That was the vision of friends and fitness trainers Eden Lusk and Marsha Goldberg when they introduced their “Fit and Fab” sessions last fall. These mini sessions were created from a long-standing goal to host workouts for the community and also give back to the Mountain Education Foundation, which raises money to provide additional support to our three public schools on Signal Mountain.
“We wanted to target a wide cross section of people and abilities by offering an affordable workout option after work or school,” Lusk said. “We also wanted to create an environment where people felt confident to work out in a ‘no judgment zone.’”
Thus far, the popular sessions have been held at the Signal Mountain Middle High School track, on the Signal Mountain Town Hall basketball court, and in the SMMHS weight room.
Session 4 starts March 9 at the SMMHS track and runs through April 15. Classes will again take place every Monday and Wednesday from 7 to 7:45 p.m. The cost is $75 for all or $15 per class to allow people to drop in and out as schedule permits. The MEF receives a percentage of all class fees.
The sessions have attracted both new and old customers of Lusk and Goldberg. Ironman veterans, these two gals are both trainers/instructors at the local Balanced Studio and Echelon, while Lusk also teaches at the Signal Mountain Athletic Club and Goldberg at the downtown YMCA.
“I was sitting at my daughters’ pediatricians office, and I looked over and saw the flyer promoting the Fit and Fab class,” said Katie Edgemon. “I knew I wanted to do something to get back in shape, but I just kept pushing it off and telling myself ‘I’ll do it later.’ Seeing their flyer gave me hope!”
Kim McCullough knew both trainers through Balanced Studio and enjoyed their classes there. “When I saw they were offering a class that would welcome the community and support our schools, I wanted to be a part of that,” she said.
Melanie Walker was a big fan of Lusk (now loves Goldberg, too) and “loved the idea of a group class outside of a gym, knew it would be challenging, and full of good company. Supporting MEF was a great perk, too!”
McCullough was looking for something that provided more consistency in her schedule since other classes often conflicted with her being a working mom. “Fit and Fab meets in the evenings at 7 p.m., which gives me time to get home from work, help my family and grab a workout,” she said.
All three women admit the workouts were a bit more challenging than expected, but, with encouragement from their trainers, all have been very pleased with results.
While she found the classes harder than anticipated, Walker said, “I actually didn’t know what to expect, but every session has pushed me in a different direction and helped me grow in some new way. I always feel a little bit sore the next day and proud of the work we all did together. There are some fun and very fierce champs in this crew.”
Edgemon agreed the classes have been “so much more challenging but in a good way! Eden and Marsha are incredible trainers who challenge us because they know we have the strength to do it,” she said. “We push ourselves each and every class to a limit we didn’t know we had. They bring out the best in us!”
The women proudly note accomplishments. Edgemon is back down to her “pre-baby weight.” Walker, who keeps up with cardio and running, is thrilled with “my improvement in strength overall, especially in my core.” McCullough added that a winter session on strength helped increase her upper and lower body weight resistance.
While they appreciate the physical improvements, the women said they most enjoy the bond among classmates.
“I always enjoy the company and the camaraderie of this group,” Walker said. “I look forward to seeing them every time. I know I will work hard, and it won’t be easy, but I will be in great company and spend a lot of that time laughing during the groans and sweat.” Edgemon agreed and said, “We motivate each other.”
They laugh when mentioning what they dread the most. Those included a “deck of cards” workout, which includes doing wheelbarrows across the field, tuck jumps and suicide sprints, but said those are much more feasible after working through the sessions.
“I definitely enjoy the people and the opportunity to gather together to push ourselves to increased levels of fitness,” McCullough said.
“I would also have to say it is nice to have the input of both instructors for each session,” she added. “They each introduce movements and exercises you may not have tried on your own. Having two different personalities and training styles leading class benefits the participant.”
It definitely sounds like Lusk and Goldberg are meeting their goal in helping people be the best versions of themselves. Swing by the track on a Monday or Wednesday these next few weeks and see if you want to join the group to become Fit and Fab.
by Melissa Barrett