Tag Archives: WHAS11


A Little Man’s Take On A Big Sports World | The Business of Rebuilding

Jim Biery


As the Purdue Boilermakers begin their 2017 football season Sept. 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, they will be led out on the field by first-year head coach Jeff Brohm.

Coach Brohm has led teams into battle before, most recently at Western Kentucky University where he led the Hilltoppers to consecutive Conference USA championships in 2015 and 2016.

The big difference this year is that he will have a pretty large task ahead of him: trying to rebuild a program that has seen little success in recent years and, more importantly, has lost a large part of the fan base mainly because they haven’t posted a winning record since 2011.

When it comes to rebuilding a program, it helps to understand exactly what steps need to be taken and what direction you must lead not only the players on the team but the fan base as a whole. I sat down with Brohm to ask him exactly what the business of rebuilding entails.

Brohm played under Howard Schnellenberger at the University of Louisville from 1989 to 1993 and credits his former coach as being the master of rebuilding programs. Schnellenberger turned the University of Miami into a national championship winner and football powerhouse. He is perhaps best known in these parts for stating the Cardinals were “on a collision course with the national championship. The only variable is time.” This seemed laughable at the time.

The key to the start of a rebuilding process is to get people interested and motivated while giving them a product on the field that is entertaining to watch. Another aspect is to create a brand for the program and also market it in the right way. “As far as getting the team to buy into the right philosophy, you need to get them to believe they are better than what they think they are,” said Brohm. “Create a sense of confidence and swagger as they take the field against any given opponent. The players need to know you are a genuine person and you’re in it for the right reasons, and if you surround yourself with the right people, anything can be achieved.”

For the fans, he said, you have to provide an exciting style of football that they want to come and watch, and know that the team is going to play to the very end with confidence, to see a team that plays hard and lays it all on the line.

Over the past three years, the Boilermakers have averaged 35,731 in attendance and have compiled an overall record of 8-26. This is the lowest three-year average since 1950-1952. That’s pretty dismal considering the seating capacity at Ross-Ade Stadium is 57,236. During this span, teams like Nebraska, Ohio State, and Notre Dame have had more fans in the stands for the game than the Boilermaker.

As far as the boosters of the program are concerned, Brohm said being open and honest with them and having an open-door policy is critical. Letting them know you are listening to them and willing to address any questions they may have is vital to building their support. “If you can get them to buy into what we’re trying to do and show the effort on the field, it helps to get them to trust in your beliefs for the team,” he said.


Photo of the author with Purdue football head coach Jeff Brohm.

When it comes to putting fans back in the seats, you have to play an exciting schedule with teams outside the Big Ten that people want to see, Brohm said. You need to show the fans that you are competing at a high level, and if you can’t win all the games, the fans need to see the effort. Eventually, you win a few games that you’re not “supposed” to and get better every year, which should bring more people to the games.

When asked what a successful first year would look like, Brohm said he wants a team that is competitive and fights to the very end. This competitiveness should be evident to the average fan. They should be able to walk away from the game and say, “These guys play hard and they competed.” Of course, trying to win six games and go to a bowl is the logical first step.

With such an impressive start to his head coaching career Brohm had several opportunities to choose from when it came to taking the next step. So, why Purdue? “The school has a great tradition, is part of a great conference, and people are hungry for success,” he said.

Is Purdue football on a collision course like Schnellenberger believed UofL was? Who knows. But I’ll tell you this, given Brohm’s track record so far in coaching, not to mention his legendary mentor, I can’t wait for the journey to begin. Boiler Up!


GET A GLIMPSE | Amy Wilson

screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-5-20-26-pm-copyHow can you positively impact people’s lives? Amy Wilson knows.



