Posts Tagged ‘Edmonton

Edmonton weightlifter beats the odds

- April 29th, 2014

(Note: Today’s guest blog post is by Susan Agrios of www.trainingbyagrios.com. Agrios provides a first-hand account of the road to her record-breaking performance at the 2013 World Masters Games in Torino last summer.)

Susan Agrios at World Masters

Susan Agrios breaks a record at the 2013 World Masters Games — a record she would hold for about three minutes, according to her estimate.

In 1993, after a serious knee injury in soccer followed by a couple of knee surgeries, including ACL reconstructive surgery, I was told by doctors and physiotherapists I would never compete again. At the time I was devastated and felt like a victim. In fact, I remember thinking poor me and also saying why me. By 2002, I was competing internationally in badminton and weightlifting. I received 3 gold and 2 silver medals in both these sports at the World Masters Games in 2002 and 2005. As well, I broke senior weightlifting records provincially and eventually master records nationally. In addition to this, in 2004 I received the National Standard Achievement Award for Women and in 2005 the Pan American Standard Achievement Award for Women. Fortunately, I turned my injury into a positive experience where I not only excelled as an elite athlete, but it made me a better fitness trainer since I have been able to help so many other people who have had injuries or similar experiences.

After all of this, there was still something inside of me that kept saying there is still more to do. My clients were very physically fit yet they would still tell me they were stressed, anxious, depressed, tired, not sleeping well, unfocused, etc. I’ve always believed being healthy is not just about having a healthy body, but one must also have a healthy mind. As a result of this belief and some other personal experiences, this led me to take quite the journey where I studied yoga and meditation with some of the world’s greatest yoga masters in India, California, New Mexico and Washington, D.C. I obtained certification as an advanced Yoga Nidra teacher (guided meditation) and Level 2 Internationally Certified Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Teacher. This unique combination has enabled me to help others to attain both a healthy body and a healthy mind.

Eventually this led to a unique program I developed called TIME OUT, an innovative program where individuals take TIME OUT of their day to do fitness, yoga or meditation. With all the stress and anxiety that people are facing, my TIME OUT program has been extremely well received as I continue to work with and develop wellness programs for schools, businesses/corporations, families and athletes, locally and internationally.

In the fall of 2005, I decided to give soccer another try and see if my knee would hold out. Everything was going great with soccer until the summer of 2006. I sent my teammates an email the night before our game saying I feel a hat trick coming on.  The next day I scored 3 goalsin the first half and we were leading 3-0. About 20 seconds into the 2nd half, one girl starting pushing me and the other one kicked me so hard in my knee that it blew out my knee. The referee came running over and he apologized since he did not see it. The reason why, the ball was down at the other end where the play was happening, nowhere near me and they intentionally took me out. After a yelling match between coaches, they kicked their coach out and carried me off the field. My knee was never the same after this. I was no longer able to play badminton or soccer so I switched gears so to speak and started cycling to keep in shape. I also converted my basement into a gym and continued to weight lift.

In May 2013, a series of interesting events led me to take out my weightlifting suit, which had been retired since 2005 and was hanging on my wall in a frame. I was a last-minute qualifier. My body was feeling really beaten up. In fact, I was getting up some days hobbling out of bed feeling so old wondering if I could get through a workout. So I went to see Alex Pogrebinsky at the Royal Glenora Club for a treatment massage … hadn’t seen him for years. During my session he asked me if I was going to Torino for the World Masters Games. I said no and told him I had not competed  since 2005 and that my weightlifting suit was sitting in a frame on the wall. I woke up the next day and felt so amazing and back in my body for the first time in a long time.

While I had been lifting weights in my basement in between training clients while watching reality programs (too embarrassed to tell you the reality programs I lift to) I was completely out of the loop not knowing what the standards were.  So out of curiosity I went online to see if I could qualify. When I looked at the qualification standards I realized I had just lifted more than that in my basement a couple of days ago, however I had two weeks to find a competition in order to qualify. With work commitments I knew I couldn’t fly anywhere and to my amazement there happened to be a competition in less than 2 weeks a few blocks away from my house in Edmonton. While I had no intentions of competing again I thought I can’t not go especially when it’s so close and I had nothing to lose. So I took my suit out of the frame on Thursday, hung it up to dry on Friday and lifted on Saturday. Not only did I qualify for the World Masters Games, but I also broke all of the Canadian Masters National records in the snatch, clean &  jerk and the totals a couple of times over. The records had been held since 2007.

