Tag Archives: JD Dotson


Body Builder Mom | Finally a Loser

By Angie Fenton

Sometimes it takes a loss to finally gain.

After grabbing my fanny pack and tying my shoes, I walked into the Louisville Athletic Club in New Albany, checked in and greeted my coach, Ryan Schrink.

“Let’s get this workout started!” I enthused, as I breezed by him, hoping he’d follow.

He didn’t.

Instead, he said the words I’ve — thus far — come to dread: “Let’s get your measurements first.”


I’ve really struggled with fitting in workouts while establishing a work-life balance and knew I was about to be confronted by failure in my quest to be fit and healthy again by October, when I plan to compete in the Kentucky Muscle bodybuilding contest at the age of 42.

Measurements don’t lie. Neither does the scale, though I’m far less interested in the latter. While I look for to the competition, my main goals are to decrease body fat (which currently sat at an unhealthy 30.4 percent), build muscle and strengthen my cardiovascular system, mostly so I can run and play with my one-year-old without gasping for air.

Head down, I walked into a door-less room visible from the main area and felt my anxiety increase as Ryan pulled out his measuring tools.

“Don’t let anyone see, OK?” I implored.

I pretended not to watch him as he measured but peeked at the numbers he wrote on my chart and couldn’t believe what I was seeing: Despite my struggles, I was finally a loser — as in I’d lost a total of 6.75 inches, including 2 inches of belly fat and half an inch off my thighs and hips, resulting in a one-percent decrease in body fat, which was now at 29.4 percent.

“Just think where I’d be today if I had made every workout and cardio session a priority,” I said.

Yes, Ryan replied, but at least this was proof I had made progress.

It was also motivation.

For the next 45 minutes, Ryan put me through the most grueling leg workout I’ve ever experienced — and I’d already trained for and competed in several bodybuilding competitionsangieryan more than a decade ago (in fact, I won my class the first time I stepped on stage).

Even though there were moments of that workout that brought me to tears and almost caused me to fall over (I loathe you so much, walking lunges), knowing I’d made gains by losing inches kept me focused and inspired.

So did Coach Schrink.

I’ve enlisted the help of various trainers over the years and had some really good ones (like Ed Long, who worked at the LAC on Westport Road in Louisville years ago). I’ve also had some really awful ones who seemed to take delight in body shaming and tearing down their clients. I allowed the worst one to goad me into working my left shoulder so hard, despite my insistence the pain I was feeling wasn’t normal and his tendency to tell me I was “a loser” (but not in a good way) for complaining. That experience resulted in waking up one day unable to lift my coffee cup only to discover I’d torn my rotator cuff so badly enough it required surgery and a year of physical therapy.

When I approached Ryan about aiding me on this journey, I had my guard up. I knew he owned the highly-successful Schrink Personal Training —www.schrinkpersonaltraining.com — and came highly recommended, but I was wary.

When you enlist someone to train you, you’re striking up a partnership that isn’t just about your potential for physical transformation. It’s emotional and personal. Plus, trust is imperative: Could I trust him to help me reach my goals and help me climb back on the horse when I fell off? Could he trust me to be honest about setbacks and challenges?

The answer has been a resounding yes for us both. I tell him when I’ve failed my expectations and about my bumps in the road. I turn, he gently but firmly helps guide me back on track and always tells me what I need to hear, even if it’s not always pleasant.

He checks in with me — and my colleague and aspiring bodybuilder JD Dotson — frequently, and I voluntarily submit him updates that sometimes are as simple (and pathetic) as shooting over a text that says: “Didn’t get it done today. Starting again tomorrow.” And I can always expect some kind of reply that makes me feel like no matter what, we aren’t giving up.

Current Workout Plan 

• 20 to 40 minutes of early morning cardio on an empty stomach

• Lift five or six days a week, focusing on different body parts each time

• Do ab workouts four to six times
a week

• Rest one day a week but still be active (go for a walk with the family, enjoy a recreational game that involves cardio)

* I workout with Coach Ryan Schrink about once a week. The other workouts are on my own. None of them take more than 60 minutes.