I found the Louisville Athletic Center (LAC) when I moved to the area from Chicago. I knew I wanted to be part of the instructor team when I first walked in to the Westport LAC facility 11 years ago. Since then, I have become the group fitness director at the Taylorsville Road location. The members and staff are my second family. Everyone is so positive and encouraging. I love seeing my regular group participants encouraging and helping new students. I love helping people get healthy and fit. As a pharmacist, I don’t want people on medication because of being sedentary. At LAC I can positively impact people to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

I am proud at the age of 46 that I can do more push-ups and jump higher than I could when I was in high school.

The biggest challenge for me is taking a day off. As an instructor and master trainer, I am usually working out most days. When I was 29, I ruptured my L5 disc and had to have back surgery. So, it is very important for me to keep my core strong and stay flexible. My goal is to do more recovery workouts such as yoga to increase my flexibility.

My biggest supporters are my husband, Drue King, and my general manager at LAC Taylorsville, Stephanie VonTrapp.

If you are looking to go on a journey to reclaim your health, just know you have to start somewhere. It’s OK to start slow. The most important aspect is you show up. Don’t do it alone, come to class, introduce yourself to the instructor and your fellow classmates. The things I hear the most are: “People will be staring at me and I need to be in shape first.” No, people will not be staring at you. They are concentrating on the instructor and what they, themselves, look like, and you do not have to be in shape first. That is what the class is for – to help you on your journey, to get you out of your comfort zone.

I stay fit by doing R.I.P.P.E.D. two to three times a week. It is both cardio and weights, which is so important because as females, we do way too much cardio. Lifting weights increases muscle which increases metabolism. It’s a win-win. I also teach other classes, including Dance Fitness, Cardio Kickboxing, Muscle Sculpting and Pop Pilates, which all help me stay in shape. As for diet, I follow the blood-sugar stabilization program and limit the amount of sugar intake and drink lots of water.

Photo by David Harrison


BodyBuilderMom | August 2017

screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-5-06-06-pmMommy Woes

By Angie Fenton

In January 2016, I gave birth to the little body I “built” inside my own. Months later, I made a commitment to get fit and – eventually – compete in a bodybuilding contest for what will be the fourth time. Yes, the latter is going to still happen, though not as soon as I thought, and you know what? I’m ok with that.

I’m no longer clinically obese, I’ve lost body fat and inches, I’m slowly but surely learning to balance life and work while taking time to exercise, and I don’t feel pressured to fit anyone else’s timetable.

screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-5-05-55-pmMy coach, Ryan Schrink of Schrink Personal Training, continues to provide motivation and encouragement, as do many friends (and even complete strangers on occasion).

Still, I’m now facing a little hiccup because of what’s informally called “mommy wrist” but is technically known as De Quervain Syndrome.

My left hand has lost strength and mobility, and I’m experiencing some serious issues with wrist pain because of holding my now rather large 18-month-old daughter and have for the past year. Add making a living spent mostly typing on a computer, iPad or my phone, and I’ve got an issue that needs dealing with now.

Whether I’m prescribed physical therapy, complete or partial rest, surgery or a combination of all three, my bodybuilding quest can wait. It has to. But that doesn’t mean I’m down for the count.

Here is how I’m staying the course – mostly – and you can, too:

Keep a sense of humor. My wrist hurts and what I feel isn’t funny, but the fact that this has been caused by my daughter makes me laugh. But only because I am so going to be able to use this someday when she is a teenager and blames for everything that goes wrong.

My wrist didn’t make me fat. I didn’t gain weight by having a bum wrist. I did this. And while some of my weight gain was due to having a baby, most of it was due to not caring, falling in love and eating whatever I wanted to, which was fun. But, I’ve already lost a bunch of weight and have started to get healthier. Sorry, bum wrist, but you’re not going to set me back.

So, what’s next? I’m meeting with coach Ryan as soon as I meet with the hand surgeon. I guess I’ll know what happens next then. For now, these feet were made for walking and that’s just what I’ll do…while ensuring I give my wrist a rest.


Power Walk

By Steve Kaufman | Photos by Steve Squall


“Youth gymnastics phenom becomes TV personality in a major market.”

