Posts Tagged ‘Susan Agrios

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.

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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.

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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

Madonna’s former yoga teacher in Edmonton tonight

- October 25th, 2011
AA-Gurmukh-So Africa

Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

Following yesterday’s sold-out workshop, there’s only one more opportunity to catch internationally renowned yoga expert Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa in Edmonton.

The ex-flower child who counts Madonna and Cindy Crawford among her former yoga students will be at Ross Sheppard School, (13546 111 Ave.) from 6 to 8:30 p.m. today (Oct. 25) for a workshop titled Peace of Mind: How to get it … How to keep it.

The 68-year-old presented a workshop called 10 Sacred Secrets to Success yesterday (Oct. 24) at Laurier Heights School.

Here’s a note from local yoga instructor Susan Agrios, who helped bring Gurmukh to Alberta’s capital during a three-city Canadian tour this month:

Picture 1

Gurmukh and Edmontonian Susan Agrios

I often get asked why do you have Gurmukh teaching in a school? I intentionally put Gurmukh in two schools for a number of reasons:

1) I have been teaching students and teachers about yoga and meditation so they can experience the many benefits. As well, I have been teaching yoga and meditation to teachers across the province at conventions such as GETCA, HEPC so they can use it for themselves and also teach it to their students in the classroom. I feel this is such an important/key place for yoga and meditation to be and if kids can learn this at a young age it will help them better deal with all the stress they face on a daily basis and into their adulthood. We spend so much time trying to control our environment or we try to escape from it by perhaps watching TV, drinking or going away on a trips …we either have to literally remove ourselves from our environment and we check out by watching TV and others go even further by drinking or taking drugs. Yet in the end we still have to come back to our environment. I often have people tell me they went away for a week and they were just starting to unwind the last few days of their trip. They tell me how they go back to work and by the end of the day they feel like they need another vacation. I’ve always felt you can’t control your environment but you can certainly change what you can bring to it … something yoga and meditation can help you with.

2) I was a former school teacher and was able to see first hand all the stress teachers and students are under. As well, how important it is to have mental focus and clarity as both a teacher and student … again something yoga and meditation can help you with. Please note I was a former student at both of the schools (Laurier Heights and Ross Shep, my nieces are now at Laurier Heights) Gurmukh will be teaching at. In addition to being a graduate at Ross Shep I was also a former school teacher there.

3)  I’ve got a program called TIME OUT in the schools.  TIME OUT for yoga, meditation and fitness. Proceeds and donations from this event will go towards the TIME OUT program … continuation of yoga, meditation and fitness in the schools.

4) I wanted to make it more affordable for people so having her in a larger space enabled us to do so as it will fit more people. The last thing I wanted to hear was I sure would like to go see here, but I can’t afford to.

Please note this event is also open to students … grades 5 and up.

So in short, it was very fitting to have her in the schools

Also if you get a chance, watch my nine-minute video on my website (click on classes & cds and scroll down to video) of teaching yoga and meditation in the schools and you will get a flavour of what I am doing with the students and teachers and the impact it is having on them as you listen to their testimonials.

Look forward to having you join us for two special evenings with Gurmukh and experience a magical evening with us.

Susan Agrios

International Sport Performance Specialist

Fitness Trainer and Speaker

B.A. in Psychology, B.Ed

NCCP Olympic Weightlifting Certification

Advanced Training in Yoga Nidra

Kundalini Yoga Instructor

www.trainingbyagrios.com

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• Susan Agrios brings world renowned yoga master Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa to Edmonton for two Kundalini yoga and meditation workshops.

For more details and to register, click here.

• NEW! Meditation workshops and promo package.

For more details and to register, click here.

• India Trip 11.11.11. Join us on this trip of a lifetime to experience India’s beauty.

For more details and to register, click here.

• Susan Agrios, Bringing Kundalini yoga and meditation into schools.

Click here to view the video.

• Meditation downloads now available. Instructional downloads (written handouts included) teach you how to meditate in the comfort of your own home.

For more details and to register click here.

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