Reel Biz | Regalo

Need a styling SoIN T-shirt, an eclectic accessory or a good laugh? Check out Regalo, New Albany’s shop with the best sense of humor. In this episode of Reel Biz, we’ve tried to capture as much of the fun, cool merchandise the shop has to offer, but you can’t do it full justice without stopping in for yourself. Regalo is located at 234 E. Pearl St. in New Albany. The phone number is 812.542.6567 or you can find out more at www.regaloart.com.




Run For The Fun Of It

Our Explorer JD Dotson Shares His Favorite Picks  

Story and photos by JD Dotson

There is something in my nature that needs to mix up my scenery, wanderlust that keeps me exploring new places and seeking new adventures and experiences. That wanderlust spills into my running and makes training on a treadmill or counting loops on a track unbearable. Fortunately, we live in an area that offers spectacular scenery, challenging paths and hills, water stops and interesting sights. I have done runs through the middle of giant crowds in urban settings, dodging people, watching traffic, and runs where I didn’t see a soul and was surrounded only by trees. Every scenario is available to us, and if I can keep from being a tourist and stopping to take pictures, I can get a great run in and explore at the same time.


Parklands of Floyds Fork


One of my top go-to running spots is the Parklands of Floyds Fork. The Parklands are a series of five parks connected by paths following Floyds Fork tributary and takes you through woods, across fields and bridges, winding paths and open spaces. The Parklands offer so many varying experiences for running, from intensive hills and winding paths to flat, straight shots all on jd3more than 19 miles of paved path and 100+ miles of trails throughout. I have run the entire length of the Parklands collectively and never tire of exploring wherever the paths lead. A good place to start for anyone wanting to check it out is Turkey Run Park. The parking lot off Seatonville Road will offer you a couple of options. Head one direction toward The Strand, across Seatonville Road, and run along the creek, across pastures and a few small bridges. It’s relatively flat and beautiful. Or, Option B, head into Turkey Run Park, toward the silo, and experience intense hills, winding, wooded paths, and end by treating your body to a 60-foot tower/109 stair run up to the lookout. The Parklands offer so many running options for every type of runner and nature lover, you will find yourself wanting to explore every inch of the park.

Charlestown State Park


Charlestown State Park has great paths and challenging options for keeping the intensity level up while appealing to the need for adventure with spectacular views. There is an entrance fee to the park, so take a couple of running buddies and split the fee. The day I visited, I was jd2determined to get my money’s worth, so I got two runs in. My first run was on Trail 6 and began pretty rough. I climbed a steep, rocky hill but was rewarded with a path along a ridge and a sweeping view of the Ohio River. The path led me down past ruins of an ammunition plant and into a creek bed before veering back to the main road. My second run of the day was a few miles up the road at Trail 3 toward Rose Island. For a challenging run, my advice would be to take the first trail off the paved path. The trail will lead you through the woods and downhill. It runs along the water and drops you at the bottom of the paved path right at the foot of the Portersville Bridge. Across the bridge is the entrance to the ruins of Rose Island, which is definitely worth a detour for a quick exploration. Don’t spend too long there because you have to get back to the top via the paved path – and it is steep.