It’s a variation on the Great American Dream.

Sports + media = celebrity

Except, the dream can too often be a Great American Nightmare. And for Whitney Harding to wake up from that nightmare before it consumed her life is a testament to her inner strength and her determination to succeed.

When you see Harding on WHAS11, you see an easy, conversational, story-telling tone to her reports, a sharp sense of humor and a knowledge of sports as impressive as anyone in her field.


And why not? She grew up in Texas, where sports – and talking about sports – is the first language. An athlete herself, she could swing a bat and throw a football with natural ability. Her professional bona fides are strong, too: a master’s degree from Northwestern University, which turns out journalists like Kentucky turns out NBA lottery picks; then a stint as sports director for a TV station in Midland, Texas, where her beats included “Friday Night Lights” high school football, and she covered the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Rangers, Astros, Spurs, Cowboys and Texans. And, since 2014, she’s been on WHAS11, where she’s a sports reporter/anchor covering ACC and SEC basketball, football and baseball. But Harding’s sports journey began well before that. In The Woodlands, a suburban community north of Houston, she was a promising eight-year-old gymnast trained at by Hall of Fame (and controversial) coach Béla Károlyi, who had previously sent Nadia Comăneci, Mary Lou Retton, Kim Zmeskal, Kerri Strug and others on to Olympics gold and international fame. Zmeskal and Strug had been older gym mates of the young Harding. So what’s not to like? It sounds like Donna Reed and the Cleavers meet Happy Days. Except, the days weren’t always so happy.


Her athletic promise forced the eight-year-old Harding to give up some of her loves – like dance, and all those other sports she’d played around the neighborhood – and focus intensely on Olympic-level gymnastics training. “Of everything, I loved dance, especially ballet. But I picked gymnastics, I think, because I felt it was what I was expected to pick,” Harding said. “Looking back, I think, ‘Man, at eight years old, I was asked to make some really hard decisions.’ ” She began going to gymnastics practice two or three times a week at 6 a.m., before school, for two hours. Then she’d go back for three more hours in the evening. By the age of 11, in 1996, she was nationally ranked in the vault at the Junior Olympic level. Then came a series of happenstances that throw a whole shade on America’s youth-athletic obsession: injuries, which happen to a lot of young athletes, and puberty, which happens to everyone. “I had tons of injuries,” Harding said. “I’m still injured. When I was eight, I had a partially torn meniscus, and wore a brace for a little while. When I got older, it was my back. A lot of my activities were very back-intensive. I later learned there was a history of back problems in my family.” She was in pain. Tests showed nothing conclusive. She was advised to take some time off, “but I had a Russian coach (Alexander Alexandrov) at the time. They don’t understand taking time off. You tough it out! You suffer in silence. You don’t complain, you just work harder.” It turned out, her family later learned, she had two stress fractures. Plus “a whole mess of stuff wrong with my back.” Harding said the physician who read the tests came out and began talking to her mother. “He thought she was the patient. He said the pictures showed the back of somebody my mother’s age.”


Also, at this time, Harding went through “the worst thing that could ever happen to a gymnast.” Puberty! “I had a growth spurt. I gained weight. I started doing all the things that happen to little girls when we go through puberty.” She said the coach would monitor her water intake, because too much water would make her heavier. And, as with many young girls who hear the words “too fat,” Harding developed an eating disorder. The coach dropped her, and she had to coach herself for an entire year for the Junior Olympic Nationals. “It showed me the power and strength that were within me,” she recalled. Then the minimum age rule for Olympic competitors was changed after the 1996 games in Atlanta, from 15 to 16. Which meant Harding, born in 1985, was now too young for the 2000 Olympics, in Sydney, and – unbelievable as it seems – approaching “too old” for the 2004 Olympics, in Athens. She’d be turning 19 that year. The Olympics hang over the heads of young athletes like Harding. She said the question she was always asked, and the one she hated, was, “Do you think you’ll make the Olympics?” (“All most people really know about gymnastics is the Olympics every four years,” she said.) “If I said ‘Yes,’ I’d feel like I was lying, because I never thought of myself as that good,” she said. “But if I said ‘No,’ they’d say, ‘Oh, so you’re not that good?’ It’s a loaded question, but people feel it’s OK to ask.”



