Thursday, September 13, 2012

Another Summer to Remember

Summer has always been my favorite time of the year. Ever since I was a little kid, I would roll my eyes when my classmates were counting down the days until Christmas. While I never really felt the "Joy" of the holiday season; the fourth of July really got me excited.  I never believed in Santa Claus or flying reindeer but to me summer was truly magical.

The last three summers have been even more spectacular than the summers of my youth.  Lets start with the Summer of 2010:
On August 7th 2010 Wendy and I were married in an ultra casual ceremony in San Diego California.   Wendy had just finished 4th at the USA the week before. We had been so focused on Wendy's contest that we put almost no planning into our wedding. You might think that "winging" a wedding ceremony was a recipe for disaster; but it turned out perfectly.  Everything just seemed to come together perfectly and effortlessly. The day I married Wendy was the best day of my life.

Wendy showed up in Las Vegas in July 2011 ready to claim her pro card. 4th place the year before was a great accomplishment at the time but this year, anything less than a first place finish was a defeat.  After pre-judging it was clear that Wendy was going to take the A class and earn that elusive pro card......

As expected based on the call outs at pre-judging, Wendy took her class and earned her pro card.  She won her class, but could a little A class girl win the overall?  Leaving Vegas with a pro card would be a mission accomplished, but leaving Las Vegas as the overall winner: "Miss USA" would be a life long dream come true.

My heart dropped as they moved Wendy from the outside to the middle during the overall judging. For those who are not familiar with how figure is judged, this meant she was battling it out for the title.
As the judges put the girls through their quarter turns, Wendy came alive. She just projected.... Winner.

The judges handed their decision to the announcer, "And your overall winner is....... Wendy Fortino!"  She did it! It was the greatest accomplishment of her life. This accomplishment was made even more sweet by the fact that all of our friends and family were there in Las Vegas to share that moment.

This was also my greatest accomplishment as a trainer.  It was so sweet to have my first professional athlete be my wife.  Wow, two incredible summers in a row, how can we top this?

After having Wendy win the overall at the USA, I didn't know how we could possibly top that the next year.  The 2012 NPC San Jose was the kick off show for summer 2012:

Our clients basically cleaned house at the San Jose: Tasha Standrich won her bikini class. In her very first show Natalia Fermin won the figure overall title. Mark Beyers won the Masters, Super heavyweight and the overall Bodybuilding title. Mark had actually won the teen division of this show 23 years earlier. So, he accomplished his goal of winning as a teen, masters, and overall winner.  Mark is truly the ultimate "Mr. San Jose." Christine Chanda earned a fourth place finish in a very tough figure C class.

Mark Beyers had played in the NFL for the 49ers and the Detroit Lions. I think playing in the NFL is every young mans dream but Mark actually dreamed of becoming a Professional Bodybuilder.  Unfortunately, his time in the NFL led to injuries which required over 14 surgeries.  His doctor released him to start training only 16 weeks out from the Masters Nationals, a pro qualifier.  This was a really short period of time to produce a pro caliber physique. I put together a plan that would allow him to carefully recover from his surgery while building quality muscle.  Mark is a dedicated athlete and has phenomenal genetics but this was a very tall task.

 After snagging an overall victory one week prior, at the 2012 San Jose Bodybuilding Championships, he more than earned his qualifying standard to head to Pittsburgh and attempt a shot at earning his pro card. And that is exactly what he did! Mark took Pittsburgh by storm, winning the overall victory at Master’s Nationals, and his professional bodybuilding status!

Mark is the prime example of what can happen when a true talent and high level of dedication are combined in the sport of bodybuilding. Many people talk about their hopes and dreams, but Mark goes out and just does it. We are so proud of him, and everything that he stands for!  I don't know how we can top the last three summers but I can't wait to see what the future holds.

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