I figured if I was going to travel all that way to weight lift I might as well bring my road bike and do a road race and time trial, too. I have not competed in road racing before, but I was up for the adventure and challenge. While I miss soccer and badminton a lot, I’ve learned to focus on what I can do as opposed to what I can’t do. So for now weightlifting and cycling it is.

* * *

2013 World Masters Games

Great news! Most important of all, it was an amazing experience. I’m so happy with my performance and the medals are merely just a bonus on top of everything.

I got a silver in weightlifting, beating out a 10-time world champion from the USA who just got inducted into the Hall of Fame and the 2009 gold medalist in Sydney from Germany. I broke the World Masters Games record, had it for three minutes and then the Aussie broke it and won the gold medal.

Susan Agrios stands on the podium with a silver medal.

I got a silver in the cycling time trial and fifth in the road race … five seconds behind the Olympian and .3 seconds from getting a bronze medal.

Susan and Sara

Susan Agrios (left) rode with a rider named Sara, who turned out to be an Olympian from Vancouver.

The field was loaded with a world champ, European champs, an Olympian, etc.  All I can say is these ladies can ride … what an experience. Sara and I had chatted here and there for a week leading up to the race, so we teamed up. Before the race, we were talking and she commented on how she heard there were some riders that had never done a road race before … I being one of them, but I did not say anything as I did not feel this was the time to announce this.

After the race, she came up to me and said, “I have something to tell you … I’m an Olympian.”

I smiled and said, “I know. Somebody told me two days ago.”

I then said, “I have something to tell you … I’ve never done a road race before. This is my first road race.”

Her jaw dropped. She was totally surprised and said, “You’ve got to be kidding. You’re a super strong rider.”

We both had a good laugh after the race.

World Masters cycling

Susan Agrios (far left) in a competitive field of cyclists at the 2013 World Masters Games.

* * *

Susan Agrios
International Sport Performance Specialist
Fitness Trainer and Speaker
B.A. in Psychology, B.Ed.
NCCP Olympic Weightlifting Certification
Canadian Masters Olympic Weightlifting National Record Holder
Advanced Training in Yoga Nidra
Internationally Certified Level 2 Kundalini Yoga & Meditation Instructor
www.trainingbyagrios.com

Poll: Who’s going to win the Challenge?

- February 18th, 2014

It’s Week 2 of the 2014 World Health Media Transformation Challenge.

I’ve posted the criteria of this six-week media competition. And I’ve posted photos of the challengers.

That leaves two burning questions: who are you rooting for and who do you think will win?

Please vote below (challengers are listed alphabetically).

* * *

Website: http://www.edmontonsun.com/author/cary-castagna

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Keeping-Fit-with-Cary-Castagna/106367266730

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/CaryIsKeepingFit#g/u

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/cary-castagna/

Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/CaryCastagna

WH Media Transformation Challenge weigh-in tomorrow

- February 6th, 2014
WHTRANSCHALLENGE2014_LOGO-01

World Health Edmonton Media Transformation Challenge 2014

It’s on!

World Health has rounded up several Edmonton media personalities, including yours truly, for a six-week fitness challenge.

The official weigh-in is slated for noon to 4:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 7) at World Health’s Glenora gym.

With bragging rights and a $1,000 charity donation up for grabs, I’ll have my game face on.

Look for more details soon in my Keeping Fit column and on this blog.

In the meantime, here’s the press release issued by World Health:

CNN fitness expert returns to Alberta

- October 7th, 2013

MarkMacdonald

He’s baaack!

Mark Macdonald, an Atlanta-based fitness and nutrition expert for CNN and a regular guest on The Dr. Oz Show, has returned to the Edmonton area for a couple days to share his wisdom.

Here are the details on a few of Mark’s public appearances:

Snap Fitness Sherwood Park
2257 Premier Way, Sherwood Park

1st Clinic — Oct. 7 at 5 p.m.
2nd Clinic — Oct. 7th at 6 p.m.

Hosted by The Blood Sugar Stabilization Clinic.

Fuel Your Performance Flyer October 2013 by Cary Castagna

Body Confidence wellness forum tonight

- July 10th, 2013

wellnessforum

Just a reminder that there is a Body Confidence wellness forum tonight in Edmonton.

It runs from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Edmonton Hotel and Convention Centre, 4520 76 Ave. Tickets are just $10.

Click HERE for more info.

The next event will be Aug. 13.