Setting aside her Olympics ambitions, Harding went to North Carolina State University on an athletic scholarship. “I felt if I didn’t participate in college, my entire career would be a failure.” But a new assistant coach was hired just before she enrolled. And she got injured again. “He didn’t like me. He saw me as a scholarship position being wasted. He never tried to help me. He put me down and made me feel small.” All her old demons came back. Her eating issue returned. Her weight swung wildly. Plus, there were new social issues to deal with. She was living in a dorm. And she’d never really dated before. “My junior year in high school, I went to the prom by myself.” Right after Christmas break of her freshman year, her mother came to Raleigh. “We went to her hotel room and I cried for almost 24 hours straight,” Harding said. “My mom later told me she was afraid I’d do something to myself.”


The decision was hard, but it was also clear. After more than a decade, Harding gave up competitive gymnastics and transferred to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where she pursued a journalism degree, then a master’s program at Northwestern. “I’d always wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon, and when I left NC State, I applied to Rice University,” she recalled. “On the application, you’re supposed to circle all the subjects you’re interested in. When my parents looked at what I had circled, it was all liberal arts – no sciences. “I had remembered a teacher in high school recommending sports journalism to me. Suddenly, it didn’t seem like a bad idea!” Hardly. In 2013, she won an award from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters – best specialty/beat reporting – for a series in Midland called “Girl Power.” In 2014, she came to Louisville. And she felt immediately at home. “I love school sports, and Louisville is one of the best local sports markets in the country. People here are passionate about their high school and college athletes.” Also, she said, “the variety of opportunities is remarkable. We were standing on the track for Oaks this year, drenched, cold, standing in the mud – and all the other things that are on a racetrack – and one of my colleagues said, ‘Isn’t this awesome? Look where we are, on the track at Churchill Downs for Oaks Day. In how many other markets in the country would we get to do this?’ ”



“Of course, as a journalist, I can’t declare a favorite,” Harding said. “But if I answered honestly, both fan bases would hate me. I’m from Texas, but my family is from Kansas. I grew up a Jayhawk fan. Rock Chalk!”


“Generally, I’d say college basketball. But here, my favorite team to cover has been Louisville baseball. The atmosphere is warm and relaxed. Dan McDonnell is an incredible guy to work with. And the players are just great interviews, fun, lighthearted. It’s almost like they don’t take themselves too seriously, they know they’re playing a game.” She also likes the atmosphere at Jim Patterson Stadium. “You get to know the fans. The same ones show up for every game. I get to talk to them.”


The PGA championship at Valhalla in 2014. “Being at Valhalla for a week was the best!” she said. “Golf is so soothing.”


At the PGA, she interviewed Hilbert Potter. The Army veteran had lost a leg in the Persian Gulf War and is now working in physical therapy at Ft. Knox. “He was hired by the PGA to walk around and spot cell phone usage,” Harding said, “which is forbidden at the event. Military guys are hired because they have keen sight and intuition. So he walked the entire course – the long, hilly Valhalla course – on a prosthetic leg.”


“We were all sad when Donovan Mitchell said he was entering the draft,” Harding said. “He was our clutch locker room interview after Louisville basketball games. I always knew I was going to get something great, truthful and honest. Just a terrific kid and a joy to cover.”


“When I went to Nashville in 2015 to cover the SEC basketball tournament, I wasn’t sure what to expect from that Kentucky team,” she said. “They were undefeated, ranked No. 1 in the country. Would they be all full of themselves?” What she found was “a great bunch of kids.” “They’d been made into this larger-than-life thing, but Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, Devon Booker, Tyler Ulis, they were just kids having fun. They didn’t drink their own Kool-Aid.” Towns was an All-American, first draft pick, now an NBA superstar, “but he’s probably the same kid today that he was then.”