Downtown Louisville and Southern Indiana


Living in downtown Louisville, a lot of my runs occur through the city. Urban running offers its own unique challenges and experiences, but the rewards are often exciting. I have run into picketers and protests, a huge fire, friends, rescued a dog, took my picture with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, splashed through fountains on a hot day and slid across sheets of ice on a cold one. It is not easy letting your mind wander running the streets of downtown, but the sights and sounds are enough to entertain and inspire. I love exploring a city I am visiting by running it,jd1 making mental notes to revisit parts and taking pictures, but there is nothing better than exploring my own city and finding new paths. Louisville and Southern Indiana share a unique connecting feature that allows urban running away from heavy traffic and offers the best views from multiple vantage points. The 122-year-old Big Four Bridge has two great inclines from either side to get on the bridge for a total length of one mile, including fantastic views of the river and the skylines. Running west along the river in Jeffersonville and under the Second Street Bridge will lead to Ashland Park and the entrance to the Falls of the Ohio. There is a path leading up along the top of the dam and along the river in Clarksville. I enjoy having that mix of running downtown, which includes people watching and quiet, lonely paths. Many of my runs include city running that leads into a park, and we are lucky in our area to be connected to so many parks. The east side of Waterfront Park will connect to paths along the Beargrass Creek trail, which will lead to Cherokee Park in the Highlands. Running west from Waterfront Park will take you along the river, over train tracks, under the highway, through the woods, along a golf course and eventually to Shawnee Park. Head south from Waterfront Park through the heart of downtown Louisville and Old Louisville’s historic neighborhood, beyond the university, down Southern Parkway, and find yourself in Iroquois Park’s 3.2 mile wooded, hilly loop. Running in Louisville and Southern Indiana offers such a wide array of sights and avenues for exploration, and offers adventure in your own backyard while satiating your (my) wanderlust for a bit.


Seeds and Greens

Story and Photos by JD Dotson

I am generally a creature of habit in a lot of things: morning routines, food choices, workouts. Lately, all of that has been switched up as I prepare myself for big changes in my health and wellness. My workouts have drastically changed as has my diet.

A good start to becoming a better, healthier person is to be conscientious of everything I put in my body, from food and drink to supplements. Seeds and Greens Natural Market and Deli in New Albany is an easy starting place, and I like to start anything off with a full belly.sag2

One thing I am happily stuck on and will order on every visit to Seeds and Greens is the Seeds and Greens Smoothie with an extra shot of protein. The smoothie is a blend of spinach, kale, peaches, almond milk, hemp seeds and flax seeds. It is beautifully green, sweetened by the peach and delicious.

On the day of my visit, for lunch, in addition to my smoothie, I ordered the Quinoa Veggie Bowl, a mix of grilled broccoli, carrots and mushrooms with quinoa, teriyaki sauce. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain, high in protein and amino acids, fiber, iron, potassium, calcium and a host of other vitamins and antioxidants. On recommendation, I chose a seasonal side of Asian Kale Slaw. Everything was perfectly seasoned, filling and wonderful. The best thing about my lunch is that it didn’t taste like I was giving anything up or missing out.

sag3In addition to all kinds of good nutritious smoothies, Seeds and Greens offers slow cold-press juices, teas, coffee, beer and wine. The menu ranges from various kinds of meat and veggie paninis, deli sandwiches, bean burgers, soups and all kinds of salads, as well as made to order omelets and a Greens, Eggs and Ham Sandwich for breakfast. Every item on the menu and the helves of the grocery is organic and natural, including local grass-fed meats and eggs.

Those of us in Southern Indiana looking for a change in diet and lifestyle are in a great position having Seeds and Greens Natural Market and Deli in our midst. I want to be a good person, and I want to eat good things and take care of my body. Sometimes I don’t know the answers and, luckily, the staff of Seeds and Greens is sag4qualified and knowledgeable. I am constantly looking for something to sate my sweet tooth, yet cutting back on sugar leaves me feverishly searching the couch cushions for long lost M&Ms. I have found sugar substitute snacks and local honey in the aisles of Seeds and Greens as well as all kinds of veggie chips, hummus chips and lots of things that make me want to be a better cook. I have even found my favorite liquid soap, Peaceful Patchouli by Kiss My Face.

Seeds and Greens Natural Market and Deli is a great resource for our community. In addition to being very helpful and knowledgeable, they offer free classes on Saturdays, featuring Seeds and Greens staff and local expert. Upcoming classes include how to make your own lip balm, spray lotions and sugar and salt scrubs, taught by staff member Maegan Ehalt. Dr. Peter Swanz will talk about detox and fasting as well as homeopathics with a focus on cold and flu, and Ruth Ann Watson will guide a discussion on essential oils. Did I mention they were all free classes? Check the website and Facebook for updated schedules and save me a seat – I need a good lip balm.