using specific stretches, yoga, and strengthening exercises.
“Through this program, I was able to identify my problems and what I needed to do to fix them,” said Jen.
Jen had such good things to say about Missy’s program that two of her friends signed up, and they have also been thrilled with the results, and she’s has nothing but wonderful experiences to share about training with Missy.
Jen calls Missy “a little dog with a big bite.” She credits Missy with not only being a friend but also knowing how to generate results. Jen points out the benefits of Missy’s bubbly personality. “She was a great distraction during our first sessions,” Jen said. “Because she talks a lot, I thought more about the conversation than the fact I was running.”
Missy provides individualized attention all week long, and not just during training sessions. “It’s nice to have constant communication,” said Jen. “If you text her a question, she gets right back to you. Sometimes I text her at 10pm, and I always receive a response first thing the next morning. When you’re unsure about something, she always sends you something positive.” After telling me this, Jen’s phone beeps, and she smiles as it is yet another message from Missy.
Her First Race
After training for several months with Missy, Jen was able to run a phenomenal time in her first road race, a 5k in Tampa, Florida. Despite the hot and muggy conditions, Jen kept a great pace and felt elated on crossing the finish line. She then took on the challenge of a longer race when she ran the Lilac 10k in May.
“My husband says he can see the difference in me” Jen says. Jen, mother of two young children, is fit, toned, and looks great. She loves the change and variety that running has added to her workouts.
Just Do It
If you’re on the fence about signing up for Missy’s Running Program, or if you’re nervous you don’t have what it takes to reach a running goal, Jen has this advice: “You need to go for it. Missy is awesome and she will help you identify where and what it is you want to do with the program, so it’s structured and geared specifically for you, and not anybody else.”
Jen has taken off running and never looked back.
For more information on Missy’s Running Program, which can help you start running, train for your first race, or PR your 50th, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 461-2300, ext. 324.
LPGA golfer Stacy Lewis’ ability to overcome childhood scoliosis to become one of the game’s rising stars is an inspiring story that hits home with Midtown Athletic Club in Windy Hill, Georgia member Heather McNally, a Coca-Cola Planning and Resource Management Director.
Diagnosed with scoliosis at age 10, Heather began to experience debilitating migraine headaches—often up to 20 times per month—in 2003.
But thanks to a connection made by a Chicago neurologist that directly linked Heather’s migraines to scoliosis, along with a four-day-a-week fitness regimen at Midtown Athletic Club at Windy Hill, her monthly migraine toll is down to just a few each month.
In desperate search of relief for her headaches, McNally, 41, visited four Atlanta neurologists over an eight-year period. Her quest would eventually lead to Chicago, and her stepmom’s recommendation of the Diamond Headache Clinic. It was here where a clinic doctor observed a direct connection between her scoliosis and headaches.
Heather’s doctor in Atlanta had prescribed a drug given for epilepsy. While it reduced the migraines, the side effects were unbearable.
“I lost 10 percent of my body weight, my cognitive reasoning was weakened, and I had memory loss,” she remembers. “Worst of all, the medication made carbonated beverages taste awful. And that’s not good for a woman who works for Coca-Cola.”
Her family coordinated an “intervention,” insisting that she stop taking the drug. McNally did, but the migraines returned with a vengeance.
It was Diamond Headache Clinic’s Alex Feoktistov, M.D., who finally asked the right question.
“He asked if my head hurt when I tilted my neck,” McNally recalls. Tests would later help the doctor determine that McNally’s headaches were actually caused by stiffness in her neck and upper back—and most likely aggravated by her scoliosis.
Says McNally: “This connection was something that all my doctors previously dismissed.”
After talking with her personal trainers at Midtown Athletic Club at Windy Hill, McNally was provided with a four-day training regimen that has been working well. On Monday, for instance, it’s Pilates; Tuesday is for strength training (including neck and shoulders); Wednesday is her day for physical therapy; and Thursday is for massage therapy at the club’s spa.
Eight months into the program, Heather says that her migraines have virtually disappeared. Her back, she adds, is straighter than it has been in 30 years.
“We all know that physical activity is good for the body,” says Dina Casso, Windy Hill’s General Manager. “But for Heather, the results have been literally life-changing.”
“Many members come to us not only to help them lose weight or firm up areas of their body, but also to help them with debilitating ailments,” Casso adds. “We help by designing specific physical fitness programs to help provide our clients with a better quality of life.”
McNally wholeheartedly agrees.
“For me, even my personality has changed,” she says. “Not living in constant pain has made me a happier person. My family, friends and co-workers have all noticed. If it weren’t for Dr. Feoktistov and my great team at Midtown, I can’t imagine where I’d be today.”