“I was working at a cable news station in Johannesburg, South Africa, as part of a residency program while I was at Northwestern,” she said. “And the World Cup was there that year (in 2010). My family is originally from Spain, and soccer is our passion. The Spanish team is usually eliminated early in the tournament. But that year, it won!”


“I’m conscientious, a perfectionist, a strong work ethic, good time-management skills, well-organized. And I’m competitive.”


“I’m forever conscious of my looks, my weight. And when the station gets emails from people commenting on how I look, it triggers all the old emotions.”


“I get comments on my lipstick color, my hair length, the things I wear. And I get nitpicked if I say just one thing wrong. You know, ‘A girl has no business covering sports.’ I don’t have a thin skin, I’m used to being criticized in the public eye. But it can get to you. “I answer every single e-mail. I’m always polite, but I also try to remind them that there’s a human being behind the TV personality, and I hope they know that.”


“My husband, Kyle Higaki. He’s a social media strategist. We met at a bar in Chicago while I was at Northwestern.” A mutual friend put them together. “We live in the Highlands. It reminds us of Chicago.” “He went to Ohio State. After the Buckeyes beat Northwestern in 2013, on a bad fourth-down call, we didn’t talk for more than three hours. That was the most intense our apartment has ever been.” “He’s truly special because he’s never threatened by my sports obsession or knowledge, or what I do for a living. On the contrary he loves it – and that’s so hard to find.” “I always said I would marry a lacrosse player, and I did.”


Editor’s Note | July 2017


Years ago, when I was editor of my college newspaper, an internationally-known author was scheduled to speak as part of a campus series of presentations from people who were considered icons in their respective fields.

The writer had been a hero of mine ever since my Grandpa and Grandma Bignall bought one of her books and gave it to me for one of my teenage birthdays. I devoured her words and sought more in story after story, poem after poem. What she wrote resonated with me, so the opportunity to see her in person made me both giddy and overwhelmed. I wanted so badly to thank her for making an impact on my life through her writing. In person, face to face.

I spent days contemplating what I would say and how I would say it, practicing in front of the mirror. Then, shortly before the big day, I learned the author required a physical barrier between her and the audience and absolutely would not entertain the idea of interacting with anyone. She would speak, collect her $20,000 and leave. I was crushed. In that moment, I learned a valuable lesson: Heroes are human, and humanness can be disappointing. But sometimes it isn’t.

Extol Art Director Adam Kleinert’s son, Eli, recently had a chance to meet one of his heroes in person. While Tim Tebow didn’t disappoint, some of the so-called fans who were in attendance did. You can read about Eli’s interaction with his hero on page 42. If you do, you’ll also understand why I think this 12-year-old should be considered a hero himself.

Power Walk 


When I assigned writer Steve Kaufman the story about WHAS11’s Whitney Harding, I knew she’d be a compelling feature. What I didn’t know was the depth of her story or how far she’s come to overcome so much. Whitney’s journey is a power walk through life that will leave you amazed and may ignite that fire you’ve been waiting to light.

Go Cards! 

I’m a Michigan native who became a University of Louisville fan in 2002 when I moved to this region. I remain a Cards fan and always will. That’s why despite it being my job, editing Zach McCrite’s column – The Final Say on the last page of this magazine – wasn’t easy (and by editing I mean reading, since Zach’s copy is usually perfect). Like many of my fellow fans, I’ll be happy when the cloud of negativity dissipates. Until then, I’m going to stay focused on the positive aspects – and there are many – like UofL baseball.

Jason’s Yoga Journey 


On Father’s Day, Jason Applegate – Extol’s Director of Advertising & Sales – received a few gifts from our daughter and an assignment from me (there are benefits to being both the editor and his wife): Try yoga for 30 days and report on the results. Jason took his first yoga class June 18 at Inner Spring Yoga with instructor Kim Hannan at the helm, but not before having his vitals taken in Kroger. When I asked him what the results showed, he looked at me and said, “I’m basically dead. Fat and dead.” Yikes.

You can follow Jason’s 30-day yoga journey on ExtolSports.com and on our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts (@extolsports).

As always, thanks for picking us up.



Excuses Are Like…

By Angie Fenton

I recently saw before and after photos of a 40-something-year-old woman who had gained more than 60 pounds while pregnant and, a year later, was fitter than she’d ever been. You go girl, I thought, feeling inspired by her success.

And then I saw she was a mother of five, worked full-time, active in her church, a member of several charity boards and cared for her home in a way that would make Martha Stewart proud.

Suddenly, my inspiration turned to embarrassment. If she could juggle all of that and get into the best shape of her life, what was wrong with me? That’s when the excuses started flowing.

There aren’t enough hours in the day.

I’ve got to do the laundry and vacuum the house.

I’ll work out tomorrow.

I have to work late.

I have to get to work super early.

I have an online video meeting.

I am SO exhausted.

I need to sleep.

I’ll start next week.

I am overwhelmed.

I have to take care of the dogs and cats.

I’ll get back to it just as soon as __________ is over.

If I work out in the morning/night, that’s not fair to my husband. How is he supposed to get ready for work with a toddler and six animals who need us both?

I’ll start my workout and diet regimen again as soon as I get rid of these allergies.

My daughter needs my time.

I just can’t right now. But I will soon. Seriously. I mean it. I will be back at it soon. I committed to getting fit. I started getting fit. I lost weight. I began to get healthier. And then I didn’t, and I started to make excuses and accepted where I was.

I’d done enough. I’d lost weight.

I’m fine where I am, with who I am.

I can’t fit in anything else in my day.

I need a day off.

My family/colleagues/pets need me and THAT is my priority.

But here’s the thing: Excuses are like opinions — everybody has them. The aforementioned ones? They’re all mine. I have made every excuse in the book and then some to stop me from my goal of getting fit so I can live a longer life with my child, husband and those I love.

“I may not be ready to compete in a bodybuilding contest in October like I’d hoped, but I am ready to start anew,” I text my trainer Ryan Schrink. “It’s time to go hard and heavy. My heart and soul and health need this.”

No excuses this time.


On Being Perfectly Imperfect

In the April 2017 issue, I shared my struggles with body image and received much feedback from readers who battle with negative self-talk, too. In the words below, Rebekah Hilbert of Norton Sports Health offers a few valuable suggestions to help you refocus and start celebrating yourself. –Angie Fenton, Editor in chief

By Rebekah Hibbert Coordinator of Sports Medicine Norton Sports Health

It’s 2016. Stop being so hard on yourself and celebrate how beautiful you are. Yes, you!

You just finished a great workout, and you’re feeling invincible. The sweat, the endorphins, the stress relief were just what you needed.

And then there it is again. The negative self-talk creeps back in. The doubt and criticism. Maybe it starts after being on social media or when you see a fitness ad, or maybe after flipping through a magazine. All of the sudden you don’t feel as good about yourself.

My arms don’t look like that. I run all the time but I feel like my legs never change. I do yoga but I don’t look like these ladies on Instagram. I need to stop eating this. I need to cleanse for 10 days. I need to work out more. I’m not pretty enough. I look terrible. I am fat.

Now everything that felt good after your workout or when we made healthy food choices disappears and you’re left feeling frustrated and unworthy. Have you been there? I have.

Deep down we know that no two bodies are alike, yet we still compare ourselves to others around us — whether a friend, a stranger on the street or a model in a magazine. And the media isn’t helping. They might change their headlines, but they don’t change their images of women.

Sometimes what we need to see is something like the All Woman Project to remind us that being healthy and happy has nothing to do with the size and shape of our bodies.

The All Woman Project is about realizing that women are more similar than they are different — embracing beauty in our diverse body types and reminding us that no singular size or shape defines health or wellness any more than another.

I also believe it serves as a reminder that even as we work out and eat healthfully, our bodies will never look like anyone else’s no matter how hard we try, and that should never be the aim. In fact, we need to encourage, celebrate and promote our differences.

Believe me, I know it is not easy — I deal with my own body issues. Too often I fail to celebrate the work I have put in or to simply appreciate the body I have and all the things it does for me. It’s time we refocus and celebrate how perfect our so-called “imperfections” are.

Here are a few tips to refocus your positive self-image: Take a break from social media. We have never-ending access to and are bombarded with hundreds of photos each day, and I don’t think we always know how those images can affect us. Unplug, give yourself a break and return to your own reality beyond that smartphone screen. Find things that promote a positive body image.

Tune in to people, groups, books, stores and the like that celebrate all body types and don’t encourage fad diets or unrealistic beauty standards. Spend your time on people and things that encourage and appreciate the uniqueness in all of us. Appreciate the work. Too often we strive for a certain size or number on the scale in order to be happy. Delete that mindset. Instead, congratulate yourself for making healthy choices or for meeting your workout goals.

Be kind to yourself. Some of the worst things we say are about our own selves. Harmful thoughts, even your own, fester into negativity. Make it a point each day to say two or three positive things about yourself!




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.


Bumps & Beauty with Angie Fenton | Episode 6: Sex (or not) After Pregnancy

It doesn’t matter where you do it, if it’s after pregnancy, it’s an entirely different story. Host Angie Fenton and friends dish the taboo topic.

Editor-in-Chief of Extol Magazine and new mother Angie Fenton hosts Bumps & Beauty.  Each episode, Angie will ask guests to share their parenting experiences and advice.

Parenthood: a mix of challenging moments and wonderful memories. This is Bumps & Beauty, presented by Extol Podcasting.

Make sure to pick up your copy of Extol’s October/November print edition, which will hit stands second week of June in more than 500 locations throughout Southern Indiana and Louisville.

Want to contact Bumps & Beauty? Send an email to Extol@ExtolMag.com. Subject line: Bumps & Beauty.

If you would like information about advertising on or hosting Bumps & Beauty at your location, please contact jason@extolmag.com.

This episode is proudly sponsored by:


3095 Blackiston Mill Road,New Albany 47150


Hosted by: 


321 Pearl St, New Albany 47150


wp_20161005_19_09_03_pro wp_20161005_19_09_09_pro



Bumps & Beauty with Angie Fenton | Episode 5: Casting Call

Have kids interested in modeling and acting? Well, professionally, that is… if so, you’ve come to the right podcast. In this episode, Angie speaks with special guest, Heyman Talent agency director and talent agent Kathy Campbell, about all the ins-and-outs of modeling at an early age, and how to best handle this interesting field as a parent.


1205 E. Washington St., Ste. 107, Louisville, KY 40206


Editor-in-Chief of Extol Magazine and new mother Angie Fenton hosts Bumps & Beauty.  Each episode, Angie will ask guests to share their parenting experiences and advice.

Parenthood: a mix of challenging moments and wonderful memories. This is Bumps & Beauty, presented by Extol Podcasting.

Make sure to pick up your copy of Extol’s October/November print edition, which will hit stands second week of June in more than 500 locations throughout Southern Indiana and Louisville.

Want to contact Bumps & Beauty? Send an email to Extol@ExtolMag.com. Subject line: Bumps & Beauty.

If you would like information about advertising on or hosting Bumps & Beauty at your location, please contact jason@extolmag.com.

This episode is proudly sponsored by:


702 Vincennes St, New Albany, IN 47150


wp_20160502_10_45_44_rich wp_20160502_10_45_37_rich wp_20160502_10_45_27_rich